The Hypocrites’ Chicago Premiere of YOU ON THE MOORS NOW runs Sept. 9 – Oct. 30 at The Den Theatre

The Hypocrites is pleased to launch its 2016-17 season with the Chicago premiere of YOU ON THE MOORS NOW, Jaclyn Backhaus’s comical mash-up of mythology and 19th century literary heroines, directed by Devon de Mayo. YOU ON THE MOORS NOW will play September 9 – October 30, 2016 at The Den Theatre’s Heath Main Stage, 1329 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood. Single tickets and season subscription packages are currently available at

YOU ON THE MOORS NOW features Japhet Balaban, Maurice Demus, Tien Doman, Emjoy Gavino*, Desmond Gray, Deanna Myers, Josh Odor and BrittneyLove Smith with Chris Acevedo, Breon Arzell, Cruz Gonzalez-Cadel, Edward Mawere, Sarah Price and Sarai Rodrigues. *Denotes member of Actors’ Equity Association.

This crazy, funny show sets heroines from the 19th century novels of Louisa May Alcott, Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters in a mythical place of Moors. When our heroines receive proposals of marriage, they decide to escape. The men wage war on the women starting the Moors Wars. Jaclyn Backhaus’ ultimately moving and inventive play ends in beautiful prose like a chapter from the books these women originated.

The cast of The Hypocrites’ Chicago premiere of YOU ON THE MOORS NOW: (top, l to r) Japhet Balaban, Maurice Demus, Tien Doman and Emjoy Gavino with (bottom, l to r) Desmond Gray, Deanna Myers, Josh Odor and Brittney Love Smith.

The cast of The Hypocrites’ Chicago premiere of YOU ON THE MOORS NOW: (top, l to r) Japhet Balaban, Maurice Demus, Tien Doman and Emjoy Gavino with (bottom, l to r) Desmond Gray, Deanna Myers, Josh Odor and Brittney Love Smith.

You On the Moors Now excites me because it is a feminist re-imagining of the lives of the heroines of four of the greatest literary novels by women,” comments director Devon de Mayo. “It reminds us of the specific importance of the strong, female protagonist, and asks ‘What if she didn’t need the dude? Like, at all?’ And ‘What if a woman’s friendship with other women is what drives her? Not her relationship with men.’ It’s so exciting to see these classics ripped apart and exploded into new, imagined circumstances. It’s witty, unpredictable and empowering. I think of it as Masterpiece Theatre meets Charles Mee meets Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play. Every time I read the play it makes me laugh, it surprises me and I find it touching.”

The production team for YOU ON THE MOORS NOW includes: Arnel Sancianco (scenic design), Izumi Inaba (costume design), Heather Gilbert (lighting design), Sarah Espinoza (sound design), Maria DeFabo (props master), Shannon O’Neill (fight choreography), Phoebe González (dramaturg), Mara Stern (asst. director), Katherine Goldberg (costume manager), Samantha Dzirko (assoc. production manager), Kaitlyn Grissom (technical director), Justine Palmisano (stage manager) and Charlie Lovejoy (asst. stage manager).


About the Creative Team

Jaclyn Backhaus is a playwright and co-founder of Fresh Ground Pepper. The Hypocrites’ production of You on the Moors Now is her Chicago debut. Her play Men on Boats was a NYT Critics’ Pick for its production in Clubbed Thumb’s Summerworks, as well as a Kilroys play in 2015. It will be remounted at Playwrights Horizons this year and receive its Chicago premiere at ATC in 2017. Other works include People Doing Math Live! (Under The Radar Festival’s INCOMING! Series at The Public Theater), The Incredible Fox Sisters (Live Source, The New Ohio) and You on the Moors Now (Theater Reconstruction Ensemble, NYC). She has received commissions from Playwrights Horizons and Ars Nova and is the 2016 Tow Foundation Playwright-in-Residence at Clubbed Thumb. Her work has been developed and showcased with the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, Playwrights Horizons, The Public and Joe’s Pub, The Ice Factory Festival, (not just) 3 New Plays, The Civilians R&D Group, SPACE on Ryder Farm, Ars Nova’s ANTFest and The Falcons. BFA: NYU. She hails from Phoenix, Arizona.

Devon de Mayo (Director) most recently directed Animals Out of Paper for Shattered Globe Theatre and You Can’t Take it With You for Northlight Theatre. Last year, Devon worked as the Resident Director under Stephen Daldry on the Broadway production of The Audience. Other directing credits: Lost in Yonkers (Northlight); Jet Black Chevrolet (side project); Compulsion and Everything is Illuminated (Next Theatre); An Actor Prepares (Logan Center); Roadkill Confidential, The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler, Clouds (Dog & Pony); Infiltrating Bounce (Luminaria, San Antonio); and 52 (Canal Café, London). Directing & devising credits: Guerra: A Clown Play (performances in Chicago, New York, Albuquerque, Madrid, Bogota and Mexico City); The Whole World is Watching, As Told by the Vivian Girls (Dog & Pony), and The Twins Would Like to Say (Dog & Pony, Steppenwolf Garage Rep). She received her MFA from Middlesex University in London.

About The Hypocrites

Artistic Director Sean Graney created The Hypocrites in 1997. The company is currently run by Graney and Executive Director Kelli Strickland. One of Chicago’s premier off-Loop theater companies, The Hypocrites specializes in mounting bold productions that challenge preconceptions and redefining the role of the audience. The company has a reputation in Chicago for creating exciting, surprising and deeply engaging theater as it re-interprets classics and tackles ambitious new works.

Their recent production of Graney’s All Our Tragic, a twelve-hour adaptation combining all 32 surviving Greek Tragedies, garnered the company six 2015 Equity Jeff Awards in its first year of eligibility. Graney’s musical adaptations of Gilbert & Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance, The Mikado and H.M.S. Pinafore have become audience and critic favorites, being remounted numerous times in Chicago as well as going on tour to American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.), Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville and Olney Theater Center. The company has grown significantly in the past few years, receiving acclaim for productions at the Steppenwolf Garage, Goodman Theatre, Museum of Contemporary Art, DCASE Storefront, Chopin Theater and nationally at American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.), Berkeley Repertory Theatre and Actors Theatre of Louisville.

The American Theatre Wing, best known as the creator of the Tony Awards, presented The Hypocrites with one of the 2013 National Theatre Company awards. The company’s smash-hit production of Our Town, directed by David Cromer, transferred in 2009 to Off-Broadway, Los Angeles and Boston. Since the company’s founding, The Hypocrites have produced over sixty mainstage productions and a dozen festival pieces, securing thirty-one Non-Equity Joseph Jefferson awards, six Equity Joseph Jefferson awards and two After Dark Awards.

The Hypocrites’ 20th season is supported by MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions, The Alphawood Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, The MacArthur Funds for Arts and Culture at The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, Brenda and James Grusecki Family Foundation, Dr. Scholl Foundation, The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, The Jordan and Jean Nerenberg Fund for the Future, The Negaunee Foundation, The Reva and David Logan Foundation.

This program partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

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