Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Greetings Friends!

After many line drawings, boxing matches, and bake sales we've finally got our new website up! A HUGE thank you to the multi-faceted and many-talented Tyler Core for his delightfully askew design skills.

The road to a new website has been a long and winding one and we'd appreciate any and all feedback you may have. It's still a work in progress with information on our past productions coming soon. Do our links work? Could you find out how to buy tickets to our awesome new show about Robots? We'd love to hear from you.

Friday, September 4, 2009


It's a special sneak peak of our poster in progress.

Designed and Drawn by STG associate Phineas X. Jones this poster will be available for purchase as a beautiful 4 color process print at every production of Hey! Mr. Spaceman!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Closing The Dastardly Ficus and answering common quesitons

And so we've done it, friends. We've put the ficus to bed for a second time in the history of Strange Tree. Back in 2004 we averaged age wise about 23 and 24 now we're all of 29 and 30. Have we learned anything? No. Ok well most of us have. But we'll never admit to it. It was great to see old faces and new at the show. People curious about the company and about what we're doing next. We love that. We love to see you and we love your questions. So, thank you for them! A few common query's are posted below and answered flippantly in blog form.

Q: Strange Tree, i love your poster. Can I buy one?
A: Yes! You can.We sell them at the shows for $20 a pop. This is a very good deal because the posters are original screen print works of art created by the evil genious Phineas X. Jones. If you missed out on snagging yours, or if you stole a few from us when we weren't looking and want to send us a check to redeem yourself (hint hint, nudge nudge, beware our wrath. cough.) you can email us at info@strangetree.org and we'll try to hook you up. And if you want to mail us some money the address is on the website, suckers.

Q: Strange Tree, that music was rad. What the hell was it?
A: Why we're so glad you asked. The music we used in Ficus was a combination of things chosen by Emily back in 2001 that have lived with this play for many years. (ie; Tom Waits and a few of the oldie goldies) Other excellent selections were made by Kate. Heads were knocked together. A full soundtrack came out. You can see the complete listing on Kate's blog at: http://indiegirlswearglasses.blogspot.com/2009/02/dastardly-ficus-and-other-comedic-tales.html

Q: So, Trees, do you only do original works?
A: Yep. For now. But only because we harbour a deep set fear of producing the Fantasticks at the same time as everyone else in town. No no. Kidding! We really like creating from scratch. There are a few classic pieces that we'd love to get our hands on one day. But for now, we enjoy having complete controle over the productions we produce from the bottom up. We also don't like paying royalties. We're very poor. Cool. But poor. Would you like to sponsor us and buy us a storefront theatre? We'll take it.

Q: Oh my word then what's next? How can I see you again? Where will you be?
A: Awe, that's nice. We miss you too! Right now we're trying to figure out the best time to put on a space rock musical with those delightful divas of the flying trapeze at Aloft Aerial Dance. That's right, folks! Strange Tree and Aloft sitting in a tree k.i.s.s.i.n.g. In retro space! Late summer, maybe fall. Schedules are tricky with so many talented folks who also have to work day jobs in order to eat and have homes. But we're figuring some things out and you can be sure we'll post an update as soon as we do.

Thanks again everyone. The Dastardly Ficus was a BIG success. If you'd like to stay in the know why don't you join our email list? It's easy. Just click here:

You're the bees knees,

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Dastardly Ficus is Unmissibly Good


Be amazed and delighted thru April 4th at the Chopin theatre, dear readers. The times they are tough like a bit of ill cut and badly charred roast beef yet we forge bravely ahead! Edwardian boots on feet, Striped stocking pulled up to the knee, empty bird cages and antique settees in place and ready to entertain you.

Now is the time when your support for things like magical realism matters most. The large mechanical elephants and evil potted plants of the world will be the better for it.

The Dastardly Ficus is delightful!
Get your tickets in a flash at www.strangetree.org
Why just look at what these kindly folks are saying:

“Charmingly Morbid.”

-Chicago Reader

“This play already has a cult following—see it and you’ll understand why.”


“…Walk out of the theater feeling you’ve seen something completely, delightfully original.”
-TimeOut Chicago

“An artfully constructed gem.”
-NewCity Chicago

“Schwartz is a master storyteller.”

-Chicago Reader

“The Dastardly Ficus offers a deadly good time!”

“Friedrich Doesn’t have a current theatrical peer.”
-TimeOut Chicago

“Enoch can stare daggers through a coffee table.”

-NewCity Chicago

“Everything I love about Edward Gorey, Roald Dahl, and any fairy tales with wicked stepsisters or spinster aunts is currently living warmly in the basement of the Chopin Theater.”

-NewCity Chicago

“Head-turning comic technique.”

