Season 28 2020-2021

Season 28: Exploring A Virtual World

Our 28th Season looks very different as we shift into the virtual world due to the Covid 19 Pandemic. Thank you for taking the risk and making that pivot with us. From our interactive, virtual play MISSED CONNECTIONS to the audio play, LAST HERMANOS, to a journey into the audio experience of AMERICAN BOTTOM, we are excited to stay connected with our audiences as we explore these new mediums. And while we can’t wait to be back in our physical space with all of you, we are grateful for the opportunity to continue to work with Ensemble members and so many new artists. Most of all, we are thrilled to be able to tell these amazing stories with the honesty, rigor and compassion that has come to define all of our work. -A Red Orchid Theatre Company

Season 28 Shows

Missed Connections

Written by Jon Tai & Alex Gruhin
Directed by Alex Gruhin
February 2 – 28, 2021

Chicago Premiere

A Red Orchid Theatre presents Missed Connections-a live interactive online play with magic, conceived for virtual experience. Missed Connections is an intimate & immersive evening of story and magic where things imagined become real and connection is possible through the shared experience of wonder. The play, a magician’s cosmic love story inspired by the work of Haruki Murakami, Marshall McLuhan & Derren Brown, takes 25 audience members on a roundtrip voyage to the stars in search of the invisible thread that connects them all.

Last Hermanos

Written by Exal Iraheta
Directed by Melanie Queponds
April 23 – May 16, 2021

An Audio Play

Reunited and on the run; Miguel and Julio are fleeing an America where being Latinx is a life sentence. Finding themselves sequestered in a Texas state park, the arrival of a sympathetic deserter, Shepherd, brings the conflict between Julio’s desire for revolution and Miguel’s need to return to normalcy into sharp focus. An audio translation of a stage-work in progress; LAST HERMANOS is a story of tenacious brotherhood, both chosen and blood, in a not-so-distant future that asks which path promises a better future?

American Bottom

Collectively Conceived by Ensemble Member Brett Neveu, Neil Verma, Matthew Muñiz, Ele Matelan, Rich Sparks & Frankie Pedersen
Directed by Neil Verma
June 2 – 27, 2021

An Experimental Audio Book

This multi-disciplinary art piece inspired by the geographical area of southern Illinois called American Bottom begins life here as an experimental audio fiction, written in verse, performed by a full cast, and featuring original music and illustrations.  Kevin disappeared in rural Illinois near the site of the Cahokia Mounds. American Bottom follows the thoughts of the people who knew him; unearthing the many layers of life and story connected to the place he called home. 

Season 27: Shattered

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We strike out this season with new artists in our house. I am incredibly excited about the ways in which these new voices will deepen conversation, spark discovery and provoke action. With all three of this season’s plays we examine the houses we—or in some cases others—have built and demand that we ask, “do we want to continue living and operating in these structures?” This conversation could not be more immediate and with each play the question is explored quite differently; with the ghost story that is Grey House gazing through the lens of reparation, Do You Feel Anger? a horrifying and hilarious reflection and The Moors via revolution. I am honored that each of these playwrights and directors has chosen to do this work at A Red Orchid and I look forward to the many questions, conversations and revolutions ahead.

–Kirsten Fitzgerald, Artistic Director

Season 27 Shows

Grey House

Written by Ensemble Member Levi Holloway
Directed by Ensemble Member Shade Murray
October 10 — December 1, 2019
Previews October 10 – October 19
Opening October 20
Red Night October 25
Regular Run October 24 – December 1
Open Captioning November 21 & 22
Running Time: 95 Minutes, no intermission

World Premiere

After a brutal car wreck in the mountains of Oregon, a young couple seeks shelter from a blizzard in a small cabin. But the cabin’s seemingly innocent inhabitants: four children and their minder, quickly start to expose the couple’s secrets, unmake everything they know about themselves, and hurl them towards a potentially sinister destination. Grey House is a new horror play about the gravity of the past and the cruel inevitability of its pull.

Do You Feel Anger?

Written by Mara Nelson-Greenberg
Directed by Ensemble Member Jess McLeod
January 23 — March 15, 2020
Previews January 23 – February 1
Opening February 2
Red Night February 7
Regular Run February 6 – March 15
Open Captioned Performances February 27-28

Chicago Premiere

Sofia was recently hired as an empathy coach at a debt collection agency—and clearly, she has her work cut out for her. These employees can barely identify what an emotion is, much less practice deep, radical compassion for others. And while they painstakingly stumble towards enlightenment, someone keeps mugging Eva in the kitchen. An outrageous play about the absurdity—and the danger of complicity in a world where some people’s feelings matter more than others.

The Moors

Written by Jen Silverman
Directed by Artistic Director Kirsten Fitzgerald
Dates TBD

Chicago Premiere

On the wind-blown desolate moors two spinster sisters and their mastiff scheme to wrest their destinies from the savage land around them. When a governess is summoned and a moor-hen drops in, all three are forced to ask what price they might pay for love. Inspired (perhaps) by certain 19th-century gothic romances, and the sisters who wrote them, this savage comedy disrupts the conventions of visibility.

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