WBEZ | Don Hall http://www.wbez.org/tags/don-hall Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Gov. Pat Quinn: Student reporter http://www.wbez.org/story/gov-pat-quinn-student-reporter-96567 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2012-February/2012-02-20/quinn news.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn will deliver his budget address this week to the state legislature, his fourth since taking office. The governor is expected to pontificate on Medicaid spending, taxes and public pensions.</p><p>Four decades ago, Quinn preached about basketball, hair styles and the Vietnam War. He was a columnist at his university's newspaper. Those college writings reveal many of the same traits Illinoisans now see in their governor.</p><p>Patrick J. Quinn, a Hinsdale native and Fenwick High School grad, went East for college to that prestigious Jesuit school in our nation's capitol, Georgetown University.</p><p>Bill Clinton had gone there and got deeply involved in student government. Pat Quinn focused more on a different extra-curricular.</p><p>"You know, I liked sports, and I was a pretty good writer," Quinn said in an interview last week.</p><p>So Quinn wrote, about sports, for the student newspaper: <em>The Hoya</em>.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2012-February/2012-02-20/Under the Table.gif" style="width: 350px; height: 137px;" title=""></p><p>"I would have to say our teams weren't as good when I was in college as they are now," Quinn recalled. "Georgetown - mighty basketball team. This year - doing pretty well. I think in my four years at Georgetown, the best we did was one year we made the NIT."</p><p>And, when he became sports editor, he got a column called "Under the Table," though the governor said he has no memory of why he called it that.</p><p>In some of those columns, he went after the basketball team.</p><p>"Invariably the Hoyas play first rate basketball against well-regarded foes like Holy Cross and Boston College, but then they turn around and look like Hoyettes when they meet stiffs such as Fairleigh Dickinson and Catholic U," Quinn wrote in the <a href="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/story/extras/2012-February/2012-02-20/Under%20the%20Table%20-%20Mar.%206,%201969.pdf">March 6, 1969</a> edition.</p><p>Quinn also regularly found reasons to pick on the university's Athletic Board.</p><p>"Everyone hopes that the Georgetown Athletic Board has learned its lesson. Secret firings, procrastination and wishy-washiness cannot be the methods of a legitimate decision-making group," he wrote on <a href="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/story/extras/2012-February/2012-02-20/Under%20the%20Table%20-%20Mar.%2020,%201969.pdf">March 20, 1969</a>.</p><p>The columns show Quinn adored the internal politics of the athletic department: he argued that more money was needed for sports programs and he wasn't afraid to criticize coaches.</p><p>All the while, he had an eye on larger issues. Writing about poor turnout for a football game scheduled on the same day as a peace march, Quinn wrote that sports and school spirit "pale to nothingness in comparison with infinitely more important things like trying to stop the Vietnam War." That column appeared on <a href="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/story/extras/2012-February/2012-02-20/Under%20the%20Table%20-%20Nov.%2020,%201969.pdf">November 20, 1969</a>.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2012-February/2012-02-20/Up Against It.gif" style="width: 350px; height: 138px;" title=""></p><p>He got to expound on those larger issues the next year, when he wrote a weekly news column. It was called "Up Against It."</p><p>"I think I stole that from Mike Royko. I think," Quinn said.</p><p>He did. Royko - that legendary Chicago newsman - had published a book, a collection of columns a few years earlier - also titled "Up Against It."</p><p>"The most vivid column I can remember off the top of my head was I went to Arlington National Cemetery and I interviewed about three or four of the grave diggers there. This was during the Vietnam War," Quinn recalled.</p><p>"Cadillac works on a crew with two other men, Earl and Mayo," Quinn's column read on <a href="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/story/extras/2012-February/2012-02-20/Up%20Against%20It%20-%20Feb.%2019,%201970.pdf">February 19, 1970</a>. "The job is digging graves, either with a reverse hoe or by hand....They also drop the casket into the ground - sometimes even joking a little if everything doesn't go right."