WBEZ | Chicago Shakespeare Theater http://www.wbez.org/tags/chicago-shakespeare-theater Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Worldview: Pakistan’s elections, stingray tourism and a play on sex trafficking http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2013-05-09/worldview-pakistan%E2%80%99s-elections-stingray-tourism-and-play-sex <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP596061404732_1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F91467551&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><br /><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-pakistan-s-elections-studying-stingrays.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-pakistan-s-elections-studying-stingrays" target="_blank">View the story "Worldview: Pakistan’s elections, stingray tourism, a multimedia play on sex trafficking and animal protection" on Storify</a>]<h1>Worldview: Pakistan’s elections, stingray tourism, a multimedia play on sex trafficking and animal protection</h1><h2></h2><p>Storified by <a href="http://storify.com/WBEZ"></a>&middot; Wed, May 08 2013 16:42:50</p><div><b>Tourism changes stingray behavior in the Cayman Islands</b></div><div><p>According to some estimates, tourists spend more than 165 billion dollars a year on activities observing wildlife. Take Stingray City in the Cayman Islands, for example. There, painter and conservationist Guy Harvey approximates that a single ray can bring in up to $10,000,000 over the course of its lifetime. But what impact is tourism having on the stingrays themselves? For one thing, they’ve ditched a nocturnal lifestyle. University of Rhode Island researcher Brad Wetherbee joins <i>Worldview</i> to explain how tourism is <a href="http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0059235" class="">affecting Stingray behavior</a> at Stingray City.</p></div><div>Swimming With Stingrays Can Harm Stingrays - TakePartApr 19, 2013 ... Guess what&amp;#39;s not fun for a stingray? Photo-hungry tourists in their home waters!</div><div>Supplemental Feeding for Ecotourism Reverses Diel Activity and ...Southern stingrays, Dasyatis americana, have been provided supplemental ... Citation: Corcoran MJ, Wetherbee BM, Shivji MS, Potenski MD...</div><div><b>Global Activism: Animal welfare advocate takes her mission to the world</b><br><br>Karen Menzcer loves animals. While &nbsp;traveling abroad as part of her work in international development, &nbsp;she was distressed by the situation for animals. She was also heartened by animal welfare advocates in poor countries doing heroic work on shoestring budgets. Upon returning to the U.S., Karen started <a href="http://www.animal-kind.org/" class="">Animal Kind International</a> (AKI). &nbsp;AKI raises awareness and funds. The group also collects supplies for animal welfare advocates in poor countries.&nbsp; Karen will tell us why she feels the organization is needed.<br></div><div>Animal-Kind InternationalWe are a 501(c)(3) US registered tax exempt charitable organization. We send 100% of your...</div><div><b>"Roadkill" is a multimedia play that pulls audience into the vulgarity of sex trafficking </b><br><br><p>Based on real experiences, <a href="http://www.chicagoshakes.com/main.taf?p=2,76,14" class="">ROADKILL</a> is a multimedia story of a young woman from Nigeria who has been trafficked to Scotland into prostitution. The performance, staged in a deplorable basement apartment, &nbsp;includes video and animation at an off-site location that pulls the audience into the traumatic and violent experiences of the victim in real-time. Director Cora Bissett will talk about her work. Roadkill runs at Chicago Shakespeare Theater May 11-26<br></p></div><div>Edinburgh Festival 2010: Roadkill - do you know what you&amp;#39;re in for ...Aug 12, 2010 ... Likewise Roadkill – directed by Cora Bissett, with text by Stef Smith – derives its raw theatrical power from giving u...</div><div>Chicago Shakespeare Theater - Roadkill - VideoCreator and director Cora Bissett discusses Roadkill, the realities of sex trafficking, and her confrontation of the issue. Content War...</div></noscript></p></p> Thu, 09 May 2013 09:03:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2013-05-09/worldview-pakistan%E2%80%99s-elections-stingray-tourism-and-play-sex Shakespeare Theater brings conversation on sex trafficking to Chicago http://www.wbez.org/blogs/nico-lang/2013-05/shakespeare-theater-brings-conversation-sex-trafficking-chicago-107038 <p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt; text-align: center;"><b id="docs-internal-guid-4244879a-7b83-bbe0-0620-3ce92db50016" style="font-weight:normal;"><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Arial; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/download.jpeg" style="width: 514px; height: 290px;" title="Pictured, from left to far right: Shakespeare Theatre Executive Director Criss Henderson, Gill, Bissett, Durchslag, Zeitlin and Coorlim. (Courtesy of British Council) " /></span></b></p><p dir="ltr">The<a href="https://www.chicagoshakes.com/main.taf?p=2,91"> Chicago Shakespeare Theater</a>&#39;s&nbsp;upcoming production of <em>Roadkill</em> promises to be an experience unlike any other. The website warns that the play will take place &ldquo;off-site.&rdquo; Theatregoers will board a bus with the actors to a run-down apartment, where the rest of the story takes place.</p><p dir="ltr">Director Cora Bissett wanted&nbsp;<em>Roadkill</em> to be immersive, as a way into the world of sex trafficking. <em>Roadkill</em> follows Mary, a girl from a poor family in Nigeria; as she searches for education in Chicago and the dream that America offers.