1. Bus Stop comes from Raven Theatre in October, and it sounds romantic: “Trapped by a blustery winter storm, wayward travelers converge at a rural Kansas City diner. Forced to stay the night, the weary group turns the cold into heat as they discover new relationships.” In a statement, director JoAnn Montemurro said, “Raven’s mission is to present plays that illuminate the American experience and you can’t get more American than cowboys and a showgirl stranded in Kansas.”
2. Stage Left Theatre has announced the recipients of their Downstage Left playwright residencies for the 30th season. They say that “this season represents the start of a larger scale restructuring of the program’s resources towards extended development opportunities.” This was the first year they had an open application process, and the residencies that won include Warped by Barbara Lhota and Witches Vanish by Claudia Barnett. Warped feels a little ripped from the headlines; it’s about a drunk woman who is reportedly raped by police officers that drove her home. And Witches Vanish retells Macbeth.3. Strawdog also opens their new season in October, with Old Times. That may sound familiar to you, and but don’t get it confused with Old Town, the play the company put on in October. Kimberly Senior last did The Cherry Orchard, which you also might recall did pretty well, review-wise.
4. I’m catching up on This American Life, so this is new news to me; their September 5 episode (originally aired in 2003, so it’s really old) called “20 Acts in 60 Minutes” was inspired by the Neo-Futurists. TAL throws their usual structure on their heads (long-form audio stories) to bring you short short little pieces, like Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind, which famously performs 30 plays in 60 minutes once a week. Of course, lots of radio does this every week (like radio news, for example), but I guess that doesn’t make the gimmick less exciting. If you’d like to listen to just this one the piece during the show, it’s the last one before the first break.
5. Fall preview season is upon us, and the latest from Chicago Magazine and TimeOut have hit my desk. Chicago Magazine steals a bit from New York Magazine and creates an “Anticipation Index” of what they’re excited about, gives us “Promising Players”, a look at five young people being talented, a glimpse at the difficiculties of putting on a solo show, and an interview with Patrick Andrews, the younger star of Red. TimeOut has a look at the six local companies with new artistic directors, the headshots of the actors for Spring Awakening, the story behind the new space for the Black Ensemble Theater Cultural center, and a Q&A with Kate Fry, the star of Sarah Ruhl’s In the Next Room or the vibrator play.
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