2015 Chicago New Work Festival

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January 12 to February 7, 2015 

Three Cat Productions proudly presented the Third Annual Chicago New Work Festival.  Developed with the goal of showcasing Chicago playwrights, fostering relationships between playwrights and directors, and bringing new work programming to the neighborhood, the Chicago New Work Festival runs from January 12 to February 7, 2015 at the Berger Park Coach House Theater.

The festival will feature eight Chicago playwrights. Each playwright is partnered with a director and a team of actors to workshop full-length performances.  We are excited to offer these playwrights the opportunity to develop their work in progress and partnership with directors and actors.   The festival is managed and curated by Jason Paul Smith, Three Cat Productions, Artistic Director.    Please join us for our opening night gala on January 17 at 7:30pm.  Click here for more information.

In tandem with the new play series, Three Cat Productions is also presenting the work of eight visual artists as a backdrop for our stage readings.   You can learn more about these visual artists at http://threecatproductions.com/2015-chicago-new-work-festival/visual-art-show.

Tickets are $10

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Purchase a Festival Pass for $30 (gets you into all the readings)

Festival Pass

 

2015 Chicago New Work Festival Schedule

January 17 at 12pm
An Afternoon With My Mother by Fouad Teymour

January 17 at 3:00pm
Death in a Beulah Box by Barbara Wells

January 24 at 12:00pm
Solutions by Paul Moulton

January 24 at 3:00pm
K. Stands for Kafka by David Bald

January 31 at 12:00pm
Mine & Yours by Carolyn Kras

January 31 at 3:00pm
Opera of the Telephone at Delphi by Kate Dakota Kremer

February 7 at 12:00pm
Caliban by Joe Weintraub

February 7 at 3:00pm
The New Republic by Wendy Schmidt

 

About the Plays

January 17 at 12:00pm
An Afternoon With My Mother by Fouad Teymour

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Play SynopsisAbout the Playwright
Amy has lived her entire life as a supposed orphan. On the eve of her eighteenth birthday she is faced with a jolting revelation; her mother is alive but has been in coma since before Amy’s birth.  Amy’s afternoon visit and conversation with her mother transport us into a world where we explore the role of fate in the life of humans, the conflict of emotions that we experience when faced with duress, and the complexity of human behavior in adaptation to adversity.
IMG_11087595909112-2 Fouad Teymour is a Chicago-based Egyptian American playwright. He was born in Cairo, Egypt. He came to Madison, WI, in 1982 to pursue a doctoral degree in engineering at UW, and has subsequently lived in Racine, WI and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia before relocating to Chicago in 1993. He is a Network Playwright at Chicago Dramatists, and a member of the advisory committee for International Voices Project (IVP). He has collaborated with IVP in bringing 4 Egyptian plays, including this year’s translation of The Castle and The Sparrow, to Chicago audiences. He has written 5 full length plays, which have been read and discussed at the Chicago Dramatists First Draft series, and are at various stages of development. His short play, The Dream, was performed in Sex, Love and other Nightmares – a festival of short plays. His play, The Night Jesus Joined the Revolution, received a series of staged reading performances at Silk Road Rising in December 2012. Fouad Teymour is a Professor of Engineering at Illinois Institute of Technology.

January 17 at 3:00pm
Death in a Beulah Box by Barbara Wells, directed by Pat Henderson

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Play SynopsisAbout the Playwright
 “DEATH IN A BEULAH BOX”. Transplants (derogatory slang for Chicago’s south and west side African-Americans who escape to the north side), a 40ish gay man, a 20ish stud (black slang for masculine dyke), and a middle-age female gay-hatter gather on the south side in a Beulah Box (the ubiquitous raggedy black hair salon) where each fights off the form of death that haunts them. The Beulah Box, located in a shooting gallery, is nonetheless seen as a safe space where they feel safe to have a heavy conversation in their language. Death, however, pursues its level like the crack in the glass window through which they peek at life outside the Beulah Box.
 prev_displayI consider myself here to activate the imagination as a writer, musician, lyricist, artist, and leather artiste with numerous skills and deep understanding which results in creative works. With a knack for working in multiple disciplines, including music, science, and accounting, my writing weaves in many elements and genres.

