Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Agents Decorate Our Set!

video

On December 12, 2010 Red Tape Theatre hosted our third Secret Agents Event. Ensemble member Meghan Reardon had our guests create artwork for the set of Church. Their artwork will be displayed through previews where audience members will be asked to provide the decor for future performances. She explains how in the attached clip.

Church and Pullman, WA run Jan 29 - Mar 13
www.redtapetheatre.org


See what they created:










Tuesday, December 14, 2010

James Palmer discusses "Church" and "Pullman, WA"

video

On December 12, 2010 Red Tape Theatre hosted our third Secret Agents Event. Director James Palmer discussed Young Jean Lee's plays Church and Pullman, WA which Red Tape will produce Jan 26 - Mar 5.

Church re-examines an Evangelical church service through the eyes of Millennials, while Pullman, WA takes you to a surreal support group where three battered souls attempt to answer the question "How to live your life."

www.redtapetheatre.org

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Obscura Artwork


Only four more chances to see Obscura! We must close October 23. Get your tickets through our website.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Kickstarter Campaign Concludes

Red Tape Theatre again thanks the wonderful people who contributed to the Kickstarter Campaign for the world premiere of Obscura!

They hit our $600 goal and then surpassed it raising 680!

Thank you for supporting experimental theatre in Chicago!



Kickstarter Campaign Supporters
Jaclyn Biskup
Nicholas Combs
Kira Elliott and Carrie Drapac
Ben Fuchsen
Whitney Green
Katy E. Hall
Alyssa Jaksa
Philip Joseph
Sandy Karuschak
Whitney Kraus
Levi Lerner
Paul Pasulka
Melinda Prawer-Stock
Meghan Reardon
Erica Sartini
Merle Shein
Skip Shein
Yung-Sang Tang

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Red Tape Rockstar: Kyle Land

Kyle is this months Red Tape Rockstar! Kyle joined Red Tape in April 2009 when he designed lights for Enemy of the People. Kyle was also the Technical Director for that production. The position of Tech Director is a key position in the production team, responsible for making sure every aspect of the play comes together in time for opening. Red Tape is known for our bad-ass designs; so the TD is super important to our process.

This month, Kyle was the Tech Director on Obscura. As you’ve probably seen (and if you haven’t, get your tickets now), the set for that show is pretty amazing! Kyle built that bad-boy all by himself with some help from our ensemble members. On top of that, he lit it too! Kyle clearly went above and beyond the call of duty for this production and we are deeply thankful. Kyle always kept a cool head and pushed through. What he accomplished is nothing short of amazing. We hope he takes great pride in his set as we take great pride in having in our ensemble.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Seeking Scripts for Fresh Eyes Project


The Fresh Eyes Project is a bold, new workshop process designed to create and develop plays that are innovative in form or subject. Our directors, dramaturges and actors work alongside the playwright to customize a rehearsal period best suited to the exploration of a particular play.

Here’s how it works:
Once selected, we match you with a director. Together, you design a rehearsal process best suited to your goal, whether it is to finish the play, work on the dialogue, or see if all those puppets in scene 4 really make sense. We give you a cast, a dramaturg, rehearsal space and the month of March and let you go at it. At the end, we invite everyone involved in FEP and in Red Tape to come and see wherever you are in the process without the prying eyes of the public. The following week, your cast performs a selection of your new masterpiece at the Chicago Fringe Artists Networking Night (CFANN).

Here’s what we need from you:


- 10 page submission along with a full synopsis of a project that is innovative in subject or form.
- 1 page description of what they would ideally like a workshop to include at this point in the development of their project.
- If selected as a finalist, playwrights will be asked for a full copy of the script on November 15th (or a detailed outline and source material for an incomplete project)
- Availability for the month of March.


Submissions must emailed to rebstev@gmail.com by October 31st, 2010. Please put “FEP Submission” in subject of email.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Kickstarter Campaign reaches the goal!

Red Tape Theatre thanks the wonderful people who contributed to the Kickstarter Campaign for the world premiere of Obscura!

Thanks to you we have surpassed our $600 goal! In addition Kickstarter will allow Red Tape to keep any additional funds raised before October 15!

To support our Kickstarter campaign click here.



Kickstarter Campaign Supporters
Jaclyn Biskup
Nicholas Combs
Kira Elliott and Carrie Drapac
Ben Fuchsen
Whitney Green
Katy E. Hall
Alyssa Jaksa
Philip Joseph
Sandy Karuschak
Whitney Kraus
Levi Lerner
Meghan Reardon
Erica Sartini
Merle Shein
Skip Shein
Melinda Prawer-Stock
Yung-Sang Tang



Obscura runs Sep 23-Oct 23.
Tickets are available through our website.

Monday, September 20, 2010

My Life with a Dialect Coach

Dialect coaches speak a different language. It's all about phonetics, plosives, fricatives and that sly schwa sound. And they expect that you know what they mean!

I first met Obscura's dialect coach, Jason Miller, in a coffee shop. The Obscura script states Ms. Craw is 'foreign' so it was up to us to figure the rest out. We narrowed the character down to eastern European-mostly because the language and syntax made it seem the right choice. Serbian? German? Polish? Russian? It didn't matter; Jason was prepared to show me how proper use of pitch, rhythm, consonant and vowel placement (that ubiquitous schwa, again) can make any accent fluent and authentic.

Jason turned the coffee shop into a performance piece; he stood there breathing and intoning, gesturing and projecting while folks refilled their cups and ordered doughnuts all around him. It was thrilling - all 2 and 1/2 hours, for me certainly and I think for the coffee drinkers too. Working with a dialect coach is a bit like seeing a therapist: they make you honest; they give you homework, and you always leave feeling better.

