THE FINE PRINT
Theatre Company

Citizens Play Festival – 2013

Citizens Play Festival

Details

When

Final Week
Tuesday, July 2nd
Group A – 7:30pm
Group B – 9:00pm

Where

Stage 773
1225 W Belmont Ave

Tickets

Tickets are $10 per show, $15 per day pass, or see any show anytime with a $20 festival pass. Tickets are sold through the Stage 773 box office, online at www.stage773.com or by phone 773-327-5252. Some fees apply, and are lowest when purchased in person at the box office.

Play Development + Friendly Festival Competition

The Citizens Play Festival is a play development process paired with a friendly festival competition. Ten playwrights are selected to be part of the fest. Each playwright is partnered with a director early in the process and given time to discuss the play and their goals for it. Then the play will be cast and rehearsed/workshopped.

During three weeks of performances in the summer, short selections of the play will be presented to an audience. These presentations are an opportunity to invite the audience inside the development process, rather than present a finished product. Each week, audiences will choose the plays they would most like to see further developed. As some plays are eliminated, others will be given more workshop and stage time.

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Winner

Winner of the 2013 Citizens Play Festival: “Transients Welcome” by Lisa Holmes

Runner-up: “Janus: A Musical” by Jeff Bouthiette

Finalists: “St. George on the Bus” by MT Cozzola and “Always Never” by Joe Janes


Final Week

FINAL SHOW | 4 PLAYS

Tuesday, July 2nd
Group A – 7:30pm
Group B – 9:00pm

Cast your vote when the four finalists compete for the title of Winner of the 2013 Citizens Play Festival.

Group A

“Transients Welcome” by Lisa Holmes
directed by Patrick Kenney
https://www.facebook.com/events/271075909703923/?fref=ts

“Janus: A Musical” by Jeff Bouthiette
directed by Aaron Graham
https://www.facebook.com/events/472402832839058/?notif_t=plan_user_invited

Group B

“St. George on the Bus” by MT Cozzola
directed by Skye Robinson Hillis

“Always Never” by Joe Janes
directed by Heather Bodie
https://www.facebook.com/events/137590096446307/?notif_t=plan_user_invited

Facebook Event →

Week Two

WEEK TWO | 6 PLAYS

Tuesday, June 25th
Group A – 7:30pm
Group B – 9:00pm

Wednesday, June 26th
Group B – 7:30pm
Group A – 9:00pm

Group A

“Lift and Separate” by Nikki Paley Cox
directed by Stephanie Stroud
https://www.facebook.com/events/491197874285924/

“Transients Welcome” by Lisa Holmes
directed by Patrick Kenney
https://www.facebook.com/events/271075909703923/?fref=ts

“St. George on the Bus” by MT Cozzola
directed by Skye Robinson Skye Robinson Hillis

Group B

“Janus: A Musical” by Jeff Bouthiette
directed by Aaron Graham
https://www.facebook.com/events/472402832839058/?notif_t=plan_user_invited

“Protest Song” by Axel Arth
directed by Jennifer Olson

“Always Never” by Joe Janes
directed by Heather Heather Bodie

Facebook Event →


Week One

WEEK ONE | 10 PLAYS

Tuesday, June 18th
Group A – 7:30pm
Group B – 9:00pm

Wednesday, June 19th
Group B – 7:30pm
Group A – 9:00pm

Group A

“Anonymous Donor” by Arlene Malinowski
directed by Emmi Hilger

“The Dick and Doe Show” by Laurie McConnell
directed by Wyatt Kent

“St. George on the Bus” by MT Cozzola
directed by Skye Robinson Hillis

“Janus: A Musical” by Jeff Bouthiette
co-conceived and directed by Aaron Graham
RSVP via Facebook →

“Lift and Separate” by Nikki Paley Cox
directed by Stephanie Stroud

Group B

“Always Never” by Joe Janes
directed by Heather Bodie

“Transients Welcome” by Lisa Holmes
directed by Patrick Kenney

“American Nocturne” by Ross W. Berman IV
directed by J. Cody Spellman

“Protest Song” by Axel Arth
directed by Jennifer Olson

“Alcestis Doesn’t Live Here Anymore” by Lynne McMahon
directed by Juan Castañeda

Facebook Event →


Playwrights

2013 Citizens Play Festival Playwrights

Arlene Malinowski

Arlene Malinowski
Arlene Malinowski is an actor/playwright whose award-winning solo shows have been produced in venues and colleges across the country and abroad. including St Louis Center of Contemporary Art, the New Works Project at Millennium Park and HBO Workspace. Her other plays have been produced by Victory Gardens, NY Flash Fest, Chicago Theater Off Book, G1-60 UK Fest and was a finalist for the Heartland. In addition to her film and TV work (some of it good- most of it bad) she has appeared on stages in LA and Chicago including the Goodman and Victory Gardens. She teaches at Chicago Dramatists and coaches privately. She has been a contributing writer to a lot of literary publications with strange names like Paramanu Pentataquark, En Posse Review and The Week Behind. She is a Resident Playwright at Chicago Dramatists and a Ragdale Fellow. When she wants to show off she mentions that her work was cited in the Huffington Post and is to her knowledge, the only actor to appear both in Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure AND Doogie Howser and in the same 24 hours. arlenemalinowski.com

Laurie McConnell

Laurie McConnell
Laurie McConnell is a St. Louis resident who’s thrilled to be in Chicago for Fine Print’s Citizens Play Festival, although she’s not sure she’s allowed back in the Cubby Bear after an unfortunate flash-for-beads incident while broadcasting the 2010 Cubs/Cards series. Her theatrical endeavors have focused primarily on acting, and her writing skills have been put to use most frequently in radio and television, but these two worlds now collide with her new comedy, The Dick and Doe Show. She swears that the events depicted in the play are not nearly as weird as an actual day in radio.

MT Cozzola

MT Cozzola
MT is a Chicago-based writer and performer. Her plays include Boy Small (part of The Fine Print Theatre’s 2012 Citizens Play Festival) Infernal (part of the 2012 Women’s Theatre Alliance New Play Development Festival), the musical Earth to Margaret (premiered at the Acorn Theatre, Three Oaks, MI), and The Picture of Dorian Gray (an adaptation commissioned for Flying Leap Radio Theater).

You can find her first feature film Eye of the Sandman (Split Pillow Films) on Amazon, and read her story “Grey Seal” in the July 2012 issue of Hippocampus Magazine. She keeps a story blog at Midwestern Robot and is a member of Courier 12 Collective. Some things she loves are the color orange, a fully committed clash of context, and really, no kidding, the kindness of strangers.

Jeff Bouthiette

Jeff Bouthiette
Jeff Bouthiette is a playwright, songwriter, and actor of Chicago. His original musical, Miami Nice: A Golden Girls Musical was produced by Gorilla Tango Theatre in November of 2012, and extended through March of 2013. Jeff served as a staff writer on Bare Boned Theatre’s live GLBT soap opera The Ville, contributing scenes and characters to new episodes as they premiered on a monthly basis. He also co-wrote Bare Boned Theatre’s first mainstage production, The Hecubae. He has written music and lyrics for Victory Gardens’ Fresh Squeezed Series, the Second City National Tour, the independent film “Snow Bunny,” and countless sketch comedy revues. In 2012, his play Installation had a reading at the Betty Dare Gallery. Jeff is a founding ensemble member of The Improvised Sondheim Project, and is currently Head of the Music Program at the Second City Training Center. He is an alumni of the Johnny Mercer Songwriters’ Project and a proud graduate of the Black Box Acting ACADEMY.

Aaron Graham

Aaron Graham
Aaron Graham is a Jeff Award-winning actor with over twelve years experience as an actor, singer, improvisor, teacher, and director. He is an associate artist with The Fine Print Theatre Company, where he previously directed the musical sketch show Christmas in Chicago in 2011 and 2012. Aaron has worked with many Chicago theatres including Steppenwolf, Chicago Shakespeare, Porchlight Music Theatre, Northlight, and TimeLine, and is a proud member of the Story Pirates, a nationally-recognized arts education and performance organization. In 2007, Aaron was honored to receive the Joseph Jefferson Award (Equity Wing) for his performance as Tateh in Porchlight Music Theatre’s acclaimed production of Ragtime. He also spent time working in Los Angeles where he performed at iO West, ComedySportz LA, and The Second City Hollywood. Aaron is a founding member of the Improvised Sondheim Project and teaches at The Second City Training Center in Chicago. Originally from Deerfield, Illinois, Aaron earned his B.A. from Cornell University.

Nikki Paley Cox

Nikki Paley Cox
Nikki Paley Cox writes poems and plays when she’s not teaching Freshman Composition at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and she is thrilled to be a part of the Citizen’s Play Festival. “Lift and Separate” is based on her experiences working part-time at a bra store in Boston while earning her MFA in Poetry at Emerson College. If you corner her before or after the performance to ask for a private bra-fitting consultation, rest assured you would not be the first, and you will get an accurate assessment.