</p><p>Much like Quinn the politician, Quinn the columnist kept his opinions of war separate from his empathy for service members. In a <a href="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/story/extras/2012-February/2012-02-20/Up%20Against%20It%20-%20Nov.%2012,%201970.pdf">November 12, 1970</a> column headlined "Vietnamized Vets," he blamed "windblown politician(s)" like President Nixon, while writing of soldiers injured even after the war was supposed to be "winding down."</p><p>A journalistic hero of Quinn's was Studs Terkel, so the young reporter attempted an oral history approach. Instead of a government official, he'd talk with the man on the street.</p><p>Like the funeral home worker who buries the poor. Or the owner of a school for barbers, his business slowed by the long hair styles of the early 1970s. A line in that column betrayed Quinn's curmudgeonly disdain for anything flashy - fashion or otherwise.</p><p>"Persons who used to wear bowling shirts or grass-stained sweatshirts while cruising the neighborhood are now running the streets with capped teeth, sauna belts, duded up hair-do's and tricky mod fashions of the all-leather suit, furry Icelandic sheepskin coat, and Indian headband variety," he wrote on <a href="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/story/extras/2012-February/2012-02-20/Up%20Against%20It%20-%20Mar.%2012,%201970.pdf">March 12, 1970</a>.</p><p>Quinn's preferred clothing was jeans and gym shoes, according to fellow <em>Georgetown Hoya</em> editor, Eduardo Cue.</p><p>"He was very easy-going, nothing formal about him at all," Que said last week in an interview from Paris, where he now lives.</p><p>Cue went on to a long career in journalism. He remembers the <em>Hoya </em>newsroom as an interesting collection of personalities and political persuasions. It's no surprise, Quinn was a liberal.</p><p>"There was a lot of kind of bantering around - a lot of kind of kind political bantering," Cue said. "And maybe saying some things that are a little bit outrageous as college kids will do. But it was always in very good humor. That is the one thing that I remember about Pat Quinn....He was never trying to impose his ideas."</p><p>Quinn's columns did have humor, often accompanied by cynicism. He wrote of how Americans are more interested in bowling scores and sex lives than war and prejudice. In another, on <a href="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/story/extras/2012-February/2012-02-20/Up%20Against%20It%20-%20Feb.%2013,%201970.pdf">February 13, 1970</a>, he compared rats in the Washington streets to the politicians "operating" from the city.</p><p>"[That one is] a good example of the tone of the columns. A little edgy, a little bit sarcastic, with a sense of irony," said Don McNeil, another <em>Hoya </em>editor who shared a house with Quinn senior year. "If you watch closely and listen closely to his public appearances these days, that sense of irony is often still there. And a sense of frustration."</p><p>McNeil later moved to Chicago and remains close with Quinn (even after the governor fired him from the board of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission last year).</p><p>Through his writings, Quinn tried to put distance between himself and the elite university. On <a href="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/story/extras/2012-February/2012-02-20/Up%20Against%20It%20-%20Feb.%2027,%201970.pdf">February 27, 1970</a>, he called Georgetown an "absurd school...pretentiously wise while glitteringly selfish." On <a href="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/story/extras/2012-February/2012-02-20/Up%20Against%20It%20-%20Oct.%2029,%201970.pdf">October 29, 1970</a>, Quinn wrote that the university needed to expand its reach beyond its "ivy walls" and to bring adult education to DC residents trapped in jobs a young Quinn describes as meaningless.</p><p>Quinn's columns drew the ire of another <em>Hoya </em>columnist, the late Charley Impaglia, who on <a href="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/story/extras/2012-February/2012-02-20/Impaglia%20column%20-%20Oct.%2015,%201970.pdf">October 15, 1970</a>, called Quinn's approach to populism both condescending and unrealistic. Impaglia also knocked Quinn's writing.</p><p>"Not since the Norman Invasion," Impaglia wrote, "has the tongue of Britain been so battered."</p><p>McNeil said there was no love between Impaglia and Quinn.</p><p>"Charley did not attempt to get along," McNeil said. "We actually had an unusual amount of calm usually and peace, in the Hoya office. But those two, I would say, they did not get along. And Pat would manifest that by staying away from Charley."