(Chicago, IL) Three Cat Productions is excited to announce its second full season, three world premieres of new works by Chicago playwrights, produced in partnership with the Chicago Park District’s Berger Park Cultural Center at 6205 N. Sheridan Road. The 2014/15 season kicks off in fall with Scarlet Sisters Everleigh, a play by Jason Paul Smith, Three Cat Productions Artistic Director, exploring the scandalous lives of the Everleigh Sisters, the famous madams from the legendary southside Chicago brothel, the Everleigh Club. For the holidays, Three Cat presents Holiday Stories, a collection of holiday stories featuring eight Chicago based playwrights and composers. Playwrights include David Bald, Kalena Chevalier, Steve Clark, Amy Crider, Hope Hommersand, Blake Levinson, Paul Pasulka, Ed Plough, Lisa Scott, and Wendy Schmidt. The season concludes in spring with the new jazz musical, Don’t Mess with Bill, about the life of a transgender jazz musician in the 1950s with music and lyrics by Gary Gimmestad. Tickets are now on sale at threecatproductions.com.
In addition, Three Cat announces the return of its Chicago New Work Festival. The festival helps Chicago area playwrights refine new plays and musicals. The 2015 Chicago New Work Festival will be held Jan. 5 to Jan. 30, 2015. Up to eight invited playwrights will be paired with a director, and the playwright-director team will be assigned one week of the festival to workshop the play, with a staged reading at the end of the week.
This season also includes to new monthly programs the Cabaret on the Lake series and the Next Draft series. The Cabaret on the Lake series will feature storytellers, singer/songwriters, musicians, poets, playwrights, and many more. Cabaret on the Lake is the second Friday of each month at the Berger Park Cultural Center. Tickets are free to the public. This Next Draft reading series will continue Three Cat Productions commitment to new work. The reading series will held on the third Monday of each month at the Berger Park Cultural Center first floor. These readings will be free to the public.
Three Cat Productions Season:
* Performances at the Berger Park Coach House Theater, 6205 N. Sheridan Road
Nov. 6 to Nov. 29, 2014
Opening Performance: Saturday, November 8, 2014 at 4:00pm and 7:30pm
Scarlet Sisters Everleigh
written and directed by Jason Paul Smith
original music and music arrangements by Gary Gimmestad
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 peek into the scandalous Chicago Levee District of the early 1900s.
Dec 4, 2014 to Jan 2, 2015
Opening Performance: Friday, December 6, 2014 at 7:30pm
written by David Bald, Kalena Chevalier, Steve Clark, Amy Crider, Hope Hommersand, Blake Levinson, Paul Pasulka, Ed Plough, Lisa Scott, and Wendy Schmidt
Directed by Jason Paul Smith
A collection of original holiday stories featuring eight Chicago based playwrights and composers. Celebrate the season of giving with the new classic Holiday Stories. Chicago playwrights explore the “other side” of Christmas in the world premiere of Holiday Stories. From Christmas Eve in a homeless shelter to airport travel delays, each play represents a unique and untold holiday story.
Mar 12 to April 18, 2015
Opening Performance: Saturday, March 14, 2015 at 4:00pm and 7:30pm
Don’t Mess with Bill: A New Musical
Music and lyrics by Gary Gimmestad
Directed by Jason Paul Smith
Jazz singer, Bill Williams, is struggling to hide his gender identity from his fellow band mates and the audiences who are enchanted by his voice. The jazz musical Don’t Mess with Bill follows his rise from shabby dive joints to the most famous jazz clubs of the day.
About Jason Paul Smith/Artistic Director, Three Cat Productions:
Jason Paul Smith is a Chicago-based theater artist specializing in new play development and revitalization of classic works. As a freelance director and as artistic director of Three Cat Productions, Smith is committed to fostering the growth of artists of all backgrounds and perspectives. In 2007, Smith founded Three Cat Productions with the mission of fostering artists, initially through storytelling and cabaret and subsequently theater education. In 2013, he expanded Three Cat’s commitment to its mission with three major development-oriented programs, the annual Chicago New Work Festival for full-length plays and musicals, the annual SOLO Chicago festival for storytelling, and the Cabaret on the Lake series. At Three Cat Productions, Smith has directed Joint Attention, Tell Me When It Hurts, and Hang Your Hat at Mister Kelly’s. A University of Minnesota graduate, Smith has directed theater, cabaret and concerts across the country, including musicals The Stops, Hello Dolly! and Sunday in the Park with George, and well-known plays such as The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds. Smith also is an award-winning storyteller and solo performer. He received a Ragdale Residency in 2008.