Come see Obscura and decide for yourself where Ms. Craw comes from. Thanks, Jason.

Lona Livingston
Ensemble Member

Obscura runs Sep 23-Oct 23.
Tickets are available through our website!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Meet the Cast! - Nick Combs


"Ensemble acting in Chicago began in the 1950s with creative collaborations that subsequently evolved into the ensembles that now constitute a major segment of Chicago theater." - Encyclopedia of Chicago

I'd like to think that Red Tape Theatre Company will continue this acting ensemble idea for many years to come. Being a part of a theatre's ensemble as an actor is a dream; made famous by Steppenwolf Theatre with such actors as John Malkovich, Gary Sinise, Joan Allen, and Laurie Metcalf. I believe the reason Steppenwolf and so many other Chicago-based theatres have ensembles is because it creates a home for the actors in a city that is flooded with talented actors. In college, professors know who their actors are, and many times they will pick their season based on who they have in the program. This allows the actors to grow and be comfortable. This same idea is what makes being ensemble member at Red Tape work for me. Once you’re an ensemble member of a theatre, you’re able to work and act like a family and whether you have a huge disagreement or an off-night performance, you are able to just let it all go and be forgiven. Working on Obscura I'm blessed to be sharing the stage with three other ensemble members. The level of trust that normally develops through rehearsals is already established. I've worked with them before, I know them and there is an understanding of what we are trying to do in this play. I find myself being more creative when I'm in the room with these people, I can just be myself.


Nick Combs
Ensemble Member


Obscura runs Sep 13-Oct 13

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

First Look at Obscura!

This Sunday, September 12, ensemble members Nick Combs and Meghan Reardon performed a scene from Jennifer Barclay's Obscura at our Secret Agents Event!


video


Obscura runs Sep 23- Oct 23.
Tickets are available through our website!

Hammers, nail, and puppy dog tails!

If you build it they will come....and Kevin Costner isn't even a part of this. How exciting!

Chop saws and the smell of 2x4's and getting sawdust in my hair reminds me of my dad building things in the basement while I was growing up. and of Saturdays in high school...when all of us Drama Club Nerds would wake up early, head to the theatre, and work all day at set construction, creating this whole new world for us to play in....and on and under and around. I can't tell you how fortunate I feel having this constructive background in the pockets of my life-experience-tool-belt (whoa! cheese!) really, though....being adept at hammer-swinging has come in handy over and over again in my life as an actor.

And such was the case at Red Tape last week.

Since joining the ensemble back in June, I've helped out striking two different shows, but working on Bill Anderson's set for Obscura marked my first real construction with the company. And this, I love. Strike is always fun, seeing as how you get to just tear stuff apart and break things and generally show off your destructive prowess. . .

But building. building is a whole different beast.

When you're building a set you have to be specific, thoughtful, and patient. Luckily for me (and the actors in Obscura) our TD, Kyle Land is all of those things. Because, if the steps aren't all exactly the same height, the actors are going to trip every time they walk upstairs. If the platform you're putting ten feet in the air isn't secure, the actors could plummet to their DEATHS in the middle of act two! Well. probably not, but you get the idea. Kyle is a master builder, and it was loads of fun working with him. He kept me in line....mostly... It's just that there is a precision that comes with building an entire set that is simply exhilarating. If you put this riiiight here, and that riiiiight there, you suddenly stand back to see a looming monstrosity that you created with your own hands. It's part of the art of theatre that, as an actor, I think we tend to forget about. The set can often tell a story by itself. We actors, that are stomping around on it every night are just extras. With voices....

But the set.
The set creates a world for us to play in. It tells us so much about where we are, and who are and why we are. Even though I'm not acting in this production, being a creator of that world--knowing that the story wouldn't be the same without me. . . well, that is a pretty cool feeling.

soooooooooo. come see Obscura! It's like shake 'n bake...and I helped! but. with wood. and no chicken.

Amanda Reader
Ensemble Member

Obscura runs Sep 23- Oct 23.
Tickets are available through our website!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Casting Inside the Circle

A theatre company is its ensemble. The mentality that I have developed as a Casting Director for Red Tape Theatre Company is that we are nothing without the support of a core group of talented and respected artists. Red Tape is truly as exciting as ever, now adding to our ensemble after the successful production of The Love of the Nightingale. From my own point of view, this makes the casting process a more fruitful experience. I am able to continually work with our core group of actors to create a wonderful jumping off point in casting a production. Our ensemble’s reputation allows me to pull experienced outside actors, who have really honed the craft and see art the way Red Tape does. Red Tape encourages humility, hard work, and imagination. These values beat in the hearts of our ensemble.

The good thing is that I work with a lot of amazing artists, however from a Casting Director’s standpoint it can be quite difficult. There is no question that each production should have ensemble member in it. There is so much talent that it is sometimes hard to nail it down! Fortunately, collaboration between James Palmer, the ensemble, the director, the playwright and myself cuts a clearer path. Usually, in the beginning stages of choosing a play for the next season it is pretty clear of who is appropriate for what role.

An importance to the development of Red Tape is the artistic growth of each individual ensemble member. Upon joining Red Tape, I was surprised to hear that this was a responsibility of the company. I thought that it should be the ensemble’s responsibility to ensure the growth of the company. I quickly realized that artistic development of the ensemble parallels the successful development of a theatre company. This is one of the most significant aspects in casting an ensemble member.

I feel this sets us a part and makes our company special. When a role is appropriate for an ensemble member and stretches their skill level it benefits the individual while promoting the company’s mission to engage our audience in new ways and transcend the traditional.

Paige Sawin
Casting Director

Obscura runs Sep 23-Oct 23.
Tickets are available on our website!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A new role for Meghan Reardon

Hello all!

