2020 season at Chicago Street Theatre promises to be loud

2020 season at Chicago Street Theatre promises to be loud
By: Kayla Belec Last Updated: January 7, 2020

Region theatre is turning up the volume on its roar this decade, and the first place to listen in is at Chicago Street Theatre (CST). For the rest of their 2019/2020 season, the arts community cornerstone is producing several shows that challenge audience expectations. Ranging from the farcical to the satirical, from the daunting to the tragic, CST is reveling in its signature offbeat voice in community theatre. This half of the season, expect some familiar tales with fresh approaches. 

Here’s a look at what’s coming down the line:

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Jan. 24 - Feb. 8)

15-year-old Christopher has an extraordinary brain: He is exceptional at mathematics but ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. He has never ventured alone beyond the end of his road, he detests being touched, and he distrusts strangers. Now it is seven minutes after midnight, and Christopher stands beside his neighbor’s dead dog, Wellington, who has been speared with a garden fork. Finding himself under suspicion, Christopher is determined to solve the mystery of who murdered Wellington, and he carefully records each fact of the crime. But his detective work, forbidden by his father, takes him on a thrilling journey that upturns his world.

Curious Incident won the 2015 Tony Award for Best Play. Based on the best-selling novel by Mark Haddon, adapted by Simon Stephens, and directed for CST by Lisa Formosa-Parmigiano (with assistant direction by Sarah Wermuth), this play promises to hold audience members enthralled. 

Show Dates and Times

Friday, January 24, 2020 - 8:00 P.M.

Saturday, January 25, 2020 - 8:00 P.M.

Friday, January 31, 2020 - 8:00 P.M.

Saturday, February 1, 2020 - 8:00 P.M.

Sunday, February 2, 2020 - 2:30 P.M.

Thursday, February 6, 2020 - 7:30 P.M.

Friday February 7, 2020 - 8:00 P.M.

Saturday, February 8, 2020 - 8:00 P.M.

Black Comedy (Mar. 6 - Mar. 21)

Written by Peter Shaffer and directed for CST by Scot MacDonald, this one-act follows a struggling sculptor and his fiancé, who are hosting a party with the hope that some of their guests will purchase his sculptures. After “borrowing” furniture from their neighbor to make their own flat more presentable, the main fuse blows, plunging the flat into darkness just before the guests arrive. Only the audience can see the frantic romp with unexpected visitors and mistaken identities action that ensues in the dark.

A farce through and through, theatre goers will get a few good belly laughs out of Black Comedy.  

Show Dates and Times

Friday, March 6, 2020 - 8:00 P.M.

Saturday March 7, 2020 - 8:00 P.M.

Friday, March 13, 2020 - 8:00 P.M.

Saturday, March 14, 2020 - 8:00 P.M.

Sunday, March 15, 2020 - 2:30 PM

Thursday, March 19, 2020 - 7:30 P.M.

Friday, March 20, 2020 - 8:00 P.M.

Saturday, March 21, 2020 - 8:00 P.M.

God of Carnage (Apr. 17 - May 2)

A playground altercation between 11-year-old boys brings together two sets of Brooklyn parents for a meeting to resolve the matter. At first, diplomatic niceties are observed, but as the meeting progresses, and the rum flows, tensions emerge and the gloves come off, leaving the couples with more than just their liberal principles in tatters.

Winner of the 2009 Tony Award for Best Play, this satire is sure to resonate with even the most straitlaced theatre-goer, and tickle the ones looking for a thrill. 

Show Dates and Times

Friday, April 17, 2020 - 8:00 P.M.

Saturday, April 18, 2020 - 8:00 P.M.

Friday, April 24, 2020 - 8:00 P.M.

Saturday, April 25, 2020 - 8:00 P.M.

Sunday, April 26, 2020 - 2:30 P.M.

Thursday, April 30, 2020 - 7:30 P.M.

Friday, May 1, 2020 - 8:00 P.M.

Saturday, May 2, 2020 - 8:00 P.M.