I’m a Chicagoan and there’s much here to write about. Although I had never heard of a play I wrote my first play at ten. My great aunt, who told me it was a play, allowed my cousins and I to ‘stage’ the play in her precious living room. Project children paid a nickel, a lot then. I went on to write a full-length play over Spring vacation my sophomore year in college. Mime and Man Theatre interviewed me and disbelieved that I had never studied playwriting and had only seen to plays in my life. That dreadful experience landed me in the closet. I wrote from there, blinded by the dark. Then my deep dive into writing occurred in California when I decided to move back to Chicago to engage the knowledge I needed to become an eclectic writer. But the stage continued to call and now I’m dedicated to: writing and developing professional plays for the ‘fantasticals’ via the new play festival I produced this year, 2014; work-shopping and staging my musical “RAG DOLL” I have written: full-length screenplays, plays, a collection of lyrics, librettist and book for a musical, modern dance story, polyglot black lesbian novel, and created a new play festival dedicated to the ‘fantasticals’: horror, sci-fi, supernatural, fantasy, super hero and am in a partnership with Other World Theatre and soon to be, with Boston Science Fiction Theatre. I am presently working on a ten-play series about Chicago’s unique African-American lesbian community.

 

January 24 at 12:00pm 
Solutions by Paul Moulton, directed by Bec Willet

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Play SynopsisAbout the Playwright
After his sister’s murder, Brian joins a shadowy organization which assists victims of domestic violence.  When an assignment goes tragically wrong, he discovers how nearly impossible it is to break the cycle of abuse. 
 HeadshotPaul Moulton has been a playwright, actor, and “light guy” in Chicago’s vibrant Off Loop theater scene for fifteen years now.  His plays “Alarm,” “Void!” and “Redemption” have been produced in Off Off Broadway theater festivals and his short political satire “Defense” has been produced by the Second City theater program and is available from Amazon.com as part of the “Open 24 Hours” Fringe Faves collection.  Paul lives in the Almost-Promised Land, a.k.a. Palatine, with his lovely wife Margaret and charming stepchildren Madeleine and Derek. 

January 24 at 3:00pm
K. Stands for Kafka by David Bald, directed by Scott Ozaroski

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Play SynopsisAbout the Playwright
For Franz Kafka, writing, like life, was a trial.  Among the volumes of work unpublished at his death lay an unfinished novel entitled, appropriately, The Trial.  K. Stands for Kafka tells the story of two trials, two men whose lives are at stake:  Kafka and a product of his creative genius, named, naturally, “K.”
davidbaldDavid Bald is a Network Playwright at Chicago Dramatists.  Scenes from his plays Daddy, The Last Reunion, and K. Stands for Kafka have received staged readings at Dramatists in the Scene Shop Showcase series.  Three Cat Productions gave the The Last Reunion a full staged reading last summer.    This December and January, David’s ten minute play Django was produced as part of Three Cat’s Holiday Stories.  David formerly taught English at Lyons Township High School in La Grange, Il.  He, his wife Marilyn, and their goldendoodle Pepper live in Geneva.

 

January 31 at 12:00pm
Mine & Yours by Carolyn Kras, directed by Pat Henderson

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Play SynopsisAbout the Playwright
Lydia and Grant, a young couple, purchase a foreclosed home in Chicagoland and are shocked to find that the previous owners, Baby Boomers Roy and Deb, refuse to leave due to an obscure legal loophole.  With an eviction notice taking three months to obtain, Lydia and Grant have no choice but to share their home with these strangers – unless Roy manages to drive them out first 
Carolyn Kras head shot 1Carolyn Kras’ plays have been produced or developed at Chicago Dramatists, Stage Left Theatre, Theatre Seven of Chicago, Live Girls! Theater, The Looking Glass Theatre, Centenary Stage Company, Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre, Theater Masters, the Great Plains Theatre Conference, the Last Frontier Theatre Conference, ATHE New Play Development Workshop, Chicago One-Minute Play Festival, and Pittsburgh New Works Festival.  She received the Visionary Playwright Award and Commission from Theater Masters and has been a writer-in-residence at Ucross Foundation, Ragdale Foundation, and Anderson Center.

Carolyn has been a finalist for the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Leah Ryan Fund for Emerging Women Writers Award, Kitchen Dog Theater New Works Festival, Heideman Award, Old Vic New Voices Bloomingdale’s Playwrights Week, and Ronald Duncan Playwriting Competition.  She’s been a semifinalist for the Princess Grace Award and Women’s Project Lab.

Carolyn’s honors include L. Arnold Weissberger Award Nominee, William Randolph Hearst Creative Artist Fellowship, Hawthornden Fellowship, Shubert Fellowship, Aspen Ideas Festival Scholar in Playwriting, “Best Playwright” Award in The Looking Glass Theatre’s Writer/Director Forum, Women in Film Mentorship Program, Filmaka.com grant, two A.E. Hotchner Playwriting Awards, and the Leota Diesel Ashton Playwriting Prize.  Carolyn holds an M.F.A. in Dramatic Writing from Carnegie Mellon University.

For more information, please visit www.carolynkras.com

 

January 31 at 3:00pm
Opera of the Telephone at Delphi by Kate Dakota Kremer, directed by Jacque Lueken

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Play SynopsisAbout the Playwright
 As the telemarketers at the Delphi Musical Theater approach their year-end goal, lines blur between the fantasy they sell and reality they live, between the stereotyped performances of their pitches, and cravings for an artful life. All blighted in some respect by failed connections in their own lives, the callers seek out surrogates for the people they have lost or are afraid to lose. But for Cassandra, a recent hire and aspiring novelist, unraveling the others’ fictions is the only way to distinguish her potential from their pretensions. Meanwhile, Bobby has a ringing in his ears, Rick hears a trigger click in every hang-up, and as Cass’s truth-obsession tips the balance between intimacy and illusion, the violence that has always lurked in their language becomes all too actual.
IMG_2711Kate Kremer is a playwright and dramaturge. Plays include Opera of the Telephone at Delphi, Porch Play (StageFemmes, 2014), Dirty Mistress, and Blue Mountain Prohibition, a translation/adaptation of Alejandro Casona’s Prohibido suicidarse en primavera. Fiction has appeared in Red Branch Journal and Every Day A Century and nonfiction in the TCG Circle Salon, Encore Magazine, the Kenyon Review blog, the Seattle Repertory Theatre blog and the Remy Bumppo Field Guide. She has worked in literary departments at the Seattle Repertory Theatre and Remy Bumppo Theatre Company and appeared onstage in productions and readings for the Endangered Species Project and Great River Shakespeare Festival. She writes an ongoing blog series for HowlRound on the new avant-garde.

February 7 at 12:00pm
Caliban by Joe Weintraub, directed by Elyse Dolan

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Play SynopsisAbout the Playwright
In this sequel to The Tempest, Caliban travels to Naples in search of Prospero (who has become the power behind the throne) to seek revenge and the removal of the spell he believes Prospero has cast over his native island. Fished from the sea, he becomes embroiled in a plot to overthrow the regime of King Ferdinand and his queen, Miranda;  but, of course, Prospero has been anticipating his arrival and is prepared for the upcoming encounter.
Hopleaf reading 2J. Weintraub is a Chicago writer, dramatist, poet, and translator. He has had radio plays produced by Scattered Sounds Productions and Small Fish Radio Theatre and has had one-act plays produced by the Theatre-Studio and La Petite Morgue in New York City, Theatre One in Middleboro, MA, Black Box Theatre in Colorado Springs, CO, and by Second City, American Blues Theatre, Blank Page Theatre, Summer Place Theatre, Chicago Dramatists, AMSATT Productions, and 8 Scribes in the Chicago area. His writings have appeared in such literary journals as Massachusetts Review, New Criterion, Prairie Schooner, and many others, as well as in regional and specialty publications such as Chicago Reader, Gastronomica, and Modern Philology. He is a recipient of many writing awards, including Illinois Arts Council Awards for fiction and creative nonfiction, and has been an Around-the-Coyote and a StoneSong poet. He is currently a network playwright at Chicago Dramatists and a member of the Dramatists Guild, and his full-length play, A Short History of the Mob in America, was recently produced as a staged reading by Three Cat Productions. Website: http://jweintraub.weebly.com

February 7 at 3:00pm
The New Republic by Wendy Schmidt

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Play SynopsisAbout the Playwright
 Maximum LXXXVIII — the self-proclaimed greatest animal lover of all time — has led an animal revolution against his own human race, and set himself up as dictator of The New Republic. Six months down the road, saddled with a cabinet of inept animals, Maximum brings in the beautiful and intelligent Francine Fox to clean house. But Francine soon discovers the dictator’s own prejudices are most of the problem. Can Francine save the republic without betraying her fellow beasts – or going to the guillotine herself? The New Republic explores how humans organize the world according to their own needs, and how one fox fought back.
Wendy Schmidt. Photo by Andrew Collings.Wendy Schmidt is a Network Playwright with Chicago Dramatists and a Dramatists Guild member. Her ten-minute play Tornado Alley is a finalist for the 2015 Actors Theatre of Louisville’s Heideman Award, and was produced in 20% Theater Company’s 2013 Snapshots Festival in Chicago. She wrote The Angel Blues for the collaborative work Holiday Stories, part of Three Cat Productions’ 2014-2015 season at Berger Park in Chicago. Her full-length play The Newlyweds was workshopped in Three Cat’s Chicago New Work Festival with a staged reading at Berger Park in May, 2013. Her radio play Goose Noir was recorded live at Chicago Dramatists as part of the February 2013 episode of Small Fish Radio Theatre, and was included in Small Fish’s Atlanta Fringe Festival program that year. In 2011, her 10- minute play ChuckleChips was produced as part of 20%’s Snapshots Festival at Oracle Theater, Chicago.
Wendy has a BFA from Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design
and makes her living as a freelance graphic designer. She
lives in Chicago.