First-time blogger and company member Meghan Reardon here. I am lucky enough to play the role of Salvia in the lovely and peculiar world of Obscura, but I want to fill you in on my even newer role, Director of Loyalty and Retention here at Red Tape!

In addition to having the catchy acronym of DOLR, my job is to create new, exciting ways of turning our network into a community. Our plays have always engaged our audiences in different and unexpected ways and we want to take the same approach to getting to know each of you! Get geared up for a few special events we have planned for Obscura.

After each performance, you’ll have the opportunity to literally step into the world of the characters. Join cast and company members as they take you through a tour of the set. Explore where the characters live and give yourself the chance to see even more of this voyeuristic love story! And if you still don’t have enough Red Tape in your life, join us every Friday night during the run of the show at Brendan’s Pub immediately following the performance. Grab your play-going friends and a beverage of choice and get to know your friendly Red Tapers.

And there’s plenty more in store for everyone, all you have to do is be there. See you around the theatre!

Meghan Reardon
Ensemble Member

Obscura runs Sep 23-Oct 23.
Tickets are available on our website!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Meet Jennifer Barclay - Playwright of Obscura

Obscura was my thesis play at UC San Diego, where I recently earned my MFA.

I began writing Obscura while on a summer writing retreat in Paris. I sat at sidewalk cafes where all the chairs faced out for better people watching, and I people watched and wrote. But Obscura is the product of years of listening to my neighbors through walls and ceilings and floors in all my apartments across Chicago and San Diego. Listening to the neighbor below me bang on my floor when my sink started to flood his apartment, hearing the neighbors beside me hurl intimate insults, and feeling the weight of my neighbor’s death directly overhead. These were people who I knew intimately on one level, but for the most part I didn’t even know their names.




Jennifer Barclay
Playwright of Obscura

Obscura runs Sep 23- Oct 23.
Tickets are available on our website!

Meet Julieanne Ehre - Director of Obscura

As a city dweller, I’ve lived in multiple apartments where I’ve spent years listening to my neighbors -- sometimes in their most private moments -- without ever actually meeting them face to face. Despite being crammed into small units on top and underneath of one another, we often do not interact with the very people who we unwittingly share intimate moments of our lives.

Jennifer Barclay’s play, Obscura: A Voyeuristic Love Story, is a symphony of sounds colliding from the recesses of various units in an apartment building. I was drawn to the play because of Jennifer’s original voice and her unique and rhythmic use of language. But I’m most attracted to the deeper questions the play raises about our society. In a world of instant messaging and Facebook Friends, how have we simultaneously become more isolated and yet more intertwined by technology? With the “millennial” generation coming up in the age of the internet and reality television, what happens to the public vs. private dichotomy and how will this altered view of privacy shape our personal relationships and our culture?

I look forward to exploring these questions with all of you in this blog and at Red Tape’s production of this fantastic World Premiere play!

Julieanne Ehre
Director of Obscura

Obscura runs Sep 23- Oct 23.
Tickets are available on our website!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Red Tape Rockstar: Amanda Reader

August’s Red Tape Rockstar is ensemble member Amanda Reader!!!

Amanda recently joined the ensemble after her performance in the critically acclaimed Love of the Nightingale. This month Amanda has been working Box Office for Les Enfants Terrible, striking the Enfants’ set, spending day after day building the set for Obscura, and on top of that, she has taken the lead on a number of fundraising projects.

Amanda approaches her work with much thought and a positive attitude. That’s what makes her a Red Tape Rockstar!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Red Tape Announces 2010-2011 Season

Red Tape is proud to dedicate its seventh season to the exploration of the space between. We hope to shed light on the secrets and fears that keep people from making physical and spiritual connections. To that end, we journey to three imaginative worlds where the rules are obscured and the 'here and now' seems far away.
Get your tickets now for our upcoming productions!

Obscura: a voyeuristic love story
September 23 - October 23
World premiere
Tickets on sale now
Written by Jennifer Barclay
Directed by Julieanne Ehre


Red Tape proudly presents the world premiere of Jennifer Barclay's Obscura: a voyeuristic love story. Behind the walls of an aging apartment building, the reclusive neighbors' lives are being closely monitored. Amidst the Orwellian atmosphere, Ned invents a story to win his neighbor's heart. But the arrival of a stranger threatens to unveil their darkest secrets.

Featuring Ensemble Members Nicholas Combs, Lona Livingston, Robert L. Oakes, and Meghan Reardon



Church/Pullman, WA
January 26 - February 26
Chicago premiere
Written by Young Jean Lee
Directed by Jaclyn Biskup

One of the boldest voices in contemporary theater, playwright Young Jean Lee tackles two pivotal subjects: religion and self-esteem.

Church
This exuberant church service is a celebration designed to play with the expectations of religious and non-religious alike. It is an uplifting, joyous and inspirational event that may be Lee's most miraculous experiment to date.

Pullman, WA
Unhappy? Confused? Three ordinary, awkward characters, will make an earnest, frequently disastrous attempt show you how to live a better life.

Featuring Ensemble Members Robert L. Oakes and Meghan Reardon



Fresh Eyes Project
March 2011






Fresh Eyes Project is an incubator for new and experimental work. It focuses on the needs of playwrights, providing them with a director, actors, dramaturgical support and rehearsal space. Fresh Eyes is produced by Rebecca Stevens.



Chicago Fringe Artist Networking Night
April 2, 2011






CFANN is a one-night only celebration for artists, by artists. Artists of all disciplines and media showcase their work and network with other artists in the Chicago community. Food, drinks, friends, art - what more could you ask for?



Tragedy: A Tragedy
May 4 - June 4
Chicago Premiere

Written by Will Eno
Directed by Marti Lyons


The sun has set over streets, houses, government buildings and American backyards everywhere. The world is dark. A news team is on the scene. Nobody knows if the sun, once down, will ever rise again. But there is a witness, and the witness will speak.

