With a turbulent and triumphant year in Chicago theater coming to a close, we’ve compiled a list of the 15 most viewed articles on PerformInk since our March re-launch. Thanks for reading, and we hope you’ll be with us as we follow Chicago theater throughout 2017 and beyond!
Click the headlines to view the stories:
Jane Lynch, native Chicago funnywoman, known for Christopher Guest’s films and Glee, delivered an incredibly profound commencement speech at Columbia College Chicago last May, speaking truths about careers, life, and art that fly in the face of the typical advice often bestowed on new graduates. “See belief systems for what they are—soul killers, and crushers of the creative spirit,” Lynch says, along with “no goals, plus nothing to achieve, equals peace” and “giving back—don’t do it.” It was far and away our most popular story of the year.
In a nearly thirteen thousand word exposé in the Chicago Reader, Aimee Levitt and Christopher Piatt concluded a year’s worth of investigation into allegations of sexual harassment and abuse over the course of twenty years at Profiles Theatre, primarily perpetrated by actor and Co-Artistic Director, Darrell W. Cox. It’s an intense, difficult, and essential read. The folks behind #NotInOurHouse, a community of artists built to protect artists from abuse, responded in a letter they asked PerformInk to publish
When Porchlight Music Theatre found itself embroiled in a controversy over the casting of a white actor in the role of Usnavi in IN THE HEIGHTS, we had just began a 4-part INSIDE blog series with them to go behind the scenes of the show. Porchlight chose their first piece with PerformInk as an opportunity to respond to the community. Ultimately, we mutually decided to not continue the series.
When Musically Human Theatre announced its move from New York City to Highland Park, IL, there was a lot of excitement in the Chicago theater community. After all, as the former home of Apple Tree Theater, and then the Music Theatre Company, Highland Park has had a long history as one of the few suburbs that hosts an Equity theater.
Maybe we should have stopped and asked why they were moving here.
When tickets went on sale for Chicago's production of HAMILTON, we bought a pair ... for research. Our article on the difficulties we faced is still viewed dozens of times a day.
One of Chicago's biggest land owners, and arguably the largest theater school in the nation, is facing a financial crisis that has been reported on widely across Chicago media. PerformInk broke the story that at the end of the last school year John Green would step down as Theater department chair, and the Theater and Dance departments would combine under one "administrative unit." We hear the transition is going well. The school has since announced a renovation to the aging Getz Theater, but the the department will lose the building that houses the construction shops and design classes, which will be relocated to the 11th street theater center.
O’Connor was a Network Playwright with Chicago Dramatists and a genial fixture at Chicago-area play readings and developmental workshops. His work was selected as a Heideman Award Finalist with Actors Theater of Louisville and as winner of the 2013 Dionysos Cup at Polarity Ensemble Theatre. He worked with the United Nations “Stop Rape Now” program to develop pieces that empower woman in Ukraine and Turkey.
Spearheaded by the members of #NotInOurHouse, Chicago theater artists, in partnership with several pilot theaters, created a Code of Conduct to delineate basic artist protections for non-union actors.
Actors' Equity made waves in July when it decided to place auditions behind a "member portal," thereby making them inaccessible to non-union actors. The move was to simplify the process of making appointments for it's members, and Equity worked quickly with PerformInk to post all central region auditions on our site.
In October, PerformInk broke the story that Erica Daniels would leave her post at Second City, and that a fourth actor had left the e.t.c. revue. While it was widely reported that the actors left due to a rash of racist audience members, we spoke with actor Aasia LaShay Bullock, one of the original three to leave the e.t.c. revue, who said “I left because there were many areas in which I felt Second City fell short in being an inclusive environment for actors of color.” In the days to come, it was revealed that several others were let go at Second City in a major downsizing. Daniels would later be hired as Victory Gardens' new Managing Director.
Joseph Drummond hung up his stopwatch after completing his 42nd season at the Goodman Theatre with the closing of 2666. His credits included 133 Goodman productions.
Alison C. Vesely, Artistic Director and Co-Founder of First Folio Theatre, died November 25th following a battle with ovarian cancer at age 59.
Our resident psychotherapist Bill Harrison posted a thorough look at our community's shock over the abuses at Profiles Theater — how we let it happen and how we can move forward.
Our profile on Chicago director Jonathan Berry came just before he opened his first, well-deserved, Steppenwolf mainstage production, CONSTELLATIONS.
Goldstar announced in October that they would double the commission they charge venues. Jason Epperson took a look at the hole theaters have dug with Goldstar and their patrons.