Past Productions

Season

2015-2016

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information about that show.

 

Pilgrim’s ProgressPilgrims Progress_poster-small
World Premiere

By Ensemble Member Brett Neveu
Directed by Ensemble Member Shade Murray
Featuring Ensemble Members Kirsten Fitzgerald
& Michael Shannon
Featuring Designs by Ensemble Member Mike Durst

Previews: November 5 – November 8, 2015
Regular Run: November 12 – December 13, 2015
 

TheMutilatedposter-smallThe Mutilated

By Tennessee Williams
Directed by Ensemble Member Dado
Featuring Ensemble Members Jennifer Engstrom, Mierka Girten,
Steve Haggard, Shade Murray, Doug Vickers & Natalie West
Featuring Designs by Ensemble Members Mike Durst & Karen Kawa

Previews: January 14 – January 17, 2016
Regular Run: January 21 – February 28, 2016
Extension: March 5 – March 13, 2016
 


arot_sender_11x17_poster-smallSender

World Premiere

By Ike Holter 
Directed by Ensemble Member Shade Murray
Featuring Ensemble Member Steve Haggard
Featuring Designs by Ensemble Members Mike Durst & Joseph Fosco

Previews: April 14 – April 17, 2016
Regular Run: April 21 – May 29, 2016
Extension: June 02 – June 04, 2016

 

2014-2015

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Strandline posterStrandline
U.S. Premiere

By Abbie Spallen
Directed by J.R. Sullivan
Featuring Ensemble Members Dado, Kirsten Fitzgerald & Natalie West
Featuring Designs by Ensemble Member Mike Durst

Previews: October 23 – October 26, 2014
Regular Run: October 29 – December 07, 2014
Extended: December 11 – December 13, 2014
 

AccidentallyLikeAMartyr-posterAccidentally Like A Martyr
Chicago Premiere

By Grant James Varjas
Directed by Ensemble Member Shade Murray
Featuring Ensemble Members Steve Haggard & Doug Vickers
Featuring Designs by Ensemble Member Karen Kawa

Previews: January 15 – January 18, 2015
Regular Run: January 22 – March 05, 2015
 

Red_Handed_Otter_11x17_PosterRed Handed Otter
Chicago Premiere

By Ethan Lipton
Directed by Ensemble Member Dado
Featuring Ensemble Members Guy Van Swearingen & Mierka Girten
Featuring Designs by Ensemble Member Karen Kawa

Previews: April 9 – April 12, 2015
Regular Run: April 16 – May 24, 2015

 

2013-2014

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information about that show.

 

Trevor Poster FinalTrevor

Midwest Premiere

By Nick Jones
Directed by Artistic Associate Shade Murray
Featuring Ensemble Members Mierka Girten & Larry Grimm

Previews: October 10 – October 13, 2013
Regular Run: October 17 – November 24, 2013
 
 
 

Solstice poster 2-smallSolstice

U.S. Premiere

By Zinnie Harris
Directed by Ensemble Member Karen Kessler
Featuring Ensemble Members Larry Grimm & Kirsten Fitzgerald with Artistic Associate Steve Schine
Featuring Designs by Ensemble Members Mike Durst & Karen Kawa

Previews: January 09- January 12, 2014
Regular Run: January 16 – February 23, 2014

 

mudbluesky postcard frontMud Blue Sky

Chicago Premiere

By Marisa Wegrzyn
Directed by Artistic Associate Shade Murray
Featuring Ensemble Members Natalie West & Kirsten Fitzgerald
Featuring Designs by Ensemble Members Mike Durst & Karen Kawa

Previews: April 09 – April 12, 2014
Regular Run: April 17 – May 25, 2014
Extended: May 29 – June 29, 2014

 

2012-2013

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information about that show.

 

Cropped posterThe Opponent

World Premiere

By Ensemble Member Brett Neveu
Directed by Karen Kessler
Featuring Ensemble Members Guy Van Swearingen and Kamal Angelo Bolden
Featuring Designs by Ensemble Member Mike Durst

Previews: October 18 – October 21, 2012 
Regular Run: October 25 – December 2, 2012
 

Aliens poster designThe Aliens

Chicago Premiere

By Annie Baker
Directed by Artistic Associate Shade Murray
Featuring Ensemble Member Steve Haggard

Previews: January 17 – January 20, 2013
Regular Run: January 24 – March 3, 2013
 

posterIn A Garden

Chicago Premiere

By Howard Korder
Directed by Lou Contey
Featuring Founding Ensemble Member Larry Grimm

Previews: April 4 – April 7, 2013
Regular Run: April 11 – May 19, 2013
 

Simpatico Deception 11x17
By Sam Shepard
Directed by Ensemble Member Dado
Featuring Ensemble Members Michael Shannon & Guy VanSwearingen, Jennifer Engstrom, Mierka Girten & Doug Vickers
Featuring Designs by Ensemble Member Mike Durst

Previews: June 13 – June 16, 2013
Regular Run: June 20 – July 28, 2013

 

2011-2012

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information about that show.

