Village Players taps storyteller Megan Wells as first artistic associate

 

Village Players' new Artistic Associate, Megan WellsDirector, actor and storyteller Megan Wells has been named Artistic Associate at Oak Park’s Village Players Theatre. She is the first Artistic Associate to be named at the 50-year-old non-Equity theater, and ushers in a new program implemented by Artistic Director Daniel Taube.

Taube was named Artistic Director at the theater in August, after former Artistic Director Carl Occhipinti left the post to devote himself full-time to his thriving career in therapeutic massage. VPT has two stages, the 50-seat black box Studio Theatre established by Occhipinti several years ago, and a 180-seat main stage that’s been the bulwark of the 1010 W.  Madison Street facility since it opened in 1984.

Wells, of Lagrange Park, is well known in story-telling circles for her prowess with original works. She has toured locally and regionally with her one-woman performances of Dracula, Psyche and Eros, Helen’s Troy, Firebird, and The Last Supper, spinning tales that merge rich dramatic detail with thorough scholarship.  Wells has numerous awards for storytelling, including the EdPress Distinguished Achievement Award for “Fire in Boomtown”, a piece on the history of the Chicago fire she performer with composer/musician Amy Lowe. Her most recent work at VPT was helming The Miracle Worker for the studio space earlier this season.

While the precise nature of the Artistic Associate program has not been spelled out, it will be a “sort of residency fundamental to improving the quality of progressive work at VPT in the coming years,” Taube said in a prepared statement.

VPT is in the middle of its 2009-2010 season, with the main stage shows dedicated to “New American Classics” and the studio programming to plays written by women or focusing on a strong, central female character. A Chorus Line opens March 13 on the main stage, while Marie Irene FornesMud opens in the studio space March 27. The main stage season continues with Christopher Durang’s The Marriage of Betty and Book May 7 – June 27. The studio space will host Naomi Iizuka’s Polaroid Stories June 10 – July 18.

 For more information or to reserve tickets, go to www.village-players.org or call the box office at 866-764-1010.

show openings/closings this week

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show openings

1001 The Theatre School at DePaul University

American Psyche or a Breath of Fresh Care Gorilla Tango Theatre

Bucket of Blood Annoyance Theatre

The Castle of Otranto First Folio Theatre

Dirty Talking Amish Gorilla Tango Theatre

The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity Victory Gardens Theater

Endira Aguijon Theater

The Hundred Dresses Chicago Children’s Theatre

Kill the Old, Torture Their Young Steep Theatre

The Last (and therefore Best) Comedy Show on Earth Gorilla Tango Theatre

The Mercy Seat Profiles Theatre

Mouse in a Jar Red Tape Theatre

Richard III Chicago Shakespeare Theater

Salem! The Musical Annoyance Theatre

Sleeping Beauty Big Noise Theatre

Sleepy Hollow Theatre-Hikes

A Streetcar Named Desire Polarity Ensemble Theatre

Taking Steps UIC Theater

Ten Square Pegasus Players and MPAACT

 

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show closings

 

All My Sons TimeLine Theatre (our review)

Baroque and Beatles Chicago a cappella 

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Circle Theatre

Desperate Gorilla Tango Theatre

A Hampstead Hooligan in King Arthur’s Court Chicago dell’Arte

High Fidelity…The Musical Route 66 Theatre

Lorca in a Green Dress Halcyon Theatre

Merce Cunningham Dance Company – Dance Center of Columbia College

Miami City Ballet Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University

The Miracle Work Village Players Performing Arts Center

The Set Up Prop Thtr

A Shroud for Lazarus Halcyon Theatre

Texas Sheen Chemically Imbalanced Comedy

Opening this week in Chicago

500 Clown and the Elephant Deal 500 Clown

Boleros for the Disenchanted Goodman Theatre

A Celebration of Hope and Peace Chiesa Nuova

A Celebration of Johnny Mercer Northwestern University Theater

Dead Wrong The Factory Theater

Earth: TTFN?!WWS Productions

The Hollow Lands Steep Theatre

In Your Facebook Prop Thtr

Once Upon a Time (or the Secret Language of Birds) Redmoon Theater

Over the Rainbow Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus

Snubfest 2009 Chemically Imbalanced Comedy

Summer Music Series Drury Lane Theatre Watertower

Two Torn Apart Gorilla Tango Theatre

Up Steppenwolf Theatre

 

Show closings after the fold.

