Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Doctor Crippen Touch Tour Video!

Last year Strange Tree had the pleasure of working with Steppenwolf Theatre Company to provide a touch tour of The Three Faces of Doctor Crippen for blind and visually impaired patrons. You can see some of the highlights of that event in the video above. It's a truly inspiring program and we're thrilled to be hosting our 2nd touch tour for Goodbye Cruel World on July 15th at Theater Wit complete with audio description. Three cheers for exciting, accessible storefront theater! 

This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Strange Tree Group Presents: GOODBYE CRUEL WORLD! 
 Cast Members: Joe Sterns, Stuart Ritter, Jenifer Starewich, Scott Cupper, Elizabeth Bagby, & Brian Grey.

Hello comrades, and welcome back to the blog. It's been 8 long years since the company started on a small back porch on Southport Avenue. This summer marks the 2nd time in the history of our little troupe to perform something that wasn't written by our artistic director and resident playwright, Emily Schwartz. (The first being Shakespeare's King Phycus which was nominated for Best New Work at the 2011 Jeff Awards and took home the prize for Best Ensemble!) We're thrilled to be able to bring GOODBYE CRUEL WORLD (freely adapted by co-artistic director of the Obie award winning Vampire Cowboys, Robert Ross Parker from a literal translation of Erdman's Samoubiitsa by Marina Raydun and directed by stg company member, Bob Kruse) to the City of Chicago.

GOODBYE CRUEL WORLD tells the story of Semyon Semyonovich, an unemployed, impoverished young man who discovers the joy of life only when he decides to kill himself. And then basically folks from the town show up begging Semyon not to just die...but to die on their behalf. It's ridiculous. It's bombastic. It's going to have a set that we actually hang from the sky instead of place on the stage and a live band. It's going to f#$!% kick some serious can all over the stage at Theater Wit from June 13th through July 22nd.

The play the Cruel World is based upon (THE SUICIDE) is famous for being the greatest Russian play that never was, Stalin banned the thing before its first public performance and playwright Nikolai Erdman was arrested and exiled to Siberia. Subsequent attempts to present the work in the USSR all failed. Moscow finally allowed a showing 50 years later but by then Erdman had died, having never written another play. Adaptations of this show have been seen all around the world, but Parker's version has only played once before (2010 in NYC with Roundtable Ensemble). The show was a critical and commercial success and when Producing Artistic Director, Delia Basemen came back with the news that she'd seen something that would be perfect for the company, we listened.

You can check out this link for a slideshow of promotional pictures with our cast.
You can get some tickets by following this link right here

And you can see the original poster art below designed by super fabulous artistic associate Phineas X. Jones. He's good. He's really, really good.


Jeff Nominations for Strange Tree's The Spirit Play!

Hello, friends. We're so excited to announce that 2011's The Spirit Play has been nominated for two non-equity Joseph Jefferson awards. Hearty congratulations to Brett Schneider for Magic Design and Michael Huey for Original Incidental Music. These elements were such a special part of our fall show and we're thrilled that our beloved artistic associates have been recognized by the Jeff Committee! Who had pepper's ghost before Tupac? We did. And well, Charles Dickens but let's not get into it. You can see the complete list of nominations here.