Joe Janes

Joe Janes
Joe Janes is an Emmy award winning writer who teaches comedy writing at The Second City and Columbia College. He has written for Jellyvision’s “You Don’t Know Jack” and SNL’s “Weekend Update.” He has written three books: 365 Sketches, 50 Plays and Seven Deadly Plays. His full-length plays include Metaluna and the Science of the Mind Revue, A Hard Day’s Journey Into Night and Always Never. He writes regularly for WNEP Theatre and Robot vs Dinosaur. He is teaching an intense writing intensive called “3 Days, 3 Plays” the first weekend in August at Gorilla Tango.

Lisa Holmes

Lisa Holmes
Lisa Holmes is a fiction writer & playwright. Her short stories and essays have appeared in the literary journal “After Hours,” on WBEZ’s Radio M, and in storytelling events like Speak Easy Speak Hard and Story Lab. Holmes was awarded a Richard H. Driehaus grant for her play Summer Solstice, and her other work has appeared around Chicago at Steel Beam Theatre, Chicago Dramatists, the Midwest Playwriting Fest, and Second City, as well as the Salt & Pepper Theatre Co. in NYC.

Ross W. Berman IV

Axel Arth

Axel Arth
Axel Arth is a Nebraska born, Chicago based playwright. A graduate of the Johnny Carson School of Theater and Film, Axel feels that society needs story-tellers now more than ever. He thinks that problems can’t be fixed unless people understand them. Change comes when people get angry enough to do something, but stay level headed enough to keep thinking. And that’s his goal.

Lynne McMahon

Lynne McMahon
Lynne McMahon, the recipient of an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, has received a Guggenheim Foundation Grant and an Ingram Merrill Award. Her play Half Irish was a finalist the Heideman Award (Actors Theatre of Louisville); her one-act play The Bird Sanctuary was a finalist for the Tennessee Williams One-Act Play Competition; her full-length plays Anonymity and Admit Impediment were semi-finalists for the Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Conference.

McMahon’s play The Party was produced by the Manhattan Theatre Source Estrogenius Festival. The Bird Sanctuary received staged readings in both Chicago and Ann Arbor, Michigan, and had a full production at the Side Project, Chicago, April-May, 2009, under the direction of Adam Webster. Grief won the first place prize at the Durango Arts Festival and received a full production at their festival in September, 2011.


Play Synopses

2013 Citizens Play Festival Play Synopses

“Anonymous Donor” by Arlene Malinowski

A family orbits around their deeply troubled daughter as they all struggle with the sudden appearance of her sperm donor father. Her identity, a mental illness and the implications that she is a commodity and the “product” of a sperm donor is challenged through the lies and deceptions that this “Mean Girl” has so carefully crafted.

“The Dick and Doe Show” by Laurie McConnell

It’s a typical early morning at K-ROCKS Classic Rock Radio. Dick, the bombastic host, is furious with his right-wing nemesis. Doe, the health-crazed sports guy, is indifferent to everything but his tofu. Tripod, the panicky intern, is incompetent, but at least he’s easy on the eyes. And Keke, their put-upon producer, is trying to hold it all together while she secretly dreams of a career in public radio. When a guest with an agenda holds them hostage, Dick turns captivity into a chance to jump to #1 in the ratings, making it tough to tell who’s nuttier, the guy with the gun or the guy with the mic.

“St. George on the Bus” by MT Cozzola

St. George on the Bus explores the nature of faith within an age that offers miracles of every description, at every price range. Just a day after the announcement of the first retirement of a pope in the past six centuries, an ostensibly Catholic mother and her vehemently anti-Catholic daughter struggle with the implications of a potential miracle – namely, the mysterious appearance of a painting of a deceased relative on a city bus.

“Janus: A Musical” by Jeff Bouthiette

Scientist Roger Webb is on the verge of a breakthrough involving his microscopic Janus spheres. But despite the new possibilities his work presents, his slow progress and difficulty connecting with people have resulted in the loss of his research funding. When his wealthy brother Alex arrives and informs him he plans to cut off Roger’s remaining source of financial support, the two confront some remaining issues in their relationship. And with Roger’s fiance Karen also planning to move out and move on with her life, Roger is forced to examine his life and his relationships and measure the real costs of pursuing his scientific aspirations.

“Lift and Separate” by Nikki Paley Cox

After her fiancée calls off the wedding, in the bra store, in front of everyone, indecisive Jane Miller, with nowhere else to turn, takes a job right there at Ida’s Intimates. Her lively but dysfunctional co-workers buoy her emotionally and financially, but they start to take advantage of her vulnerable position and ample talents. Once she discovers their selfish intentions, she must determine what kind of support she’s really looking for – and whether she’s willing to do what it takes to get it.

