Written & directed by Ensemble Member Levi Holloway
Featuring Ensemble Members Michael Shannon, Travis A. Knight & Lawrence Grimm

Performance Dates: May 2-June 9, 2024 EXTENDED through June 22!
ast June 19-22: Lawrence Grimm (Green), Travis A. Knight (Rabbit) & Drew Vidal (Birdy)
Disclaimer: We cannot guarantee a performer on any given night. Understudies may be required to go on with late notice.
Preview Performances: May 2-11, 2024 (Thurs-Sun)
Press Performances: May 11, 2024
Opening Night: May 12. Limited tickets available to the public. Includes post-show reception with the cast & creative team!
Regular Run Performances: May 15-June 9, 2024 (Wed-Sun)
Industry Night: May 15 (tickets on sale May 8)
ASL Interpreted performance: Wednesday, May 22 at 7 PM (call 312-943-8722 or email to get access tickets)
Open Captioned performance: Sunday, June 2 at 3 PM (call 312-943-8722 or email to get access tickets)
Rush Tickets: Starting May 16, a limited number of $15 Student & Educator tickets will be available by phone starting at noon on show days. Availability will vary by performance. To purchase, call (312) 943-8722 from 12-5pm Mon-Fri, or (312) 758-4255 starting two hours before showtimes. Must present valid student or teacher ID at the performance.
un Time: 2.5 hours, including a 10-minute intermission

World Premiere!

Two men survive in a facility deep underground somewhere in the wild woods of the Pacific Northwest, hiding away from something terrible looming just outside. Ensnared in a relentless loop of endless tomorrows, they discover the wolf isn’t at the door, he’s already inside, waiting in the creeping darkness all around them. Turret is an excavation of masculinity, love, loss and isolation. A claustrophobic carnival of carnage, cribbage, whiskey, music, mischief and mayhem.



Ensemble Member Levi Holloway

May 2-June 22, 2024

Season 31

World Premiere!

Two men survive in a facility deep underground somewhere in the wild woods of the Pacific Northwest, hiding away from something terrible looming just outside. Ensnared in a relentless loop of endless tomorrows, they discover the wolf isn’t at the door, he’s already inside, waiting in the creeping darkness all around them. Turret is an excavation of masculinity, love, loss and isolation. A claustrophobic carnival of carnage, cribbage, whiskey, music, mischief and mayhem.

Green | Founding Ensemble Member Michael Shannon*
Rabbit | Associate Artistic Director Travis A. Knight*
Birdy | Founding Ensemble Member Lawrence Grimm*
U/S Green | Founding Ensemble Member Lawrence Grimm*
U/S Rabbit | Felipe Carrasco
U/S Birdy | Drew Vidal

Playwright & Director | Ensemble Member Levi Holloway
Scenic Design | Ensemble Member Grant Sabin^
Costume Design | Ensemble Member Myron Elliott^
Lighting Design | Ensemble Member Mike Durst^
Master Electrician | Duncan Hon
Sound Design | Jeffrey Levin^
Props Design | Rowan Doe
Props Assistant | Jamie Auer
Projections Designer | Paul Deziel^
Fight Choreographer | Max Fabian
Movement Director | Drew Vidal
Technical Director | Tom Daniel
Carpenters | Josh Fitch, McManus
Stage Manager | JC Widman*
Assistant Stage Manager | Faith Locke
Second Assistant Stage Manager | Taylor Owen
Production Manager | Patrick Starner
Assistant Director | Ensemble Member Sadieh Rifai
Dramaturg & Script Supervisor | Hilary Williams
Casting Assistant | Kyle Stoffers
Poster Image Artist | Ensemble Member Levi Holloway

*denotes member of Actors Equity Association, Union of Professional Actors & Stage Managers
^ Member of United Scenic Artists-Local USA 829-IATSE

Sensory/atmospheric content advisories: Haze, strobe lights, gunshots, sudden light changes, artificial blood

Emotive content advisories: Turret includes depictions of or references to the following: Profanity, physical violence, death, body horror, loss or grief, alcohol use or abuse