Teenfest (May 8 - May 10)

Every year, teenagers from 7th through 12th grades participate in CST’s Teen Ensemble program for two semesters, their courses culminating in the Teenfest showcase in spring. The ensemble is broken into two groupings, Level I and Level II, and each group performs a short play in the showcase that reflects topics people their age actually experience.  

This year, the ensemble is performing two pieces that tackle relevant subjects. Level I is performing ‘Hoodie’ by Lindsay Price. According to the play’s description, ‘Hoodie’ examines image and appearance in the vignette style and poses what may be the most difficult question of all—do I stay in the clump or do I stand alone?  

Level II is performing ‘The Locker Next to Mine’ by Jonathan Dorf. Centered on a student who’s processing the death of two fellow high schoolers—one, a star athlete who’s killed in a car crash and whose locker is decorated in a shrine-like fashion, and another who commits suicide and is unacknowledged due to the stigma surrounding the topic—this play deep dives into the struggles of loss, healing, and isolation.

As of now, the Teenfest show dates are subject to change. For more information on the program, read our recent article about it here: https://valpo.life/article/chicago-street-theatre-teen-ensemble-helps-young-artists-navigate-their-world/.

Heathers (May 29 - Jun. 14)

Heathers The Musical is the darkly delicious story of Veronica Sawyer, a brainy, beautiful teenage misfit who hustles her way into the most powerful and ruthless clique at Westerberg High: the Heathers. But before she can get comfortable atop the high school food chain, Veronica falls in love with the dangerously sexy new kid, J.D. When Heather Chandler, the Almighty, kicks her out of the group, Veronica decides to bite the bullet and kiss Heather’s aerobicized ass…but J.D. has another plan for that bullet. 

Written by Laurence O’Keefe and Kevin Murphy, Heathers The Musical is a hilarious, heartfelt, and homicidal show based on the greatest teen comedy of all time. Mike Glorioso is set to direct at CST, with assistance from Lisa Zandy and music direction by Jeff Otto. 

Show Dates and Times

Friday, May 29, 2020 - 8:00 P.M.

Saturday, May 30, 2020 - 8:00 P.M.

Thursday, June 4, 2020 - 7:30 P.M.

Friday, June 5, 2020 - 8:00 P.M.

Saturday, June 6, 2020 - 8:00 P.M.

Sunday, June 7, 2020 - 2:30 P.M.

Thursday, June 11, 2020 - 7:30 P.M.

Friday, June 12, 2020 - 8:00 P.M.

Saturday, June 13, 2020 - 8:00 P.M.

Sunday, June 14, 2020 - 2:30 P.M.

Othello (Jul. 10 - Jul. 19)

Othello, the brilliant general, is admired and envied by his men and passionately in love with his beautiful young wife. But when he promotes the highborn Cassio over Iago, the die is cast. Enraged, Iago stealthily goes for the kill—lying, manipulating and finally convincing Othello that Desdemona has been unfaithful. Sexual jealousy, envy, misplaced pride and prejudice—this riveting tragedy written by William Shakespeare smolders with timeless issues.

Every summer, CST produces a Shakespearean play for their ‘Shakespeare in the Park’ performances at Central Park Plaza. Thousands of people attend, and the production often offers up a reimagined take on the Bard’s worlds. With its contemporary approach, CST’s  Othello will be one to remember. 

Show Dates and Times

Friday July 10, 2020 - Dusk (Central Park)

Saturday, July 11, 2020 - Dusk (Central Park)

Thursday, July 16, 2020 - 7:30 P.M.

Friday, July 17, 2020 - 8:00 P.M.

Saturday, July 18, 2020 - 8:00 P.M.

Sunday, July 19, 2020 - 2:30 P.M.

Chicago Street Theatre also will be hosting Comedytown: Valpo on January 11 at 8:00 p.m. The mid-winter comedy break will feature performers with credits from Second City and iO Chicago. For more information on events, casts/auditioning, and the 2020 season at Chicago Street Theatre, visit https://chicagostreet.org/.