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Pictured (clockwise from top left): Slick Jorgensen, Catherine Miller, Jonathan Mayo, Steve Labedz, Monet Felton, Lisa Troi Thomas, and Diego Colón.
Jackalope Theatre Company, under the artistic direction of Gus Menary, made a slew of announcements, including new company members, two new staff hires, and the upcoming season’s slate of new play development programming at their storefront space, The Frontier.
Jackalope will welcome five new company members: multifaceted performer and composer Diego Colón; teaching artist, director, and writer Monet Felton; lighting designer Slick Jorgensen; composer, sound and projection designer Steve Labedz, and casting director Catherine Miller.
On the staff front, Jonathan Mayo has been promoted from Box Office Manager to Audience Services Manager, and Lisa Troi Thomas has been hired as the company’s Accessibility Coordinator.
The upcoming season of Frontier programming features two GroundWorks presentations by company members Diego Colón and Calamity West; three new presentations of The Circle Up! Reading Series, a collaboration with The Chicago Inclusion Project; four sessions of the Jackalope Playwrights Lab; and The 11th Annual Living Newspapers Festival. All of Jackalope’s 2019/20 new play development programs will take place in Jackalope’s Frontier Theater at 1106 W. Thorndale.
GroundWorks Series: THE PACK
A new work by Diego Colón
January 10 – 12, 2020 | The Frontier, 1106 W. Thorndale Ave
There’s a monster inside you, but what if a beast is everything you’ve ever wanted to be? THE PACK is a sharp-toothed rock musical about the drive it takes to reach your full potential and dragging your family, chosen and blood, along with you, biting and clawing. Shed your human form, grab a guitar, bring your pack, and let the animal inside of you loose, knowing it is your best self.
GroundWorks Series: THE RETRIBUTION PLAY
A new work by Calamity West
February 14 -17, 2020 | The Frontier, 1106 W. Thorndale Ave
When Maybelle’s lover Boon abandons her, she leaves the only home she’s known to seek retribution. On her bloodthirsty adventure, Maybelle acquires a ragtag group of ragged hearts on their own paths to redemption. THE RETRIBUTION PLAY is an action-packed Western with grit and heart about one woman’s quest to find her place in a mad, mad world.
CIRCLE UP! READING SERIES (in collaboration with The Chicago Inclusion Project)
By Kate Cortesi
Directed by Gaby Labotka
October 14, 2020 | The Frontier, 1106 W. Thorndale Ave
Thorny, uncomfortable, funny and surprising (and…sexy?), LOVE asks what accountability looks like when an abuser of power is one of our favorite men of all time and dares us to get to the other side of accountability and hashtags together.
By Osiris Khepera
Directed by Wardell Julius Clark
February 24, 2020 | The Frontier, 1106 W. Thorndale Ave
This Black, Queer love story is set at Penn State University amidst the tumultuous realities of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. It focuses on a group of six African American friends who, while representative of the seven percent of the Black Population in Happy Valley, PA, are forced to tackle their own biases of tradition, intra-racial politics and class.
THIS IS NOT A TRUE STORY
By Preston Choi
Directed by Brian Balcom
May 4, 2020 | The Frontier, 1106 W. Thorndale Ave
The heroine of Madame Butterfly completes her tragic suicide, only to wake up trapped in a never-ending loop of her story. Then Miss Saigon is born thrusting another heroine into the deadly cycle until a mysterious office woman throws the world out of balance. THIS IS NOT A TRUE STORY unravels the history of Orientalist art, theatre, and the danger of fiction becoming reality.
The 11th Annual Living Newspaper Festival
August 21-24, 2020 | The Frontier, 1106 W. Thorndale Ave
New Affiliate Club
Finally, a new monthly giving club called “The Pioneers” has been established to fund the new play development efforts. Membership to the club is $10 a month, and the funds go directly towards creating new work. Benefits of membership include reserved seats to all Frontier programs, invitations to salons and special events, and a subscription to a quarterly newsletter about new play development at Jackalope.