Line-Up Announced for Victory Garden’s UP CLOSE & PERSONAL Series

Line-Up Announced for Victory Garden’s UP CLOSE & PERSONAL Series

Victory Gardens Theater has announced the lineup for the UP CLOSE & PERSONAL Series.

Running in repertory in the Richard Christiansen Theater, the series will feature A LITTLE BIT NORMAL written and performed by Arlene Malinowski; ST. JUDE, written and performed by ensemble playwright Luis Alfaro; and WHERE DID WE SIT ON THE BUS? written and performed by Brian Quijada.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Luis, Arlene and Brian back to Victory Gardens for our Up Close & Personal series this spring. Each of these remarkably personal stories are written and performed with humor, poetry, and courage,” comments Artistic Director Chay Yew. “Now, for six weeks only, these national and Chicago artists will share their most intimate struggles and triumphs of family, hidden disabilities, and immigration through performance.”

UP CLOSE & PERSONAL Line-Up (from the press release): 

Written and Performed by Arlene Malinowski
Directed by Lisa Portes
3:00 pm: April 29; 13, 14, 27(ASL Interpreted)
7:30 pm: April 30; May 3, 5, 6, 10, 12, 20 (ASL Interpreted), 21
Press Opening: May 6 at 7:30 pm

With her trademark humor, Arlene confronts her own state of mind when Depression walks into her kitchen, lights a cigarette, and makes himself at home. A Little Bit Not Normal is a serious comedy about depression and naming it, claiming it, and standing to be counted. It’s the journey of a love story tested and the secrets we keep about crazy.

Written and Performed by Ensemble Playwright Luis Alfaro
3:00 pm: May 21, 28, June 4
7:30 pm: May 17, 18, 25, 27; June 1, 2, 3
Press Opening: May 18 at 7:30 pm

Award-winning Victory Gardens Theater Playwrights Ensemble member Luis Alfaro (Mojada, Oedipus el Rey) returns to Chicago to perform a new version of his emotionally charged solo work. St. Jude takes us on a personal and powerful journey with Luis as he learns of his father’s stroke and is summoned home to the California Central Valley of his childhood. As his family gathers, Alfaro conjures memories of his youth; from picking grapes, to gospel-infused big tent revivals, from family celebrations, to running away from home. In Alfaro’s words, St. Jude takes us from “who I am” to “who I was.”

Written and performed by Brian Quijada
Directed by Chay Yew
10:00 am: May 3, 5, 10, 12, 19
3:00 pm: April 30; May 6, 20; June 2, 3
7:30 pm: April 27, 28 29; May 4, 11, 13, 24, 26, 28, 31, June 4
Press Opening: May 6 at 3:00 pm

The multi-2016 Jeff Award winner Where Did We Sit on the Bus? is an electric one-man show pulsing with Latin rhythms, rap, hip-hop, spoken word, and live looping. During a third grade lesson on the Civil Rights movement and Rosa Parks, a Latino boy raises his hand to ask, “Where did we sit on the bus?” and his teacher can’t answer the question. This thrilling autobiographical production examines what it means to be an artist and a son of Latino immigrants through the eyes of a teenager.

Individual tickets to each production are $20, or a three show package, including a ticket to each production, is $40. With every ticket purchased, Victory Gardens Theater will provide one free ticket to a Chicago Public School student. For a complete performance schedule or to purchase tickets, visit

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