 

Becky Shawpostcard front01

Chicago Premiere

By Gina Gionfriddo
Directed by Damon Kelley
Featuring Ensemble Members Lance Baker, Jennifer Engstrom,
and Mierka Girten
Featuring Designs by Ensemble Member Joseph Fosco

Previews: September 23 – September 25, 2011
Regular Run: September 29 – November 6, 2011

 

Megacosmmegacosm_poster

World Premiere

By Brett Neveu
Directed by Ensemble Member Dado
Featuring Ensemble Members Larry Grimm and Danny McCarthy

Previews: January 13 – January 15, 2012
Regular Run: January 19 – February 19, 2012

 
 

Butcher of Baraboobutcher_poster02-small

By Marisa Wegrzyn
Directed by Shade Murray
Featuring Ensemble Members Kristen Fitzgerald and Natalie West

Previews: March 29 – April 1, 2012
Regular Run: April 5 – May 13, 2012

 

 

2010-2011

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information about that show.

 

Louis Slotin SonataLouis Slotin Sonata Poster

Midwest Premiere

By Paul Mullin
Directed by Ensemble Member Karen Kessler
Featuring Ensemble Member Doug Vickers
Featuring Designs by Ensemble Member Joseph Fosco

Previews: September 10 – September 13, 2010
Regular Run: September 17 – October 24, 2010
 
 

The IliadIliad Image for Constant Contact

World Premiere Adaptation

By Craig Wright
Adapted from Robert Fagles Translation and Ian Strachan’s The Illiad
Directed by Steve Wilson
Featuring the A Red Orchid Theatre Youth Ensemble

Previews: November 12 – November 14, 2010
Regular Run: November 19 – December 19, 2010
 
 

New Electric BallroomNEB Image Final

Midwest Premiere

By Edna Walsh
Directed by Robin Witt
Featuring Ensemble Members Kirsten Fitzgerald and Guy Van Swearingen
Featuring Designs by Ensemble Members Joseph Fosco and Karen Kawa

Previews: January 20 – January 23, 2011
Regular Run: January 27 – March 6, 2011
 
 

The MandrakeMandrake Poster Image

By Machiavelli, Translated by Peter Constantine
Directed by Steve Scott
Featuring Ensemble Members Lance Baker, Steve Haggard and Doug Vickers
Featuring Designs by Ensemble Member Joseph Fosco

Previews: April 8 – April 10, 2011
Regular Run: April 15 – May 24, 2011

 

2009-2010

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information about that show.

 

Mistakes Were Mademistakes_poster[1]

World Premiere

By Ensemble Member Craig Wright
Directed by Ensemble Member Dexter Bullard
Featuring Ensemble Members Michael Shannon and Mierka Girten

Featuring Designs by Ensemble Member Joseph Fosco

Previews: September 8 – September 13, 2009
Regular Run: September 17 – October 18, 2009

 

A Very Merry Unauthorized Children’s Scientology PageantSciPagPoster09

Back by Overwhelming Demand!

By Kyle Jarrow, from a concept by Alex Timbers
Directed by Ensemble Member Steve Wilson
Featuring Members of our Youth Ensemble
Featuring Designs by Ensemble Members Joseph Fosco & Karen Kawa

Previews: November 12 – November 15, 2009
Regular Run: November 19 – January 3, 2010

 

Abigail’s Partyabigail_poster02

Chicago Premiere

By Mike Leigh
Directed by Artistic Associate Shade Murray
Featuring Artistic Director Kirsten Fitzgerald & Ensemble Members Mierka Girten, Larry Grimm, and Danny McCarthy with Natalie West

Previews: February 5 – February 7, 2010
Regular Run: February 11 – March 21, 2010

 

2008-2009

Pumpgirl
by Abbie Spallen
directed by Karen Kessler
featuring Kirsten Fitzgerald, Larry Grimm, and Grace Rex

Abbie Spallen’s Pumpgirl takes us on a turbo charged raced through the diesel fumes and country music of the borderlands between Northern and Southern Ireland. This explosively comic play jolts into high gear as three lives careen wildly and compellingly out of control. Drink, dirty love and clapped-out motors set the backdrop for charting the humors and horrors that grow out of the utter lack of options and imagination in these Armagh badlands. Sometimes love is blind; sometimes it’s just this desperate.

