Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-09-06



Young trans playwright queers Shakespeare in new production 'Malapert Love'
by Kayleigh Padar

This article shared 2962 times since Sat Oct 29, 2022
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

The Artistic Home will debut Malapert Love on Nov. 5-Dec. 11 in Wicker Park at The Den Theatre's Upstairs Mainstage, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave.

The gender-bending, Shakespearean romantic comedy was written by 18-year-old Siah Berlatsky, who's the youngest playwright to have a show featured by the company.

The play follows a wealthy count who's fallen in love with a wealthy countess, but is too scared to tell her, so he sends a servant to deliver a love letter, and "basically, hijinks ensue," Berlatsky said.

"It's not set in any particular time period, but it's exploring the way everybody ends up falling in love with the wrong person in this very regimented, hierarchical society," Berlatsky added. "There's different plots and tricks and it essentially uses all my favorite Shakespearean comedy tropes to advance the plot."

Eventually, the play ends in a queer marriage, subverting Shakespeare's typical template.

Berlatsky was first introduced to Shakespeare's works in seventh grade, when she played Hermia in A Midsummer Night's Dream. As she learned to read Shakespeare more closely, she became especially interested in the queer subtext present in his works.

"That show was also one of the first times I dressed as a woman and ever since then, I've been basically enamored by Shakespeare," Berlatsky said. "When I started learning to actually interpret the text, I realized that all of the comedies are really, really gay. As I learned about Elizabethan theater, and the way gender roles differed back then, especially since only men were allowed to be actors, all of the subtext made his work so interesting to me."

In high school, Berlatsky started studying theater more closely and really delved into playwriting while sheltering at home during the early days of the pandemic. She worked to perfect Malapert Love for about four years.

"Other than Shakespeare, there was really nothing else on my mind when I was writing Malapert Love, so it was really the only kind of play I could've written because I just couldn't stop thinking about how that queer subtext can exist more openly now, in the modern world," Berlatsky said.

Shakespeare's writing became a "refuge" for Berlatsky as she navigated the social structures of high school while also exploring her gender identity, she said.

"When I was starting to understand my diverging gender identity and sexuality, I kept very to myself about it," Berlatsky said. "I came out during quarantine and wasn't really seeing anyone else, but I felt so connected to Shakespeare's texts and the ways the characters play with gender."

Shakespeare's use of humor especially resonated with Berlatsky and inspired her to continue the conversation he started about gender and sexuality in society through a more modern lens.

‚‚‚‚‚‚"In the comedies, the way everyone experiences gender and sexuality is so bound up in having a laugh, essentially," Berlatsky said. "Shakespeare is just so good at pointing out the ways people experience and behave around gender is strange in so many ways and so dictated by societal norms."

Berlatsky hopes the play inspires viewers to look at Shakespeare's works in a new way.

"These texts still have so much life and they're still so interesting when applied to modern circumstances, just as much as they were back then," Berlatsky said. "If people can have an experience that's rooted in these texts but also feels modern and fresh, hopefully they'll be inspired to draw more from Shakespeare's work themselves."

Malapert Love will run from Nov. 5-Dec. 11. Tickets can be purchased online at or 773-697-3830.

This article shared 2962 times since Sat Oct 29, 2022
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By


Gay News

SAVOR Jam-packed Chicago Gourmet; Easy Bar's 'Drag Me to Bingo'
Hundreds of people recently took part in one of the city's annual culinary highlights: Chicago Gourmet. Spanning Sept. 21-24 mostly at the Harris Theater rooftop at Millennium Park, Chicago Gourmet featured, as usual, several events, including ...

Gay News

GLAAD: GOP primary debate includes question on anti-LGBTQ+ violence, candidates duck
--From a press release - GLAAD: "Instead of addressing the critical issue of the safety and rights of all Americans, GOP primary candidates ignored the rise in violence and hateful rhetoric aimed at the LGBTQ community and our allies. Several chose ...

