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Victory Gardens to present world premiere of Cocked by Sarah Gubbins
From a press release

This article shared 9841 times since Tue Jan 12, 2016
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Chicago, IL— Victory Gardens Theater continues its 41st season with the World Premiere of Cocked by Sarah Gubbins, directed by Victory Gardens Theater Associate Artistic Producer Joanie Schultz. Cocked runs February 12 — March 13, 2016 with the press performance on Friday, February 19, 2016, at 7:30pm at Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue.

The cast of Cocked includes Patrese D. McClain, Kelli Simpkins and Mike Tepeli. The creative team includes Chelsea M. Warren ( scenic design ), Janice Pytel ( costume design ), Sarah Hughey ( lighting design ), Thomas Dixon ( sound design ), Sam Hubbard ( fight direction ), Tina M. Jach ( Stage Manager ) and Isaac Gomez ( dramaturgy ).

"I can't think of a better home for the world premiere of Sarah Gubbins' witty, complex, and thought-provoking new play," said Victory Gardens Theater Artistic Director Chay Yew. "When I read this play two years ago, when looking for works to be part of our annual IGNITION Festival of New Plays, I was struck by Sarah's extraordinary ability to write a thrilling piece of theater, while asking the tough question: 'What would it take for you to own a gun today?'"

Attorney Taylor and her journalist girlfriend Izzie live a comfortable life in Andersonville. Their apartment, relationship, and strong anti-gun beliefs are shattered when Taylor's troubled brother Frank crashes, uninvited, into their lives. As secrets and betrayals rise to the surface, the line between self-defense and safety is blurred. Cocked, a timely world premiere thriller from Chicago playwright Sarah Gubbins and directed by Victory Gardens Theater Associate Artistic Producer Joanie Schultz ( Rest, The Whale ), returns to Victory Gardens after gripping audiences at the 2014 IGNITION Festival of New Plays.

About the Artists

Sarah Gubbins ( Playwright ) Plays include Fair Use, The Drinking Problem, The Kid Thing ( Jeff Award 2012 and Edgarton Foundation New American Play Award 2011 ), fml: how Carson McCullers saved my life, and Cocked. Her plays have been produced at the Steppenwolf Theatre, Actor's Express, 7 Stages, About Face Theatre and Chicago Dramatists, among others. Her plays have been developed at the Public Theater, New York Theater Workshop, The Atlantic Theater, The Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theater, The Plawrights' Center, Center Theatre Group, O'Neill Theatre Center, the Lark, and Berkeley Rep's Ground Floor, among others. She has been a Carl J. Djerassi Fellow and Jerome Fellow. She has been commissioned by Steppenwolf Theatre, DePaul University, and the Actors Theater of Louisville. She is a proud Core Writer at The Playwrights' Center and a member of gender parity advocacy group, The Kilroys. She holds a M.F.A. from Northwestern University. She is currently living in Los Angeles.

Joanie Schultz ( Director ) is the Associate Artistic Producer at Victory Gardens Theater. Victory Gardens Theater: The Whale, Rest. Chicago: Venus in Fur ( Goodman Theatre ); A Small Fire, The Cheats, Martyr, Luther ( Steep Theatre ); The Kid Thing ( About Face Theatre/Chicago Dramatists ); The Girl in the Yellow Dress ( Next Theatre ); Northanger Abbey ( Remy Bumppo Theatre ); Bruise Easy ( American Theater Company ); Spinning ( Irish Theatre Chicago ); Yankee Tavern ( American Blues Theatre ); Neighborhood 3 ( Strawdog ); The Hundred Flowers Project ( Silk Road Rising ), fml: how Carson McCullers Saved My Life ( Steppenwolf for Young Adults ); 2013 Co-Artistic Curator for Theater on the Lake. Opera: Bluebeard's Castle, Der Kaiser von Atlantis, Acis and Galatea, Carmen. Fellowships: Leadership U One-on-One Fellowship funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and administered by TCG, Drama League Fellowship, The Goodman Theatre's Michael Maggio Directing Fellowship, SDCF Denham Fellowship, Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab. MFA in Directing ( Northwestern University ). Ensemble Member: Steep Theatre. Theater Faculty Member: Columbia College, University of Chicago.