“Always Never” by Joe Janes

“Transients Welcome” by Lisa Holmes

“American Nocturne” by Ross W. Berman IV

“Protest Song” by Axel Arth

Andy is a normal guy; he likes cheap domestic beer and his videos of adorable baby animals on the internet as much as the next red blooded American. But something’s happened: something’s changed. Now he can’t stop thinking about how absolutly screwed everything is. The world is a miserable place, and he’s not sure how he never noticed before. He knows he has to do something about it. But what? And when a shadowy figures shows up and tells him that it would be in his best interest to leave it all alone, is change really going to be worth it? It’s a story of changing the world, fighting the Man and baby sloths. It’s a Protest Song.

“Alcestis Doesn’t Live Here Anymore” by Lynne McMahon

Directors

2013 Citizens Play Festival Directors

Emmi Hilger

Emmi Hilger
Emmi Hilger is thrilled to be a new Associate Artist with Fine Print. She is a Chicago area director and is the Artistic Director/Producer of Something Incredibly Marvelous Happens, a Summer 2013 Festival of Magical Realism for which she will be directing The Clean House by Sarah Ruhl.

Recent directing credits include The Lover by Harold Pinter which she co-produced in association with Walkabout Theater Company and assistant directing Fucking A by Suzan-Lori Parks for UrbanTheater Company. Emmi assistant directed for the Chicago Dramatists’ Jeff Recommended productions of Hickorydickory by Marisa Wegryzn and The Invasion of Skokie by Steve Peterson.

Emmi loves Chicago and often works on the development of new work; she has worked with Chicago Dramatists, The Fine Print Theatre Company, Women’s Theatre Alliance, The Arc Theatre, Pegasus Players, and Dark Humour Productions. Additional directing credits include Get Comfortable and Internal, both premieres at Gorilla Tango Theatre, and Not About Heroes at Northwestern University. She is a proud graduate of Northwestern University. www.emmihilger.com

Wyatt Kent

Skye Robinson Hillis

Aaron Graham

Aaron Graham
Aaron Graham is a Jeff Award-winning actor with over twelve years experience as an actor, singer, improvisor, teacher, and director. He is an associate artist with The Fine Print Theatre Company, where he previously directed the musical sketch show Christmas in Chicago in 2011 and 2012. Aaron has worked with many Chicago theatres including Steppenwolf, Chicago Shakespeare, Porchlight Music Theatre, Northlight, and TimeLine, and is a proud member of the Story Pirates, a nationally-recognized arts education and performance organization. In 2007, Aaron was honored to receive the Joseph Jefferson Award (Equity Wing) for his performance as Tateh in Porchlight Music Theatre’s acclaimed production of Ragtime. He also spent time working in Los Angeles where he performed at iO West, ComedySportz LA, and The Second City Hollywood. Aaron is a founding member of the Improvised Sondheim Project and teaches at The Second City Training Center in Chicago. Originally from Deerfield, Illinois, Aaron earned his B.A. from Cornell University.

Stephanie Stroud

Stephanie Stroud
Stephanie Stroud is a director, actor, and founding member of Mortar Theatre Company. In Chicago, Stephanie has directed developing works for Chicago Dramatists and Mortar Theatre Company, Additionally, Stephanie has served as Movement Director for many Mortar Theatre projects-Corazón de Manzana (in collaboration with the Department of Cultural Affairs Storefront Theatre), Sprawl 1 at Steppenwolf’s Explore Detroit Series, and Mortar’s upcoming production of The Small of Her Back by Dana Lynn Formby. In Chicago, Stephanie has been seen on stage at Lookingglass, Chicago Dramatists, Victory Gardens, Pegasus Players, and Mortar Theatre Company. Stephanie received her M.F.A from Penn State where she worked with Movement Director Mark Olsen. Stephanie is Managing Director for Artists of Concordia Theatre at Concordia University Chicago.

Heather Bodie

Heather Bodie
Heather is one of the co-founders of The Fine Print. She graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in Theatre Arts, and studied Improv and Musical Improv at The Second City Training Center. She is a member of the all-female improv group Eleanor and performs often with her folk rock band MIDWEST. Heather participated in the Iowa new play festival four years in a row as both an actor and a director, and is one of the co-founders of the undergraduate directing program at the University of Iowa. She recently took over ownership of Gorilla Tango Theatre.

Patrick Kenney
Patrick Kenney

Patrick is the founding artistic director at Fine Print. He first developed a passion for making new plays while working with the Purple Rose Theatre Co. in his hometown of Chelsea, Michigan. Patrick is a professional actor with experience on stage, film and television, and is a proud member of Actors Equity Association. Patrick also works as a freelance writer, most frequently for the magazine Chicago Health.

J. Cody Spellman

Jennifer Olson

Juan Castañeda