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Otherworld Theatre has announced its first season at its new home at 3914 N. Clark, which they dub as “the world’s first venue dedicated to the performance of Science Fiction and Fantasy genres.” The former Live Bait and then Public House facility boasts two stages — a flexible mainstage that will seat 120 and a 40 seat black box.
“We are extremely proud to create a space that celebrates Science Fiction and Fantasy performance and provide a community hub for fans of all stripes to explore their passions for these genres and express themselves in a safe and inviting environment. Whether you are mildly interested in Science Fiction and Fantasy or a die-hard fan, we welcome you to Otherworld Theatre to enjoy these stories together,” said Tiffany Keane Schaefer, Otherworld Theatre founding artistic director.
The season begins with “All I Want is One More Meanwhile…,” a Midwest premiere by Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons. It’s about an artificially engineered superhero who is now a real woman who gave up power to become a mother. It’s directed by ensemble member Nathan Pease, and runs September 26 – October 27.
PARAGON Play Festival, now in its 4th year, is the world’s largest Science Fiction and Fantasy play festival, showcasing more than 400 theater artists. It will run November 17-18.
“The Winter Wolf” by Joseph Zettelmaier runs December 6 – January 5. It’s a holiday legend, in which the Winter Wolf, a strange creature who serves as Time’s hunter, stalks those who are in the winter of their lives. Otherworld’s world-premiere production is directed by Lauren N. Fields.
In “Corona,” another world premiere, Captain Ariadne Minos must ferry the latest fourteen tributes to her home planet of Crete, where they will be fed as sacrifices to a fearsome bull. It’s penned by Elizabeth A. M. Keel and directed by Tiffany Keane Schafer, running April 5 – May 18.
Running in rep with “Corona” is “Medusa Undone,” a Midwest premiere by Bella Poynton, also directed by Schafer. It’s a Medusa origin story, in which Medusa is a kind, beautiful sea-nymph in Athena’s service. The story explores rape culture and victim blaming through the lens of the god who is traditionally depicted as a monster.
Tickets and more info are available at otherworldtheatre.org.
Otherworld Theatre’s 2018/2019 Season (from the press release):
ALL I WANT IS ONE MORE MEANWHILE…
a Midwest Premiere written by Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons and directed by Nathan Pease
September 26, 2018 – October 27, 2018
Twenty years ago she was Perfectra, an artificially engineered superhero impervious to humanity’s flaws. Today, she is Jane, a real woman who gave up power and perfection to become a mother. But estranged from her daughter and battling against a no-longer-perfect physique is not the ending she planned on. Discovering her daughter has not only been kidnapped by a canine-controlling criminal but worse still, engaged to a local superhero—can this supermom stand by and let her daughter spend her life dangling in distress? Especially as she suspects her daughter might have a secret of her own…
PARAGON PLAY FESTIVAL
Curated by Elliott Sowards and Tiffany Keane Schaefer
Full lineup TBA
November 17, 2018 – November 18, 2018
PARAGON Play Festival is the largest Science Fiction and Fantasy play festival in the world; featuring 40 Science-Fiction and Fantasy plays performed over 2 days. Collaborating with hundreds of Theatre Artists, locally and internationally to increase exposure for an underserved theatre genre, PARAGON has become an annual festival and a unique part of Chicago’s diverse cultural landscape. Curated by Otherworld Theatre Company’s Literary Manager Elliott Sowards and Otherworld’s Artistic Director, Tiffany Keane Schaefer for the fourth year running. The 40 plays chosen are a small sample of the hundreds were submitted from around the world.
THE WINTER WOLF
a World Premiere written by Joseph Zettelmaier, directed by Lauren N. Fields
December 6, 2018 – January 5, 2018
It’s Christmas night in Cora’s house. She’s visited by her beloved grandfather, a man of high spirits and failing health. They sit around the fireplace and she listens to the legend of the Winter Wolf, a strange creature who serves as Time’s hunter, stalking those who are in the winter of their lives. That night, the Winter Wolf comes for Cora’s grandfather, but the young girl manages to trap it. What follows is a magical journey through the mysteries of time, as Cora learns how far one can go for the sake of someone they love.
a World Premiere written by Elizabeth A.M. Keel and directed by Tiffany Keane Schaefer
April 5 , 2019 – May 18, 2019 (runs in rep with MEDUSA UNDONE)
Captain Ariadne Minos must ferry the latest fourteen tributes to her home planet of Crete, where they will be fed as sacrifices to a fearsome bull. On the journey, she makes a surprise connection to two of her more forceful passengers: the headstrong prince Theseus, and Pneuma, a Healer who is outraged to face death with her medical education incomplete. However, as the spaceship nears its final destination, Ariadne must weigh the comfort of her new friends against family loyalties which have haunted her across the galaxy. The time has come for her to reconcile between monsters, gods, and men.
a Midwest Premiere written by Bella Poynton and directed by Tiffany Keane Schaefer
April 10, 2019 – May 18, 2019 (runs in rep with CORONA)
Before she was one of the greatest mythical monsters of all time, Medusa was a kind, beautiful sea-nymph in Athena’s service. Unparalleled in both her beauty and devotion to the Gods, Medusa catches the eye of the charming but narcissistic Poseidon. Interested only in the passions of the spirit, and not the flesh, Medusa has no choice but to reject the greedy God. She not only suffers violence at the hand of Poseidon, but also unknowingly incites a deep-seated jealousy in Athena, with horrific and disturbing consequences. MEDUSA UNDONE explores the social problem of rape culture, our tendency to victim blame, and the great injustice suffered by female victims of abuse of all kinds.