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Chicago theater openings and specials this week

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show openings

5th of July Oak Park Festival Theatre

The Alcyone Festival 2009 Halcyon Theatre

Belmont Burlesque RevueGorilla Tango Theatre

Follies Actors Theatre Company

Improv Children of the Corn 2Cornservatory

Jesus Hopped the “A” Train Village Players Performing Arts Center

Little BrotherGriffin Theatre

Nederlands Dans Theater I Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University

A Song for CorettaEclipse Theatre

Strauss at Midnight Theater Oobleck

 

For special ticket offers, click on “Read more”

 

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Chicago Theater show openings this week

Chicago Skyline

CARTOON Chemically Imbalanced Theater

THE COMPLETE WORKS OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (ABRIDGED) Gorilla Tango Theatre

DELFOS DANZA CONTEMPORANEADance Center of Columbia College

DIVERSEY HARBOR Theatre Seven of Chicago

DRIVING MISS DAISY Village Players Performing Arts Center

THE GATHERINGImprov Playhouse

JESSICA PRESENTSGorilla Tango Theatre

KATRINA: THE GIRL WHO WANTED HER NAME BACKAdventure Stage Chicago

A MOON FOR THE MISBEGOTTENFirst Folio Theatre

PARLOUR SONG Steep Theatre

THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE Loyola University Theatre

SCAPINOChicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University

SODA Apollo Theatre Studio

TALK RADIOGift Theatre

THE TEMPESTSteppenwolf Theatre

TWELFTH NIGHTChicago Shakespeare Theater

WATERGorilla Tango Theatre

Chicago theater tidbits: "Hairspray", Amy & Freddy, Dance Center Columbia, show closings…

 

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  • The National Broadway Touring Production of “Hairspray”, Broadway’s big, fat musical-comedy hit, comes to The Center for Performing Arts at Governors State University Friday, March 13 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, March 14 at 2 and 8 p.m.  More information is available at hairsprayontour.com

Amy Armstrong & Freddy Allen

  • The Lakeshore Theater, near the corner of Broadway and Clark, will be hosting a FREE Comedy Central taping of Prescott Tolk this Friday (the 13th) at 10:30pm.  Also at the Lakeshore, Amy and Freddy will be celebrating their 2nd year, with a free concert featuring Amy’s signature voice, edgy humor and quick wit (not to mention Freddy’s amazing musical arrangements).  This complimentary concert will take place next Thursday (the 19th) at 8pm.  Don’t miss out – Reserve tickets here.  Full schedule here.
 

davidrousseve_columbiacollege At The Dance Center of Columbia College, on March 12-14, David Rousséve/REALITY will perform Saudade, Portuguese for “bittersweet,” an ode to those universal moments when great joy and agony collide. Set to contemporary and traditional Fado music, Saudade is a compelling mix of theater, spoken dialogue and South Asian, Indonesian, West African and modern dance forms.  There will be a Post-Performance Discussion on Thursday, March 12.   More info here.

 

Show Closings – Don’t Miss Out!

 

AFFLICTIONS Gorilla Tango Theatre

AMADEUSVillage Players

AND NEITHER HAVE I WINGS TO FLY – Citadel Theatre

DIXIE’S TUPPERWARE PARTY – Paramount Theatre

EYE OF THE STORM – Open Door Repertory

HIGH SCHOOL PRODUCTION 4Gorilla Tango Theatre

HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVEVillage Players

IT’S GOOD FOR YOU Gorilla Tango Theatre

SLAPHAPPY – Beat the Jester Productions

STOP/KISSThe Gift Theatre

STUPID KIDSAbout Face Theatre

THE UNSEENA Red Orchid Theatre

Chicago theater openings this week!!

per League of Chicago Theatres

AbundanceChicago a cappella

An Adult Evening with Shel SilversteinThe Shadowmen

Batsheva Dance Company Auditorium Theatre

Bob the Builder Live! The Chicago Theatre

Dancing at Lughnasa The Theatre School at DePaul University

The Debussy Trio Lyon and Healy Hall

Dirty Scoundrels Gorilla Tango Theatre

Dying City Next Theatre

Frindle Metropolis Performing Arts Centre

The Full Monty Beverly Theatre Guild

Hamlet Hamlet Gorilla Tango Theatre

High School Production 4Gorilla Tango Theatre

It’s Good For You Gorilla Tango Theatre

Japan Dance Now Dance Center of Columbia College

MachinalTimeLine Theatre

Mark Twain in Person Prop Thtr

Mileep Saves Tuesday Corn Productions

The Night Show Gorilla Tango Theatre

Rod Blagojevich Superstar The Second City etc

Sweet William Chicago Shakespeare Theater

Sylvia Village Players Performing Arts Center

Twice Told Northwestern University Theatre