Past Next Draft Readings

2018 Past Readings

April 16, 2018
The Passing by Gabriella Bonamici
Directed by Bec Willett

After the mysterious death of their grandmother, Ave returns home to help her sister Lorca plan a memorial service. But in digging up the past, she soon finds herself entangled in the disturbing memories of her childhood.

About Gabriella Bonamici
Gabriella Bonamici is a Chicago-based playwright and a proud member of the Chicago Dramatist Network. Gabriella earned her BA in English-Creative Writing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where her 10-minute play, Ascension, was featured during the Marcia Legere Play Festival. Her short play, Jokes About Ted Bundy, was read as part of the Saturday Series’ Ten-Minute Play Festival at the Chicago Dramatists. Her most recent work was featured in the Holiday Radio Show at Three Cat Productions. Gabriella is excited to be taking part in the New Work Festival.

March 19, 2018
Boundary Waters by Dennis Fisher
Directed by Julia Heeren

George and Judith are urban professionals on a romantic kayaking trip in Boundary Waters National Park. They meet a pair of strangers and are soon drinking whiskey, throwing axes and shooting guns. The romance somehow gets pushed aside in favor of a revolution. We discover who has the strongest constitution.

About Dennis Fisher
Dennis is a member of the Chicago Dramatists playwrights group, the Morris Theater Guild, and Three Cat Productions Artist’s Incubator playwrights group. His play THE FRIEND’s TABLE was selected for a staged reading at the 2016 Chicago New Works Festival. His play JUDGMENT DAYS was produced and performed at the Morris Theater Guild. Dennis has had plays performed at staged readings at the Chicago Dramatist’s Russ Tutterow Theater and at Three Cat Productions. Dennis has done sound design for numerous productions including a season of Neil Simon plays. He recently performed the role of Daddy Catcher in KIN AND KIND for the Something Marvelous Festival in Chicago. He has performed at many readings at the Chicago Dramatists and has performed at staged readings at Three Cats, including the role of Thrash in Adam Hurst’s MATTHEW THREE HORN, and as Governor Fitzgerald in Amy Crider’s OUR DICK.

2017 Past Readings

November 20, 2017
by Ken Kaye

U.S. Attorney General Richard Graham is accused of using his Justice Department illegally to collect dirt on the leading candidate opposing the President’s re-election last year. While Graham categorically denies any federal involvement in the matter, TV news teams camp in front of his home and the White House leaves him “twisting in the wind.” Events point toward a familiar scene, the Apologetic Resignation with Loyal Wife at Elbow; but Anne Graham has put Richard on notice that she won’t be there for him. Their college-age daughter Liz has to confront her father with the hardest decision of his life.



October 16, 2017
Matthew Three Horn
by Adam Hurst, Directed Scott Ozaroski

Matthew is just like any other normal monster. He likes playing baseball, reading books, eating sandwiches. And after arriving on the first day of his new school he’s excited to make friends and fit in. Unfortunately, nothing goes according to plan as Thrash, the school bully, quickly teaches Matthew that he may not be so normal after all.

About Adam Hurst

Adam Eugene Hurst is a founding member of the Chicago based company Honest Theatre and a network playwright for the Chicago Dramatists. His playwriting credits include: A FAMILY PLAY, MATTHEW THREE HORN, and A HIGH SCHOOL PLAY. MATTHEW THREE HORN was most recently showcased in Chicago Dramatists’ Saturday series in 2015. He received his MFA in acting from Regent University and his BA from Vanguard University. He is a writer and performer for the sketch comedy and improv group Michael & Friends. 

Sept 18, 2017
We Just Met
by Doug Van Hooser

Two young people meet. They have a night of drinking. Was it rape? Who gets to make that decision?

About Doug Van Hooser

Doug Van Hooser lives and writes in suburban Chicago. He is a network playwright at Chicago Dramatists Theatre where a number of his plays have been read. Two of his plays, My Father’s Son and Eulogy Unrequited, have been in Three Cat Productions Next Draft series. His poetry or fiction has appeared recently in Red Earth Review, Chariton Review, Poetry Quarterly, The Riding Light Review, Black Fox Literary Magazine, and Stoneboat Literary Journal among others.

August 21, 2017
by Barbara Lau, Directed by Bec Willett

My 14 Abortions, by Barbara Lau, plows through our often cursory responses to this complex topic. Reminding us that every decision affects two lives at the very least, Lau explores a teacher devoted to her at risk students, a pregnant athlete and pro-life parent, a husband outraged by multiple miscarriages, a bewildered 14-year-old, and a feisty medical team feeling under siege. The play even weighs the constitutional rights of a fetus versus a full fledged citizen. Whatever your thoughts, this will offer much to ponder.

About Barbara Lau

BARBARA LAU is an active playwright, poet and educator living in Iowa. Her full-length drama, Raising Medusa, premiered at Riverside Theatre, Iowa City, supported by an NEA Artistic Excellence Award.  Barbara also penned a libretto for “Lady with the Pet Dog,” based on Chekhov’s beloved story.  She writes and produces short plays and monologues too, including “His Name was, and God Is” from My 14 Abortions, presented at 3 Cats in 2014.  Her first book of poetry, The Long Surprise, won the 2000 X. J. Kennedy National Poetry Prize.

July 17, 2017
The Paringtons
by Kalena Chevalier, Directed by Jen Henry

Carla Jones, a very serious and determined young architect, desperately wants to meet Marshall Parington— the head of the leading architectural firm in the country. When she becomes the math tutor for his obnoxious teenage son, Lloyd, she feels she has the key to her dream job.  But what she didn’t prepare for was the family that comes along with the job.  She is overwhelmingly embraced by this wacky clan— especially Lloyd’s older brother Frank— and Lloyd goes to drastic measures to try and make her an official part of the family.  As Carla tries to keep the job and lose the family, her world and way of thinking is turned upside down. 

About Kalena Chevalier

Kalena’s work has been performed at Goodman Theatre and Prop Theatre, produced by Project 891 Theatre Company, Breadline Theatre Group, and Three Cat Productions, and commissioned by Raven Theatre. Her plays The Unburnt House and The Paringtons were named as semi-finalists for the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwrights Conference in 2013 and 2015. Kalena has worked with performing arts organizations including Writers’ Theatre and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and currently serves as the Program Director for the Cultural Grants Programs at the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE).

June 19, 2017
Our Dick
by Amy Crider


Pete Blatchford, Jake Degler, Dennis Fisher, Johnny Garcia, Cat Hermes, Wesley James, Renee Lockett, Lauren Miller, and  Andy Polacek

Ben Mars is a struggling comic, bombing everywhere and going nowhere, living with his supportive, kooky, but wise grandmother.  Mars starts getting political when sex scandals escalate, then tries running for office himself as his path crosses with disgraced Senators and slick TV hosts.

About Amy Crider

Amy Crider received her BA in theater from Goddard College in 1982, but didn’t return to it again until moving to Chicago, earning a sketch comedy certificate from Second City in 2008.  She studied with Chicago Dramatists for five years.  Her work has been seen in New York, Columbus, Minneapolis, Ann Arbor, Waukegan, and Chicago.  She attended the LaMaMa International Playwrights Retreat in Spoleto, Italy, in 2012.  In November she’ll be producing her comedy Leda at The Cornservatory in Lincoln Square.

April 17, 2017
by David Egan, Directed by Pat Henderson

PORK and HAM are the first two parts of a prospective triptych of short dark comedies entitled THREE LITTLE PIGS. PORK unfolds in a world where vegetarianism is mandated by law. A visitor from an idyllic commune visits the urban home of two of his patrons only to learn that the city is not the vegetarian utopia he had imagined. In HAM, young Sally wonders why her best pig friend poses as a harmless stuffed animal whenever her parents are present. She finds out the hard way when a game of “I’ll feed you mine if you feed me yours” goes horribly awry.

About David Egan

David Egan is a playwright and academic philosopher originally from Vancouver, Canada. His first play, THE FLY-BOTTLE, premiered at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, MA, in the summer of 2003 and was nominated for the American Theatre Critics Association’s New Play Award. TOM’S A-COLD, about the Franklin Expedition to the Northwest Passage, was produced at the Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond-upon-Thames in 2010 and at Toronto’s Next Stage Theatre Festival in 2011. That play and YURI GAGARIN DREAMS OF GOD have both been honored by Canada’s Herman Voaden National Playwriting Competition. For his day job, David teaches in the Humanities Division at the University of Chicago.

May 15, 2017
White Man in a Black Box
by Scott Cooper, Directed by Bec Willett

Against the backdrop of the greatest terrorist attack in American history and with the imminent threat of world war, an up-and-coming Chicago theatre director with a reputation for abusing the people who work for him tries to take responsibility for the damage he’s done, rebuild his career, and make amends to one of the woman he’s hurt the most.

About Scott Cooper

Scott Carter Cooper has been a producer, playwright, director, actor and singer with The Lyric Opera of Chicago, Steppenwolf, City Lit, Circle Theater, Bailiwick Repertory, Trap Door, Theo Ubique and many other non-Equity theatres in the Chicago area.

February 27, 2017
Lock and Dam
by Dennis Fisher, Directed by Jason Paul Smith

On a remote Illinois River waterfront, Thompson takes stock of his life. People are dying around him with unsettling regularity, he is barely paying the bills by selling dirty magazines to deck hands on barges that pass by, and his best friend has taken up with his ex wife. He petitions God for answers. The Gods respond. It does not go well.

About Dennis Fisher

Dennis Fisher is a Chicago area playwright. His plays include Judgment Days, The Friend’s Table and The Harp Star. His work has been produced and/or developed by The Chicago Dramatists, Three Cat Productions, and the Morris Theater Guild. His play Judgment Days received a full production by the Morris Theater Guild, and his play The Friend’s Table was chosen for the 2016 Chicago New Works Festival. He is a network playwright at The Chicago Dramatists and a member of the Morris Theater Guild.

March 20, 2017
The Cassava Man
by David Finney, Directed by Jason Paul Smith

Captain Alfred Lawson, a mercenary in the Army of the Congo (circa 1900) has been hired by the Franco-Belgium Rubber Company to take his soldiers, seize a Congolese village, and force the villagers to collect rubber. Accompanying him on this mission are Andre Beloit, the District Agent for the rubber company and Lawson’s aide corporeal KaKengo Bakaji.  Beloit is a snob hoping to rise in the company.  Bakaji is a black man doubtful about living in a white world.  The desire to better one’s self and the belief that money can make that happen drive this military campaign.  And the seizing of the village triggers a clash of cultures that brings all three men to the brink of destruction.