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;She has no idea what she&rsquo;s about to encounter,&quot; Bassett said. &quot;In her case, desperation overruns knowledge. If people have no options and the chance that it might work out, they take an enormous gamble.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Promised wealth by her caretaker, Mary becomes a victim of human trafficking, where women are used as captive prostitutes. She is told by her trafficker that if she runs away, no money will be sent back to her family. He tells Mary that she can&rsquo;t go to the police. They will only abuse her and rape her.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;She can&rsquo;t open a door to run because of the psychological bondage she&rsquo;s under,&quot; Bassett said.</p><p dir="ltr">In bringing <em>Roadkill</em> to the Shakespeare Theater, Bassett highlights an international issue affecting women, but there&rsquo;s another reason she set the play in Chicago. According to Rachel Durchslag, co-founder of the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation, our city continues to be a &ldquo;top destination for traffickers to bring their victims.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Although the numbers vary, statistics from&nbsp;<a href="http://www.uic.edu/jaddams/college/research_public_service/files/TraffickingInPersonsInIllinois_FactSheet09202010.pdf">UIC&rsquo;s Jane Addams Center</a> estimate that &ldquo;hundreds&rdquo; of women and girls &ldquo;are trafficked and held captive as sex slaves in Chicago.&rdquo; The FBI rates Chicago as one of 15 domestic cities that are at risk for &ldquo;High Intensity Child Prostitution.&rdquo; Local Defense Attorney Sara Dill said that these numbers remind us &ldquo;the problem is right in our backyard.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Last Thursday, Dill hosted a panel with Durchslag at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater on ending sex trafficking. Also sitting in were CNN&rsquo;s Leif Coorlim, Veronica Zeitlin of USAID and Ruth Lewa of Solidarity with Women in Distress in Kenya.</p><p dir="ltr">Teleconferencing in, Lewa told the audience that as a child growing up in Nairobi, she wasn&rsquo;t allowed to go to the beach even though she could see the sand from her window. Only as an adult would she understand the high risk for child kidnapping in Kenya, where children can be sold for sex for as little as $1.50.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;That&rsquo;s less than the price of a latte,&rdquo;&nbsp;Dill stressed.</p><p dir="ltr">Often parents sell their children into sex trafficking. For as little as $100, Gill said you can buy a girl in Cambodia. According to Gill, the life expectancy after being sold into slavery is less than eight years. After they are no longer of use, the organs of sex captives are harvested and sold on the black market.</p><p dir="ltr">For Lewa, this highlights the underlying economic issue of human trafficking, where sex workers are particularly at risk.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;A lot of social push factors make people vulnerable, like poverty and unemployment,&rdquo;&nbsp;Lewa said.</p><p dir="ltr">According to Coorlim, human rights workers aren&rsquo;t out to &ldquo;find bad guys.&rdquo; Coorlim brought up chocolate factories where children are sold as forced labor to the cocoa farmers who produce chocolate for multinational corporations.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Many of these farmers are barely above subsistence level themselves,&rdquo; Coorlim said. &ldquo;They&rsquo;re on the bottom of the supply chain. They get so little money that they have to find ways to cut corners.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">To make change on the issue of human trafficking, we have to change the supply chain.</p><p dir="ltr">Coorlim discussed social media campaigns working to raise awareness on the issue and hold companies responsible for their production practices. A new phone app allows consumers to map their Slavery Footprint and see how many slaves work for them, based on what they buy.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;If customers boycotted Coke or Nestle, they would switch like that,&rdquo; Coorlim said. &ldquo;Nothing talks like money. It&rsquo;s a matter of people standing up.&quot;</p><p dir="ltr">Durchslag agreed that the same is true for sex trafficking.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;It&rsquo;s a demand-driven issue,&rdquo; Durchslag said, &ldquo;and it&rsquo;s essential that we do demand reduction work.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Durchslag told the audience that when she was a grad student,&nbsp;she could find studies on prostitution but almost nothing on people who buy sex.</p><p dir="ltr">Durchslag said discourse on prostitution emblematic of a culture that is &ldquo;not focused on prevention. We teach women not to get raped, not boys not to rape. We don&rsquo;t teach about consent.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">She stressed that it&rsquo;s important we look at both sides of the issue.</p><p dir="ltr">Zeitlin argued that we need a &ldquo;global, coordinated movement to end sex trafficking,&rdquo; one that recognizes that many women &ldquo;get into sex work by choice.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Dill asked, &ldquo;Why are we only arresting the prostitutes?&rdquo; and highlighted that in Sweden, sex trafficking plummeted after the country decriminalized prostitution.</p><p dir="ltr">Lewa said that she and other organizers are working with countries across the globe to enact policies and making sex trafficking an issue with tourism officials who often turn a blind eye. Coorlim said that a public &ldquo;fishbowl brothel&rdquo; operates in the Paris Hotel from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. When you go, colored buttons identify the women by country: Red for Vietnam and Blue for Cambodia.</p><p dir="ltr">Despite the high risk for trafficking, the Hotel operates without much investigation or regulation. You can even find the hotel&rsquo;s brothel on Trip Advisor. Why is this allowed? Sex trafficking is a<a href="http://www.uic.edu/jaddams/college/research_public_service/files/TraffickingInPersonsInIllinois_FactSheet09202010.pdf"> $9.5 billion industry worldwide</a>. There&rsquo;s money to be made.</p><p dir="ltr">Coorlim said that many of the Philippines&rsquo; high end restaurants act as hotspots for sex trafficking, although guards keep it on the down low.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;They don&rsquo;t care about prostitution,&quot; Coorlim said.&nbsp;&quot;They just don&rsquo;t want people to see it.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Coorlim says this issue doesn&rsquo;t get the attention it needs because of the economic incentive for allowance and the common lack of empathy toward sex workers, even youth.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;People look at these kids as throwaway children,&rdquo; Coorlim argued. &ldquo;The pimps are the only ones who show them any attention.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">As the Editorial Director for CNN&rsquo;s Freedom Project, Coorlim believes its the role of media to challenge this thinking and make sex trafficking an issue. &ldquo;If you haven&rsquo;t heard about this, it&rsquo;s a failure on the part of the media,&rdquo;&nbsp;Coorlim said.</p><p dir="ltr">Bissett hopes that the play can be a tool of empathy, move past intellectualizing the problem&nbsp;and help start a real discussion.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;What theatre can do is personalize the story,&quot; Bissett said. &quot;We connect with a story because we see ourselves in that situation. We can engage on an emotional level.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">By falling in love with Mary, Bissett hopes that Roadkill audience members will see their own story. She wants them to ask, &ldquo;What if that was someone I knew? What if that was me?&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">In working on this play, Bissett said she was called to action by the women she spent time with, who shared their haunting experiences with her. &ldquo;When a young girl is in your flat, it becomes a different thing,&rdquo; Bissett said. She wants to give the audience the same opportunity: &ldquo;When something gets under your skin, you care. You can&#39;t ignore it.&quot;</p><p dir="ltr"><em>Nico Lang writes about LGBTQ issues in Chicago. You can find Nico on <a href="http://www.facebook.com/nicorlang">Facebook</a>, <a href="http://achatwithnicolang.tumblr.com">Tumblr</a> or <a href="http://www.twitter.com/nico_lang">Twitter</a>.</em></p></p> Tue, 07 May 2013 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/nico-lang/2013-05/shakespeare-theater-brings-conversation-sex-trafficking-chicago-107038 Daily Rehearsal: Paul Reiser is mad about the Chicago suburbs http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-08/daily-rehearsal-paul-reiser-mad-about-chicago-suburbs-101494 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/2064076400_27a73404ea_z.jpg" style="height: 441px; width: 300px; float: left; " title="A September 9, 1995 issue of TV Guide. (Flickr/trainman74)" /><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; "><strong>- Oof that&#39;s a painful headline I just wrote. But Paul Reiser will be at Zanie&#39;s</strong></span></span> in Rosemont on September 8. Other upcoming shows at Zanies (in Chicago) include Steve O from <em>Jackass </em>and&nbsp;Emo Philips.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; "><strong>- It&#39;s the summer of <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-06/daily-rehearsal-more-shakespeare-parks-100302">free Shakespeare</a>&nbsp;outside:</strong></span></span>&nbsp;Monday through Wednesday at 6:30 pm this week you can <em>The Taming of the Shrew</em> at the south lawn in front of Navy Pier.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; "><strong>- And are you a young person </strong></span></span>who would like to get drunk with other opera lovers whilest listening to your favorite thing, opera? &quot;On August 23rd, Chicago Opera Theater&rsquo;s (COT) Opera Underground - COT&rsquo;s young person&rsquo;s social club - will start a new tradition with its first annual Booze Cruise &ndash; <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9iUjx4_X1qA">&ldquo;I&rsquo;m On A Boat!&rdquo;</a>. Guests will coast down the Chicago River and Lake Michigan on Chicago Cruises&rsquo; &#39;Summer of George.&#39; They will enjoy refreshing wine, beer, a delicious assortment of hors d&rsquo;oeuvres, and opera selections performed by COT singers.&quot; I wish that this had been my idea. The ticket is $40 ahead of time and $50 at the door, which includes &quot;a wine and beer bar with light hors d&rsquo;oeuvres.&quot;</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; "><strong>- <em>Chicago Live!