Babes With Blades Announce 20th Season

Babes With Blades Announce 20th Season

(L to R) Playwrights for Babes With Blades’ 20th season, Anne Bertram and Barbara Lhota. 

Babes With Blades Theatre Company has announced its 20th anniversary season, entitled “Origins,” consisting of two full productions and three developing scripts, reflecting on “how women define themselves and their places in their worlds.”

The season kicks off in September at the Factory Theater with the world premiere of Barbara Lhota’s THE INVISIBLE SCARLET O’NEIL. Based on Russell Stamm’s syndicated 1940s comic of the same name, the script follows a spirited young Chicago woman with a secret superpower.

The second full production arrives in January at City Lit Theater — the Chicago premiere of Anne Bertram’s THE GOOD FIGHT, based on a true story about English suffragettes who learned jiu-jitsu to defend their leaders

May 19 – 20 the season concludes with a weekend of readings at Strawdog Theatre, launching three newly developed scripts with fighting roles for women.

“An origin story launches a character’s journey,” said Co-Artistic Director Kathrynne Wolf. “It defines who they are, explains why they do the things they do, and informs how they go about making a difference. As we turn 20, BWBTC reflects on our own origins: a group of artists determined to expand the canon of women’s roles and challenge audience expectations through the use of stage combat in our stories. Today, BWBTC stands proudly as a vital, essential company for play development in Chicago.” Co-Artistic Director Elyse Dawson continued, “This city thrives on innovation, challenge, and commitment, and Chicago theater is no small part of that identity. BWBTC is thrilled to originate from, echo, and shape the Chicago spirit, as we take a look back… and soldier on.”


Babes With Blades Theatre Company’s 20th Anniversary Season (from the press release):

THE INVISIBLE SCARLET O’NEIL
September 2 – October 14
Written by Barbara Lhota
Directed by BWBTC Ensemble Member Leigh Barrett
Violence Design by BWBTC Ensemble Member Libby Beyreis
Factory Theater, 1623 W. Howard St.
Previews: Saturday, Sept. 2 at 8 p.m.; Sunday, Sept. 3 at 3 p.m.; Thursday, Sept. 7 and Friday, Sept. 8 at 8 p.m.
Press Opening: Saturday Sept. 9 at 8 p.m.
Regular run: Thursdays – Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m.
Tickets: Previews $10.00; Early Bird General Admission $20.00 (available through September 9); General Admission $25.00 (after September 9)

A mishap in her father’s lab gave Scarlet O’Neil the power of invisibility – a power she promised him she’d never use. But Daddy never knew there’d be days like these….

It’s the Windy City of the 1940s, and Dr. O’Neil’s ex-lab assistant, Evanna Keil, is desperate to perfect her mind-controlling Ruby Red Lipstick before selling it to the KGB. The ensuing mayhem threatens everything Dr. O’Neil worked for, and everything Scarlet holds dear. Can Scarlet save her deceased father’s reputation, his scientific collaborators, and their military secrets, plus her kidnapped landlady, a young prodigy, a small dog, the gals at the City News, and all of Chicago – if not the world? It’s the Invisible Scarlet O’Neil to the rescue!

THE GOOD FIGHT
January 6 – February 17, 2018
Written by Anne Bertram
Directed by Elizabeth Lovelady
Violence Design by Gaby Labotka
Assistant Violence Design by Almanya Narula
City Lit Theater, 1020 W. Bryn Mawr Ave.
Previews: Saturday, Jan. 6 and Jan. 13 at 8 p.m.; Sunday, Jan. 7 and Jan. 14 at 3 p.m.; Friday, Jan. 12 at 8 p.m.
Press Opening: Monday, Jan. 15, 2018 at 8 p.m.
Regular run: Thursdays – Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m.
Tickets: Previews $10.00; Early Bird General Admission $20.00 (available through January 15, 2018); General Admission $25.00 (after January 15, 2018)

The Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), led by Emmeline Pankhurst and her daughter Christabel, was the primary militant group pushing for women’s suffrage in the United Kingdom. Under the slogan “Deeds, not words,” the WSPU advocated targeting property as a form of protest, from smashing shop windows to burning and bombing buildings. Imprisoned WSPU members – including Pankhurst – launched hunger strikes, which were initially countered by the authorities with force-feeding; later the government introduced the “Cat and Mouse Act,” under which starving suffragettes were released, only to be re-imprisoned once regaining their health. To defend their leaders and comrades, the WSPU established “The Bodyguard” – a secret, all-female security team, trained in jiu-jitsu – and the good fight began…

FIGHTING WORDS 2017-18
May 19 – 20, 2018
Strawdog Theatre, 1802 W Berenice Ave.
Saturday, May 19 at 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.; Sunday, May 20 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: Free AdmissionEach year BWBTC selects three scripts for development that have the potential to grow into the kinds of plays that fit its mission. Several of the Fighting Words selections have been seen as full productions with BWBTC, as well as other

Each year BWBTC selects three scripts for development that have the potential to grow into the kinds of plays that fit its mission. Several of the Fighting Words selections have been seen as full productions with BWBTC, as well as other theater companies: most recently 180 Degree Rule, Patchwork Drifter, L’Imbecile and Bo Thomas and the Case of the Sky Pirates.

The 2017 – 18 selections include The Lady Demands Satisfaction by Arthur M. Jolly (the winner of BWBTC’s 2017-18 Joining Sword & Pen playwriting competition), The Witches of Birnam by Sara Murdoch and Women of 4G by Amy Tofte. Each script will undergo two reading-and-feedback sessions with the ensemble and invited guests, before being introduced to the public in May 2018.

About author

PerformInk

PerformInk is Chicago’s entertainment industry trade publication.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *