WBEZ | Pegasus Players http://www.wbez.org/tags/pegasus-players Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Don’t-Miss List May 24-30: Family drama and incest at Strawdog http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-05/don%E2%80%99t-miss-list-may-24-30-family-drama-and-incest-strawdog-99458 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Griffin%20theater.jpg" title="Stacie Green and Tim Musachio in ‘Kin’ by Griffin Theatre at Theatre Wit (Courtesy of the theater)" /></div><p>Another opening, another show, another . . . closing. &nbsp;<br /><br /><u><em>In the Continuum</em>, through June 17, Pegasus Players at the Beacon Street Hull House, 4550 N. Beacon in Chicago, Thursdays through Saturdays at 8, Sundays at 3; tickets $15-$25</u><br /><br />The venerable Pegasus Players has been absent for a while, but return in a new space with the Midwest premier of this play about two women &ndash; one from Los Angeles and one from Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe &ndash; who discover that they&rsquo;re HIV-positive. Their subsequent journeys are as different as the difference in continents can make them, but also include significant parallels. The Pegasus press materials describe the play as &ldquo;darkly comic&rdquo;&ndash;accent on the dark, I suspect. But director Ilesa Duncan can always be counted on to bring out every nuance of a script, so expect the unexpected. &ndash;KK&nbsp;<br /><br /><u><em>Kin</em>, through June 10, Griffin Theatre at Theatre Wit, 1229 W. Belmont in Chicago, Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30, Sundays at 3; tickets $25</u><br /><br />Griffin does it again, with its own Midwest premiere, this one a drama about friendship and love and family, and how they conflict with one another. It&rsquo;s not possible to do justice to the multifaceted plot: Suffice it to say that a series of scenes adds up to a much more powerful play than many scripts with more conventional through-lines. I&rsquo;d never before heard of playwright Bathsheba Doran but will be looking out for her work from now on: She has perfect pitch for the difficulties of connecting and the ambivalence that accompanies even the deepest love. &ndash;KK<br /><br /><u><em>The Duchess of Malfi</em>, <strong>closes this weekend</strong>, at Strawdog Theatre, 3829 N. Broadway in Chicago, Thursday through Saturday at 8, Sunday at 4, tickets $28.</u><br /><br />Strawdog has a range of strengths, but it&rsquo;s particularly notable for its ability to turn period pieces into gripping examinations of contemporary morality. If you remember John Webster as the nasty little sneak in <em>Shakespeare in Love</em>, you have a sense of the ugliness being explored in his drama of 16th-century intrigue and incest. Perfect subjects for a carefree Memorial Day weekend! &ndash;KK</p><p><u><em>The Marvin Gaye Story</em>, <a href="http://www.blackensembletheater.org">Black Ensemble Cultural Center</a>, 4450 N. Clark Street; 773-769-4451; through July 29; tickets $55-$65</u></p><p>For the second attraction in its new, multi-million dollar arts venue, the Black Ensemble Theater Company presents another in its long series of biographies of black pop music stars, this one about the late, great Marvin Gaye. Black Ensemble founder Jackie Taylor is author and director of <em>The Marvin Gaye Story</em>, which is certain to feature many of Gaye&rsquo;s greatest hits along with a few songs by other artists of his era. Those of us in the critic biz often take these shows to task for their thin dramatic structure, but no show in the city delivers greater musical value, and Ms. Taylor has a knack for finding and developing real star-quality talent. These factors are one reason why the American Theatre Critics Association will see a performance of <em>The Marvin Gaye Story</em> when they gather in Chicago June 13-17. &ndash;JA</p></p> Thu, 24 May 2012 12:01:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-05/don%E2%80%99t-miss-list-may-24-30-family-drama-and-incest-strawdog-99458 Despite rumors, Pegasus still flying http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/despite-rumors-pegasus-still-flying <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/pegasus.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2010-December/2010-12-14/pegasus.jpg" style="width: 455px; height: 292px;" alt="" /></p><p style="text-align: left;">Venerable <a href="http://www.pegasusplayers.org/">Pegasus Players</a> has left its home of 25 years, the O&rsquo;Rourke Theater of <a href="http://www.trumancollege.edu">Truman College</a>, but the troupe is not abandoning the Uptown neighborhood. Sometime late next year (2011) Pegasus will move to the theater of the <a href="http://www.hullhouse.org/ ">Jane Addams Hull House Association</a> center on Beacon Street, when the <a href="http://www.blackensembletheater.org/">Black Ensemble</a>--the current resident--moves to its new arts complex now under construction. The recent announcement laid to rest fears that Pegasus Players had closed its doors after 32 years, although the troupe&rsquo;s longtime phone number has been disconnected and its website hasn&rsquo;t been updated in over a year.</p><p style="text-align: left;">The announcement said Pegasus is taking a year-long hiatus from producing a season in order to restructure under the artistic leadership of veteran director Ilesa Duncan and board leadership by playwright David Barr. In an email to this writer, Duncan explained that one of Pegasus Players&rsquo; signature programs, the Young Playwrights Festival, is continuing in Chicago-area high schools and will culminate, as ever, with the production of three or four of the winning one-act plays (out of 769 submitted, says Duncan). However, the public presentation of the winning scripts will be substantially scaled back. Instead of full productions and a one-month public run, the prize plays will receive staged readings on January 3 at the <a href="http://www.lookingglasstheatre.org/">Lookingglass Theatre</a>.</p></p> Wed, 15 Dec 2010 12:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/despite-rumors-pegasus-still-flying Off-Loop theater: Endangered species list http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/loop-theater-endangered-species-list <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/PegasusTheaterEarly80s-2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img title="" alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2010-November/2010-11-30/PegasusTheaterEarly80s-2.jpg" style="width: 475px; height: 335px;" /></p><p>The chickens that flew the coop in 2008 are coming home to roost as 2010 winds down. We're talking about funding for non-profit theaters, of course. The economic collapse two years ago seemed to have little effect on non-profit institutions, the reason being that major foundation and corporate funding commitments are made a year or more in advance. The money for 2009 and even 2010 already was in the pipeline. But now the pipelines are running dry.</p><p>In terms of theaters (or dance troupes or musical organizations for that matter), it's often difficult to know if a company is in trouble or not. Putting on a season is the name of the game, not transparency. It's easy to announce plans for a season, and then cancel them later or quickly fold the tent as the sorely-missed Apple Tree Theatre did last year, and as <a href="http://aboutfacetheatre.com/">About Face Theatre</a> nearly did (a crash fund-raising effort saved them). On that basis, the Chicago Endangered Theater List would include <a href="http://www.pegasusplayers.org/">Pegasus Players</a>, <a href="http://congosquaretheatre.org/wordpress/">Congo Square Theatre Company</a> and <a href="http://www.npt2.com/">National Pastime Theater</a>.</p><p>Pegasus Players appears gravely moribund (<em>a picture of their theater from the 1980s, above</em>). The company&mdash;which celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2009&mdash;has not announced a 2010-2011 season and has not produced a show since March. The Pegasus website hasn't been updated in a year, the telephone has been disconnected and no one from Pegasus has responded to emails from this writer asking what's up.</p><p>Congo Square Theatre Company&mdash;so hot, hot, hot just a few years ago&mdash;has gone through the departure of the founding artistic director (Derrick Sanders) and a revolving door of board members and managers. Still, Congo Square clings to life with its fifth annual Christmas show (&quot;The Nativity&quot; at the Goodman Theatre) which well may be its only income-earning proposition of the year. Word is the troupe&mdash;founded in 1999&mdash;is re-organizing again and has selected a new managing director. Meanwhile, who's running the store artistically? Congo Square's website promises a four-day festival of the arts (theater, music and dance) in February showcasing several TBA Chicago artists and companies, plus a world premiere production, &quot;Brothers of the Dust,&quot; by Darren Canady, in May. We'll see.</p><p>National Pastime Theater is in a different type of crunch. Laurence Bryan's company was a for-profit entity for much of its 20-history, relying on income from rental of its interesting, 99-seat, former speakeasy space on Broadway and Irving Park Road. Bryan himself admits that National Pastime (NP) flew under the radar of city licenses and approvals for much of that time (as did numerous other Off-Loop theaters). But NP went legit non-profit a few years ago, spending the bucks to make required capital improvements and entering the funding competition. Alas, the timing couldn't have been worse. Not only has fundraising been difficult, but Bryan reports rental income is down as well. In addition, he says NP pays a much higher rent per-square-foot than Profiles Theatre, its near neighbor in the same building. Ticket sales for NP's recent production of &quot;Doo Lister's Blues&quot; were disappointing (closed Nov. 28). Bryan fears that NP may fold its tent in mid-winter following a co-production with Clock Productions.</p></p> Tue, 30 Nov 2010 14:56:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/loop-theater-endangered-species-list