THE UNSEEN 
by Craig Wright
Directed by ensemble member Dado
Featuring: Danny McCarthy, Steve Key, and Keith Kupferer

The Unseen is Craig Wright’s darkly humorous examination of faith and reason in a completely unreasonable world. Imprisoned by an unknown totalitarian regime and mercilessly tortured for unknown crimes, Wallace and Valdez live without hope of escape or release. When an enigmatic new prisoner arrives and begins communicating in code, both men develop new relationships to each other, their captors, and their world.

A Very Merry Unauthorized Children’s Scientology Pageant
Book, Music & Lyrics By Kyle Jarrow
From A Concept By Alex Timbers
Directed by Lance Baker and Steve Wilson
Musical Direction By Brandon Magid
Musical Arraingement & Sound By Joseph Fosco
Featuring: Chaz Allen, Najwa Brown, Jackson Challinor, Jaiden Fallo, Paola Lehman, Melanie Neilan, Adam Rebora, Kara Ryan, Elenna Sindler, Aria Szalai-Raymond

An anonymous company of merry children gather on a cold winter night to rejoice in telling the story of Scientology founder and hero L. Ron Hubbard. Rejoicing in songs such as “Hey! It’s a Happy Day!,” this satirical musical about Scientology explores the magic of Dianetics, the fascinating E-meter, the immortal Thetans, and the entrancing story of Xenu with the straightest of faces.

With or Without Wings
Written and performed by ensemble member Mierka Girten
Adapted by Michael Thomas
Directed by ensemble member Larry Grimm

Penned and performed by one of A Red Orchid’s very own, this one-woman tour-de-force chronicles a young performer’s humbling first encounters and shocking diagnosis with Multiple Sclerosis. Mierka recrafts her ideal and idyllic childhood living in Cincinnati, discovering her penchant for drama by channeling “Annie”, enrolling in a high school for the performing arts, and embarking on the competitive journey of graduate school where she would ultimately confront an unexpected “hard knock life” in discovering her diagnosis.

2007-2008

Fatboy
By John Clancy
Directed by ensemble member Guy Van Swearingen.
Featuring: Steve Pickering, Jennifer Engstrom, Doug Vickers, John Luzar, and Mark Vallarta.

A modern descendant of Alfred Jarry’s famous Ubu Roi, the tyrannical Fatboy eats everything in sight, until the world he consumes is bereft of both justice and pancakes.  Meanwhile his wife, Fudgie, chases carnal satisfaction; serving as a burlesque Judy to Fatboy’s Punch.  Fatboy examines the destructive forces of blind greed and mindless consumption with a crass comedic panache and questions how a charismatic yet vulgar egomaniac can rise from obscurity to rule an apathetic society.

 

Weapon Of Mass Impact
A World Premiere
By Brett Neveu
Directed by  Edward Sobel
Featuring Jennifer Engstrom, Mierka Girten, Kirsten Fitzgerald, Usman Ally, and Tom McElroy.

Weapon of Mass Impact examines both the effects of terrorism from unseen malicious evildoer types as well as the mundane routine common place terrorism that goes on daily in our apathetic society,” says artistic director and ensemble member Guy Van Swearingen.  “Infusing the dramatic with the everyday, Brett has imagined an amazing world where the professional boundaries between the morality of fair play and personal space are skewed.”

Not A Game For Boys
U.S. Premiere
by Simon Block
Directed by Robin Witt
Featuring: Nigel Patterson, Dan Rivkin, and Bob Turton

Ping Pong is a game like no other. It demands acute dexterity, lightening quick reflexes, and nerves of steel. But nerves are fraying among a team of three London cabbies as they face elimination from their elite league of master players. Can the team captain hold his comrades together to rise above and reach the top this season, or will their bond disintegrate in the face of buried tensions boiling to the surface? This razor sharp comedy in its U.S. Premiere investigates the male psyche at its competitive worst.