Featuring Ensemble Members Vic May, Paul G. Miller, and Paige Sawin
Red Tape Theatre Company is committed to the creation of new and experimental work. Our ensemble collaborates with playwrights, musicians, dancers, and visual artists on our two mainstage productions. This work is supported by our Fresh Eyes Project playwrights workshop and the Chicago Fringe Artist Networking Night, both of which we produce annually. We are housed in St. Peter's Episcopal Church and our unique performance space allows us to continually reinevent the audience/artist relationship. Red Tape's plays invite our audiences to reimagine their world. We believe that theatre serves a vital purpose in our community: to arrest and create empathy.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Stub Hub

Throughout the years while performing for Les Enfants Terribles, many things have changed. People have left, changed sexes, lost and gained lumps, and even grew back a pair of legs. But for me, the one thing that has never and will never change is my physical position in the group. I am the one always looming in the background, my head popping up over this potatoey mass of lumps and beige. Upon creating my buffoon, we drifted towards things that we were uncomfortable with. Naturally, as being actors, we all like to be the center of attention, and I was no exception. So to counter that, I moved towards the back of the group, and anchored myself there, to stay. I have been called “the anchor” of group, and I definitely see why. My character, called “The Father”, treats these other buffoons as if they were his children. When the group is stuck and doesn’t know what to do, everyone looks at me just like if I WAS their dad, and they my kids.

The other noticeable thing about my buffoon is the stub arm. Losing an arm stemmed out of my lack of coordination and self-awareness of being so uncoordinated. It turned into a sort of therapy for me, because after being in this body and not being able to use of one of your arms, even for a short amount of time, has made me appreciate my body so much more. The stub is also a vessel of sorts, used to communicate with higher powers. I receive messages from “God”, and speak those messages to the group. It’s interesting that this channeling brings a second meaning to my character name. Want to see Les Enfants Terribles in all it’s potatoey, beige glory? Put on your tux, grab your sweetie, and come see Prom Night! to find out!

Christopher Paul Mueller
Les Enfants Terribles
Believe in Nothing, Mock Everything
July 16-August 14 at Red Tape Theatre

Monday, July 19, 2010

Opening Night Artwork

Happy Opening to Les Enfants Terribles and the entire cast and crew of Prom Night!

Paul G. Miller
Managing Director

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Lady Never Tells

I think it is important to realize that at one point in time, I used to be a man.

When I first started with Les Enfants, I was just as much a man as the rest of them. Of course, back then, we also had an actual woman in the group. After she left, it seemed almost necessary to have a woman because it opened up so much more to us both thematically and plot wise. When the idea was proposed that one of us should switch and be a woman, I was hesitant. Not only would I be changing my character that I had developed and worked on, but I’d be…well, changing my sex. Both of these issues I quickly resolved within myself and jumped on the opportunity (to have boobs.) It has been one of the more interesting characters that I have ever had to work on because the work is so emotionally open. And being a lady with five other buffoons is emotional work. However, I would not have it any other way. I have truly fallen in love with the character and the work that it has allowed me to do.

In my opinion, one of the most difficult aspects of this work is definitely building a strong ensemble. This is by far the most ensemble heavy work that I have ever done. You have to move together, look together, laugh together, spit together, think together, and feel together. It is essentially taking six guys in nude leotards and molding them into one giant clump of buffoon. The ensemble work is no doubt hard, but it truly completes the work.

Les Enfants is nothing without the support of a great audience. So please, grab a date, get something to wear, and come to prom with us.

Casey Kells
Les Enfants Terribles
Believe in Nothing, Mock Everything
July 16-August 14 at Red Tape Theatre

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

False Phallus

I'm the one with the big. . .thing.


Easy to identify, difficult to ignore and one of the oldest comedic prosthetics. But none of this came into the decision behind my buffoon's most prominent "lump." When the ensemble first began to work in this style of clowning, we were asked to draw where we initially thought our "lumps" would go. They are areas that resonate with sensitivity and insecurity, which the world scrutinizes. For one reason or another, I was personally drawn to symmetry, feeling that each place of vulnerability had a double on the other side. My lumps are the calves, genitals, hips, shoulders and ears. Though the false exaggeration of these areas physically offers protection, they are highlighted emotionally.


The emotional openness of this type of performance is easily the most difficult aspect. If we're doing it right, it's about completely dropping our defenses and letting everything in. It's a type of psychological state that is litterally unhealthy to live in day-to-day, as some semblance of emotional protection is simply necessary in the real world. But for the clown (or buffoon), we get the opportunity to create our own world where we can be absolutely vulnerable. While exhausting, the work is so rewarding and ultimately much more interesting to the audience to be invited into this world. Never before has the ensemble experienced the emotional stress that a full run of a show demands but I think I can speak for the group when I say we are all looking forward to it as a challenge.


The most integral part of this project is you. It will not exist without the support of new and veteran audience members alike. So get on rown paper tickets, choose a date, pick out your outfit and we'll see you at the show.















Scott Ray Merchant
Les Enfants Terribles
Believe in Nothing, Mock Everything
July 14-August 14 at Red Tape Theatre

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Behind the Bouffant

The modern clown is an ever growing influence on the Chicago theatre scene. Its influences affect actors, directors, and the final artistic product. And why shouldn’t it? The clown loves the audience and has an insatiable appetite for play that is infectious with spectators of all ages. The clowning tradition that Les Enfants Terribles follows takes a different approach. The buffoon disgusts the audience and its world of play emerges from an insatiable appetite to mock.