Patrese D. McClain ( Izzie ) Things You Shouldn't Say Past Midnight ( Windy City Playhouse ); White Guy On The Bus ( Northlight, Jeff Nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress 2015 ); Tartuffe, Misanthrope, Spunk ( Court Theatre, Jeff Nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress for Spunk, 2011 ); August Wilson Celebration: Piano Lesson ( Goodman/Fleetwood-Jourdain ). Regional: Two Trains Running ( Geva Theatre Center ); Crumbs From The Table Of Joy ( Mustard Seed ), For Colored Girls, No Child... ( Black Rep, St. Louis Circle Theatre Award for Best Actress for No Child… 2013 ). TV: "Chicago Fire," "Sirens," "Detroit 1-8-7." Patrese is the Executive Director of Pure ART, a company member of Collaboraction Theatre, and a resident teaching artist with Court Theatre.

Kelli Simpkins ( Taylor ) Original creator/performer of The Laramie Project ( Off-Broadway, Denver Center, Berkeley Rep., La Jolla Playhouse ). Chicago: Spill ( Timeline, Swine Palace ); Teddy Ferrara ( Goodman Theatre ); The Kid Thing ( Chicago Dramatists, Jeff Nomination for Principle Actor 2011 ); Pony ( About Face ); In Darfur ( Timeline ); Late: A Cowboy Song ( Piven ); The Laramie Tour: TLP & TLP Epilogue, Celebrity Row ( American Theater Company ); Fair Use, Good Boys and True, One Arm ( Steppenwolf ); Execution of Justice ( About Face ). Regional: The People's Temple ( The Guthrie, Perseverance and Berkeley Rep. ); I Think I Like Girls ( Cherry Lane Theater/La Jolla Playhouse ). Film/TV: A League of Their Own, Chasing Amy, "Betrayal," "Empire," "Law & Order: CI," "The Laramie Project" ( Emmy nomination: Ensemble Writing ). Recipient of the Chicago 3Arts Award.

Mike Tepeli ( Frank ) Last Train to Nibroc ( Haven ); Great Expectations ( Strawdog ); The Original Grease, It's A Wonderful Life: The Radio Play ( American Theatre Company ); Burnt Part Boys ( Griffin ); Big River, Elephant Man ( BoHo ). Regional: Troilus and Cressida ( Taffety Punk ).

Full Performance Schedule

Previews of Cocked are February 12-18, 2016. Previews are $15-$40. The Press opening is Friday, February 19 at 7:30pm. Regular performances run February 20 — March 13, 2016: Tuesday — Friday at 7:30pm; Saturday at 3pm and 7:30pm; Sunday at 3:00pm. Regular performances are $15-$60.

Performances are at the Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue, in the heart of Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood. For tickets and information, call the Victory Gardens Box Office, 773.871.3000, email, or visit . Ask the Box Office about student tickets ( $15 ), senior, Access, $20 under 30, and rush discounts. For group discounts, call 872.817.9087.

Accessible Performances

ASL Interpreted performance: Friday, February 26 at 7:30pm

Word for Word ( Open Captioning ): Friday, February 26 at 7:30pm. Saturday, February 27 at 3:00pm, and Wednesday, March 2 at 2:00pm

Audio Description: Friday, February 26 at 7:30pm ( Touch tour at 6:00pm ), Sunday, March 6 at 3:00pm ( Touch tour at 1:30pm )

Public Programs

A full and updated schedule of special events, post-show discussions and presentations centered on performances of Cocked is available at . All events are free unless otherwise noted. For more information, call 773.871.3000 or visit the Victory Gardens website.

Public Programs is an event series designed to enhance audience experience by exploring themes and issues within Victory Gardens' productions. Connecting our theater to the world beyond the stage and rehearsal room, Public Programs bridge ideas, provoke dialogue, and deepen the relationship between our audiences and our productions.


Post-Show Conversation

After every performance of Cocked ( unless otherwise noted )

Join us for one of our intimate post-show conversations. Led by members from the Victory Gardens community—artistic affiliates, subscribers, Artistic staff, Teen Arts Council members, The Council of Community Leaders, and community partners— reflect on what you've seen and share your response.