About David Finney

David Finney is a writer and television producer who worked in Chicago for many years.  He was given the Ohio State Award for Excellence in Broadcasting for his production of CRIME OF INNOCENCE, a dramatization of the murder of Emmett Till, an African-American teenager from Chicago, murdered by two white men in Money, Mississippi in1955.  He also won a Chicago Emmy for his half-hour teleplay, EMBRACE THE STARS: A PORTRAIT OF LORRAINE HANSBERRY.  Mr. Finney created and was the Executive Producer of the award-wining Chicago Playwrights Festival, a series of three teleplays written by local playwrights, featuring the work of Chicago actors and directors. The festival was broadcast by WMAQ-TV (NBC) for four years.

His play, THE CONSPIRACY, won for best adaptation in City Lit Theater’s Art of Adaptation Festival (2016).  Other Chicago productions include: THE SELLOUT (Gorilla Tango Theater) and THE INTRUDER (Intuit).  His full-length play THE GORILLA KING received readings at Chicago Dramatists and Three Cat Productions. His one-act, LOVE IN A MINOR KEY, won first place in the one-act play festival sponsored by Frostburg State University (MD) and was produced by the university: MAYBE, a one-act, was produced by the Seoul Players of Seoul South Korea.  He is at work on a trilogy of plays about an Irish-American family living in Chicago that traces the family’s story from the early 1900’s through the 1960’s.

2016 Past Readings


The Gorilla King by David Finney
Directed by Kristina McCloskey

December 19, 2016 at 7pm

It’s 1948 and times are changing for the Callahan family and their little grocery store. The store, a fixture in Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood for years, is going broke; it’s customers siphoned away by the new A&P that just opened down the block. Thomas Callahan refuses to face the problem. His daughter, Ona, struggles to balance the books, hoping she can squeeze enough out of them to pay the bills. In addition, Ona’s dreamy nine-year-old son, Bobbie, a child she has never understood, can’t read. Father Sullivan, Principal of St., Jude’s Elementary, has just told her Bobbie will not pass into the fifth grade if he cannot pass the school’s reading exam at the end of summer.

Feeling trapped and isolated, Ona dreams of escaping the store and becoming a baker but she hasn’t enough money to pay the tuition to the city’s culinary vocational school. When Michael O’Fallon, a successful shopkeeper, shows up asking her for a date, she plots to scam the tuition money from him and escape the family grocery. Her one major problem: Bobbie thinks Michael is a “knucklehead” and he’s figured out her plan. Her scheme tears open the Callahan family and forces her to make a decision between her dreams and her son.

About the Playwright

David Finney worked in broadcasting and advertising for well over forty-years arriving in Chicago in 1972 when he was hired as a television news writer at WBBM-TV (CBS2). He moved to WMAQ-TV (NBC5) to become a producer/writer for a magazine show and then, for five years, was the station’s Program Director. In the early 90’s, he left broadcasting to become the Creative Director for the Atrium Marketing Group, writing and producing commercials for such clients as Johnson & Johnson, BlueCross BlueShield, Humana and Tribune Syndication. Following that, he joined Chicago Public Schools as Director of Television Services and several years later took a job as Education Director for the Illinois Center for Broadcasting, a vocational school teaching radio and television production. He is now retired.


minutes&seconds, a Post Apocalyptic Comedy by Christopher vanDer Ark
Directed by Bec Willett

November 21, 2016 at 7pm

When the Sun shut off, leaving the Earth approximately eight minutes and twenty seconds left of light (and life), those final minutes seemed like the perfect opportunity for Brielle’s family to get things off their chest. On top of Brielle’s husband announcing his affair with her half-brother, her Vicodin-Addicted mother insists on making family dinner for one last shot at normalcy.

However, life on Earth doesn’t end as quickly as they thought. Secrets must be dealt with and changes adapted to– while minute by minute they slowly freeze over.

About the Playwright

New to the city, Christopher has been writing, directing, and stage managing in Chicago for a year now. Past writing credits include In Which a Window Makes a Woman Go Blind (906 Theatre Co.), Playing House; or, The Cancer Play (Semifinalist, Dionysos Cup Festival, 2015), [exit Mrs Behn] or, The Leo Play (Lake Effect Fringe Festival), Feminine Tragedies on Grecian Themes; or, The Scorpio Play (Finalist, Forget Me Not’s New Work Comp. 2016). Most recently, his play Her Escapades was a finalist in the NewVember Play Festival in New York. You can find Christopher on the New Play Exchange.


Why Good Things Happen to Bad People by Hope Hommersand
Directed by Scott Ozaroski

October 17, 2016 at 7pm

The action takes place in a vacation cottage owned by MAVIS, a self-proclaimed witch and master chef. VIVIAN, a cleric, is with her friends who are celebrating their fifteenth wedding anniversary. VIVIAN is in a spiritual funk because she has to give a sermon on above title and is clueless on how to approach the subject. What was supposed to be a celebratory evening turns topsy-turvy with the machinations of MAVIS, her French boyfriend and the interference of a local ghost.

About the Playwright

Among Hope’s plays that have received productions and staged readings are Rehearsing The Cherry Orchard that was in the “Northern Writes New Play Festival” in Bangor, Maine. It also received a staged reading at Chicago Dramatists. Penumbra was in the 2014 “New Work Festival” at the Berger Park Coach House.  An Encounter in Greenwich Village was aired by Small Fish Radio’s “Not Your Average Horror Show.”  One of Hope’s short plays The Ice Man was produced by SRO productions at the Las Vegas Little Theatre, NV.

She was the artistic director of Theatre Classics, an ensemble that presented adaptations of literary works for high school audiences, and wrote THE ESSENTIAL MARK TWAIN for this program. It was presented at the Museum of Science and Industry.

Hope also belongs to the Dramatists Guild of America, Network Playwrights at Chicago Dramatists, Actors’ Equity and the Oak Park Writers Group.


Eulogy Unrequited by Doug Van Hooser
Directed by Pat Henderson

September 19, 2016 at 7pm

Jack is dead. His best friend, his daughter, and his ex-lover meet in the mortuary just prior to the service. The past and present are a tangled knot of loyalty and possibilities. Someone has to give the eulogy.

About the Playwright

Doug Van Hooser lives and writes in suburban Chicago. He is a network playwright at Chicago Dramatists Theatre where a number of his plays have been read. His play My Father’s Son was read in last year’s Three Cat Productions Next Draft series. His poetry and fiction have appeared in Poetry Quarterly, The Riding Light Review, Black Fox Literary Magazine, Stoneboat Literary Journal, On the Rusk, and Foliate Oak Literary Magazine in the last year.

Blue Fish in a Tall Clear Vase by Fouad Teymour
Directed by Elyse Dolan

August 15, 2016 at 7pm

While confined in a suffocatingly tight container, Blue Fish ponders about the state of the universe and his quest for freedom, and tries to concoct a plan for escape. This play is inspired by a painting by Maryam Gaber. It includes live sketching by one of the main characters (the painter) and requires casting of an artistically gifted actor in this role.

About the Playwright

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 Board for International Voices Project (IVP). He has collaborated with IVP in bringing 4 Egyptian plays, including his translation of The Castle and The Sparrow, to Chicago audiences. He has written 6 full length plays, which have been read and discussed at the Chicago Dramatists First Draft series, and are at various stages of development. His play, The Night Jesus Joined the Revolution, received a series of staged reading performances at Silk Road Rising in December 2012, and his play, An Afternoon with My Mother, was performed in the 2015 Chicago New Work Festival at Three Cat productions. Fouad Teymour is a Professor of Engineering at Illinois Institute of Technology.


Between the Sheets by Anthony Seed
Directed by Dylan Roberts

Featuring: Chad Bay, Taylor Glowac, Sarah Mergener, Ben Page, Neil Schneider, and Anne Walaszek

July 18, 2016 at 7pm

Two young escorts, one a Harvard undergrad desperate for money, find themselves in bed together at a fancy New York hotel, and provide service to one another before discovering that both are escorts. What to do, and how will they recover the $2,000 fee each desperately requires?

About the Playwright

Joe photoMr. Seed is a writer in the Chicago area, a Network Playwright with Chicago Dramatists and a member of the Dramatists Guild. He is an award-winning short-story writer, a former award-winning newspaper journalist, and a Vietnam veteran. He has a bachelor degree from Indiana University and he and his wife, Eileen, have been married thirty-seven years. They have a son, Jason.

Doug Needs a Vacation by Laura Lewis-Barr
Directed by Cole Von Glahn
June 20, 2016 at 7pm

Doug and his wife, Tess, struggle to relax on their first camping trip. Three crows have their own struggles.

About the Playwright

Laura Lewis-Barr has been writing, directing, performing and teaching theatre for over 15 years. Her play, Cloistered Honey was recently made into a low budget film through Inspirare Productions. “Cloistered Honey” has been an official selection at the Red Dirt International Film Festival (nominated for Best Writing – Drama) and the Eugene International Film Festival (Awarded Best Screenplay – Feature.) It was recently picked up for distribution by The Bosko Group. Chernobyl’s Fire won the Playwrights First Award and was a finalist in the O’Neill Theatre Center National Playwrights Conference Competition. Marvelous Tales, was recently published by YouthPlays and The Vase is published with Heartland Plays. Darwin’s Dilemma was seen in Circle Theatre’s New Play Fest. Darwin was also featured in the St. Tammany One-Act Competition and Steel Beam Theatre’s “New Play Series.” Chernobyl’s Fire and Abelard and Heloise (Cloistered Honey) were named Finalists in the Metropolis New Plays Contest. Recent productions of Laura’s work include: Chernobyl’s Fire; Addicted to Mars (Pittsburgh New Works Festival—“intriguing and carefully drawn…. Lewis-Barr’s writing drives the production.” Pittsburgh Post Gazette); Golden Chalices (LoveCreek Productions and The Riant Theatre in New York); Dove Killers (the side project in Chicago– “riveting” Windy City Times). A dozen other plays, including Re-writing History thru a Fly’s Eye, The Vase, and The Dangers of Catnip have had readings and productions in Chicago and California . Laura’s Masters Degree in Drama is from San Francisco State University . Before her move to the country, (to work as Artistic Director/Theatre Professor at Sauk Valley College) Laura was a member of the Playwrights Collective and Chicago Dramatists.