</p><p>"I never had enemies, you know," Quinn said when asked of Impaglia. "Some people criticize me, and believe it or not, even in politics. You know once in a while you got to have a pretty tough hide."</p><p>Spoken like a man who, as governor, shrugs off a 30-percent public approval rating and strained relations with legislative leaders.</p><p>Quinn's reaction to poor approval ratings is reminiscent of another trait he showed in college. McNeil said Quinn went his own way. He was a good student when it was not popular to care. And at a time of great experimentation, Quinn had a conservative lifestyle - didn't drink a lot, didn't do drugs.</p><p>"Which was difficult in those days. I did not either, and I know there was a lot of pressure - a lot of peer pressure - which he successfully resisted. And I think he was not afraid to be looked upon as different, when it came to those sorts of things," McNeil said.</p><p>Quinn takes pride in not fitting stereotypes, McNeil said.</p><p>And in Illinois politics, it is hard to see where Quinn fits in. He's an accidental leader who can win an election but can't seem to master the governing. Kind of like Dan Walker, the single term governor whose campaign Quinn went to work for shortly after he graduated from Georgetown.</p><p>Quinn's fellow Hoya editors said he had no interest in making a career out of journalism. And now he's the scrutinized authority figure, getting ripped by columnists and badgered by reporters.</p><p>"I thoroughly enjoy the press conferences and the back-and-forth," Quinn said. "I think reporters are the best thing since Swiss cheese."</p><p>I suppose that's just a little bit of the sarcasm readers of the Georgetown Hoya came to expect from Pat Quinn four decades ago.</p><p><em>Hoya news clips via the <a href="http://www.library.illinois.edu/dnc/Default/Skins/UIUCCC/Client.asp?skin=UIUCCC&amp;enter=true&amp;AppName=2&amp;AW=1329773420899">University of Illinois' Digital Newspaper Collections.</a></em></p><p><em>In the audio story, Pat Quinn's columns are read by <a href="http://www.wbez.org/staff/don-hall">WBEZ's Don Hall</a>.</em></p></p> Mon, 20 Feb 2012 19:18:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/gov-pat-quinn-student-reporter-96567 Daily Rehearsal: Your new day-before-New-Year's plans http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-12-01/daily-rehearsal-your-new-day-new-years-plans-94507 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-December/2011-12-01/hannibal.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-December/2011-12-01/hannibal.jpg" style="margin-right: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: left; width: 180px; height: 270px; " title=""><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>1. Don't have day-before-New-Year's plans?&nbsp;<a href="http://www.avclub.com/chicago/articles/hannibal-buress-at-the-lincoln-lodge-dec-30,64987"><em>The A.V. Club</em> points out</a> that Hannibal Buress </strong></span></span>will be at the Lincoln Lodge on December 30 for two performances, just in time to make it on all those "this was big in Chicago this year lists", &nbsp;or whatever people in the media do at the end of the year.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>2. <a href="http://www.chicagoshakes.com/main.taf?p=2,64"><em>Elizabeth Rex </em></a>opens next week at Chicago Shakes</strong></span></span>. The star of the production, Diane D’Aquila, reveals a bit about her background <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/entertainment/stage/9157322-421/elizabeth-rex-a-regal-portrait-of-the-iconic-english-queen.html">to Hedy Weiss</a>, including the tidbit that&nbsp;she worked as a dresser early in her career, a job I find super fascinating, perhaps merely for it's very literal title. For those who watched the movies on our fair Virgin Queen, the costumes alone look worth the price of admission.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>3. In this week's Don't Miss List, Laura Molzahn <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-11-30/dont-miss-list-spice-it-muntu-dance-theatre-94458">suggests </a>you see </strong></span></span>Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago. At&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/muntu-dance-theatres-spice-it-up/Content?oid=5101709">the <em>Reader</em></a>, Molzahn gives us a look into why Muntu chose it's name, and what to expect from the show. The name of the group's new suite of dances ("Roff") actually means "a lot of different spices put together." So expect like a chutney or a chili or something of a dance.