Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-12-08
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor


  WINDY CITY TIMES

THEATER REVIEW 29th Annual Young Playwrights Festival
by Scott C. Morgan, Windy City Times
2016-01-13

This article shared 4583 times since Wed Jan 13, 2016
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Playwrights: Myka Buck, Brian Hayes and Keauna Pierce. At: Pegasus Theatre Chicago at Chicago

Dramatists, 1105 W. Chicago Ave. Tickets: 773-878-8864 or www.pegasustheatrechicago.org; $18-$30

Runs through Jan. 23

You might wonder about the winners of youth playwriting competitions. Do the victors truly represent the best of young writers, or are the judging committee selections more reflective of what adults think that students should be writing about?

This question comes to mind watching Pegasus Theatre Chicago's 29th Annual Young Playwrights Festival. Three short plays were selected for production from 500 submissions by Chicago Public Schools students writing around the 2015 theme of "expectations."

Myka Buck of Kenwood Academy took her inspiration from a friend in her school's gay-straight alliance for her dramatically underdeveloped Our Little Secret. It focuses on a high school senior nicknamed Tommy ( Danielle Rennalls ) who weighs whether or not to come out as a lesbian to her religious mother, Tracey ( Shadana Patterson ).

As with any coming-out story, the unknown parental response causes a lot of insecurity. But Buck tips her hand toward a happy outcome by featuring Tommy's supportive lesbian friend named Chrissie ( Brenann Stacker ) who is already accepted by Tracey. Tommy also gets support for her relationship with Onya ( Erica Pezza ) from her incarcerated father ( Chris Cinereski ).

The subject matter of Our Little Secret might be brave for a high school student, but Buck's script doesn't mine the possible high drama of the situation. The actors under the direction of Lavinia Jadhwani also don't rise to the occasion to flesh out the characters' conflicted feelings.

Much more successful is The Adventures of FeRB by Brian Hayes of Taft High School, which pokes fun at high school cliques of goths, nerds and B-boy dancers. Named after elements on the periodic table, a scientifically minded transfer student called FeRB ( a sunny Chris Acevedo ) tries to find a group to fit into, only to be repeatedly thwarted by the omnipresent Bradley ( a sly Eric G. Walter, who is also, oddly, on crutches ).

Director Jason Fleece finds the perfect satiric tone plus a speedy wackiness to bring Hayes' comic tale to life. You can also see how the cast including Stacker, Pezza and Will Kiley all clearly relish playing such cartoonish teenager types.

The final winning play, A Cup of Souls and One Grim Reaper, Please by Keauna Pierce of Lane Tech High School, feels like a throwback to last year's competition theme of "something wicked interferes." Pierce's play is about a newly appointed grim reaper ( Cinereski ) who botches his first soul reclamation, much to the dissatisfaction of the Devil ( Kiley ) and his giggly minions.

It's an interesting premise which allows director Ilesa Duncan to produce some interesting staging ideas. But ultimately Pierce's play feels a tad undercooked with a far-too-easy solution.

This year's selections for the Young Playwrights Festival sometimes made you question whether you were seeing the best of the best. But as with any artistic competition, it's all truly subjective.


This article shared 4583 times since Wed Jan 13, 2016
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

THEATER "The world keeps spinnin' 'round and 'round" for Andrew Levitt in Hairspray 2022-01-28
- "Welcome to the '60s," where psychedelic fashions ruled and mini-skirts were everywhere. Soul music gained a strong voice while segregation separated the dance floors. John Waters' original 1988 film Hairspray displayed drag diva Divine as mother ...


Gay News

THEATER August Wilson's 'Gem of the Ocean' at Goodman through Feb. 27 2022-01-28
- Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St., is staging a major revival of August Wilson's Gem of the Ocean—nearlytwo decades after the play premiered on the same stage. It's directed by longtime resident director Chuck Smith, who ...


Gay News

DANCE Alvin Ailey company at Auditorium Theatre on March 2-6 2022-01-28
- Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater returns to stages on a coast-to-coast national tour starting Jan. 28 in Philadelphia; kicking off Black History Month at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 1; and traveling to ...