WBEZ: “Michael Shannon is back to searing, in-your-face Chicago theatre” (published May 1)

WGN Radio:Turret world premiere starring Michael Shannon at Chopin Theatre” (published May 1)

WGN TV: “Academy Award winner Michael Shannon back on stage in Chicago in Turret” (published May 3)

Chicago Tribune: “A Red Orchid’s new play ‘Turret’ has a father’s ghost — and Michael Shannon trapped in a bunker” (published May 9)

Playbill: “Michael Shannon returns to his roots in Turret in Chicago” (published May 13)

Third Coast Review: “Michael Shannon & Travis Knight talk about Turret, working with an ensemble and being fearless onstage” (published May 13)

NBC Chicago:Turret debuts at Chopin Theatre: A tale of survival & fatherhood” (aired May 20)

NBC Chicago: “Michael Shannon reflects on 30 years with A Red Orchid Theatre” (aired May 20)

ABC Chicago: “Actor Michael Shannon returns to Chicago stage in Turret at Chopin Theatre” (aired May 24)

CBS Chicago: “Turret on stage at A Red Orchid Theatre” on 2’s Got Your Ticket (aired May 31)

WGN Chicago’s Behind the Curtain:Turret starring Michael Shannon at Chopin Theatre is gripping audiences through June 22nd” (aired June 4)

Jeff Recommended!

Turret is another example, coming hard upon, of Chicago theater at its very best. You would not want to miss the chance.” -Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune (4 out of 4 stars)

“In turns, ominous, humorous and flat-out weird, Turret is a star turn for everyone involved.” Catey Sullivan, Chicago Sun-Times (3.5 out of 4 stars)

“The 21st century’s answer to Samuel Beckett’s Endgame… A rich and absorbing, and surprisingly funny, creation of a world that is simultaneously familiar and horrifying, comforting and cold.” Kerry Reid, Chicago Reader (Reader Recommended)

Turret is a powerful puzzle-box of a play.” -Karen Topham, Chicago On Stage (Highly Recommended)

“A spell binder that will hold your attention and grab you from start to finish.” -Alan Bresloff, Around The Town Chicago (Highly Recommended)

“This play is a warning and a tragedy. It spins out the most human of instincts to connect and to destroy like a spider’s web.  And it explores masculinity in a compellingly impressionistic way… It was cathartic to travel the journey with these masterful actors who told their story with heart and truth.” -Angela Allyn, Chicago Stage & Screen (Highly Recommended)

Turret is a thriller for the philosophical mind: it asks us how wild animals become domesticated and how domesticated animals become free. It asks what happens to every act of love we pour into another person… Knowing that tomorrow may happen without you, what will you do, what will you be, and who will you care for today?” -Row Light, Third Coast Review (Highly Recommended)

“Spectacle-driven but intimate: four words that also could have described Tracy Letts’s Bug, a similarly unsettling production that leaves audiences doubting and wondering while managing to be a feast for the eyes and the mind, and in which both Shannon and A Red Orchid figured from its inception two decades ago. Grounded by unsurprisingly outstanding performances, Turret speaks to what keeps artists like Shannon coming back to Chicago: It’s a bold swing that gives artists like him opportunities they might not have anywhere else.” -Jerald Raymond Pierce, American Theatre Magazine

“In addition to its brilliant playwright/director, and a cast of three gifted, experienced actors, this show is a technical marvel.” -Colin Douglas, Chicago Theatre Review (Recommended)

Levi Holloway’s play, Turret, is dependent on the creation of a very specific and detailed world, which could not have been rendered so vividly without an incredibly collaborative Design Team. Designers and builders of excellence working at the top of their game provided great artistry and execution on set, props, sound, costumes, lights, fight choreography and projections.

Turret cast and founding ensemble member Lawrence Grimm sat down recently with Projections Designer Paul Deziel to discuss his visionary work on the creation of this hit production. The following is an edited version of that interview.

LARRY: I am pretty sure you didn’t come out of the womb saying “I am a projectionist” – so what was your path to this vocation?