Paper Covers Rock by Jonathan Black
May 16, 2016 at 7pm

A tony book group meeting gets raucous with the surprise arrival of a new member. Then, as a storm approaches, the evening turns violent as members begin to reveal the lies and secrets that govern their lives.

About the Playwright

Longtime writer and magazine editor in New York and Chicago, author of several non-fiction books (on the Motivational Speaker business and Fitness Legends), as well as a popular thriller. Near north side resident with a wife and two teenage sons. Many years ago directed theater in Cambridge, Mass. and New York.


I Should Have Learned My Lesson by Steve Johns
April 18, 2016 at 7pm

I SHOULD HAVE LEARNED MY LESSON is a one act play. The play is a one character play. It takes place in a prison cell. Brandon has been in prison for many years. He is prison because he murdered someone. He has grown weary of being in prison. In order to pass the time, he talks to himself about his past. Brandon is sad that his life has progressively gotten worse over the course of his life before ending up in prison. In the end, he promises to reform himself.

About the Playwright

I am a playwright, poet, and a salesman. Plays are works of art. They should show the beauty of the English language or any language that they are written in. I am a playwright because I want to do something that glorifies the English language.

Marvelous Madeleines by Wendy Schmidt
March 21, 2016 at 7pm

Marvelous Madeleines and National Cookies are two companies that are more than friends. But when their respective chief cookie designer and director of marketing fall in love, the struggle begins for who gets to be considered a person and who doesn’t.

About the Playwright

Wendy Schmidt is a Network Playwright with Chicago Dramatists and a Dramatists Guild member. Her full-length play The New Republic received a staged reading in Chicago Dramatists’ Saturday Series on February 28, 2015, and was workshopped in Three Cat Production’s Chicago New Works Festival earlier that month. In January of 2015, her full-length play The Newlyweds was included in 20%’s Dark Room series, with a month-long workshop and two staged readings. Her ten-minute play Tornado Alley was a finalist for the 2015 Actors Theatre of Louisville’s Heideman Award. 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 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.

2015 Past Readings:


The Death of Captain Hero by Amy Crider
directed by Pat Henderson
December 21, 2015 at 7pm

In 1974, as Watergate in the background destroys our sense of heroes, the lead actor of a Saturday morning cartoon show dies a scandalous death.  The head writer, Chuck, wants to give him a heroic send-off on the show.  But it’s against FCC regulation to have a character die on a Saturday morning cartoon.  As Chuck struggles with his artistic vision, he realizes he doesn’t really know what a hero is. 

About Amy Crider

AmyCriderHeadshotAmy Crider received her BA in Theater from Goddard College in 1982, but didn’t return to theater for over 20 years.  In 2008 she completed the writing program at Second City under the late Mary Scruggs. She has been studying at Chicago Dramatists since 2010.  The Death of Captain Hero was a semi-finalist at the Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference in 2013 and also a first place winner in The Chameleon Theatre Circle’s 14th Annual New Plays Festival. Her plays have been read in New York, Minnesota, Ohio, and Chicago.  Her previous plays with Three Cat have been Locked Ward and Between Here and Our Destination.   


43rd Street by Mark Ridge
directed by Scott Ozaroski
October 19, 2015 at 7pm

43rd STREET or THE SOUND OF A STAR BEING BORN WHILE SINGING A TORCH SONG IN THE RAIN ON 42nd STREET is a new, musical comedy by Mark A. Ridge. It’s a pastiche or parody of many classic Broadway and Hollywood musicals and movies, primarily the films 42nd STREET and TORCH SONG.
The two act musical utilizes updated versions of vintage tunes from some of Tin Pan Alley’s greatest composers. Betsy Barker has left her home in French Lick, Indiana and traveled to New York City to pursue her dream of becoming a Broadway star and falling in love. When the greatest director in the world casts her in the chorus of his new show, he pairs her off with a handsome young partner.
When the star of the show, who happens to bears an uncanny but masculine resemblance to Joan Crawford and her character from TORCH SONG, is injured a replacement must be found. It seems all Betsy’s dreams are about to become a reality. The show must go on. But when that curtain opens, who will be the leading lady? Does Betsy have what it takes to be an overnight sensation?
43rd STREET is the ultimate back-stage musical with a decidedly gay sensibility.

About the Playwright

Mark Ridge 1bMark A. Ridge holds theatre degrees from Vincennes University and The University of Evansville, where he won the campus playwriting competitions for two consecutive years. As a director, his production of THE GREAT NEBULA IN ORION was selected to showcase at the American College Theatre Festival and earned both cast members Irene Ryan nominations. A graduate of The Second City Actor Training Program, Mark has appeared in shows with the Shawnee Professional Theatre Company, The Court Theatre and was a founding member of The Griffin Theatre Company in Chicago. Mark is currently an Actors’ Equity Membership Candidate, a proud member of the Pee Wee Herman Fan Club and a member of The Dramatists Guild of America.   As a playwright, he has been inspired by Tennessee Williams (for his brilliant use of language), Neil Simon (for his brilliant use of humor), and Penny Sycamore (who wrote plays simply because a typewriter was delivered to her home by mistake). Mark’s plays include RUSSIAN ROULETTE, OUT WITH A BANG, SOMETHING STRANGE IS HAPPENING AT THE C.C.&C., YOUR CHEATIN’ HEART & MY FRIDAY NIGHT BLUES and BESTSELLER. After a nearly 25 year break spent working in the Chicago film industry, Mark is excited to resume working in the theatre.  His recent works include EUPHORIA and KILLING KITTENS, which was produced in Indianapolis in 2013.  Currently, Mark is working on a musical parody 43rd STREET and waiting for Matt Bomer to call.



