Sideshow Theatre Company Presents the World Premiere of TYRANT

unnamed (1)Sideshow Theatre Company concludes its 2013-14 season with the world premiere of TYRANT by artistic associate Kathleen Akerley, co-directed by Kathleen Akerley and ensemble member Megan A. Smith, playing May 24 – June 29, 2014 at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. in Chicago. Tickets for TYRANT are available at, in person at the Theater Wit Box Office or by calling 773-975-8150

TYRANT features ensemble members Matt Fletcher and Karie Miller with Andy LutzClare O’Connor and Paige Smith.

One year from right now, Congress solves the homelessness problem. The recently passed Rectification Act gives disenfranchised citizens new lives as trained workers in the homes of the wealthy. But they are also forbidden from leaving the program to find a better future. Twenty years later, Leon and Regina are hired to work for well-meaning philanthropist Martin, who has become interested in new fields of psychiatric research and invites his workers to participate. But a simple gift begins a powerful series of events that will test the principles of the entire household. Searing questions of morality, possession and the crimes of the well-intentioned boil to the surface in this tense and provocative world premiere. Society has changed for the better, but how has it changed all of us?

“When we produced Kathleen Akerley’s Theories of the Sun a few years ago, we fell in love with her fierce intelligence, wit and fearlessness. Sideshow has been developing this provocative world premiere with Kathleen for the last year, and we are excited to finally share it with Chicago,” says Sideshow Artistic Director Jonathan L. Green.

The production team for TYRANT includes: Cait Chiou (scenic designer), Angela Enos (costume designer), Jordan Kardasz* (lighting designer), Christopher M. LaPorte* (sound designer), Arianna Soloway (properties designer) and Aaron Shapiro (production manager). *Sideshow Artistic Associates


Title:  TYRANT

Playwright:  artistic associate Kathleen Akerley

Co-Directors: Kathleen Akerley and ensemble member Megan A. Smith

Cast: ensemble members Matt Fletcher (Martin) and Karie Miller (Nicole) with Andy Lutz (Leon), Clare O’Connor (Regina) and Paige Smith (Matthew).

Location: Theater Wit, 1229 West Belmont Ave., in Chicago.

Dates: Previews: Saturday, May 24 at 7:30 pm, Wednesday, May 28 at 7:30 pm, Thursday, May 29 at 7:30 pm and Friday, May 30 at 7:30 pm

Press Performances: Saturday, May 31 at 7:30 pm

Gala Opening: Sunday, June 1 at 6 pm

Regular run: Thursday, June 5, 2014 – Sunday, June 29, 2014

Curtain Times:  Thursdays, Fridays and Saturday at 7:30 pm; Sundays at 3 pm

TicketsPreviews: $15 in advance or pay-what-you-can at the door. Regular run: $20 – $25.  Tickets for TYRANT are available at, in person at the Theater Wit Box Office or by calling 773-975-8150.

About the Playwright/Co-Director:

Kathleen Akerley is a playwright, director and actor based in Washington, D.C. She has worked for 1st Stage, Adventure Theatre, Baltimore Shakespeare Festival, CapFringe, Catalyst Theatre, Cherry Red Productions, Forum Theatre, Glamonstrosity, Longacre Lea, Rorschach Theatre, Solas Nua, Source Festival, Studio Second Stage, Studio Theatre, The American Century Theatre, Theatre Alliance, Theatre J and WSC Avant Bard. She has directed and/or taught directing and acting for Catholic University, Educational Theatre Company, The National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts, Round House Theatre and The Shakespeare Theatre. She directed her own adaptation of Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle for Longacre Lea, and is currently co-producing and directing a film version of Something Past in Front of the Light, her 2011 play that was considered for the Steinberg Award.

About the Co-Director:

Megan A. Smith is the Executive Director and a founding ensemble member of Sideshow Theatre Company, responsible for the company’s finances, fundraising, marketing and operations. With Sideshow, Megan has directed The Burden of Not Having a Tail and Ekphrasis: Cave Walls to Soup Cans, co-directed Theories of the Sun with artistic director Jonathan L. Green, and assistant directed The Ugly One (director: Seth Bockley). Megan also had the pleasure of directing Joan’s Laughter by Jacob Juntunen this past April at South Illinois University’s Big Muddy New Plays Festival. Megan also helps co-produce Sideshow’s Chicago League of Lady Arm Wrestlers (CLLAW) and wrestles from time to time as The Cutting Edge.  Megan is the Director of Corporate Relations at Steppenwolf Theatre Company and a proud graduate of The Catholic University of America.


About Sideshow Theatre Company:

It is the mission of Sideshow Theatre Company to mine the collective unconscious of the world we live in with limitless curiosity, drawing inspiration from the familiar stories, memories and images we all share to spark new conversation and bring our audiences together as adventurers in a communal experience of exploration.

From its first production, 2008’s Dante Dies!! (and then things get weird), to its Jeff Award-winning productions of Roland Schimmelpfennig’s Idomeneus (named one of the best plays of 2012 by Time Out Chicago and the Chicago Sun-Times) and Elizabeth Meriwether’s runaway robotic hit Heddatron (part of Steppenwolf’s second annual GARAGE REP), Sideshow has consistently produced engaging, transcendent works across Chicago. In 2014, Sideshow began its multi-year residency at Victory Gardens in the historic Biograph Theatre with Schimmelpfennig’s The Golden Dragon.

Sideshow also produces the Chicago League of Lady Arm Wrestlers (CLLAW), a wildly-popular interactive fundraising event that benefits Sideshow Theatre Company and other local charities.  CLLAW has been featured in The Washington PostTime Out Chicago, Penthouse Magazine, Chicago Magazine, Chicago Sun-Times and on WGN Morning News, ABC’s Windy City Live and CBS 2 Chicago. The next CLLAW match is scheduled for Friday, July 25, 2014 at Logan Square Auditorium. For more information about CLLAW, visit

For additional information on Sideshow Theatre Company, visit