PAUL: Like many of us, I started acting in high school. Got the bug. Started applying to schools. By the time admissions came around I was like, “I don’t want to be an actor.” But, I loved theatre and filmmaking. I had to learn the hard way: you can study one thing, not everything. I went into Stage Management thinking I would get a holistic view at Columbia College Chicago. Grant (Sabin, Turret Set Designer and AROT Ensemble Member) was one of my professors, as was Kirsten (Fitzgerald, AROT Artistic Director). But at some point, we brought in a Projections Designer for a show; the next year he was teaching a Special Topics class and then designing a mainstage, and that was Mike Tutaj, and I took his class; I assisted him on the mainstage and that was it. I fell into the rabbit hole.

For so many of us, we know when we know. For you, what was that hook?

As a Stage Manager, it’s less creative and more managerial. My favorite part of stage managing was calling the cues and everything else I thought was terrible. But being able to determine where the cues are and the look of things was interesting. The collaboration was something I latched onto later; it wasn’t the initial draw. It was the programming and the feeling that I was doing something of consequence.

We have all worn many hats in this production and I’ve been tracking some of yours. The scope of your projections in this show is vast – it encompasses filmed scenes, technical communications, gaming, maps, infiltrations, testing, environments and scenescapes. Was that exciting or overwhelming territory for you to cover?

I mean, a very funny thing is that initially upon reading the script, I noticed that there are twelve other languages that we were actually culling back from. What I am doing is a lot, but I always thought there was going to be a lot more, and in some ways it’s a relief that I didn’t have to tech seven hundred more cues. The show developed and changed so much. It’s a very functional design. Levi (Playwright and Director) encouraged me to give autonomy to the performers so that they actually get to be in control of some of the technology’s timing and execution, which was very cool for me. Being flexible is my modus operandi.

Does that mean you enjoy encountering problems and solving them?

I do. Sometimes, suddenly I need to solve a problem that might not actually be my problem to solve, but I have to do something. Sometimes the projection design doesn’t know what it wants to be until we are in the space. Every show is its own puzzle, and you are trying to solve that puzzle.

What was your biggest puzzle to solve in this show?

The tests. (Green (Michael Shannon) executes a regimen of daily fitness tests with Rabbit (Travis Knight)). It’s a test for me within, “Does this work on stage?” I’m usually very hesitant to put an audience in a place where they “read” the show. There is a relationship that exists in these character’s exchanges, and I wanted that reflected in the projections.

There is a great element of precision in your work that creates relationship and intimacy – what I would call a “lean-in factor” with the audience. It’s suspenseful to wait for some of the responses in both the testing and the chat link exchanges. Can you address that idea of precision?

Initially, I thought each exchange was going to be its own individual cue. Figuring out that timing was — in some ways, I could just plug in numbers; this is how long it would take for someone to say this. I forget where I heard this, but when you have subtitles in a movie, the general rule is you want someone to be able to read the text one and a half times before it goes on to the next segment; long enough for you to get it, but it’s not overly long.

What is one thing your average person would have no clue about when it comes to the craft of projections?

It’s the relationship of visuals to sound in everything that pops up. Another system triggers my cues or vice versa. Sometimes sound, sometimes lighting. The way Jeffery (Levin, Sound Designer) and I program things has to have an interconnected logic. It’s very specific: “The moment these words are typed out, start this typing sound, and the moment it ends, stop this typing sound.” The little things make it seamless. We would joke about how much work and intensive labor goes into an individual cue and how no one will notice it.

What gives you the greatest pleasure in what you do?

A show that I think is cool. It’s very rare to find a project that scratches the brain and makes you say “I am all about this,” on everything from genre to content. This is that show. I am having to change gears to go onto another project, and the difficulty is that I really like the work on this show. I love exploring the ways to make something seamless that follows a logic in theatrical storytelling. I would much rather do that than, “Which cloud loop do you like?”

Photo credits: Fadeout Media & Jesus Santos

Production Sponsors

Heidi Graham

Ellen Shannon

Opening Night Partner

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