> (GREATER THAN) by John Luzar
directed by Jacque Lueken

Featuring:  Justine D’Amour, Baird Brutscher, Erin Caswell, and Wesley James!

September 21, 2015 at 7pm

Years after their disastrous relationship and breakup, Drie and Jamey believe they’ve finally put their pasts behind them.  New jobs, new relationships, new lives.  But when their paths cross again, they’re forced to re-evaluate their progress.  Meanwhile, their new partners, Phil and Carol, attempt radical reinventions of their own.  > (GREATER THAN) explores whether or not it is truly possible to escape our worst selves.

About the Playwright

Luzar_John--IMG_0422-08-10-10_10_18_24John Luzar has been acting in and around Chicago for more than a decade now, appearing with A Red Orchid, Lifeline, TimeLine, Theatre Wit, The Den, Factory, Chicago Dramatists, Steep, Strawdog, ATC, Bailiwick, Metropolis, Boxer Rebellion, and others.  > (GREATER THAN) is his first script, a portion of which appeared in the Scene Shop Showcase at Dramatists. 


My Father’s Son by Doug Van Hooser
August 17, 2015 at 7pm

What does it mean to be a man over the generations as society evolves? Are we changing our commitment to marriage and family? Two life-long friends and their son confront their decisions and each other as a son and a father.

About the Playwright

securedownload-3Doug Van Hooser has lived and worked in the western suburbs his entire life. He recently sold his business and returned to writing full time.  He is a network playwright at Chicago Dramatists where three of his plays have been read. His poetry recently appeared in the Stoneboat Literary Journal and his short fiction in The Riding Light Review.




And Then Galatea Laughed: A Very Modern Romance
by Scott Carter Cooper, directed by Scott Ozaroski
July 20, 2015 at 7pm

In the hours following the final rehearsal of Pygmalion nothing is working, and what was to become one of the most important productions of George Bernard Shaw’s career is about to disintegrate into chaos.  Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree is not happy with his role, his co-star, or his producer.  Mrs. Patrick Campbell has suddenly returned from an unannounced three-day absence, and George Bernard Shaw is quietly trying to maintain order long enough to get his masterpiece in front of an audience.  And Then Galatea Laughed: A Very Modern Romance is a romantic comedy depicting the final moments before Shaw’s masterpiece was revealed to the world and his relationship with his dear friend Mrs. Patrick Campbell changed forever.

About the Playwright

Scott Carter Cooper HeadshotScott Carter Cooper is a singer, actor, director, and playwright who has worked with The Lyric Opera of Chicago, Steppenwolf, Profiles Theatre, Trap Door Theatre, CityLit, Circle Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Company, Bailiwick Repertory, Center Theatre and many other small companies throughout the Chicago area.  He holds a BFA in theatre from Drake University and an MA in writing from DePaul University.



Way Station by Wes Payton, directed by Bec Willett
May 18, 2015 at 7pm

Way Station tells the story of a down-and-out novelist looking back on his life as he contemplates suicide. The action takes place in a shabby barroom that was a haunt of the writer and his friends twenty years before. To his surprise, he discovers that several of the key figures from his former life as an up-and-coming novelist still frequent the bar, but the homecoming is bittersweet as fond memories give way to old grievances. This three-act play features a nonlinear narrative, with the first scene of each act taking place today and the third scenes occurring twenty years ago; the second scenes take place in the mind of the writer. As Jean-Luc Godard said: a beginning, a middle, and an end, but not necessarily in that order.

About the Playwright

HeadshotWes Payton works as an instructional designer in the Chicago area and enjoys creative writing in his spare time. He has a B.A. in philosophy and an M.A. in English, having written a play for his master’s thesis. He has been a short-story presenter at the Illinois Philological Association and is currently working on his first novel. He and his wife live in Oak Park and are expecting their first child soon.



Pursuit of Happiness by Frederick Mensch 
April 20, 2015 at 7pm

After a disastrous blind date at an upscale Chicago restaurant, beautiful young twenty-something EMMA MALONE strikes up a conversation with 46-year old JACK ROBERTS, a happily married, successful suburban businessman.  They stumble into a one-night stand that turns into something more complicated, dangerous and destructive than either of them could have expected.

About the Playwright
FrederickMenschFrederick Mensch is a Chicago-based writer whose screenplay Nightingale, starring David Oyelowo (Selma, The Butler), premiered at the 2014 L.A. Film Festival, where it garnered excellent reviews.   His stage play Father was the winner of the 2013 Tennessee Williams One Act Playwriting Competition, and premiered at the 2014 New Orleans Literary Festival prior to publication in Bayou Magazine.  His screenplay Supreme Ruler is in pre-production with Ron Livingston and Marcia Gay Harden attached to star.