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>4. Don Hall has<a href="http://donhall.blogspot.com/2011/12/a-la-carte-audience.html">&nbsp;thoughts</a> on the importance of subscription tickets</strong></span></span> to different theaters, via <a href="http://www.tcg.org/tools/facts/">a report</a> from the Theater Communications Group. To Hall, the loss of tickets sold through subscription models will really only be noticed by marquee theaters. For the small (and when I say small, I'm not talking about theaters with a $250,000 budget, I'm referring to theaters with far less than that to go from show to show) it means relatively nothing," writes Hall. "Show to show is how we do business in the first place."</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>5. Fascinated with the <a href="http://auditoriumtheatre.org/wb/">Auditorium Theatre</a>?</strong></span></span> Who's not! Did you know the movie <em>Public Enemies</em> with Christian Bale and Johnny Depp was filmed there (among others?) The theatre toots their own horn in <a href="http://auditoriumtheatre.blogspot.com/2011/11/mystique-helps-to-illuminate-our-past_21.html">this blog post</a>, but it is, in actuality, quite beautiful.</p><p>And for those who were worried the <em>Jersey Shore The Musical</em> is closing -- fear not! It's been extended through March 31.</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Thu, 01 Dec 2011 18:11:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-12-01/daily-rehearsal-your-new-day-new-years-plans-94507 Daily Rehearsal: Holiday planning http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-11-14/daily-rehearsal-holiday-planning-94020 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-November/2011-11-14/11-21-11Ned.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>1. This super late, but if you missed the Sex issue of <em>TimeOut</em></strong></span></span>, (a clear yearly highlight in Chicago media) there's a article <a href="http://timeoutchicago.com/arts-culture/theater/14986907/chicago-theater-artists%E2%80%99-stories-of-sex-and-nudity-onstage">full of fun stories</a> where performers talk about the most awkward time they had to simulate sex onstage. Eric Roach, a Factory Theater ensemble member, said his was a time when he&nbsp;"had to make out with and grope my director’s wife every night for a few months [in&nbsp;<em>Dead Wrong</em>, 2009]. Oh, and my wife was the assistant director. We called it the 'Summer of Divorce.'" Reviewer Kerry Reid talks about being asked about when she lost her virginity during a Neo-Futurist performance, when performer Greg Allen didn't realize until it was too late that she was a reviewer. Also if I wrote about this issue, call me out on it, because it feels super familiar, but search indicates that I'm good.</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>2. Speaking of naked/exciting times</strong></span></span>, does Joan Curto not look naked in <a href="http://chitheatreaddict.com/2011/11/13/joan-curto-offers-something-new-at-davenports/">this photo</a>? More importantly than objectifying her, she blew some people out of the water during <a href="http://www.joancurto.com/calendar.html">her cabaret show</a> over the weekend.</p><p><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-14/11-21-11Ned.jpg" style="margin-right: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: left; width: 300px; height: 300px;" title=""><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>3. Get a jump on what you're supposed to take the in-laws to</strong></span></span> this holiday season with <a href="http://www.theatreinchicago.com/news.php?articleID=664">this roundup of the best shows</a>. And here's <a href="http://www.theatreinchicago.com/holidayplays.php">a fuller list </a>of every holiday show, for those who don't like their decisions made for them. There are A LOT of them.</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>4. And more on holiday-related affairs</strong></span></span>, <em>You, Me, Them, Everybody</em> will host <a href="http://www.youmethemeverybody.com/events/">a&nbsp;free holiday show</a>&nbsp;on November 21 at the&nbsp;Hungry Brain. There will be many holiday songs, and comedy.</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>5. Kelly Kleiman told me she and Don Hall</strong></span></span> got into a heated discussion about <em>Clybourne Park</em> last week. <a href="http://donhall.blogspot.com/2011/11/thoughts-on-clybourne-park.html">Here are his thoughts</a>: Hall says when watching it, he was reminded of a Second City sketch he saw a few years back that touched accurately on race relations in Chicago. Hall had hoped <em>Clybourne Park</em> would have "the same hot sauce in it to offend me, make me laugh, teach me something, make me argue, make me think for another twenty years. But it didn't."