February 4 | Thursday| 7:00 pm


From reading a first draft to opening night, new plays are changing and evolving. What does the collaborative process look like with a living playwright in the rehearsal room? Get a first-hand look at what it takes to realize Sarah Gubbins' Cocked at this open rehearsal kick-off party with playwright Sarah Gubbins and director Joanie Schultz. Then, enjoy a complimentary party and mingle with the cast and creative team to get the inside scoop on the process.

February 17, Wednesday, 6:30pm


Post-Show Panel Conversation

In Sarah Gubbins' Cocked, interracial couple Taylor and Izzie find themselves at a crossroads as their deepest and most personal beliefs are put to the ultimate test. Although their problems aren't necessarily interracial, the intersection of race in queer relationships is complex. How does race factor into queer relationships, if at all? Join us for a queer friendly pre-show celebration with free food and drinks, and stay for this special Afterwards conversation.

February 18, Thursday, 6:30pm


Post-Show Panel Conversation

Izzie and Taylor have a hard enough time feeling a sense of stability in their home and personal lives without being terrorized by their downstairs neighbor. In Chicago, gentrification has historically affected Latinos and have displaced them all over the city. What does it mean to hold your ground when there are systems in place to push you out? Join Encuentro host Amor Montes de Oca ( Arte y Vida ) for pre-­show refreshments from Fiesta Mexicana, then stick around for a special Afterwords post-show conversation on home among Chicago's displaced communities.

February 20, Saturday, 7:30pm


Post-Show Artist Talk

The new play process is an exciting one and the collaboration between a living playwright and director is electric. How are artists empowered when working on new work? In what ways are they challenged? Join Cocked's dynamic duo Joanie Schultz ( director ) and Sarah Gubbins ( playwright ) as they break open conventions and shatter expectations in this riveting post-show conversation shedding light on the new play process.

February 22, Monday, 7:30pm


A Free Performance Celebrating Women in the Arts

From the playwright and director to the designers and actors, the creative team behind Sarah Gubbins' Cocked is comprised mostly of women. Unfortunately, this isn't as common among regional theaters as gender parity in the arts is far from equitable. Join this celebration of women in the arts at this free off-night performance showcase in collaboration with Beast Women - an All-Female Performance Variety Revue. With performances including theater, music, poetry, dance, spoken word, and many others, this one night only performance celebrates some of the greatest artists in Chicago and beyond.

February 24, Wednesday, 6:30pm


Pre-Show Spoken Word Performance

Taylor and Izzie are forced to challenge their deepest beliefs in Sarah Gubbins' new play. Where is the line blurred between self-defense and perceived fear? Is there one? Come hear Chicago performance poet C.C. Carter break it down in this special pre-show spoken word performance piece as she riffs off the realities of terrorism and violence in Chicago neighborhoods. Then, stick around for free refreshments before enjoying Sarah Gubbins' Cocked.

February 25, Thursday, 7:30pm


Post-Show Town Hall

More than a third of Americans say they or someone in their household owns a gun. There are by various estimates anywhere from 270 million to 310 million guns in the United States — close to one firearm for every man, woman and child. In light of mass shootings that have plagued the country for decades, why haven't we found a national solution that keeps us safe from guns as well as protected by them? Should we increase gun control? Should firearms be banned? Join us for this timely town hall conversation as we break open a conversation about gun ownership and the onus around it.

February 27, Saturday, 7:30pm


Post-Show Panel Discussion

The 2013 passage of a concealed carry law in Illinois has led to a relatively small, yet recurring dynamic in Chicago shootings: the lawful gunman. Though these "lawful" shootings are nowhere near as frequent as those involving unlicensed shooters and illegal firearms, a handful of high-profile shootings involving licensed concealed carriers since the law went into effect in January 2014 continue to spark a rage of controversy. What is a "lawful" shooting and why? How has concealed carry shifted gun culture in the Windy City? Join legislators and specialists as we dig deep into the age-old question of protection and prevention as it relates to Chicago's concealed carry law.

March 3, Thursday, 6:30pm


Free Post-Show Performance

In Sarah Gubbins' Cocked, the idea of terrorism in Chicago neighborhoods ( real or perceived ) comes to the forefront, challenging our deepest convictions of safety and protection. What would it take to make someone feel safe in their own home? Join us for a pre­-show reception in the lobby featuring delicious drink specials & free pizza. Then, stick around for Cocked and stay for post-­show performances featuring short scenes written, directed, and performed by college artists from DePaul University, University of Chicago, Loyola, and Northwestern University.


