Three Cat Productions is excited to announce the lineup for its inaugural presentation of the SOLO Chicago festival. SOLO Chicago will feature individual performances by vocal artists, storytellers, and more. 2013 performers will include David Boyle, Jyreika Guest, Kelsie Huff, Roberta Miles, Beth Urech, Adam Webster, Scot West, and Anthony Whitaker. Each evening will showcase individual presentations by two performers.
The festival will run Wednesdays through Saturdays, June 5-15, with performances beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the Berger Park Coach House Theater, 6205 N. Sheridan Rd., Chicago, IL 60660.
The SOLO Chicago festival is part of Three Cat Productions’ ongoing effort to offer Chicago artists a creative platform, foster relationships between local performers, and bring new work programming to the Edgewater area. It is also part of Three Cat’s first run of major programming since partnering with the Chicago Park District’s Berger Park Cultural Center in February.
Purchase Tickets Here:
Tickets are $10.
Schedule of Performances:
SOLO Chicago Week One
June 8 @ 7:30pm
Adam Webster in “My Heart: The Chilton Manual”
with special guest performance by Jason Paul Smith in “Consulting Mavis or How I Got My *** Out of North Dakota and Remained Sane”
SOLO Chicago Week Two
About the Performers:
David Boyle in “You Don’t Have To Be A Whore”
This funny and touching solo play David Boyle highlights his favorite moments of transformation and the epiphanies that changed his life.
David Boyle is the founder and artistic director of Chicago Solo Theatre and hosts their monthly storytelling event “Solo Saturdays”. He has performed in Story Lab Chicago, This Much Is True and Essay Fiesta. His 2010 solo play “An Accidental Organist” was recommended by the Chicago Reader’s Tony Adler who wrote “The piece as a whole is a well-wrought mix of wit, cussedness, close observation and earned emotion.”
Performances on June 5 and June 14.
Matt Griffo in “Matt Griffo: Live in Concert”
Matt Griffo is an up and coming Chicago based musician, actor, and comedian. He’s been performing at festivals across the country since 2008, has opened for Reggie Watts and is the composer for the Chicago smash hit: Jersey Shore The Musical. He has songs about the environment, racism, love, and zombies. He’s joined on stage by his piano, ukulele, and unique brand of witty and off the wall comedy.
Matt Griffo first performed with Three Cat during the original Three Cat Thursdays “Cabaret Variety Show” in 2006.
Performance on June 13
Jyreika Guest in “Arn’t I Still”
‘Arn’t I Still’ is a solo play interweaving three stories of African American women from the 1910’s to present day using spoken word, songs, and historical interpretation to convey the message of strength through generations. This play takes the audience on a journey into the world of segregation, the Civil Rights movement, and the modern-day voice of a girl influenced by the society around her. Arn’t I Still is funny, interactive, and soulful as it threads history and poetry together into one!
Jyreika Guest is a Graduate of Northern Kentucky University where she obtained her Master’s in Public History. Her research focuses on the history of Rosenwald Schools in Kentucky and the legacy of African American living during desegregation and integration. Using oral history research, she has an emphasis on the role of African American female teachers made on the overall community and the timeline of the same to present-day public schools. She has a BFA in Musical Theatre and a Minor in Marketing. Theatre Credits include: Rhinoceros (Boss of Cafe/ Fireman), 2009 YES Festival World Premiere of Shock and Awe (Captain Martinez), Working (Ensemble), Once on This Island (Peasant/ Storyteller), Children of Eden (Storyteller), Freedom Speaks (Rosetta), for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf (Lady in Blue). She’s a community activist as a Performance Poet, Educator, Actor, historical interpreter and Programs Specialist for the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, OH where she gives tours daily, implements programs, and brings new audiences to the Center. She also teaches Rhythm and Motion dance classes at the Cincinnati Ballet. Her passion lives in acting, dancing, speaking with a purpose and a message. Living a deliberate life, she loves to utilize her talents blessed upon her life by the Lord and in her own words; she “Aspires to Inspire.”
Performances on June 7 and June 13.
Kelsie Huff in O.P.I. Road Trip
This road trip tale tackles the strained bond between mothers and daughters using Huff’s trademark blend of uproarious characters, crushing and unavoidable heredity influences and engaging storytelling.
Kelsie Huff is one of Chicago’s up and coming stand up comedians, performing at venues such as Zanies, Chicago’s Laugh Factory, Mayne Stage, and throughout the suburbs. She has also performed at several comedy festivals including, New Orleans, North Carolina, Boston Women in Comedy Festival, Bridgetown Comedy Festival, and Chicago Women’s Funny Festival. Huff wrote and produced her acclaimed one woman show, Huffs, which explored the struggle to find forgiveness in one dysfunctional family tree. It was given a 4 out of 4 review from Boulder’s Daily Camera, was a “Don’t Miss” in Time Out Chicago and won the Boulder Fringe Festival Encore Award. Kelsie also received the Camera Eye Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (Comedy). Kelsie’s second one woman show, Bruiser: Tales from a Traumatized Tomboy received 4 out of 4 stars in the Chicago Stage Review, Best Solo Performance of 2011, and was declared a “Midwestern American Intangible Cultural Treasure” by Boulder International Fringe Festival Board Member, Michael Hibner. Kelsie can currently be seen performing stand-up around Chicagoland and continues to work at clubs in Chicago, the suburbs, and colleges; anywhere that will pay her or at least give her cupcakes.
Performances on June 7 and June 12.
Roberta Miles in “I Want a Banana and Other Desperate Love Stories”
Funny, high spirited Roberta Miles takes you on a romp through her life. Touching, poignant and revealing, at times mischievous but always courageous and bold.
“If the disparity between her poise and her sexual abandon does not grab you, the thoughtfulness of her self–effacing writing will. Roberta Miles is not some trampy broad bragging about her many exploits; she is an articulate libido and a beguiling conscious. I laughed, I winced, I shook my head, and I laughed again. Hugely talented and beyond clever. I thought it was funnier than the Vagina Monologues.” -Allen Nichols, Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Chicago
Roberta Miles is known for her irreverent, autobiographical monologues that make up a tell-all expose of her quirky, edgy life. She premiered her monologues in a Three Cat Productions show at Gorilla Tango Theater, and has also done readings at the Nerve Gallery, Kate’s Book Store, the Flatiron Building, She has performed with Beast Women at The GreenHouse Theatre. These monologues have been the basis for her one-woman show, which premiered at “StrawDog Theatre” in Chicago, June 2009 and at “Boho Theatre” in October of the same year. She is the producer of “Loose Chicks” which runs every other week of the month at Uncharted Books and Emerald City Coffee. She also produces “Café Cabaret” which runs monthly at Café Ballou in Chicago. Roberta is totally excited to be performing again with her friends at Three Cat Productions and reunite with her producer, Jason Paul Smith.
Performances on June 6 and June 15.
Jason Paul Smith in “Consulting Mavis or How I Got My Ass Out of North Dakota and Remained Sane”
A humorous and poignant tale of isolation and loneliness, Smith’s one person show explores the destructive cycles of family, mental illness, and answers the age old question “What was it like to grow up gay in North Dakota.”
Jason Paul Smith started his career as actor, director, producer in 1980 having created the stage version of The Muppet Movie. Running 37 performances, it was witness by 39 stuffed animals, two adults, and one angry pre-teen. This memorable performance spawned an early career in the theater that included performances in every local theater, that means one, in Valley City, North Dakota. This eventually led him to earn a degree in Theater from the University of Minnesota.
His theater career has included a wide array of opportunities including, Barnaby Tucker in The Matchmaker, Frank ‘n Furter in The Rocky Horror Show, and Flan Kitridge in Six Degrees of Separation. He also wrote, directed and starred in Consulting Mavis or How I Got My Ass Out of North Dakota and Remained Sane. Directing credits include Hello Dolly for the Lakeshore Players and Sunday in the Park with George for Crisis Point Theater.
Smith decided to land a job in corporate America. Working in the Marketing departments of three major corporations in Minneapolis, Minnesota, he learned important marketing strategies and skills, from packaging and branding to marketing campaign strategy and event planning.
Performance on June 8
Beth Urech in ActYourAge!
ActYourAge! dramatizes a life that has survived five broken bones, two broken marriages and a broken spirit. In hilarious and moving scenes, a “sophisticated” 16-year-old in Fort Wayne becomes an unhappy Hausfrau in the Swiss Alps, then a globetrotting consultant and now an adventurous sailor on Lake Michigan. Beth’s performances at Chicago Dramatists received standing ovations.
Beth Urech produced the European premiere of A…My Name is Alice in Switzerland. Then she shut the stage door and created Speak for Yourself, Inc. to help speakers present themselves and their messages with confidence. Upon returning to Chicago, the lack of juicy roles for women her age emboldened her to write for herself. ActYourAge! is the result. Currently she is performing her solo show at Intuit Art Center in Chicago. Next up, she will perform on Beaver Island MI as well as in St. Louis, Ann Arbor, NYC and other Chicago venues. www.bethurech.com
Performances on June 6 and June 14.
Adam Webster in “My Heart: The Chilton Manual”
One man’s attempt to dissect his love life through the eyes of the cars he has owned, and wrecked.
Adam Webster is the Founding Artistic Director of the side project, for which he has produced more than 60 plays, directed 20 and written a few full-length adaptations and original one-acts. Other produced writing credits include adaptations of Hippolytus and Life Is a Dream, and a handful of original one-acts. Among his directing credits is the world premiere of Sherod Santos’s Lives of the Pigeons running through June 30 at the side project. Other local directing projects include stints for New Leaf, Redtwist, WBEZ, Chicago Humanities Festival, Tympanic Theatre Company, The Right Brain Project, Bruised Orange, North Lakeside Players, Theatre-Hikes, and Polarity Ensemble. He also currently serves as the General Manager of Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre. www.thesideproject.net
Performances on June 8 and June 12.
Anthony Whitaker in “I Was A Teenage Judy Garland Fan”
A one-man play with original music about growing up gay in the south, told from the point of view of a small town community theatre costumer. It’s about the importance of having an “idol” when coming of age in an unwelcoming setting.
Anthony Whitaker grew up in Greenville, SC, where, he began performing at age 10. Whitaker performed with the Greenville Little Theatre, The Warehouse Theatre, The Greenville Fine Arts Center, South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts, and the Singing Christmas Tree. Since leaving South Carolina, he has performed in Atlanta (Center Stage Atlanta and Georgia State University), The Lost Colony in Manteo, NC, The Golden Apple Dinner Theatres in Sarasota and Venice, Florida and many venues in Chicago (The Royal George, Emerald City, Beverly Arts Center, Theatre on the Lake). In addition to performing, Anthony has taught elementary and junior high music in the public and Catholic School systems, and directs productions for various south side schools and the Beverly Arts Center. He is currently co-founder of the New American Folk Theatre, which has produced two shows, Two From The Trailer Court and L Frank Baum’s Marvelous Land of Oz.
Performances on June 5 and June 15.