-TimeOut Chicago

“Disturbing and overwhelmingly endearing.”

-Chicago Reader

“A most delightful bit of offbeat whimsy.”

“What makes “The Dastardly Ficus” so fun is the talent of these two women.”
-NewCity Chicago

“Carol Enoch and Nancy Freidrich make for a surprisingly affecting if outrageous pair.”

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Dastardly Ficus is Jeff Recommended!

Greetings Friends of the Trees,

A small note to let you know that our newest production The Dastardly Ficus and Other Comedic Tales of Woe and Misery has been Jeff Recommended. Huzzah! Sound Trumpets! Hoist babies to the sky!

The show opened last night to a wonderful house of friends and merry makers. We truly couldn't be more proud of our current endeavor and do hope you'll attend. Strange Tree company members and associates have worked fingers to nubs handcrafting details from the mail in the box (oh yes, there are real letters in there to these silly sisters) to the mints in the candy dish (just like grandma's house). We've spent the past few months painstakingly sewing buttons and adding antique lace details to cuffs (Delia Baseman's costumes are what dreams are made of) and finding just the right fabric to make the pillars in the Chopin basement transform themselves into something out of a storybook. Basically, for our 5 year anniversary we wanted to do something special for ourselves and for our dear friends and audience members. Thank you for coming in the past and we raise our glass to seeing you in the future!

Use your lightning like speed and blaze a trail to www.strangetree.org

There you may purchase tickets!

And we will cry tears of joy.

Yours in delightfully devious, wickedly wonderful live theatre,


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Dastardly Ficus is Back and on the Attack in 2009

Greetings and Salutations Folks,

My it's cold outside. Don't you think? Let this news warm your heart.

We're getting ready for a remount our first ever Strange Tree production:

(Trumpets Sound)

The Dastardly Ficus and Other Comedic Tales of Woe and Misery

written by Emily Schwartz
directed by Amanda Berg Wilson
Carol Enoch
Nancy Friedrich
and Scott Cupper

Yes, folks. It's back! For all you new strange tree friends and fans we wanted to dig our roots out of the dirt, brush them off and put them on stage. This is the play that started it all. The strangeness. The cobwebs. The lantern lights. The Chair forts. The Cat Funerals. And The most evil of potted plants. Produced at the Bizarrely beautiful Chopin Theatre, Ficus will open just after valentine's day (so you can bring your sweet heart!) February 18th. Chopin Theatre. We'll be waiting for you!

The Mysterious Elephant is The Best of 2008!

Hello Comrades!

Well, here we are together again and a new new year has begun. We at Strange Tree want to thank you for all of your love and support over the past 5 years. Things are getting bigger and better all the time and we look to 2009 with much joy and anticipation!

2008 was another great year for the Trees. Our Company Playwright, Ms. Emily Schwartz, picked up a Best Playwright of 2008 nod from the kind folks at the Chicago Reader and our jolly production of The Mysterious Elephant and the Terrible Tragedy of the Unlikely Addington Twins (Who Kill Him) was just selected by the Chicago Tribune as one of the Top 5 Fringe Shows of the year. (That's 3 years in a row, dear friends! Huzzah!) The Windy City Times end of year just recognized Mysterious Elephant as a Theatrical Highlight of 2008 and Kris Vire listed the Elephant in Performink as one of his top four productions of the year. There were beautiful reviews, wonderful articles, heartwarming parties, and surprising spectacles that we were so thankful to be able to share with all of you. To be able to create such happy memories and moments is a lucky thing. And we are indeed a very lucky group.

Keep your ears to the ground for information about our upcoming production of:
The Dastardly Ficus and Other Comedic Tales of Woe and Misery
Written by Emily Schwartz
Directed by Amanda Berg Wilson

(The team that brought Cowboy Birthday Party to Collaboraction's Sketchbook at the Steppenwolf Garage)

This is the show that started it all, folks. In celebration of our 5 year anniversary we're bringing the Ficus to the Chopin Theatre opening on February 19th 2009. So, if you missed out way back in 2004 or you have fondest memories of those devious Derbyshire sisters and can't wait to see them again, you're in luck! After this short run we'll be tucking this special show back into the stg vault and locking it away for many years to come. If you love to escape into theatre, if you love severed heads and cat funerals, if you love lemon pound cake, if you hate the month of February and are looking for something truly devious to take your mind off of the cold gray days...plan on making a date with the Ficus.

Below are links to articles that praise the work of the Trees in 2008.

Thank you everyone who has mentioned us, attended a show, worked on a piece, donated their time, and come out to give support. This is a special thing, this. And we cannot express how much we appreciate being able to share it with you.

Very Humbly,

Los Trees