</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Mon, 14 Nov 2011 16:06:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-11-14/daily-rehearsal-holiday-planning-94020 Daily Rehearsal: TimeLine Theatre gets a big grant http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-10-03/daily-rehearsal-timeline-theatre-gets-big-grant-92759 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-October/2011-10-04/TimeLine Theater_Flickr_Jacob Spencer.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>1. Casting has been finalized for&nbsp;<i>Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor® Dreamcoat</i></strong></span></span>, and no, I did not put in that&nbsp;<i>®. </i>Joseph has gone to "boy wonder"&nbsp;Brian Bohr, who is only a senior at Northwestern University.</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>2. Don Hall asks whether theater can work for change,</strong></span></span> as he explains the process behind picking the winners for WBEZ's <em>Off-Air Series</em> event "<a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/beyond-mic/2011-10-02/can-theater-work-change-92726">The Art of the Political: Can the Stage Be More Than Entertainment?</a>" The take-away? "Choosing plays is a HIGHLY subjective thing and you may have written a great play but if it doesn't get under the reader's skin, it has less to do with your talent and more to do with the expectation of your audience," writes Hall. "So, as hard as it may seem, it isn't so much a rejection of your work but a choice that that particular work just doesn't...." Hall actually found that there were more submissions from New York than Chicago. Head to Victory Gardens this Sunday night to see the panel discussion and see what won!</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>3. TimeLine Theatre has gotten a grant</strong></span></span> from the American Theatre Wing&nbsp;as one of the nation's 10 most promising emerging professional theatres. They'll get their award on October 24 in New York at a snazzy awards ceremony. Wondering why they got the money? "ATW's National Theatre Company Grants Program distributes grants for general operating support to recognize regional theatre companies for their achievements, which include articulating a distinctive mission, cultivating an audience, and nurturing a community of artists in ways that strengthen and demonstrate the quality, diversity, and dynamism of American theatre."&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-03/upstairsgallery.jpg" style="margin: 10px; float: left; width: 300px; height: 299px;" title=""><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>4. Have you been to the Upstairs Gallery?</strong></span></span> The oddly located venue in Andersonville at asks if "You like art? You like performance?" before responding "SO DO WE." They beckon at you with their low-key vibe and young clientele. Seriously, their web presence includes a <a href="http://upstairsgallery.tumblr.com/">Tumblr </a>and a <a href="https://www.facebook.com/upstairsgallerychicago">Facebook </a>page, natch. Expect to see mostly improv, at very cheap and free prices.</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>5. Did you know that once a play is on Broadway</strong></span></span>, it can go on to success in other parts of the county? <a href="http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/10/03/red-and-carnage-find-new-life-well-beyond-broadway/"><em>The New York Times</em> remarks on</a> the bevy of recent Tony winners being performed all over the nation this fall season. Several that they mention are here in Chicago: They include <em>Clybourne Park</em>, <em>Red</em>, and&nbsp;<em>In the Next Room (or the vibrator play)</em>, as well as ones we've sort of started here, like August: Osage County. "Where honors and acclaim can help a play is around the country, at American regional and touring theaters, where executives view Tony-winning plays as reliable seat-fillers," writes Patrick Healy. What goes around comes around....</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Mon, 03 Oct 2011 18:49:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-10-03/daily-rehearsal-timeline-theatre-gets-big-grant-92759 Morning Rehearsal: Chicago theater 5/23 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-05-23/morning-rehearsal-chicago-theater-523-86900 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-May/2011-05-23/Picture of Second City performance SUPERMAN 2050.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>1.