</em> is no more</strong></span></span>,<a href="http://timeoutchicago.com/arts-culture/chicago-media-blog/15565881/tribune-cuts-back-%E2%80%98chicago-live%E2%80%99-to-make-it-%E2%80%98even-stronger%E2%80%99"> reports Robert Feder</a> -- at least not in it&#39;s current incarnation.&nbsp;</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Mon, 06 Aug 2012 10:14:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-08/daily-rehearsal-paul-reiser-mad-about-chicago-suburbs-101494 Daily Rehearsal: Riverfront Theater postpones multiple shows http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-06/daily-rehearsal-riverfront-theater-postpones-multiple-shows-100505 <p><p>- <a href="http://www.firstfolio.org/"><strong>First Folio Theatre</strong></a> has announced their 2012-13 season, which will include <em>The Madness of Edgar Allan Poe: A Love Story</em>, <em>Jeeves Takes a Bow</em>, <em>Underneath the Lintel</em> and <em>Shakespeare&#39;s Cymbeline: A Folk Tale with Music</em>.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; "><strong>- The essentially defunct <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/chicagomuse">Chicago Muse</a> is passing half a million dollars to Chicago Shakes</strong></span></span>, <a href="http://chicago.broadwayworld.com/article/Chicago-Muse-Closing-Gift-Inaugurates-New-Fund-At-Chicago-Shakespeare-Theater-20120627#">reports Broadway World</a>. It will &quot;establish a newly endowed fund at CST in support of the Theater&rsquo;s ongoing commitment to commission, develop and produce new musicals.&quot; Particularly necessary, given the dearth of original musicals being produced these days,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.hesherman.com/2012/06/28/narrow-chances-for-new-broadway-musicals/">argue some</a>.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/riverfront%20theater_2.jpg" style="float: left; width: 300px; height: 200px; " title="A rendering of the Riverfront Theater." />-&nbsp;<strong>Riverfront Theater is postponing</strong>&nbsp;<em>Spirit of the Dance</em>&nbsp;&quot;indefinitely&quot; due to &quot;scheduling issues&quot;; they&#39;ve also pushed back Rocket Man and Man in the Mirror. Their next performance is <em>La Soiree</em> which starts July 18.&nbsp;&ldquo;At the new Riverfront Theater, we look forward to the greatly anticipated US Premiere of <em>La Soiree</em>,&quot; said&nbsp;Producer Robert Butters in a statement. &quot;In the meantime, we are in the process of planning a quality inaugural season as one of Chicago&rsquo;s premier entertainment venues. The Riverfront Theater is a destination for high production values, great entertainment, pre- and post-show socializing and easy parking. We are committed to bringing the very best shows to Chicago&rsquo;s discerning audiences.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email<a href="mailto: kdries@wbez.org"> kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Thu, 28 Jun 2012 13:55:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-06/daily-rehearsal-riverfront-theater-postpones-multiple-shows-100505 Gary Griffin and the fictional music of The Mechanicals http://www.wbez.org/blog/bez/2012-03-09/gary-griffin-and-fictional-music-mechanicals-97117 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2012-March/2012-03-09/singing.jpg" alt="" /><p><div class="inset"><div class="insetContent"><p><span style="font-size:10px;">Listen to Gary Griffin talk with Tony Sarabia&nbsp;</span></p><p><audio class="mejs mediaelement-formatter-identified-1332748261-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/sites/default/files/120309 griffin w mechanicals.mp3">&nbsp;</audio></p></div></div><p>Gary Griffin, associate artistic director at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, is the director of the production<em>&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chicagoshakes.com/main.taf?p=2,66">A Midsummer Night’s Dream</a></em>. Friday on <em>Eight Forty-Eight </em>he explained his take on The Bard's comedy classic. He was joined by&nbsp;The Mechanicals, the fictitious musical theater troupe from the play who provide constant levity, during the play-within-a-play they perform at the end of <em>Midsummer Night's Dream, "</em>Pryamus and Thisbe"<em>.&nbsp;</em>They also benefit from the idiocy of Nick Bottom (the gentleman with a beard in these photos, played by Ron Orbach), who turned into a donkey and the fairy queen falls in love with him. Trust Shakespeare, he knew what he was doing.</p><p>"I was influenced by bringing the spirit of Freud into the play," Griffin told Tony Sarabia. While that might not sound like the most obvious connection with a work of Shakespeare, Freud's thoughts about dreams prompted Griffin to add touches of the 1920s to this particular production -- and Freud himself. Listen to a bit of The Mechnicals performing on <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em>, and then see the play and tell us if it all works.</p><p><audio class="mejs mediaelement-formatter-identified-1332748268-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/sites/default/files/mechanicals sing.mp3">&nbsp;</audio></p><p>(From left to right:&nbsp;Richard Manera as Snug the joiner,&nbsp;&nbsp;Levenix Riddle as Flute, Ron Orbach as Nick Bottom, Tim Kazurinsky as Peter Quince, Rod Thomas as Starveling and&nbsp;Michael Aaron Lindner as Tom Snout.)</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-March/2012-03-09/resting.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 338px;" title="(WBEZ/Joe DeCeault)"></p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-March/2012-03-09/hands in.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 338px;" title="(WBEZ/Joe DeCeault)"></p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-March/2012-03-09/singing.