The Longing of a Stray Dog by Helen Valenta
March 16, 2015 at 7pm

Eve is a beautiful older woman desperate to hold onto her relationship with Will, a much younger man prone to silence. Kurt is a handsome drifter trying to recover from a recent tragic incident. When their lives collide over the course of one deadly hot weekend in Chicago, it appears all is lost–and then a fourth character enters–the most desperate of all. Can love save anyone or are we all lost to one another?

About the Playwright

Network Playwright at Chicago Dramatists. Work has been seen at Chicago Dramatists, The Artistic Home, Clockwise Theater and Polarity Ensemble Theater, where 2 plays were featured in their Dionysos Cup Festival (2011 and 2014). Radio play ‘We are all foreigners here’ was on the BBC’s commended list.


The Diligent Do Not Die by Joe Carlson, directed by Pat Henderson


Cast of Diligent Do Not Die by Joe CarlsonRuth Kaufman, Pat Henderson, Wesley James, Whitney Pipes, Lauren Twombly, and Demetrous White.

February 16, 2015 at 7pm

As much character study as drama, the play provides a multifaceted view of the recently widowed Alice Kinch as she faces disparate concerns that sometimes clash, sometimes overlap, sometimes mesh. What seems an opportunity may be a threat; what seems a weakness may be a strength. Far from debilitating Alice this interplay of uncertainties stimulates her. Interactions with her son Tommy and daughter Susan address matters physical and financial. With Reverend Richard Berry matters of spirituality that Alice investigates after a largely secular life. With Althea Jackson matters pertaining to the new business they plan to open together. With Paula Garzinski, Alice’s oldest and best friend, matters personal bordering on the playful. Plot is driven by outcroppings of the above as well as Alice’s determination to remain independent of others who believe they, not she, know what’s best for her.

About the Playwright

jcarlsonheadshotJoe Carlson was born in California, raised in New York, Wisconsin, Illinois, and currently resides in Evanston. He has worked as a freelance writer for 10 years in Chicago with a wide range of assignments. As an active participant in The Zoetrope Virtual Studio, he developed a keen interest in screenwriting. He served as a frequent reviewer of other people’s screenplays as part of the intensely collaborative process favored at Zoetrope. He also wrote three feature-length film screenplays of his own: Archangel, The Return of Victor Sweet, and Suntreader. An ardent theatergoer, his two-act The Diligent Do Not Die is his first work for the stage and he thanks Three Cat for the opportunity to have a professional reading.

2014 Past Readings:

The Last Reunion by David Bald

June 23 at 7pm 

Directed by Pat Henderson

Every five years, Jason and Rick, Class of ’87, attend their high school reunion.  Every five years they wonder why.   And what ever happened to Molly, the Third Musketeer in their “all for one and one for all” threesome? At the 25th reunion, Molly finally turns up, missing her glasses and carrying a very large suitcase.  The Last Reunion is a story about memories, friendship and love, lost and found.

About the Playwright: David BaldAbout the Director: Pat Henderson
David Bald is a Network Playwright at Chicago Dramatists. Scenes from a previous play, Daddy, and from The Last Reunion have received staged readings at Dramatists in the Scene Shop Showcase series. David formerly taught English at Lyons Township High School in La Grange, Il. He, his wife Marilyn, and their goldendoodle Pepper live in Geneva.
Pat graduated with a Masters in theatre from the University of Minnesota. In addition to stage managing, she is a director, lighting/set designer and technical director. Pat has been the stage manager for all productions for Williams Street Rep at the Raue Center for the past year and a half. Pat is the resident lighting and set designer for Three Cat Productions. Pat’s other most recent credits include Set, Lighting and Sound Design for Les Miserables and Lighting Designer for Rent and Putnam County Spelling Bee at Sheboygan Theatre Company. Pat recently directed a youth theatre production of her own adaptation of a Midsummer Night’s Dream at Gorilla Tango Skokie. Pat also directed the inaugural production of Sylvia for Studio Players. Pat has directed and designed Mary Zimmerman’s The Arabian Nights and Argonautika for a theatre troupe she founded for high school and college students called Grey Area Players. For the past four years, Pat was the co director of the Wisconsin State 4 H Drama Company comprised of 35 youth from across the state. Pat also founded a reader’s theatre at a senior center in Wisconsin called Not the Theatre of the Living Dead (the senior readers selected the name). Pat’s readers performed several plays by Charles Mee and received special permission from Caryl Churchill to perform 7 Jewish Children as a performance production involving senior citizens and high school students.


Pillow Talks by Katalin Berland

July 21 at 7pm

Directed by Pat Henderson

There’s a reason why Liz and Brian’s sex life is deteriorating: While Liz feels overwhelmed with her roles as wife, mother, and career woman she turns to alcohol. Though the challenges keep piling up the couple tries hard to stay on top of their games.