2006-2007

The Hothouse
by Harold Pinter
Directed by Dado
Featuring Jennifer Engstrom, Peter DeFaria, Brian R. Dongarra, Gregory Hardigan, Dan Rivkin, Steve Walker, and Troy West

Christmas Eve is hectic enough when it’s spent in the company of loved ones. But when you’re the warden of a government psychiatric hospital, the holiday promises to be anything but a silent night. When one patient is discovered dead and another gives birth, an inquisition is formed to assign blame for the dubious misdeeds and to ensure punishment is inflicted on the guilty parties. Before long, the boss starts unraveling, and a conspiring staff leaves unattended the boiling tensions simmering beneath them.

BLASTED
Midwest Premiere
by Sarah Kane
Directed by Karen Kessler
Featuring: Guy Van Swearingen, Hans Fleischmann, and Helen Sadler

Taking an unflinching look at terror brought on by violence at home and abroad, Blasted brings the horrors of a vague and distant war crashing through the seemingly insular walls of a culpable yet complacent citizenry. When a comfortable hotel room is blown apart, a journalist, his girlfriend, and an intruding soldier are left to weather the primal nature of human beings in crisis.

The Meek
World Premiere
by Brett Neveu
Directed by Brennan Parks
Featuring Mierka Girten, Lawrence Grimm, Doug Vickers, Nicholas Cimino, and Keith Kupferer

In a basement apartment in a rotten part of town, Glynn struggles to focus on his writing career. His friend Patrick flocks to the subterranean lair to escape the paralyzing fear he encounters when he ventures outside – a world controlled by roving street criminals and telephone scammers. But when everything they fear encroaches upon the sanctuary, the shut-ins must confront their dark suppositions about a world that is made both scarier and funnier by their avoidance of it.

2005-2006

Kimberly Akimbo
by David Lindsay-Abaire
Directed by Shade Murray
Featuring: Roslyn Alexander, Jennifer Engstrom, Mierka Girten, Steve Haggard, and Matt Kozlowski

Kimberly Akimbo is your typical sixteen-year old: curious, precocious, and full of insecurity. She also happens to look like she’s 65 years old, due to progeria, a rare condition that causes the human body to age at over four times its normal rate. But this is a minor hindrance compared to the episodes she must grapple with in the midst of her loony family including a lush of a father, a hypochondriac mother, and a scheming felon for an aunt. But like all adolescents, even Kimberly finds hope and excitement in the possibility of first love. Kimberly Akimbo is a play about making every moment count, particularly when you only get 25% of them.

The Sea Horse
By Edward J. Moore
Directed by Dado
Featuring Kirsten Fitzgerald and Guy Van Swearingen

The Sea Horse is a bawdy yet touching love story concerning weathered seaman Harry Bales’ attempt to lure his sweetheart, Gertrude Blum, from her seedy life as proprietor of The Sea Horse, a grimy dive of a bar settled in the mist of the Southern California coastline. Coming from hard, working-class lives, both have seen their share of hard knocks and bear the emotional scars that come from a life of struggle. Yet, as they strive to understand their lot in life and to negotiate an intimacy with one another, a rich story of humor, pathos, and love emerges.

The Earl
By Brett Neveu
Directed by Lance Baker
Featuring:John Moran, Steve Schine, Noah Simon, and Danny Goldring

Rick, having left behind his violent roots to find a new life in Los Angeles, returns after three years to confront his two brothers about past abuses.  Seconds after he arrives, The Game – a brutal family ritual with an elaborate set of rules older than the brothers themselves – begins.  Rick, as ever, is no match for his sadistic kin, but this time he’s brought a secret weapon, a man of incredible fame and wealth who, for this one night only, will be ‘The Earl.’

Hunger and Thirst
By Eugene Ionesco
Directed by Michael Shannon
Featuring: Lance Stuart Baker, Don Digiulio, Keith Ellis, Sean Patrick Fawcett, Jeffrey Hoge, Rory Jobst, Will Kinnear, Johnathan Lamal, Kathy Logelin, Si Osbourne, Matthew Reese, Molly Reynolds, Steve Schine, Andrew J. Sten, Mark Vallarta, and Doug Vickers.

From master dramatist Eugene Ionesco comes this epic journey of one man’s attempt to truly enjoy his existence. Jean is a middle-aged husband and father who cannot accept his lot in life. Stuck in a home that seems to be slowly rotting away and suffocating under the weight of his responsibility to his family, he is haunted by his past and a feeling that the promise of his early years was never delivered to him. Mustering all the courage and strength that remains within him, he makes a decision to strike out into the world hoping to find the ecstasy of being alive. A deeply personal, at times quasi-autobiographical work, Hunger and Thirst is filled with the fantastical humor, kaleidoscopic imagery, and emotional intelligence that have marked Ionesco as a vanguard of the Theatre of the Absurd.