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 338px;" title="(WBEZ/Joe DeCeault)"></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 09 Mar 2012 17:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/bez/2012-03-09/gary-griffin-and-fictional-music-mechanicals-97117 Lone Star Swing Band resurrects obscure Scottish musician http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-02-03/lone-star-swing-band-resurrects-obscure-scottish-musician-96091 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2012-February/2012-02-03/CST_LongGoneLonesome_1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Scottish country-blues musician Duncan McLean joined <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> to talk about his group, <a href="http://www.myspace.com/lonestarswing" target="_blank">Lone Star Swing Band</a>, and their involvement in the intimate concert production, "Long Gone Lonesome."</p><p>Criss Henderson, executive producer at <a href="http://www.chicagoshakes.com/" target="_blank">Chicago Shakespeare Theater</a>, also joined the conversation. Shakespeare Theater collaborated with the <a href="http://www.nationaltheatrescotland.com/content/" target="_blank">National Theatre of Scotland</a> on the production.</p><p>The Lone Star Swing Band is performing several sold-out shows at <a href="http://www.hideoutchicago.com/" target="_blank">The Hideout</a> through Saturday. He performed--and yodeled!--some of his songs in-studio at WBEZ.</p></p> Fri, 03 Feb 2012 16:18:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-02-03/lone-star-swing-band-resurrects-obscure-scottish-musician-96091 New theaters in Edgewater, Evanston, Uptown (and Navy Pier?) http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2012-02-02/new-theaters-edgewater-evanston-uptown-and-navy-pier-96054 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2012-February/2012-02-02/BET_Rendering[1].jpg" alt="" /><p><p>We call it a bricks-and-mortar story when a theater company buys its own building and takes on a mortgage to have its own, permanent home. Sometimes it’s not a purchase but a long-term lease, one which requires the company to shoulder the costs of renovating or retrofitting a space into a suitable playhouse.</p><div class="inset"><div class="insetContent"><a href="http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-02-03/dueling-critics-punk-rock-griffin-theatre-96086">Listen to the Dueling Critics discuss this and review <em>Punk Rock</em> at the Griffin Theatre on <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em></a></div></div><p>Such stories are the stock-in-trade for an arts business reporter, which is a part of what I do in addition to being a theater reviewer. But bricks-and-mortar stories fluctuate with the times and often can be seen as an economic indicator of sorts. The last few years have been relatively quiet with regard to bricks-and-mortar commitments; no surprise there. Just now, however, there are a handful of new projects percolating quietly, if not exactly boiling over.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/blog/insert-image/2012-February/2012-02-02/BET_Rendering%5B1%5D.jpg" style="width: 548px; height: 342px; margin: 7px;" title="A rendering of the Black Ensemble Cultural Center"></p><p>Certainly, the biggest bricks-and-mortar story of the last year was the opening of the new Black Ensemble Cultural Center on Clark Street at Sunnyside, a new construction project with a price tag of between $16 million and $19 million. It’s just the sort of thing you <em>don’t</em> do when the economy is bad. In this case, however, the planning goes back to 2005 with the purchase of the property and the backstage fundraising one must do long before making a public announcement. Black Ensemble founder/executive director Jackie Taylor and her board already had lined up a lot of ducks before the economy collapsed, which allowed planning and construction to proceed.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/blog/insert-image/2012-February/2012-02-02/capital-campaign-banner%5B1%5D.jpg" title="A rendering of Griffin Theatre's plans" height="250" width="525"></p><p>In another case, the Griffin Theatre Company secured the property before it secured the money. Griffin, which has been an itinerant troupe for several years, originally was headquartered in Andersonville and the company founders liked the idea of returning to the old ‘hood.&nbsp; A few years ago, Griffin set its sights on a vacant police station on Foster Avenue just east of Damen. All they needed to do was convince the City of Chicago to sell the space to them for a nominal $1 (as the city is wont to do from time to time). Griffin figured they’d need about $1 million to retrofit the station (of course, the jail cells would be perfect just the way they are as actors’ dressing rooms) but couldn’t really begin raising money until the City made up its mind about the property. Alas, the City dithered for about three years before, finally, awarding the property to Griffin in 2011. Griffin, which is not a large troupe, now has begun the arduous task of fundraising, and the price tag has gone up a bit (of course). The company now is on a two-year timetable and hopes to have the old precinct house in operation in 2014.</p><p><strong>Rent and Improve</strong></p><p>The rent-and-improve model takes far less cash, and any loans taken out tend to be far shorter term than a mortgage. The downside, however, is that if you disenchant the landlord you can be out at the end of your three-year or five-year or even ten-year lease; and even if the landlord loves you, he/she/they/it may increase your rent at lease renewal time. Also, landlords can (and frequently have) let <em>you</em> make all necessary capital improvements to the space.