Gay News

WORLD African efforts, HIV in Amsterdam, Donatella Versace, 'The Queen in Me'
A new attempt to prevent the recognition of and equal rights for LGBTQ+ people in Kenya through a constitutional amendment has been introduced in Parliament, The Washington Blade reported. The move was in response to this ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Outfest, Halo, 'Sex Education,' trans singer, 'Doctor Who'
Outfest announced that it will honor Oscar winner Shirley MacLaine with the James Schamus Ally Award and trans actress Trace Lysette with the Trailblazer Award at the 2023 Legacy Awards presented by Genesis Motor America, per ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Bisexual politicians, DADT, NBJC awards, crimes, Buttigieg
For Bi Visibility Day (Sept. 23), The Advocate ran a piece titled "35 Bisexual Politicians You Should Know." Just a few on the list include trans Montana state Rep. Zooey Zephyr, Nevada Assemblymember Cecelia Gonzalez, U.S. ...

Gay News

DANCE Deeply Rooted performing Nov. 3 at the Auditorium Theatre
The Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Ida B. Wells Dr., is presenting Deeply Rooted Dance Theater—a Chicago-based contemporary dance company rooted in traditions of American and African-American dance—in a one-night-only performance ...

Gay News

Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoes some LGBTQ+ measures and approves others
For California's LGBTQ+ community, Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom has made things interesting over the last few days. Late last week, Newsom vetoed three progressive measures—including an unexpected rejection of a ...

Gay News

Teatro Zinzanni returning to Cambria Hotel on Oct. 5
Teatro ZinZanni is returning to the Chicago Loop—tucked inside a mirrored spiegeltent within the 14th floor of the Cambria Hotel, 32 W. Randolph St. The cast features returning fan favorites including Duo 19, a dynamic trapeze ...

Gay News

THEATER Mosaic Players revives 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche
Are suburban Illinois and Wisconsin towns ready to welcome 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche into their churches, synagogues and community colleges? The artists of a Lake County theater company certainly think so. "I was very pleasantly ...

Gay News

Lambda, TLDEF urge 4th Circuit to uphold rulings protecting gender-affirming care in NC, WV
--From a press release - (RICHMOND, VA - Thursday, Sept 21) — Today, a full panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit heard arguments in two cases involving equal access to health care for transgender people. State ...

Gay News

Arrests, fights punctuate battles across Canada over gender diversity in schools
Arrests were reported in the Canadian cities of Ottawa, Halifax, Vancouver and Victoria, among others, on Sept. 20 as opposing groups clashed on how schools address issues of gender identity and how teachers refer to transgender ...

Gay News

WORLD French fund, mausoleum, Abrazo Grupal, Biden, Billie Jean King
French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna announced a fund to help promote the rights of LGBTQ+ people, French24 reported. She made the announcement at the 15th anniversary of an LGBTQ+ group at the United Nations at the ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Sarah McBride, TIME100 lists, Kentucky clerk, suspects arrested
A poll showed that Delaware Democrat Sarah McBride—who is bidding to become the nation's first openly transgender member of Congress—leads her primary opponents by a wide margin, The Hill reported. In a survey of likely Democratic ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ John Waters, Madonna, Miriam Margoyles, Angelica Ross, 'Cassandro'
Openly gay film director John Waters (Pink Flamingos, Serial Mom, Cry-Baby) received his star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame, The Hollywood Reporter noted. (Actors Ricki Lake and Mink Stole as well as photographer Greg Gorman were ...

Gay News

19th annual Andersonville Arts Weekend Sept. 29 - Oct. 1
--From a press release - CHICAGO (September 18, 2023) The Andersonville Chamber of Commerce (ACC) is pleased to welcome back its 19tn annual Andersonville Arts Weekend, with the neighborhood transformed into a "walkable art gallery" ...


Copyright © 2023 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.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
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     
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.