Strawdog Theatre Company and Artistic Director Hank Boland are proud to announce their 100th production, ensemble member John Henry Roberts’ The Sweeter Option, February 13 – March 28, direction by Marti Lyons, at Strawdog Theatre Company, 3829 N. Broadway St. Preview performance tickets are $15 with performances Friday, Feb. 13,Saturday, Feb. 14, Thursday, Feb. 19, and Friday, Feb. 20 at 8 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 22 at 4 p.m. There is a Board Preview Event, Saturday, Feb. 21 at 7 p.m., with $50 tickets that include access to a post-performance reception. An industry performance is Monday, March 2 at 8 p.m. The performance schedule is Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 4 p.m. Single Tickets are $28 and on sale now. Subscriptions, group, senior and student discounts are also available. Tickets may be ordered online at strawdog.org or by calling OvationTix toll-free: 866-811-4111.
Strawdog celebrates its 100th production with the world premiere production of The Sweeter Option. A low-rent investigator named Tucker (Sam Guinan-Nyhart) tracks a stolen rent-a-car and stumbles neck-deep into an embezzlement scheme gone sour. There’s enough cash up for grabs to finance a whole new life, but the only way to it is through Irene Pike (Ensemble Member Michaela Petro), a suburban housewife who is clearly more than she lets on. A fast-paced and darkly funny psychological thriller set in 1971 Chicagoland, directed by Lookingglass Theatre’s Marti Lyons, who helmed Haven Theatre’s hit productions Seminar and Hot Georgia Sunday and The Gift Theatre’s Mine.
“This is a moment few theater companies can celebrate: our 27th season, our 100th production, a world premiere written by one of our own Ensemble Members. This play from Ensemble Member John Henry Roberts embodies what has made Strawdog a leader in the Chicago theater scene for almost three decades. It is a script that challenges our actors, our designers and our space in unique and entertaining ways. We’re excited to share The Sweeter Option with audiences, and honored that they’ve supported us through 100 productions.” said Boland.
Additional cast includes Strawdog ensemble member Jamie Vann with guest artists, Matt Farabee, Rudy Galvan, Sarah Price and Emily Tate.
The production team also includes Strawdog Company Ensemble Members Jordan Kardasz, light designer; Heath Hays, sound designer; Carmine Grisolia, technical director; Kyle Hamman, video design with guest artists Joanna Iwanicka, set design; Kristy Hall, costume design; Amanda Herrmann, props designer; Michael Stanfill, projection design; Ryan Bourque, fight choreographer; Ellen Willet, production manager; Lindsey Miller, stage manager; Cody Spellman, assistant director and Joe Pindelski, dramaturg.
ABOUT JOHN HENRY ROBERTS, playwright
John Henry Roberts joined Strawdog Theatre Company in 2004, after acting in hit productions of Julius Caesar (directed by Nic Dimond) and Detective Story (directed by Shade Murray, and winner of four Joseph Jefferson Non-Equity Awards, including Best Ensemble). Since then, he’s appeared in a dozen productions with the company, including Three Sisters, Cherry Orchard, and Old Times (all directed by Kimberly Senior), Aristocrats (directed by Rick Snyder, Jeff nomination for Actor in a Supporting Role), and Big Love (directed by Matt Hawkins). Outside of Strawdog, he frequently works with Lifeline Theatre (where his credits include Hunger, a world premiere adaptation by Strawdog emeritus member Chris Hainsworth) and The House Theatre of Chicago (including their upcoming fantasy epic The Hammer Trinity), as well as Writers’ Theatre, Next Theatre, BackStage Theatre, Court Theatre, Next Theatre, BackStage Theatre, Collaboraction, Theatre Oobleck, and The Neo-Futurists. He also made his television debut on Chicago P.D. in 2014.His first play, True Dreams of Annie Arbor, premiered in Chicago at The Neo-Futurarium, directed by Greg Allen, in 1998, and was also produced by Milwaukee’s Inertia Ensemble, directed by Stephanie McCanles.
ABOUT MARTI LYONS, director
Marti Lyons is thrilled to return to Strawdog where she previously assistant directed Old Times with Kimberly Senior. Lyons recently opened Catherine Trieschmann’s Hot Georgia Sundaywith Haven Theatre Company where she previously directed Theresa Rebeck’s Seminar, she directed Laura Marks’ Bethany and Mine for The Gift Theatre Company, as well as 9 Circlesby Bill Cain, Maria/Stuart by Jason Grote, and The Golden Dragon by Roland Schimmelpfennig (co-directed with Jonathan Green) for Sideshow Theatre Company. She also directed The Peacock by Calamity West and The Last Duck by Lucas Neff for Jackalope Theatre Company, a reading of Dana Lynn Formby’s American Beauty Shop at Steppenwolf as part of their First Look Festival, a reading of Ike Holter’s Prowess at the Goodman Theatre as part of their Playwrights’ Unit and a workshop of Thom Pasculli’s By So Falling with Walkabout Theater Company. Next, Lyons will direct two ten minute plays for the Apprentice Company at Actors Theatre of Louisville and then return to Chicago to direct the Chicago premiere of Will Eno’s Title and Deed starring Michael Patrick Thornton at Lookingglass Theatre Company where she also serves as literary manager and company dramaturg. Next summer she returns to The Gift to direct William Nedved’s Body and Blood.
ABOUT STRAWDOG THEATRE COMPANY
Since its founding in 1988, Strawdog Theatre Company has offered Chicagoland the premiere storefront theatre experience and garnered numerous Non-Equity Jeff Awards with its commitment to ensemble acting and an immersive design approach. The celebrated Company develops new work, re-imagines the classics, melds music with theatre, asks provocative questions and delivers their audience the unexpected.
Strawdog Theatre Company presents its 100th production, ensemble member John Henry Roberts The Sweeter Option, February 13 – March 28, direction by Marti Lyons, at Strawdog Theatre Company, 3829 N. Broadway St. Preview performance tickets are $15 with performances Friday, Feb. 13, Saturday, Feb. 14, Thursday, Feb. 19, and Friday, Feb. 20 at 8 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 22 at 4 p.m. There is a Board Preview Event, Saturday, Feb. 21 at 7 p.m., with $50 tickets that include access to a post-performance reception. Opening/Press night is Monday, Feb. 23 at 8 p.mn industry performance is Monday, March 2 at 8 p.m. The performance schedule is Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 4 p.m. Single Tickets are $28 and on sale now. Subscriptions, group, senior and student discounts are also available. Tickets may be ordered online at strawdog.org or by calling OvationTix toll-free: 866-811-4111.
The neighborhood has limited paid parking and is easily accessible by public transportation (via the Red Line Sheridan stop, plus 36-Broadway, 80-Irving Park, and 151-Sheridan buses).
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Strawdog Theatre Company is supported in part by The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, the Alphawood Foundation, The Saints, the Illinois Arts Council (a state agency) and the annual support of businesses and individuals.