</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/blog/insert-image/2012-February/2012-02-02/IMG_2208%5B1%5D.JPG" style="width: 236px; height: 157px; float: left; margin: 7px;" title="The Rivendell space during rehab. (Rivendell/Joe Mazza/Bravelux.com)">Still, rent-and-improve can be the way to go if conditions are right, as they were in 2011 for Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, which now has its first-ever permanent home after 15 years of gypsy life. The new Rivendell space at 5779 Ridge Avenue in Edgewater opens March 8 with <em>Falling: A Wake</em> after about six months of gut rehab and build-out of the interior space, reportedly achieved for a mid-six figure sum. One hopes the troupe, guided by co-founder Tara Mallen, has a good, iron-clad ten-year lease!</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/blog/insert-image/2012-February/2012-02-02/newspace%5B1%5D.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 200px; margin: 7px; float: right;" title="The National Pastime Theater space during rehab. (NPT/Warren Winter/PSG)">Not too far south, on Lawrence Avenue, National Pastime Theater soon will unveil its new home on the fourth floor of the Preston Bradley Center (The People’s Church) in Uptown. With over 6,000 square feet, the spacious quarters prominently feature a classically columned Masonic Hall, easily being converted into a 300-seat theater. James Cappleman, alderman of the 46<sup>th</sup> Ward, helped broker the arrangement so, presumably, it’s a solid one with a multi-year lease. National Pastime previously had occupied the Old Speakeasy in a large commercial and apartment building on Broadway at Buena; a building which also houses Profiles Theatre. But National Pastime ran afoul of the landlord and had to choose between a large rent increase or finding new quarters. Not so the companion Profiles, which quickly snapped up the Old Speakeasy as its second leased space in the building. Apparently perfectly happy paying rent, Profiles also operates the Second Stage, a storefront theater on Sheffield at Roscoe.</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/blog/insert-image/2012-February/2012-02-02/4_NEWBLDG_westview%5B1%5D.png" style="width: 300px; height: 179px; margin: 7px; float: left;" title="A rendering of Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University">At least two very large new performing arts venues now are on the horizon as well. Last week, Northwestern University announced plans for a $117 million, five-story building for the Bienen School of Music, which will adjoin the existing theater and music venues facing the lakefront. The hall will include classrooms, rehearsal rooms, offices and studios as well as a black box theater and a 400-seat recital hall. Groundbreaking is to be in May with a three-year construction schedule.</p><p>Navy Pier also has plans to dig more deeply into the theater biz with its current principal partner, Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Earlier this week, the media revealed that three finalists are competing for a redesign of the outdoors public portions of the Pier; a series of projects slated to cost $155 million and be completed in time for the Navy Pier centenary in 2016. But the Pier’s centenary plan includes much more than an exterior make-over: it also features a plan to replace the Skyline Stage with a large, indoor flexible theater that can seat 500-1000 depending on configuration and will have proscenium arch capabilities. At present, there is no start date or price tag for this project, which certainly will be in eight-figures. Folks at Chicago Shakes began talking about it a good five years ago before running into the roadblock of a sour economy. Don’t rule out the possibility, however, that this addition to the Pier might, somehow, see the light of day in 2016.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-February/2012-02-02/20120126mylove.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 375px; margin: 7px;" title="Skyline Stage (Flickr/Christopher.F)"></p><p>Skyline stage has a wonderful, iconic shape (the permanent parabolic tent) but is limited to seasonal use as a concert venue and—for the last several years—home to the summer-long Cirque Shanghai. Moving from the 1500-seat Skyline Stage into a 1,000-seat indoor house doesn’t seem to make good business sense, even supposing Chicago Shakes would want an all-summer tenant. So what, one wonders, will the Pier do with Cirque Shanghai? It’s a bridge that may need to be crossed a few years down the road, but not just yet.</p></p> Thu, 02 Feb 2012 17:42:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2012-02-02/new-theaters-edgewater-evanston-uptown-and-navy-pier-96054 Daily Rehearsal: Simon Callows is 'Being Shakespeare' http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2012-01-11/daily-rehearsal-simon-callows-being-shakespeare-95462 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2012-January/2012-01-11/5789735274_5092bba0d1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-January/2012-01-11/5789735274_5092bba0d1.jpg" style="margin-right: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: left; width: 300px; height: 203px; " title="Simon Callow filming 'In Love with Shakespeare' (Flickr/Andy Houghton)"><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>1.&nbsp;British actor&nbsp;Simon Callow</strong></span></span> will be bring the well-reviewed&nbsp;<em>Being Shakespeare</em> to CST (it runs at the Broadway Playhouse as part of <a href="http://www.chicagoshakes.com/main.taf?p=7,10,2">World's Stage</a>, their program that hosts companies from outside Chicago), "a virtuosic solo performance that weaves together excerpts from William Shakespeare's plays and poems, breathing new life into his unforgettable characters and the real man behind the legend." Those of you who have Netflix Instant might remember Callow also as that older hilarious gentleman who (spoiler for a movie that came out in 1994) dies suddenly in <em>Four Weddings and &nbsp;Funeral</em>. <em>Being Shakespeare</em> will run for a week only,&nbsp;April 18–29, 2012.</p><p style="margin-top:0in;margin-right:20.25pt;margin-bottom:15.0pt;margin-left: 1.5pt;line-height:15.6pt"><span style="font-size: 9.5pt; color: black; "><o:p></o:p></span></p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>2. Watch <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-12-23/daily-rehearsal-ultimate-list-best-theater-lists-95136">Doyle and Debbie on <em>Conan </em></a>last night</strong></span></span>:</p><p><object classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" height="441" id="ep" width="640"><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true"><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"><param name="movie" value="http://i.cdn.turner.com/v5cache/TBS/cvp/teamcoco_drupal_embed.swf?context=teamcoco_embed_offsite&amp;videoId=22785"><param name="bgcolor" value="#000000"><embed allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" bgcolor="#000000" height="441" src="http://i.cdn.turner.com/v5cache/TBS/cvp/teamcoco_drupal_embed.swf?context=teamcoco_embed_offsite&amp;videoId=22785" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="640"></object></p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>3. American Players Theatre’s Artistic Director David Frank is retiring</strong></span></span> (in a few years), and they've announced that he will be replaced by Brenda DeVita, current Associate Artistic Director. According to Board of Directors President Barbara Swan, this move has been in the works for awhile. And for DeVita: "I love my job. I love artists. What could be better?” Frank: "Brenda DeVita has been fulfilling ninety percent of a typical artistic director’s job for several years and the results, including the recent lavish praise for APT’s work from the regional and national press, speak for themselves." So what have you been doing Frank? Kelly Kleiman <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-07-18/non-endless-summer-american-players-crime-and-punishment-89312">has praised the Spring Green-based theater in the past</a>, especially last summer's <em>Crime and Punishment</em>.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>4. Dates for upcoming Jeff awards have been announced</strong></span></span>: Non-Equity is Monday June 4 at the Park West here in Chicago; Equity on October 15 at Drury Lane Oakbrook Terrace. Snag an invite early.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>5. We must have missed it</strong></span></span> when three men attempted to live in like hummingbirds at the Lincoln Park Zoo this past summer -- and not for a performance art piece. If you were also spending your hours elsewhere, catch all the action on their new series&nbsp;<em>Live Like An Animal: Human Hummingbird</em>, which airs Tuesday, Jan. 17 on Nat Geo WILD:</p><p>"The television hosts Lloyd Buck, Matt Thompson and James Cooper constructed the human-scale bird nest over several days at the zoo... To mimic the hummingbirds’ diet of flower nectar, they subsist on a sickly sweet concoction, triggering a dramatic sugar&nbsp;overload and subsequent wild behavior. Matt attempts to entice ladies at the zoo with a less-than-impressive hummingbird courtship dance, and at the end of their adventure living like human hummingbirds a major threat to the nest rolls in: a storm."</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Wed, 11 Jan 2012 18:04:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2012-01-11/daily-rehearsal-simon-callows-being-shakespeare-95462 Daily Rehearsal: Countdown to New Year's...in the afternoon http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-12-13/daily-rehearsal-countdown-new-yearsin-afternoon-94862 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-December/2011-12-13/goodnightmoon.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>1. <em>The Feast: an intimate Tempest</em></strong></span></span>, a pretty cool collaboration that's coming up between Chicago Shakespeare Theater and Redmoon, <a href="http://www.theatreinchicago.com/newswire.php?newsID=633">has announced its cast</a>. We've got John Judd as Prospero, Adrian Danzig as Caliban and Samuel Taylor as Ariel. Read up on their credentials, because they are definitely impressive, as is the awesome set and production details -- including <a href="http://www.chicagoshakes.com/main.taf?p=2,62,1,1,6">puppets</a>!</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>2. Lifeline Theatre has added the position</strong></span></span> of Development manager, bringing in Alex Kyger for the new role. Most interestingly,&nbsp;"Kyger will begin to work to secure funding for the ensemble’s upcoming landmark 30<sup>th</sup>&nbsp;anniversary, 2012-2013 season." The press release also points out that this year is, as years go in order, the 29th anniversary season. Should we really be calling every year an anniversary? Or is that only in relationships? Anyhow, "The time is now for Lifeline to capitalize on its full fundraising potential" says Kyger. Seize the day, et al.