POLARITY ENSEMBLE THEATRE PRESENTS ANNUAL DIONYSOS CUP FESTIVAL OF NEW PLAYS
Festival Offers Development Track to Full Production with Polarity
[Chicago, IL] Polarity Ensemble Theatre presents its annual Dionysos Cup Festival of New Plays May 10 through May 20 featuring workshop readings of four new full-length plays by Chicago-area playwrights as a part of a six-month long development process. Polarity Ensemble Theatre is in residence at Wicker Park’s Josephinum Academy located at 1500 N. Bell Street. [Please note: these are workshop readings and are not to be reviewed in the press.] Tickets are $5 per performance or $10 for a full festival pass. Seating is general admission. For tickets and information visit www.petheatre.com or call the box office at 800-838-3006.
The festival includes Still Point by John Green, directed by Laura Sturm. Susan Padveen, dramaturg. Land Where My Fathers Died by Ron Hirsen, directed by Charlie McGrath. Aoife Carolan, dramaturg. Liars of Us All by Josh Nordmark, directed by Jen Poulin. Brittany Westfall, dramaturg. Sign of the Times by Gwendolyn Rice, directed by Chris Conley. Eric Damon Smith, dramaturg. Stage Manager: Fredo Aguilar. Festival Manager: Eric Damon Smith. Box Office Manager: Brandy Norton. Artistic Director: Richard Engling.
Thursday, May 10th @ 7:30pm: Still Point
Friday, May 11th @ 7:30pm: Land Where My Fathers Died
Saturday, May 12th @ 7:30pm: Liars of Us All
Sunday, May 13th @ 2:00pm: Sign of the Times
Thursday, May 17th @ 7:30pm: Liars of Us All
Friday, May 18th @ 7:30pm: Sign of the Times
Saturday, May 19th @ 7:30pm: Still Point
Sunday, May 20th @ 2:00pm: Land Where My Fathers Died
Polarity artistic director Richard Engling developed the Dionysos Cup Festival early in the company’s history. With each festival, its popularity with local playwrights and with audiences has increased. “I believe it is one of the finest new play development series anywhere,” Engling said. “The workshop readings are produced at a fairly sophisticated level to bring out the qualities of the scripts. However the readings are just one element in a six month long development process. We are there to help these playwrights. We work only with local playwrights so that we can work together in the rehearsal room. We believe Chicago is the best theatre town in the world, and we are doing our best to help develop and produce the local product: Chicago playwrights working with Chicago actors and directors. We take the plays all the way, when we can. We are about to do our fifth full production of a Dionysos Cup script so far. It’s a very important part of what we do.”
About the Plays
Still Point by John S. Green
When Stephano, a brilliant young astronomer, turns down a highly coveted science award that would cement his future, his wife convinces him to enter therapy. During highly unorthodox “reframing” sessions with his psychologist/shaman, he confronts the effects of his father’s alcoholism and his grandfather’s cruelty.
Land Where My Fathers Died by Ron Hirsen
Jane returns from work to find a traditional Native American tepee on the front lawn of her Rogers Park home. Grander, a quirky old man from the Potawatomi reservation in Wisconsin, emerges and informs her that he has come to spend his final days on the land promised by the ancestors. Whose land is it? Will Grander die there on the lawn? Will anyone want to taste his squirrel jerky?
Liars of Us All by Josh Nordmark
A couple, Henry and Verse, living on a secluded jungle island in the late 18th century experience a lost utopia when Fauntleroy, Verses former lover and Henry’s art world rival, shows up. Fauntleroy and Henry compete for Verse’s love while deceptions and manipulations grow and eventually engulf the entire island. Liars of Us All explores obsessive love, rivalry, guilt, and imprisonment on a cultural scale.
Sign of the Times by Gwendolyn Rice
In the 1960s, Jack and his best friend Lou haunt coffeehouses in New York – discussing politics and waiting for their big break into the folk music scene. When Nina, a beautiful young singer joins the group, their records go up the charts. But tensions between the three musicians boil over, just as the country is rocked by assassinations, the civil rights movement, and the war in Vietnam. When Nina and Jack meet again, decades later, they are faced with the question: Did their music really change the world?
The Dionysos Cup Festival is in keeping with Polarity’s mission to develop new work. The ‘Polarity’ in our name refers to the poles of the classic and the brand new. We will always be in the business of developing new homegrown scripts and bringing them to the stage. Another Polarity is in bringing works to both the stage and the page. Polarity has published two volumes of plays to date.
$5 per performance or $10 full festival pass. Purchase by calling 800-838-3006 or online at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/243592
Polarity Ensemble Theatre at the Josephinum Academy, 1500 N. Bell Street, is located one block south of North Avenue and three blocks west of the Damen stop on the CTA Blue Line. Ample free street parking is available.
Polarity Ensemble Theatre is a professionally diverse group of artists who strive to advance the state of Chicago theater for both local and international audiences by developing new works and bringing new life to the classics through live performance, workshops, and publishing.