The Neo-Futurists announce their 22nd Season



Prime-Time Season

Prime-time shows run Thursdays through Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. at The Neo-Futurarium, 5153 N. Ashland (at Foster) in Andersonville. Tickets are $15, $10 for students/seniors with ID, or pay-what-you-can during previews and on Thursdays. For tickets or information, visit or call The Neo-Futurist Hotline at 773-275-5255.


Aug 19 – Sept 25 Daredevils’ Hamlet
  Created and curated by Ryan Walters  (bio after the fold)
  Channeling the 2005 hit Daredevils, the men in jumpsuits take competition to a new level in this meta-destruction of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Director Halena Kays returns to direct this thematic adaptation of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, by challenging feats of revenge, passion, and failure. The Daredevils prove there’s no better way to feel alive than by exploring a show that deals with copious amounts of death.
Feb 5 – March 12 Laika Dog in Space
  by Rob Neill, Eevin Hartsough, Jill Beckman and Carl Riehl
  East meets Midwest when the NY Neos bring their 2009 Ontological Incubator hit to the Chicago stage. Part science lesson, part Russian folklore and part introspective interpretation, Laika Dog In Space uses original music, dance and puppetry to help tell the story of Laika, the first mammal in space, and to discuss the impact of her life. Arrive early to take advantage of a living installation takes the audience through various stations where they listen, confess, create and experiment. And of course, the step back in time to the mid-80’s Soviet space program wouldn’t be complete without a helping of borscht!
April 30 – June 4 Performing Tonight! Liza Minnelli’s Daughter
   Conceived by Mary Fons (bio after the fold)
  What would you do if you believed you were destined for greatness but fate screwed it up? Life is hard, and Mary knows it all too well, but she is positive that her one-woman theatrical spectacle (featuring a cast of three) is a one-way ticket to the extraordinary life that she was supposed to lead – life as the daughter of Broadway and big screen legend, Liza Minnelli. In Performing Tonight! Liza Minnelli’s Daughter, Mary Fons is Mary Minnelli, a woman with a shaky past, but a bright future. Enthusiasm, delusion, ambition and a little bit of obsession blur the lines of fact and fiction in the Neo-Futurist prime time season closer.
ONGOING SHOW Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind
  The Neo-Futurists’ signature show, performed since 1988, is the longest-running production in Chicago history. Too Much Light… is an ever-changing attempt to perform 30 plays in 60 minutes. Each week the ensemble adds between two and twelve new plays to the menu. Every performance creates an unreproducible, living-newspaper collage of the comic and tragic, the political and personal, the visceral and experimental.
  TMLMTBGB runs Fridays and Saturdays at 11:30pm, Sundays at 7pm, Tickets $9 plus the roll of a six-sided die (so $10-$15)

tmlbgb-ensemble Ensemble for Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind

 Creative Team Bios

Ryan Walters is the current Artistic Director of the Neo-Futurists, having been an ensemble member since 2002. Ryan created and Co-wrote Daredevils, the first-ever live Neo-Futurist stunt show, which was remounted in Chicago at Theater on the Lake. He also co-created and co-wrote Picked Up (one of the Top Five Best Shows of 2008– “Newcity”). Other Neo-Futurist productions include: Patriots, Roustabout: The Great Circus Train Wreck, The Fool (Returns to his Chair), Fake Lake and Beer.

Rob Neill has worked as a Neo-Futurist in New York since 1995 and has performed Too Much Light… in both New York & Chicago. As managing director of the New York Neo-Futurists, he continues to write and perform in the show, tour, and teach workshops. A poet and playwright, Rob has created original pieces for PS 122’s Avant-Garde-Arama and Vampire Cowboys’ RE-VAMPED and produced The 6-Pack and Apocalypse Neo at the Kraine.

Eevin Hartsough has been a proud New York Neo-Futurist since 2006, performing regularly in Too Much Light…, and creating and performing in the award winning New York Neo-Futurist 2008 mainstage show “(Not) Just A Day Like Any Other.” Outside her work with the Neos, Eevin has worked with companies including Roundabout, Vassar College Experimental Theatre, Manhattan Theater Source, Oberon Theatre and Prospect Theatre.

Jill Beckman has been an ensemble member with the New York Neo-Futurists since 2008, writing and performing in their signature show, Too Much Light…. Jill trained with SITI Company and Upright Citizens Brigade, and has collaborated with companies including; The Foundry, Saga, Big Dance, The Combustibles, Young JeanLee, WestBeth Entertainment, Rev. Billy, New York Stage and Film, and The Bureau.

Carl Riehl is the accordionist and primary arranger for art-folk-punk band Uncle Moon ( He composed the musical The Architecture of Sight and music for the performance of Howl at the 2005 Howl! Festival in New York City. Carl has also performed at venues including BAMcafe, the Brooklyn Museum and Green-Wood Cemetery (as part of the Open House New York festival). Theatre collaborations include works with Encompass New Opera Theatre, Prospect Theater Company, and Soho Playhouse, as well as the Neo-Futurist pieces Apocalypse Neo, Tiny Isolation Experiment and Laika Dog In Space.

Mary Fons has been writing and performing her original work across U.S. stages for almost 10 years. Mary has written many, many plays as a Neo-Futurist for Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind, performing them both in Chicago and on tour. As a slam poet, Mary has toured extensively, represented Chicago at the National Poetry Slam (’03, ’05) and has performed and workshopped poetry with high school students all over Chicagoland. She co-hosts the PBS show, "Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting" with her mom and has been freelancing as a writer professionally since 2005. She has worked for/at The Poetry Center of Chicago, The Dollar Store, Jellyvision, Paper Machete, Varitalk, The Encyclopedia Show, the Green Mill, No Shame Theater, and colleges from Carnegie Mellon to IIT. She is an original ensemble member of The Gift Theatre.

About The Neo-Futurists

The Neo-Futurists, performers of Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind and creators of over 60 other original, full-length productions, are a collective of wildly productive writer/director/performers who create immediate, non-illusory, interactive and head-slappingly affordable performances.

The Neo-Futurists are partially supported by the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, Alphawood Foundation, the Chicago Community Trust, Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelly Foundation, The MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, a CityArts 3 grant, The Mayer and Morris Kaplan Family Foundation, The Prince Charitable Trust, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Arts Work Fund for Organizational Development.



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