Happy summer, everybody! We hope you are enjoying the blooming irises, twirling helicopter seeds and puffs of cottonwood fluff snow-globing it through air. We live in such a ridiculously gorgeous city in this season. Even as she sprinkles us with some cool June days, Mama Chicago still loves her children in the summer time.
A good friend of mine began her job on a sailboat this summer, and in between multiple rainbow-sightings and flocks of yellow birds landing on the crew’s shoulders in the middle of Lake Michigan, her days have been filled with magic. Another friend took a train across the country to have the chance to see 2,000 miles pass by, and another got to watch last Thursday’s lightning storm from the Sears Tower. A friend and I found a white lilac tree blooming the other night, and we made wishes for our friends when we picked its flowers. I hope that for whatever joys or sorrows that may approach you this month, the beauty of natural world provides you with a constant source of wonder, comfort and love.
We have some fantastic featured storytellers joining us in July. Amazing writers, performers and yarn-spinners. And as always, we have five open slots for you to fill with your own stories. If you have one you’d like to tell– about anything!– just practice it out loud until it feels good and comfortable, and make sure it comes in at 5-7 minutes. Then come sign up between 7:30 and 8pm at Stage 773 on July 7th! It will help if you bring us a few written sentences about yourself, and your story (nothing longer than 3 or 4 sentences).
Janet Burroway is the author of plays, poetry, children’s books, and eight novels including The Buzzards, Raw Silk (runner-up for the National Book Award), Opening Nights, Cutting Stone, and the 2009 Bridge of Sand, which will come out in London in October. Her Writing Fiction, in production for its 9th edition, is the most widely used creative writing text in America; and Imaginative Writing will be out in its 4th edition at the same time. Her children’s book The Giant Jam Sandwich has been translated into twenty languages and scored for orchestra. Recent works include the plays Sweepstakes, Medea With Child, and Parts of Speech, which have received readings and productions in Chicago, New York, London, San Francisco, Hollywood, and various regional theatres; and a collection of essays, Embalming Mom. She has edited a collection of essays by older women writers, A Story Larger Than My Own, which will be out from University of Chicago Press early in 2014, and a memoir, Losing Tim, which will be published in April of next year. She is at work on a musical, Morality Play, with Midwest New Musicals, and a play called Headshots at Chicago Dramatists. She is Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor Emerita at the Florida State University.
Barrie Cole is a writer, playwright, and performer. She has read and performed work at Essay Fiesta, That’s All She Wrote, Paper Machete, Homolatte, Guts and Glory, Ray’s Tap Reading Series, Write Club, Story Sessions, Chicago Solo Theatre and many others. She is completing a collection of stories entitled “Fascinating Mistakes and is thrilled that her newest play, Clumsy Sublime will have a full production and world premiere this coming fall at the Prop Theatre. In 2010, her play Fruit Tree Backpack was chosen as one of the top 5 productions of the year by Nina Metz of the Chicago Tribune and Justin Hayford, of the Chicago Reader, once deemed her, “Chicago’s champion of lyrical oddness,” which she took as a compliment.
Paul Teodo is the proud pops of 2 great sons, Paul Jr and Peter. Paul was born and raised on the south side of Chicago. He is a former healthcare exec who for now is happily retired. In his last hospital gig he became good friends with a 97 year old nun who is the last survivor of a family of 13! She is about 4 feet 8 and still reads a book a week! Paul’s wonderful partner Sheryl keeps the 62 year old guy in good shape, as she is a fantastic trainer in yoga, spinning, step, pilates, and a lot of other cool stuff. Paul is a former Moth Grand Slam champ and winner of a few other Moth story slams. His favorite saying. “The sign of a truly rich man is not he has the most, but he who needs the least”.
Jeff Gandy is returning once again to regale us with his animated and adventuresome tales! As a performer he has been a part of many teams at iO and the sketch group The Fowler Family as well as being a frequent host at the StandDown open mic. Recent directing credits include All Pants on Deck, Montgomery & Cooke and choreographer for Vaudeville Vivat! He is the manager of the Youth & Education Program at The Second City, part of the teaching staff at Old Town School of Folk Music and can sometimes be found teaching kids to tap dance at Joel Hall Dance. If you see him walking down the street or on the El please feel free to say hi.
Stephanie Douglass is a farmer, writer, actor, and activist who divides her time between the soil and the stage. Over the past few years, Stephanie has built gardens in the Middle East, run food and compost toilet sanitation workshops in Ethiopia, and taught Mathematics and Film in Chicago’s alternative school system. She was head writer for OLN’s extreme sports show “Outside Magazine’s Ultimate Top Ten,” and is now developing agriculture and nutrition projects for young mothers in Uganda. In New York, she is a co-founder of the award-winning theatre company The TEAM, and in Chicago, she performs with the ladies of Eleanor and tells stories. She recently won Chicago’s Moth GrandSLAM, and during the week, she trains ex-offenders in organic farming with Growing Home.
We look forward to seeing you in July, and we encourage you to buy tickets online. Our shows have been selling out, and so this is a way to make sure folks don’t get turned away. There is a free potluck ticket option online as well.
7:30 potluck / 8pm show
1225 W. Belmont
$8 at the door, or free with a dish to share
brown paper tickets