Three Premieres Make Up Sideshow Theatre’s 18–19 Season

Sideshow Theatre Company has announced the lineup for its 2018-19 season, launching in the fall with the world premiere of J. Nicole Brooks’ “HeLa,” directed by artistic director Jonathan L. Green. The season continues next spring with the Midwest premiere of Wolfram Lotz’ THE RIDICULOUS DARKNESS, translated by Daniel Brunet and directed by artistic associate Ian Damont Martin. Sideshow’s twelfth season concludes next summer with the Midwest premiere of Selina Fillinger’s SOMETHING CLEAN, directed by Lauren Shouse and presented in partnership with Rivendell Theatre Ensemble. Both “HeLa” and SOMETHING CLEAN were commissioned and developed through Sideshow’s Freshness Initiative.

“This season we will present three hugely engaging new works that are epic, intimate, and which force us to take a close look at our present, and how our past has gotten us to this point,” comments Green. “These fearless works will push Sideshow to our limits as we explore our shared history with our audiences.”

Pictured (top, l to r) J. Nicole Brooks, Wolfram Lotz, and Selina Fillinger with (bottom, l to r) Jonathan L. Green, Ian Damont Martin and Lauren Shouse.

Sideshow’s 2018-19 Season will also include “The Freshness Initiative,” the company’s commissioning and new play development program, now in its fifth year and CLLAW (Chicago League of Lady Arms Wrestlers). The next CLLAW match will be held Friday, October 12, 2018 at Logan Square Auditorium.


Sideshow Theatre Company’s 2018-19 Season (from the press release):

November 18 – December 23, 2018
“HeLa”
Co-Produced with Greenhouse Productions
By J. Nicole Brooks
Directed by artistic director Jonathan L. Green
at The Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago

1951: A mother of five visits the “colored” gynecology ward of Johns Hopkins, knowing something unusual is happening in her body. 1981: A child watches Carl Sagan’s Cosmos on a basement television in Chicago as her auntie plays bid whist upstairs with the neighbors. The Distant Future: A gold-plated flying saucer hovers over the Earth, its pilot watching and waiting patiently as stars gently twinkle in her hair. All three stories connect, collide and expand, blending Afrofuturism with the true story of Henrietta Lacks and one little girl’s love of science. This winter, journey from East Baltimore to Chicago’s West Side to outer space, as J. Nicole Brooks’ new play explores who has the power over the stuff we are made of.

March 24 – April 28, 2019
THE RIDICULOUS DARKNESS
Adapted from a radio text by Wolfram Lotz
Translated by Daniel Brunet
Directed by artistic associate Ian Damont Martin
at Victory Gardens Richard Christiansen Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave. Chicago

The horror! The horror! Sergeant Oliver Pellner has clear orders: to travel into the savage wilderness, to find a Colonel who has gone rogue, and to kill him. The man’s gone native, as they say: has killed his comrades and disappeared into darkness. Pellner and his pilot embark with confidence, but soon nothing makes sense anymore, as the river turns to mountains turns to jungle turns to black. In another time and place, Ultimo Pussi, a Somali fisherman-turned-pirate seeks justice and understanding before an increasingly hostile central European justice system. Fear turns to paranoia and civilization dissolves in Wolfram Lotz’ stunning and disturbing comedy: a fractured spin on Heart of Darkness, Apocalypse Now and our shared history of barbaric colonialism.

June 16 – July 21, 2019
SOMETHING CLEAN
Co-Produced with Rivendell Theatre Ensemble
By Selina Fillinger
Directed by Lauren Shouse
at Victory Gardens Richard Christiansen Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave. Chicago

Charlotte has been a mother for nineteen years, a wife for three decades and a respectable community member her entire life. But when her son is incarcerated for sexual assault, Charlotte is forced to reckon with a brand new identity, both public and private. Desperate to find a way back to who she was, she seeks out work at a sexual assault crisis center and meets Joey, a volunteer coordinator and a survivor of assault himself, who allows her a glimpse of who she might be able to become. Can she find a new understanding of who she is? Or has someone else’s crime defined her forever? Inspired by today’s headlines, Selina Fillinger’s breathtaking new drama follows one woman’s struggle to make sense of her own grief, intimacy, culpability and consent.

SOMETHING CLEAN was commissioned and developed by Sideshow Theatre Company and will open at Sideshow following its upcoming world premiere at Roundabout Theatre Company, New York City, in spring 2019.


For more information visit sideshowtheatre.org,

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