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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-02-22



Neo-futurists present feminist play for accidental feminists
From a press release

This article shared 2243 times since Fri Apr 12, 2013
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CHICAGO — The women of The Neo-Futurarium get "dirt in the skirt" with The Miss Neo Pageant. The show opens Monday, May 20 at 7:30 p.m. at The Neo-Futurarium, 5153 N. Ashland.

The Miss Neo Pageant smashes the traditional American beauty pageant form with real stories of fully-grown girls stumbling into womanhood. The delightfully offbeat contestants walk the fine line between female rivalry and alliance, vying to become fully-realized adults in a world without winners.

Megan Mercier states, "There is a curious way that girls are taught to engage with one another for the benefit of girls at large: Girl Scouts, sports, dance classes, sororities. They all promote competition, rivalry and comparison more than unity. Also, while women are catching up, their ability to move fluidly through systems and structures is inhibited by the ways in which they choose not to conform. We have a generation of women who came of age in the late 80s through the 90s, during prime "Girl Power!" time. We were told that we could do anything in spite of our gender, that anything was possible, and so we expected it. The problem is that it wasn't true."

Megan Mercier (Creator) is a Chicago-based writer, performer, actor, and current Artistic Director at The Neo-Futurists. A graduate of Columbia College Chicago, Megan joined The Neo-Futurists ensemble in 2008, with whom she performs regularly in Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind. Other Neo credits include Picked Up, Crisis: A Musical Game Show, Assistant Director for Burning Bluebeard and a smattering of Film Fest shows. Her work has been featured around town in a variety of events including Write Club, The Paper Machete, 2ndStory, The Encyclopedia Show & The Jukebox Show. She has trained at The Second City and iO. Megan was recently seen on film in Tiger Tail in Blue and the fully-improvised web comedy-series-turned-indie-pilot Shrink.

Stephanie Shaw (Director) has performed her own original solo work in theaters across Chicago and the Midwest, as well as The New York Fringe Festival. An alumni member of The Neo-Futurists, she wrote and performed regularly for Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind, from 1995-1999. As a performer she has appeared in numerous Chicago area theaters as well as acting as a theatre critic for The Chicago Reader. She has directed shows for Oak Park Festival Theatre, Live Bait, The Neo-Futurarium, The New York Fringe, and Broutil and Frothingham. She has also directed several musicals for Columbia College Chicago, where she is a senior lecturer in the theatre department. Her novella, "Mademoiselle Guignol," was included on New York editor Ellen Datlow's list of honorable mentions for best horror stories of the year. You can find the novella in the anthology, Tattered Souls 2, by Cutting Block Press. She is a founding member of BoyGirlBoyGirl.

The all female cast/writing staff includes: Megan Mercier; Jessica Anne, a Neo-Futurist ensemble member who has performed in A Very Neo-Futurist Christmas Carol and Analog; Tif Harrison, a Neo-Futurist ensemble member who recently directed Analog; Molly Plunk who has been seen in the Neo-Futurist productions of Crisis: The Musical Game Show and Burning Bluebeard; and Leah Urzendowski Courser, a Neo-Futurist ensemble member who was seen in Burning Bluebeard and also performs with 500 Clown and Redmoon Theatre.

The all female production staff includes: Nicci Schumacher (Scenic and Props Designer), Jill Bowarchuk (Lighting Designer), Lara Miller (Costume Designer), Claudette Perez (Sound Designer) and Maggie Fullilove-Nugent (Production Manager). Rachel Staelens serves as Stage Manager.


The Neo-Futurists, performers of Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind and creators of over 60 other original, full-length productions, are a collective of wildly productive writer/director/performers who create immediate, non-illusory, interactive performance presented at head-slappingly affordable prices.

The Neo-Futurists are partially supported by the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, Alphawood Foundation, Arts Work Fund for Organizational Development, Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelly Foundation, The MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation and a CityArts grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events..

The Miss Neo Pageant

Created by Megan Mercier

Directed by Stephanie Shaw

Previews: Thursday, May 16 through Saturday, May 18 at 7:30 p.m.

Opening Night: Monday, May 20, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.

Performances continue through June 22: Thurs/Fri/Sat at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $20, $10 for students/seniors with ID, or

pay-what-you-can on Thursdays.

All performances take place at The Neo-Futurarium, 5153 N. Ashland

For tickets or information, visit or call 773-275-5255.

This article shared 2243 times since Fri Apr 12, 2013
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