About the Playwright: Katalin BerlandAbout the Director: Pat Henderson
Katalin Berland was born and raised in Budapest, Hungary. She pursued a career as a child psychologist until she moved to the United States. While she was raising her children she painted pictures, wrote stories and poems, and published a renowned personal report book about America for Hungarian readers. Recently Katalin became a Network Playwright at Chicago Dramatists. Her play Pillow Talks won a place in the Writer’s Digest Writing Competition. Scenes from her plays Party Time and The Visit were produced by Women’s Theatre Alliance.
Pat graduated with a Masters in theatre from the University of Minnesota. In addition to stage managing, she is a director, lighting/set designer and technical director. Pat has been the stage manager for all productions for Williams Street Rep at the Raue Center for the past year and a half. Pat is the resident lighting and set designer for Three Cat Productions. Pat’s other most recent credits include Set, Lighting and Sound Design for Les Miserables and Lighting Designer for Rent and Putnam County Spelling Bee at Sheboygan Theatre Company. Pat recently directed a youth theatre production of her own adaptation of a Midsummer Night’s Dream at Gorilla Tango Skokie. Pat also directed the inaugural production of Sylvia for Studio Players. Pat has directed and designed Mary Zimmerman’s The Arabian Nights and Argonautika for a theatre troupe she founded for high school and college students called Grey Area Players. For the past four years, Pat was the co director of the Wisconsin State 4 H Drama Company comprised of 35 youth from across the state. Pat also founded a reader’s theatre at a senior center in Wisconsin called Not the Theatre of the Living Dead (the senior readers selected the name). Pat’s readers performed several plays by Charles Mee and received special permission from Caryl Churchill to perform 7 Jewish Children as a performance production involving senior citizens and high school students.

Solutions by Paul Moulton

August 18 at 7pm

Directed by Scott Ozaroski

After Brian’s sister is murdered by her boyfriend, he joins a shadowy organization dedicated to protecting abuse victims. He learns that the price of vengeance by proxy might be his life.

About the Playwright: Paul MoultonAbout the Director: Scott Ozaroski
Paul Moulton has been shelling Chicago with plays and sketch comedy from his base in Palatine for almost a decade now. His short play “Exile” was presented as part of the “Hopper Sketches” in May of this year. He was a founding member of the Democracy Burlesque political sketch comedy revue and served as a Writer of Wrongs for them from 2006-2012. Off Off Broadway productions include “Alarm” (ID America Festival, 2007), “Void!” (Vignettes for the Apocalypse V, 2011) and “Redemption” (Perchance to Dream Festival, 2013). Now and then he’ll double the average age of writers for the Consequence of Sound music news website.
Scott Ozaroski is pleased to continue working with Three Cat Productions, after directing the staged performance of the musical Of Moonjays & Motorcycles as part of the 2014 Chicago New Work Festival. He spent six years touring the world with the educational performing arts organization Up with People, including work as Production Manager for the international musical A Common Beat, and helping coordinate performances for the Culligan Holiday Bowl, the National “League of Cities” Convention, and the Boston “Communities of Peace” program. Scott holds an MA in Theatre from Northwestern University, worked at Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School & Camp, and completed his undergraduate degree at SUNY Potsdam. His directing and production management experience also includes CarouselThe Good Woman of SetzuanThe Actor’s NightmareThe Phantom Tollbooth, and Penguin Blues.

Scarlet Sisters Everleigh by Jason Paul Smith and Gary Gimmestad

Sept 15 at 7pm

Living in New York City, Ada and Minna, former Everleigh Club madams, are struggling to enjoy their retirement. As a reporter starts to pry into the sisters past, their wall of secrets begins to crack. Funny, poignant, and sad, the Scarlet Sisters Everleigh is walk through some of Chicago’s scandalous past.

Holiday Stories by David Bald, Kalena Chevalier, Steve Clark, Amy Crider, Hope Hommersand, Blake Levinson, Paul Pasulka, Ed Plough, Lisa Scott, and Wendy Schmidt

October 20 at 7pm

Directed by Jason Paul Smith

A Short History of the Mob in America by Joe Weintraub

December 15 at 7pm

Directed by Madison Smith


Michael Donley, Ryan Lambert, Joe Lugosch, Lauren Miller, Scott Ozaroski, Chadwich Sutton, and Kayla Zaniboni

Opening with the assassination of Benjamin (“Bugsy”) Siegel, A Short History of the Mob in America flashes back to depict the events and circumstances that led to the rise and eventual fall of what was probably the most successful crime cartel in the nation’s history. Rising from the dead to confront his assassin, Siegel is eventually joined onstage by Lucky Luciano, Meyer Lansky, and his mistress, Virginia Hill, and together they give voice to their dreams and aspirations for power, respectability, and celebrity, as they attempt to justify the bloody acts that determined their fate. Drawn from the histories, biographies, and chronicles of the times, the play is an attempt through dramatic confrontation and language to expose the truth behind the many myths and fabrications that have arisen from these often romanticized incidents and characters. 

About the Playwright

J. 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, AMST Productions, and 8 Scribes in the Chicago area. His writings have appeared in such literary journals as Massachusetts Review, The New Criterion, Michigan Quarterly Review, Prairie Schooner, and many others, as well as in regional and specialty publications such as The Chicago Reader, Nevada Magazine, The Seattle Weekly, and Modern Philology. Many of his works have been anthologized, and among the writing awards he has received are Illinois Arts Council Awards for fiction and creative nonfiction. He is currently a network playwright at Chicago Dramatists and a member of the Dramatists Guild. Website: