Incubator Series

Experiments with New Artists & New Ideas

About the Incubator

The Incubator at A Red Orchid Theatre was created to get to know emerging talent, encourage dreaming, and foster exploration in Chicago’s theatre community. Leading with curiosity, it provides artists with the space, stage, and time to incubate new work, new artistic relationships, and new artistic forms. A Red Orchid’s ensemble maintains the conviction that live theatre is the greatest sustenance for the human spirit, and that passionately committed artists will draw passionately committed audiences. The Incubator is an active manifestation of that conviction and of A Red Orchid’s mission to cultivate new audiences for the modern stage.

Have an idea and want to work with us? Email our Artistic Director, Kirsten Fitzgerald, for more information.

Upcoming Incubator Projects

Kalliope & Co. presents an A Red Orchid Incubator production of
The Receptionist
By Adam Bock
Directed by Kyle Stoffers
May 15 – June 2, 2024 at A Red Orchid Theatre
Featuring AROT Ensemble Member dado
with Jessica Ervin, Jacob Alexander, and Dano Duran

At the start of a typical day in the Northeast Office, Beverly deals effortlessly with ringing phones and her colleague’s romantic troubles. But the appearance of a charming rep from the Central Office disrupts the friendly routine. And as the true nature of the company’s business becomes apparent, The Receptionist raises disquieting, provocative questions about the consequences of complicity with evil.

About the Playwright: Adam Bock is a playwright best known for A Small FireThe ReceptionistThe Drunken CityThe Thugs, and Swimming in the Shallows. He writes both comedy and drama, blending whimsical surrealism with dark and painful exploration of character. Charles Isherwood described A Small Fire as “a theatrical combo plate that proves unusually satisfying … raucous, funny and unexpectedly touching.” Adam has had more than ten plays produced at prestigious theatres including Manhattan Theatre Club, Playwrights Horizons, Soho Rep., Second Stage Uptown, Rattlestick, and Yale Rep. He has received the Obie Award, BATCC Award, Clauder Prize, Glickman Award, and Guernsey Award, and been nominated for the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards. Adam has been a resident playwright at New Dramatists and an artistic associate at Shotgun Players and Encore Theater.

About the Director: Kyle Stoffers (he/him) is a director of theatre based in Chicago. His A Red Orchid Theatre credits include Traitor and The Mutilated (Assistant Director), Pilgrim’s Progress and Red Handed Otter (Assistant Stage Manager), and for with A Red Orchid’s Incubator Series with The ReceptionistTom & Eliza *postponed indefinitely due to COVID, and Puget Sound (Director), The Silence That Follows and Where’s the Rest of Me (Assistant Director), Celebration (Assistant Director & Stage Manager), and All Us Good Guys (Stage Manager). He has also worked on casting for nearly every production at A Red Orchid since 2016. Other Chicago Credits include: With or Without Wings (Director, Steppenwolf Look Out); Alias Grace (Assistant Director, Rivendell Theatre); The Sweeter Option (Assistant Stage Manager, Strawdog Theatre); and A Scent of Flowers (Assistant Stage Manager, BackStage Theatre). Kyle received his BA in Theatre Directing from Ball State University and currently serves as the Casting & Administrative Associate at A Red Orchid Theatre. For more, visit

Previous Incubator Projects

Act Five & Reawakening Desire


Conceived & installed by Ensemble Member dado

Script by Katherine Swan | Musical curation by Sam Clapp

What if the orchard was not destroyed, and we return years later to find our musicians still playing out there? In this exploration of an imagined Act Five of Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard, we finally get to meet and experience the offstage musicians in person. Act Five will be shared with our patrons via five open rehearsals. 


Directed by Ensemble Member Shade Murray

Leaning into the sexy, the giddy, and the heartbreaking of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya, this project aims to investigate a world where desire is ignited in the most wonderfully unexpected ways. This workshop will culminate in a free, salon-style reading.


Purpose: CELEBRATION was developed to experiment with combining theatrical and musical forms and further exploring relationships between the artists.

Set on the eve of an anniversary party held in an elite London restaurant, Harold Pinter’s Celebration explores the bizarrely acute and darkly hilarious condition of human disconnection. This theatrical event imposes Pinter’s restaurant onto an experimental performance of Mauricio Kagel’s music, exacerbating the tensions in human relationships and the ensuing existential disposition.

Sick by Seven

Purpose: SICK BY SEVEN was developed to explore the combination of video multimedia with theatrical forms in new work while exploring relationships with new artists and raising funds for a charitable organization.

Anxiety, phobias, mental illness, mysterious diseases, and medication are among the issues explored by artists in SICK BY SEVEN. The seven interconnected works, part of A Red Orchid Theatre’s Incubator series, combine live theater and video to investigate physical, mental and societal health in the modern world.

Puget Sound

Purpose: PUGET SOUND was a play development workshop that explored new work and new artistic relationships, culminating in a staged reading that invited audience feedback.

Two beach combers’ lives are disrupted when a severed foot washes ashore. “Puget Sound” explores what happens when the mysteries of the ocean collide with the mysteries of life and death.

Put Your House In Order

Purpose: PUT YOUR HOUSE IN ORDER explored new working relationships, creating a new company with a new play, and implemented experimental marketing and ticketing strategies

Just outside of Chicago. Fall. In only 24 hours, a first date turns into a life-shaking adventure against the clock as two people are thrust into circumstances outside of their control.