<em> <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-05-19/working-weekend-critics-picks-520-522-86772">Porgy and Bes</a></em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-05-19/working-weekend-critics-picks-520-522-86772">s has just opened at Court</a>, but their production is just one step in the piece's storied and complex 85-year history. On Sunday, the <a href="http://www.dusablemuseum.org/events/details/the-history-of-an-american-symbol-porgy-and-bess">DuSable Museum held a talk</a> about the racial implications of the play, with&nbsp;University of Chicago ethnomusicologist Travis Jackson and Court Theatre Director Charles Newell. The event was moderated by the Jomo Cheatham, Manager of School and Education Programming from the DuSable Museum, and was in keeping with an exhibition put up by the DuSable that takes a look at <em>Porgy and Bess</em> throughout history. &nbsp;</p><p>2. <a href="http://secondcity.com/performances/detail/633/">Second City's Neighborhood Tour of Old Town</a> begins Memorial Day weekend, and tickets are now on sale. The tour will be conducted during the summer season, which means every Sunday and Wednesday through October 30. It was written by&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chicagoelevated.com/">Margaret Hicks</a>, tour guide and author of&nbsp;<em>Chicago Comedy: A Fairly Serious History. </em>Expect to learn about the architecture of Old Town and the history of Second City.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-23/DW_Web_180x266_01.jpg" style="width: 400px; height: 591px;" title=""></p><p>3. <a href="http://www.writerstheatre.org/boxoffice/production?id=0076"><em>The Detective's Wife</em></a> opens as a World Premiere at Glencoe-based Writer's Theatre tomorrow with some impressive names behind the production. Written by Keith Huff (<em>A Steady Rain</em>, <em>Mad Men</em>) and directed by Gary Griffin, it tells the story of a Chicago woman whose husband is killed on the job. She turns gumshoe to figure out who-dunnit.</p><p>4. <a href="http://donhall.blogspot.com/2011/05/truly-experimental.html">Don Hall tells us</a> what he thinks theater really is, specifically, experimental theater. "Is experimental theater a long gone cliche? No. Have we become complacent, assuming that audiences can only be shocked and offended rather than challenged on intellectual and emotional levels and thus we only experiment with answers we already know to be true? Yes," Hall says. He goes on to clarify that "For the record, doing a Shakespearean Tragedy set in modern times is not experimental."</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-23/Picture of Second City performance SUPERMAN 2050.jpg" style="width: 400px; height: 246px;" title=""></p><p>5. <a href="http://secondcity.com/training/chicago/performances/"><em>Superman 2050</em></a> opened this weekend at Donny's Skybox theater. Part dance, part physical comedy, this show from Theater Un-Speak-Able utilizes seven actors on one 21 square foot platform as witnesses to a duel between Superman and Lex Luther. Not for the claustrophobic among you, the show previously had a sold-out run at Links Hall.</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email kdries@wbez.org.</p></p> Mon, 23 May 2011 14:26:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-05-23/morning-rehearsal-chicago-theater-523-86900 Morning Rehearsal: Chicago theater news 5/10 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-05-10/morning-rehearsal-chicago-theater-news-510-86318 <p><p>1. Tuesday at 3pm (hurry up and take a long lunch) at&nbsp;Maxim's, Richard Klein will host "<a href="http://www.explorechicago.org/city/en/things_see_do/event_landing/events/dca_tourism/JulieWilson.html">The Life of Cabaret Star Julie Wilson</a>." Klein will discuss <a href="http://www.citycabaret.com/jwilson/">Wilson's </a>70-year career with a sound and slideshow presentation of the famous cabaret star. It's part of Maxim's&nbsp;<em>Tea at 3</em>&nbsp;series every second Tuesday of the month.</p><p>2. Does children's theater get a bad rap? Mary-Kate Barley-Jenkins thinks it shouldn't. She's the Director of Programming at the Chicago Humanities Festival, as well as the curator of <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-04-29/morning-rehearsal-chicago-theater-429-85842"><em>Stages, Sights and Sounds</em></a>, CHF's performing arts festival focusing on family audiences.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chicagohumanities.org/Blog/Mary-Kate-Barley-Jenkins/Upping-the-Ante.aspx">Jenkins' wrote a post</a>&nbsp;that touts the importance of good storytelling in theater, especially in theater for children.</p><p>"When you hear the phrase children’s theater, I’ll bet you wince and groan inside," she writes. "Probably much of what you’ve seen that calls itself children’s theater has been very unsatisfying. This genre has a bad reputation and for good reason. At times, when this work is being created, the audience is not taken seriously."</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/blog/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-10/Playhouse%20cross%20section.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 188px;" title="Plan of the Emerald City Playhouse"></p><p>3. In the vein of trying to take children more seriously,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.emeraldcitytheatre.com/">Emerald City Theatre</a>&nbsp;is opening a new space specifically for babies. To be called the Emerald City Playhouse, their first show will open in May 2012 at 2933 N. Southport Ave (right next door to the Emerald City Theatre).&nbsp;It's called&nbsp;<em>Goodnight Gorilla</em>, and is based off the children's book of the same name.</p><p>The Theatre plans to use this space for developing shows specifically for children ages 0-3. They have also created a new position of "Eduturg", which is essentially a dramaturg whose job is focused on shaping the programs for <em>very </em>young minds.</p><p>4.&nbsp;WBEZ's Events Coordinator Don Hall spent the other day tweeting some theater tips for the masses, or #thtrtips as he called them, and they are <a href="http://donhall.blogspot.com/2011/05/thtrtips.html">all lovingly consolidated here</a>. My favorite? "Re:Acting: Be at rehearsals on time - eat before you f***ing get there. #thtrtips."</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" height="600" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-10/Thumb_thatsthegig.jpg" title="" width="365"></p><p>5. It's Tuesday, but I'm sure we all wish it was the weekend right about now, especially with this 80 degree weather. Set your Sunday sights on the opening of&nbsp;<a href="http://chicago.ioimprov.com/io/shows/241" style="color: rgb(2, 122, 198); text-decoration: none;"><i style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">That’s The Gig</i></a>&nbsp;at iO, which is billing itself as "a live, scripted sitcom."</p><p>The show runs from May 15 to July 3, just in time for all your favorite shows to take their summer siesta, leaving you bored and sweaty on the couch, watching reruns of&nbsp;<em>The Event</em>...bleak.</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email kdries@wbez.org.</p></p> Tue, 10 May 2011 14:46:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-05-10/morning-rehearsal-chicago-theater-news-510-86318 Lab Partners for the Arts http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-04-18/lab-partners-arts-85336 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-April/2011-04-18/Emerging Practice Seminar.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-April/2011-04-18/Emerging Practice Seminar.jpg" title="" width="400" height="115"></p><p>Arts leaders: Have you ever wondered how, or if, to use technology in connecting audiences to your work, each other, and the art form in general? Or whether there's a way to price your work that doesn't require you to sacrifice revenue to assure attendance? If so, mark your calendar for next Friday, April 29.<br> <br> On that day, <a href="http://culturalpolicy.uchicago.edu/culturelab/">CultureLab</a> (a joint endeavor of the University of Chicago's Cultural Policy Center and what it describes as "a consortium of leading arts consultants from the U.S., U.K., and Australia") will conduct its annual Emerging Practice Seminar focused on important issues in arts management and policy. This year's subjects:</p><ul><li>Uses of technology in audience engagement</li><li>Revenue management and dynamic pricing</li></ul><p>Attending for the whole day costs only $45 and includes a lunchtime panel discussion featuring Martha Lavey of Steppenwolf debating the use and abuse of mobile devices in theaters and museums with an arts consultant. Don't forget to silence your cell phone and chiming watch!<br> <br> Many theater people, including my colleague <a href="http://www.chicagoartistsresource.org/theater/node/9744">Don Hall of WNEP</a>, think discussions of audience engagement (nee marketing) and revenue are the death knell of theatrical art. I think making sure that you're communicating as strongly as possible with all possible audiences is the sine qua non of theatrical art. For $45, you decide. The complete agenda and registration form is <a href="http://eps2011.eventbrite.com/">here</a><strong>.</strong></p></p> Mon, 18 Apr 2011 15:44:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-04-18/lab-partners-arts-85336