The buffoon is best recognized by his lumps and deformities that make him a parodied version of a human being. He is ostracized for his appearance and is fed with bitterness and relentlessness. These deformities may not to be admired, but they are the buffoon’s license to tell the truth - or at least his version of the truth. An ensemble of bouffant believe that they live in an ideal society. Their inner workings and relationships are to be highly respected. Coming from their model world, buffoons have observed our behaviors, they have seen our way of life, and they are noticing some glaring flaws. They recognize the absurdity of our belief in love, social norms, and a number of other pressing subjects that we refuse to diagnose objectively.

The buffoon acts as an agent of change by very simply presenting our world to us. Our behaviors are performed with comic antics that might be considered below skill, or wit, or competence of any kind. The jokes are those of a low jester, but the buffoon is to be admired for his cleverness and innate intelligence. Audiences slowly begin to approve of the buffoon and eventually learn to respect him and even begin to accept his appalling actions and appearance.

The bouffant tradition is centuries old and yet still resonates with audiences today. Its past is storied, its future is bright, and that is why we have chosen to be active members in paving the bouffant’s future. Won’t you join us?


Alex Kyger
Les Enfants Terribles
Believe in Nothing, Mock Everything
July 14-August 14 at Red Tape Theatre

Monday, June 14, 2010

Red Tapes Welcomes Four New Ensemble Members!

We're thrilled to announce Red Tape's newest ensemble members!

Carrie Drapac joined Red Tape Theatre after her involvement in their 2010 production of The Love of the Nightingale. She holds a B.F.A in Theatre from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, having focused on musical theatre in the CAP21 program and film acting at Stonestreet Studios. She has had the pleasure of working on a wide variety of projects ranging from devised theatre to feature length horror films. Carrie's favorite projects include a musical adaptation of the novel Hotel Sarajevo, silent short films about the Iraq War (Red, White and Blue) and metamorphosis (Tropism), and 1940's musical fluff Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Carrie is a personal trainer and co-founder/owner of Comfy Fitness. Currently, Carrie and her business partner are producing a kids' fitness television pilot.

Amanda Reader's first production with Red Tape Theatre was The Love of the Nightingale, in the spring of 2010, after which, she joined the ensemble. In Chicago, she was seen onstage in The Blessed Child, as part of Halcyon Theatre's Alcyone Festival and Sex Marks the Spot at the Theatre Building. She also performed in North Carolina Shakespeare Festival's productions of King Lear and Much Ado About Nothing (Ursula), and will be in Michigan Shakespeare Festival's Comedy of Errors (Luciana) and Romeo & Juliet (Juliet) during the summer of 2010. She has studied with Profiles Theatre, and also stage managed their production of The Mercy Seat. Amanda holds a BFA in Acting Performance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Meghan Reardon is a performer from Topeka, KS and is extremely proud to call herself a Red Tape Company member. She graduated in 2008 with a BA in Theatre and Dance from Knox College, where she received the Colton Prize for Performance and The Karger Award in Theatre Arts. In Chicago, she has performed in The Love of the Nightingale with Red Tape, Dumbspeak in the (a)Symmetry Cycle, SubUrbia with the Nine Chicago, Spectacle Lunatique with Redmoon (where she also served as a performance intern), The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie with Signal Ensemble, The Conduct of Life with Tooth and Nail Ensemble, A Hampstead Hooligan in King Arthur's Court with Chicago Dell'arte, Dracula and as part of the Objects in Motion festival at The Building Stage, and Frugal Love with The Moving Dock. She has studied at the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin, Ireland and has studied with the SITI Company and The Actor's Gymnasium. She holds a particular place in her heart for movement and ensemble-based performance. Meghan was the recipient of a 2009 CAAP Individual Artist Grant.

Kathleen Romond performed in Red Tape's 2010 production of The Love of The Nightingale. Other Chicago credits include; Blind Date and Talking Pictures as a part of The Horton Foote Festival at The Goodman Theatre. Regional Credits include; The Cherry Orchard and The Government Inspector at Milwaukee Repertory Theater. Kathleen was born and raised in Kentucky. She graduated from Interlochen Arts Academy High School in Michigan before hopping across the pond to Glasgow, Scotland where she received her BFA in Acting from The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. This winter Kathleen will be understudying Honey in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at Steppenwolf Theatre.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Ensemble Summer Projects

As Red Tape finalizes our 2010-2011 season our ensemble members are working on summer projects.

Nick Combs performs in Sketchbook with Collaboraction. June 10-27.

Red Tape trustee Eric Evenskaas performs improv with The Hamiltons at the Oracle Theatre. Thru June 18.

Errol McLendon performs in Point Break Live! at New Rock Theatre. Thru June 26.

Robert Oakes performs in After the Fall with Eclipse Theatre. July 7 to Aug 22.

More news to come!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Meet the Cast: Whitney Kraus

Where are you from?
Indianapolis, IN

What do you do when you're not performing?
Working at the Museum of Science and Industry, playing guitar/piano

What is your favorite moment in The Love of the Nightingale?
Procne's ultimate moment of standing up to Tereus. There's such power in it, especially in Kate's choices for the scene. It's heart rending, but it's the moment we sit waiting for the entire show. It's cathartic.

Any standout rehearsal moments?
The entire process has been awesome. This is a very different experience from many shows I've done in the past, and the real thought and passion that have gone into this production is inspiring. I'm exceedingly grateful to have the opportunity to play "fly on the wall" at rehearsals and really learn from such a talented group.

Final performances of The Love of the Nightingale are May 27-29.
Get your tickets through our website.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Story of Pandion: Meet John Rushing


Where are you from?

Corsicana, TX


What do you do when you're not performing?

Take care of my son, Jackson.


What is your favorite moment in The Love of the Nightingale?

Love when I dance with Niobe.


What's a fun fact about your character?

My character was a former ballroom dancer...kidding...he was a sailor and Olympic champ in the javilon.


Any standout rehearsal moments?

Favorite rehearsal moment, so far, was dancing in negative space.


Final performances of The Love of the Nightingale are May 27-29.

Get your tickets through our website.

The Story of Phaedra: Meet Amanda Reader

Where are you from?
Oswego, IL


What do you do when you're not performing?

I work at Trader Joe's. The one on Clybourn. Come visit, I'll show you where the olive oil is and let you try the sea salt brownies. Also, I recently acquired a mandolin...and I've been practicing. I know four chords, so... Look. Out. World.


What is your favorite moment in The Love of the Nightingale?

I don't want to spoil anything, but there is this tongue bit that i'm sure will end up being my favorite. On the other hand, there is the Bacchae festival. Which is, you might say, 'fun' as well.

Any standout rehearsal moments?

1. John's impeccably timed DROID phone call.

2. Carrie's impression of John's Bacchae dance.

3. Basically everything that comes out of James Palmer's mouth during notes. None of which I can type here.

4. Don Markus.


What's a fun fact about your character?

Phaedra simply refuses to let Love get the better of her.....wait.....right? Well, maybe not.


Final performances of The Love of the Nightingale are May 27-29.

Get your tickets through our website.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Myths on Stage: Unwanted Truths

"What is a myth? The oblique image of an unwanted truth, reverberating through time. And yet, the first, the Greek meaning of myth, is simply what is delivered by word of mouth, a myth is speech, public speech."
~ Timberlake Wertenbaker, The Love of the Nightingale


Red Tape Theatre held our Myths on Stage panel on May 16, 2010. Chicago artists who'd recently directed, dramaturged or adapted fresh adaptations of Greek myths shared their experience.

Gender politics were a common theme. Marti Lyons, dramaturge for The Love of the Nightingale, asked the audience to consider why some stories stay in our culture while others fade. Sociologists have suggested that destructive women like Medea, Electra and Phaedra are given more stage time today than victims of injustice like Iphigenia or Philomele. Timberlake Wertenbaker's script for Nightingale brings the sexual politics of the Philomele myth to the forefront as she and the women’s chorus repeatedly reject the men’s attempts to turn them into objects.

In a contrasting case Tim Speicher, Artistic Director of The State Theatre, combined the well remembered story of the martyr Antigone with the lesser known story of the fallen warrior Ajax. The stories were linked with the theme of burying the dead and what one does with the bodies of the disgraced. Dramaturge Sarah Sapperstein played the role of the Chorus in AjaxAntigone (pictured) as a single entity. In a time when Greek women were silent the Chorus was given the power to debate and challenge the political figures on stage.

The motive for retelling the myth was different for each panelist. For Thomas Murray's production of Living Quarters: After Hippolytus the myth was a gateway into a personal story of recovery from grief. For Cory Tamler the story of Iphigenia offered a lens onto a "What If" scenario" for contemporary US politics. For Tim Speicher there were universal truths to explore: "When audiences see characters who try to accomplish something they attach to them."

"But we cannot rephrase it for you. If we could, why would we trouble to show you the myth?"
~ Timberlake Wertenbaker, The Love of the Nightingale


The Love of the Nightingale is Jeff Recommended and runs through May 29.
Get your tickets through our website!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Story of Niobe: Meet Lona Livingston

What do you do when you're not performing?
Recently I've been reading scripts for Red Tape's next production. I'm a very proud Red Tape ensemble member.

What was a standout moment from rehearsal?
The 'aha!' moment in a scene. For an actor, when purpose and comprehension unite - whether it's for character development or simply a line reading - it's very exciting. It can be a long process at times.

What is your favorite part of The Love of the Nightingale?
Entering the theatre before performances and seeing some very young actors prepare for the production. Their focus and commitment, even if they have very small speaking roles, is obvious.

The Love of the Nightingale is Jeff Recommended and runs through May 29.
Get your tickets through our website.

Press for "The Love of the Nightingale"

Read what the critic's are saying about The Love of the Nightingale.

"...a whirling dervish of Greek mythology, atmospheric tension and a futuristic, fully immersive, hyperstylized theatricality...

"Director and lighting designer James Palmer and his first-rate design team (including William Anderson on sets and Ricky Lurie on costumes) have conjured up a strange steam-punk universe of mannequins and dystopian violence."

"The heart and soul of the piece belong to Romond and Reardon...
It's a helluva performance."



Palmer's production is stunning, with images and scenes of immense power and thrilling theatricality.

Full credit should go to the cast, an eye-popping 23, who commit fully to a challenging script and complex staging.



"James Palmer's stylish production traps us in the midst of the action, with scenic designer William Anderson creating a smartly enclosed environment"

"...lead trio Meghan Reardon, Kate Romond and Vic May bring remarkable honesty and nuance..."



"Red Tape's Love of the Nightingale was refreshing, bizarre, and remarkably resonant."

"Palmer and his enormous cast explode the story into life, ripping it from its ancient Greek context and filling it with anachronism and theatricality."

"The dream team of designers Palmer amassed has concocted a marvelous world."

"Romond's tortured Procne is excellent... we're entranced by her struggle."

"If Red Tape keeps churning out work like this, they'll become a tiger of the storefront scene."



"a solid contender for 2010's most promising addition to Chicago's off-Loop theater community."




The Love of the Nightingale
is Jeff Recommended and runs through May 29.
Get your tickets through our website!

Myths on Stage: Time and Place

Red Tape Theatre held our "Myths on Stage" panel on May 16, 2010. Chicago artists who'd recently directed, dramaturged or adapted fresh adaptations of Greek myths shared their stories.

Jeremy Menekseoglu, Artistic Director of Dream Theatre, was relieved by the lack of "columns and togas" in the featured productions. Dream's Electra (running through June 6), the centerpiece of their Agon Trilogy, aims to break audience barriers the instant the door opens. A death-day party kicks off for the late king Agamemnon, with the king's head as a centerpeace. Jeremy added that audiences come to Greek tragedy's "knowing how it will end." Dream's adaptations find the surprises before the endings and examine the characters psychology through a modern lens.

Time and Place was universal for The State Theatre's mash-up of AjaxAntigone. They were very specific for Cory Tamler's Effie which set Iphigenia in a post-apocolyptic U.S.A. and for Thomas Murray's production of Bryan Friel's Living Quarters: after Hippolytus set in modern Ireland.

The State Theatre's dramaturge, Sarah Sapperstein, stated that Greek myths offer us countless ways to retell them for our own use and relevance. Tamler's Effie shifted the focus of Iphigenia from the father to the daughter. Friel's Living Quarters uses the Hippolytus myth as an entry point, focusing on the families attempts to heal in the aftermath. The same story can be told through a new perspective, whether to focus on politics, gender, family or passion.

Electra runs at Dream Theatre through June 6.

Red Tape's The Love of the Nightingale is Jeff Recommended.
We run through May 29.
Get your tickets through our website.

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Story of Tereus: Meet Vic May

What do you do when you're not performing?
I am a recent graduate from massage therapy school and am presently waiting tables while I await my license approval. So come on in to Chicago's Pizza on Montrose for lunch some time. I'll be the guy in all black taking your drink orders and bringing you insanely over-portioned servings of Italian food.

What was a standout moment from rehearsal?

The first time all the components came together on stage; lights, music, set and performances the place was electric. It really made all the hard work worthwhile. That, and Kate not being able to look me in the eye on stage without cracking up.


What is your favorite part of The Love of the Nightingale?

Working with such an amazing ensemble. These people bring it every night regardless of audience or fatigue. They take a challenging script and bring out the poetry and nuance that makes this a great show.

The Love of the Nightingale is Jeff Recommended!

We run May 3-29.

Get your tickets through our website.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Myths on Stage: Meet Panelist Marti Lyons

Myths on Stage
Sunday, May 16
following the 3:00pm matinee of The Love of the Nightingale.

Paul G. Miller hosts a panel of Chicago artists who discuss the process of adapting Greek myths to the modern stage.


Panelists include:

Jeremy Menekseoglu - Artistic Director, Dream Theatre Company.

Thomas Murray - Director, Strangeloop Theatre.

Sarah Sapperstein - Dramaturge.

Tim Speicher - Artistic Director, the State Theatre.

Cory Tamler - Playwright.


and:

Marti Lyons – Dramaturge, The Love of the Nightingale.

Marti is currently serving as Literary Apprentice at Steppenwolf Theatre and just finished directing Prayers as part of the Ripped festival for American Blues Theater and Piven Theatre. Recently, Marti assistant directed directed Underground for Rhino Fest at the Prop Thtr, assistant directed The Pillowman with Kimberly Senior, dramaturged City Lights Receding at Red Tape as part of the Fresh Eyes Project, directed a staged reading of Lima Beans for Teatro Luna and directed The Conduct of Life with Tooth and Nail Ensemble. This past year Marti assistant directed Oedipus with Sean Graney and also spent time assisting in the casting office at Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Next, Marti will direct Laura Eason's contribution to The Silver Project at American Theatre Company, attend the Lincoln Center Director's Lab and direct a reading of A Lover's Dismantling for Urban Theater Company as part of the Latino Theater Festival at The Goodman. Marti is a graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University.


The Love of the Nightingale is Jeff Recommended!

We run May 3-29.

Get your tickets through our website.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Les Enfants Terribles returns!

Les Enfants Terribles
return to Red Tape

Monday May 24 at 8:00pm


An audience favorite at CFANN 2010, Les Enfants Terrible's mission is to create improvisation, song, and the constant development of new games to challenge and entertain audiences. As an ensemble of buffoons, Les Enfants Terribles draws from equal parts clown, commedia, and flash performance. Through this unique worold of play all six members cling to one another as one mind and body which forces each buffoon to juggle complicity with themselves, fellow ensemble members, and audiences.


Seats are limited and selling quickly.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Story of the Captain: Meet Nick Combs

What do you do when you're not performing?
I enjoy T.V. A near perfect night would be sitting at home watching Forensic Files on Court TV with my two cats and lovely girl friend along with a large pizza.


What was a standout moment from rehearsal?

Our first rehearsal. The energy in that room was so powerful. It really set the tone of this piece. Where the company is now compared to where it was a year ago is unbelievable! I am so proud to be a company member!


What is your favorite part of The Love of the Nightingale?

The power the ensemble has to take the audience each night on this amazing, complex journey and not let them go until we are ready.


The Love of the Nightingale is Jeff Recommended!

We run May 3-29.

Get your tickets through our website!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Myths on Stage: Meet Panelist Tim Speicher

Myths on Stage
Sunday, May 16

following the 3:00pm matinee of The Love of the Nightingale.

Paul G. Miller hosts a panel of Chicago artists who discuss the process of adapting Greek myths to the modern stage.

Panelists include:
Marti Lyons - Dramaturge, The Love of the Nightingale at Red Tape
Jeremy Menekseoglu - Artistic Director, Dream Theatre Company.
Thomas Murray - Director, Strangeloop Theatre.
Sarah Sapperstein - Dramaturge.
Cory Tamler - Playwright.

and:

Tim Speicher - Artistic Director, The State Theatre. Tim holds a B.A. in Theatre and Drama from Indiana University. He has directed A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Island (Indiana University) Immigrant Stories (Chicago Children's Theatre at Jane Addams Hull House), Moby Dick... Rehearsed and AjaxAntigone (The State Theatre), was Company Manager and appeared as Alonso in The African Tempest Project (Hexagon Theatre, Kwazula Natal, South Africa) and Assistant Directed The Red Kite Project (Chicago Children's Theatre). He has written Southern Hopitality, Crowbar, Thirty-Eight, Heat in the Kitchen and now AjaxAntigone. Tim had internships with Indiana Repertory Theatre and Goodman Theatre, a fellowship with American Theatre Company, and is currently employed as the Marketing Associtate for Chicago Children's Theatre.


The Love of the Nightingale is Jeff Recommended!
We run May 3-29.
Get your tickets through our website.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Myths on Stage: Meet Panelist Sarah Sapperstein

Myths on Stage
Sunday, May 16,
following the 3:00pm matinee of The Love of the Nightingale.


Paul G. Miller hosts a panel of Chicago directors and playwrights who discuss the process of adapting Greek myths to the modern stage.

Panelists include:
Marti Lyons - Dramaturge, The Love of the Nightingale at Red Tape
Jeremy Menekseoglu - Artistic Director, Dream Theatre Company

Thomas Murray - Director, Strangeloop Theatre

Tim Speicher – Artistic Director, State Theatre

Cory Tamler - Playwright


and:


Sarah Sapperstein, Dramaturge. Sarah holds a dual degree in musical theatre and Classicaland Near Eastern language, literature, and archaeology from the Univ.of Redlands, in southern California. Her academic focuses includecosmogony, archaeological representations of literary figures, comparative text analysis and translation bias, and contemporary retellings of Classical drama and epic. Since 2005, Sarah has been apart of over 30 theatre and musical theatre projects and premieresthroughout Chicagoland, and performed in Univ. of Detroit's productionof The Bacchae on their 2009 summer tour of Greece. In hernon-existent free time, Sarah enjoys road trips, culinary adventure,and healthcare advocacy.


Sarah will be discussing her work with AjaxAntigone at The State Theatre.


The Love of the Nightingale is Jeff Recommended!

It runs May 3-29.

Get your tickets through our website.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Story of Aphrodite: Meet Whitney Green

Where are you from?
Detroit, Michigan

What do you do when you're not performing?
Intern/assistant teacher with Emerald City Theatre School, and bartending at Uberstein.

What is your favorite moment in The Love of the Nightingale?
I have so many favorite moments of the show its hard to pick. One I especially love is the in the beginning when the soldiers enter and fight. The atmosphere on stage is so energized and exciting, our cast of twenty feels like a hundred. I know the audience feeds on the energy and anticipate the powerful things to come.

Any standout rehearsal moments?
I really enjoy the artistic visions of everyone working on the show, and watching how they collaborate and bring their ideas together. I'm very excited to continue work and be part of the final product.

What's a fun fact about your character?
In Greek mythology, Aphrodite is the goddess of love, but her love for Hippolytus was not returned, so she used her power to destroy him. Although it is a small part in the play within the play, it serves as a reminder of the disastrous effects of trying to force love and covet a person's affection. Just like Phaedra (in the play within) andTereus with Philomele.

The Love of the Nightingale is Jeff Recommended!
We run May 3-29.
Get your tickets through our website.

Myths on Stage: Meet Panelist Cory Tamler

Myths on Stage
Sunday, May 16



following the 3:00pm matinee of The Love of the Nightingale.





Paul G. Miller hosts a panel of Chicago directors and playwrights who discuss the process of adapting Greek myths to the modern stage.


Panelists include:
Marti Lyons - Dramaturge, The Love of the Nightingale at Red Tape

Jeremy Menekseoglu - Artistic Director, Dream Theatre Company


Thomas Murray - Director, Strangeloop Theatre


Sarah Sapperstein - Dramaturge



Tim Speicher – Artistic Director, State Theatre



and:
Cory Tamler. Cory Tamler has been Chicago-based since November 2009, where her playwriting projects include Eighty-Four in Collaboraction's Sketchbook X (coming in June!), Effie (a new ensemble-created adaptation of Iphigenia) with The Neapolitans, and the 2010 Fresh Eyes Project with Red Tape Theatre. She hails from Pittsburgh, where her produced work includes The Funeral, a one-act based on Euripides' The Trojan Women, with the Pittsburgh New Works Festival. Cory will be spending the summer in Maine working as the resident playwright on a collaboration between Open Waters Theatre Arts and three local farms, and will then head to Berlin for a year on a Fulbright scholarship to study the text/performance relationship in German theatre.



Effie, a retelling of Euripides' Iphigenia, runs April 22-May 9. What if peace could be guaranteed by the sacrifice of one human life? What if the life were yours?




Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays @ 7:30pm, Sundays @ 3:00pm at the EP Theater.


The Love of the Nightingale is Jeff Recommended!
It runs May 3-29.
Get your tickets through our website.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Story of a Soldier: Meet Shane Brady

Where are you from?

I'm from Palm Harbor, Florida. It's about 30 minutes or so southwest of Tampa. I grew up along the beach and I miss my dogs and the water more than anything!



What do you do when you're not performing?


I work at Grand Lux downtown, that's my day job. However in my spare time I love playing guitar or writing.



What is your favorite moment in The Love of the Nightingale?


*** Highlight for spoiler *** When they pull the tongue out!!!! *** End spoiler ***



Any standout rehearsal moments?


My favorite rehearsal moment has been punching Don in his face night after night.



What's a fun fact about your character?


Since he's a soldier, I have decided that he loves to listen to Eminem.



The Love of the Nightingale is Jeff Recommended!

Performances run May 3-29.

Get your tickets through our website.