Gay News

Victory Gardens presents reading of 'exercise your demons,' a play on trauma of a gay male body 2022-01-26
-- From a press release - CHICAGO, IL — Victory Gardens Theater presents the Ignite Chicago reading of exercise your demons: a play on the trauma of a gay male body written by Gage Tarlton and directed by Ryan Dobrin, with movement ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW The Moors 2022-01-26
- Title: The Moors. Playwright: Jen Silverman At: A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N. Wells St. Tickets: $30-$40; ARedOrchidTheatre.org. Runs through: Feb. 27 "I've been employed in many houses," declares newly hired Emily, following her arrival at ...


Gay News

Hell in a Handbag Productions presenting 'The Drag Seed' 2022-01-24
-- From a press release - CHICAGO (January 24, 2022) — Hell in a Handbag Productions is pleased to continue its 20th anniversary season with a revival of its popular comedy The Drag Seed, an unauthorized parody of the 1956 psychological horror-thriller ...


Gay News

PASSAGES Pansy Kings performance artist, education advocate Murray McKay 2022-01-20
- Pansy Kings performance artist, education advocate, curator, designer and LGBTQ activist Edward Murray McKay died Jan. 4 of cancer. He was 53. McKay was born Oct. 2, 1968, in Brussels, Belgium. The family moved to Toronto ...


Gay News

THEATER Red Orchid's 'The Moors' running through Feb. 27 2022-01-15
- A Red Orchid Theatre is running Jen Silverman's The Moors, directed by Artistic Director and Ensemble Member Kirsten Fitzgerald, through Feb. 27 at A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N. Wells St. The plot is as follows: ...


Gay News

THEATER About Face announces cast of queer-themed 'Laced' 2022-01-14
- About Face Theatre begins its 27th season with the world premiere of Samantha Mueller's drama Laced, running March 17-April 16 at the Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave. Set in the aftermath of the vandalism of ...


Gay News

Black Ensemble Theatre announces 2022 Season of Excellence: The Season of Healings 2022-01-14
-- From a press release - Chicago, IL—Black Ensemble Theater's Founder and CEO Jackie Taylor announces its 2022 Season of Excellence: The Season of Healings. The 2022 Season includes four World Premiere musicals showcasing the power ...


Gay News

THEATER DuSable, puppet company to run Toni Morrison's 'The Bluest Eye' 2022-01-13
- The DuSable Museum of African American History is partnering with the 4th Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival to present a production of The Bluest Eye, based on Toni Morrison's 1970 groundbreaking coming-of-age novel. The production will ...


Gay News

THEATER 'This Is Only a Test' Feb. 11-March 12 2022-01-12
- Broken Nose Theatre, a pay-what-you-can theater company, is welcoming back live audiences this winter with the world premiere of Eric Reyes Loo's drama This Is Only a Test, directed by Toma Tavares Langston. The production will ...


Gay News

THEATER Queer-themed 'Queen of the Night' to run Jan. 29-March 13 2022-01-11
- Victory Gardens Theater is slated to open its 2021-22 Mainstage Season with Queen of the Night, written by travis tate and directed by Victory Gardens Artistic Director Ken-Matt Martin. Queen of the Night features Terry Guest ...


Gay News

THEATER 'Mary Rose' running through Feb. 12 2022-01-10
- Black Button Eyes (BBE) Productions is concluding its 2021-22 season with the world-premiere musical Mary Rose, featuring book and lyrics by Producing Artistic Director Ed Rutherford, music and lyrics by Jeff Bouthiette, direction by Ed Rutherford ...


Gay News

THEATER 'Queens of Infinite Space' canceled because of COVID 2022-01-07
- With the increase in COVID-19 cases in Chicago and beyond, Proboscis Theatre has decided to cancel the performances of The Queens of Infinite Space set to run at Epiphany Center for Arts, 201 S. Ashland Ave., ...


 



Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.