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>3.&nbsp;Oracle is adding new company members</strong></span></span>. They are Jeremy Clark as Artistic Director of Film, and Rich Clark and John Arthur Lewis in roles in the upcoming <em>Maids</em>; you may have also seen them in <em>The Ghost Sonata</em> last year. For that production, <a href="http://gapersblock.com/ac/2010/05/09/review-the-ghost-sonata-oracle-theatre/">Randall Colburn over at Gaper's Block</a> gave them a rave.</p><p><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-December/2011-12-13/goodnightmoon.jpg" style="margin-right: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: left; width: 300px; height: 106px; " title=""><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>4.&nbsp;<em>Goodnight Moon The Musical</em> has been extended</strong></span></span> a week longer -- check it out, especially on New Year's Eve, where you can take your kids and have sparkling cider as you countdown to midnight...in the middle of the afternoon.<strong>&nbsp;&nbsp;</strong></p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>5. Read up <a href="http://chicagoist.com/2011/12/13/nick_and_nora_host_a_variety_show.php">on The Nick and Nora Variety Hour</a></strong></span></span>, which will be just on the Internet, but seems ripe for another of Chicago's salon/lit reading fiestas.</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Tue, 13 Dec 2011 16:18:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-12-13/daily-rehearsal-countdown-new-yearsin-afternoon-94862 Daily Rehearsal: A Marc Maron documentary http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-11-03/daily-rehearsal-marc-maron-documentary-93731 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-August/2011-08-05/Marc Maron Spitzer.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>1.&nbsp;</strong></span></span><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>Jodi Lennon has&nbsp;<a href="http://www.avclub.com/chicago/articles/jodi-lennon,64504/?utm_medium=RSS&amp;utm_campaign=feeds&amp;utm_source=avclub_rss_daily">sort-of surreptitiously made a documentary about Marc Maron</a></strong></span></span>, and by that, I mean she made one after September 11th about his first post-terrorist attack comedy show.&nbsp;Not only does it include great quotes like "I'm f***ing floundering in insecurity and fear right now," but Maron looks so young but sounds exactly the same! That's what happens when <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-10-28/aldermen-want-decriminalize-pot-media-rushes-find-stock-photos-93566">you listen to people on the radio without seeing them a lot</a>. Also Lennon refers to Manhattan as "Manhattan Island" in this interview, which is just too cute. It's screening on November 8-9th at the Annoyance Theater.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/28559499" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="490" frameborder="0" height="276"></iframe></p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>2. The suburbs are not a destination</strong></span></span>, <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/ct-ott-1104-jones-loop-20111102,0,6898461.story">according to this headline in the <em>Chicago Tribune</em></a>. Except now they are, because of <em>The Sound of Music</em>.</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>3. In order to get people hot about their new season</strong></span></span>, Chicago Opera Theatre had a flashmob that WLN TV describes as "a lot less annoying." They performed at&nbsp;Chicago French Market at lunch yesterday, and <a href="http://www.wgntv.com/blogs/leshock-value/wgntv-pop-up-opera-chicago-opera-theater-takes-the-flash-mob-to-a-higher-key-video-photos-20111102,0,1376051.photogallery">here are some photos</a>&nbsp;and a video. It's part of their pop-up Opera series this week, plus there's also a scavenger hunt. Because why? It's <a href="http://www.chicagooperatheater.org/arias/now2011.html">National Opera Week</a>!</p><p><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><span style="font-size: 14px;"><strong>4. TimeLine has extended <em>The Pitmen Painters</em></strong></span></span>. Of the play, <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-09-12/class-classroom-again-timelines-pitmen-painters-91864">Kelly Kleiman wrote</a>, "under BJ Jones's strong direction,&nbsp;<em>The Pitmen Painters</em>&nbsp;feels fresh as well as powerful, with any&nbsp;History Boys&nbsp;echoes serving only to make this play's truths ring louder." It'll be up through December 18.</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>5. Chicago Shakespeare Theater and the Hideout</strong></span></span>? Yes, the esteemed Navy Pier institution is <a href="http://timeoutchicago.com/arts-culture/theater/15010891/chicago-shakespeare-bringing-national-theatre-of-scotland-to-hideout">teaming up</a> with the speakeasy bar and performance spot to put on <a href="http://www.nationaltheatrescotland.com/content/default.asp?page=home_LongGoneLonesome"><em>Long Gone Lonesome</em></a> from the National Theatre of Scotland. It'll run the weekend of February 2, and will be followed by&nbsp;"a joyous post-performance dance party," which probably won't look anything like <a href="http://www.chancesdances.org/">Chances Dances</a>.</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Thu, 03 Nov 2011 16:55:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-11-03/daily-rehearsal-marc-maron-documentary-93731