Title: Cocked

Written by: Sarah Gubbins

Directed by: Joanie Schultz

Previews: February 12-18, 2016

Press opening: Friday, February 19, 2016 at 7:30pm

Regular run: February 20 — March 13, 2016

Schedule: Tuesdays: 7:30pm

Wednesdays: 7:30pm

Thursdays: 7:30pm

Fridays: 7:30pm

Saturdays: 3:00pm; 7:30pm

Sundays: 3:00pm


Performances: Word for Word ( open caption ) performances Friday, February 26 at 7:30pm. Saturday, February 27 at 3:00pm, and Wednesday, March 2 at 2:00pm

Audio Description performances Friday, February 26 at 7:30pm ( Touch tour at 6:00pm ), Sunday, March 6 at 3:00pm ( Touch tour at 1:30pm )

ASL Interpreted and Word for Word ( open caption ) performance Friday, February 26 at 7:30pm

Location: Victory Gardens Biograph Theater is located at 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue,

in the heart of Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood

Tickets: Previews: $15 - $40

Regular run: $15 - $60

Box Office: The Box Office is located at 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago.

773.871.3000; .

Production Sponsors: The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust;

National Endowment for the Arts

Season Sponsors: Alphawood Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies,

The Joyce Foundation, The Mellon Foundation, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, and

The Wallace Foundation

Travel Sponsor: Southwest Airlines

About Victory Gardens Theater

Under the leadership of Artistic Director Chay Yew and Managing Director Christopher Mannelli, Victory Gardens is dedicated to artistic excellence while creating a vital, contemporary American Theater that is accessible and relevant to all people through productions of challenging new plays and musicals. Victory Gardens Theater is committed to the development, production and support of new plays that has been the mission of the theater since its founding, set forth by Dennis ZaĨek, Marcelle McVay, and the original founders of Victory Gardens Theater.

Victory Gardens Theater is a leader in developing and producing new theater work and cultivating an inclusive Chicago theater community. Victory Gardens' core strengths are nurturing and producing dynamic and inspiring new plays, reflecting the diversity of our city's and nation's culture through engaging diverse communities, and in partnership with Chicago Public Schools, bringing art and culture to our city's active student population.

Since its founding in 1974, the company has produced more world premieres than any other Chicago theater, a commitment recognized nationally when Victory Gardens received the 2001 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. Located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, Victory Gardens Biograph Theater includes the ZaĨek-McVay Theater, a state-of-the-art 259-seat mainstage and the 109-seat studio theater on the second floor, named the Richard Christiansen Theater.

Victory Gardens Ensemble Playwrights include Luis Alfaro, Philip Dawkins, Marcus Gardley, Ike Holter, Samuel D. Hunter, Naomi Iizuka, Tanya Saracho and Laura Schellhardt. Each playwright has a seven-year residency at Victory Gardens Theater.

The Playwrights Ensemble Alumni includes Claudia Allen, Lonnie Carter, Steve Carter, Gloria Bond Clunie, Dean Corrin, Nilo Cruz, Joel Drake Johnson, John Logan, Nicholas Patricca, Douglas Post, James Sherman, Charles Smith, Jeffrey Sweet and Kristine Thatcher.

For more information about Victory Gardens, visit . Follow us on Facebook at, Twitter @VictoryGardens and Instagram at

Victory Gardens Theater receives major funding from The Wallace Foundation, Alphawood Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Shubert Foundation, The Joyce Foundation, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Allstate Insurance, Polk Bros. Foundation, Crown Family Philanthropies, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The William and Orli Staley Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, and The REAM Foundation. Additional funding is provided by: Abbot Downing & Wells Fargo, Alliance Bernstein, The Charles H. and Bertha L. Boothroyd Foundation, Exelon, The Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, John R. Halligan Charitable Fund, Illinois Tool Works, Italian Village Restaurants, Mayer Brown LLP, The McVay Foundation, Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg, LLP, The Prince Charitable Trusts, The Saints, Charles & M.R. Shapiro Foundation, Southwest Airlines, The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, Whole Foods Market, and Wrightwood Neighbors Conservation Association.

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