 

2004-2005

The Fastest Clock in the Universe
By Phillip Ridley
Directed by Dado

The Fastest Clock in the Universe tells the story of Cougar Glass’ 19th birthday. His best friend, Captain Tock, has spared no expense providing all necessary party favors: a delectable cake, pointy hats, birthday cards from all the sexiest people, and red meat. Cougar himself has only invited a single guest, the adorable Foxtrot Darling, and may be too busy doting on him to notice your presence. But, parties are inevitably meant to be crashed, and when, subsequently, the crashing commences, Mr. Glass starts to sweat as the illusion on which his entire identity is balanced goes up in flames. The Fastest Clock in the Universe is a devilish romper room of a play which explores the difficulty inherent in appreciating our passing birthdays

Gagarin Way
By Gregory Burke
Directed by Karen Kessler
Featuring: Frank Nall, Steve Schine, Mike Shannon, and Guy Van Swearingen

Set in a small, dead-end town on the southeast coast of Scotland, Gagarin Way concerns the vindication of two thoroughly disenfranchised employees of a soulless computer factory, owned by a large multi-national corporation. Always uncertain of their job security and constantly spied on by corporate snoops, Eddie and Gary plot their revenge and invite Tom, a young security guard fresh out of university, to help them pull off a late night “heist” in a dark storeroom far from the factory floor. But when it’s revealed that the stolen goods consist of more than a few crates of microchips to be sold on the black market, Tom starts to wish he hadn’t left his post. Fueled by the indignation of the nameless and faceless plebes across the globe that make all the useless paraphernalia we build our lives around, Gagarin Way crackles with gallows humor and ballistic intensity.

4 Murders
by Brett Neveu
Directed by Guy Van Swearingen
Featuring: Lawrence MacGowan,  Wendi Weber, Cecil Burroughs, Kirsten Fitzgerald, and Douglas Vickers

In what ways are we connected with the strangers that infiltrate our lives?  How do we deal with the unforeseen consequences of one single impulse and the need for human company, in even the seemingly harmless chat at the bus stop?  How are we blinded to the dangers that are right before us? This dark but funny play battles with how we come to accept the truth from all of the perceptible truths and realities that are available to us.

2003-2004

In the Solitude of Cotton Fields
By Bernard-Marie Koltés
Translated by Jeffrey Wainwright
Directed by Dexter Bullard
Featuring: Lawrence Grimm and Paul Dillon

What would happen if you were traveling in a somewhat hurried, somewhat oblivious disposition, over a straight line, strictly Point A to Point B, and as you were making your way, you came face to face with another person, a dealer, who stands between you and your destination? A dealer that you cannot avoid or side step but must confront? A dealer who drives the hardest of bargains? You not even knowing what you could possibly want or what is being offered, also not wanting to offend but not wanting to answer questions too personal to share with strangers. What happens in an empty society where no one knows what is really being bought and sold? In the Solitude of Cotton Fields distills to its psychological, poetical, and spiritual essence the nature of the most rapidly multiplying and perhaps most intimate relationship in present times, that of DEALER and CLIENT.

 

2002-2003

Eric LaRue
by Brett Neveu
Directed by Ann Filmer
Featuring: Kate Buddeke, Will Clinger, Jennifer Engstrom, Claudia Garrison, Jarrett Sleeper, and Doug Vickers

Set in an anonymous suburban enclave, Eric LaRue concerns the struggle of Janice, a middle-aged mother coming to terms with a high-school shooting spree perpetrated by her son. Walking an unsettling line between satirical social critique and a meditation on the inescapable loneliness of the human soul, Eric LaRue is a powerful fable with its finger tracing the surface of the America’s mobius-strip morality.

Mr Kolpert 
by David Gieselmann
Translated by David Tushingham
Directed by Karen Kessler.
Cast: Jane Baxter Miller, Stephanie Childers, Nicholas Cimino, Larry Grimm,
Michael Shannon, and Allen Davis.

Ugly, violent, and extremely funny Mr. Kolpert takes a hard, raw look at what happens to people who find themselves so numbed by their comfortable and conventional lives that they are willing to do whatever it takes to feel something – anything – again.

2001-2002

BUG
by Tracy Letts
Featuring: Kate Buddeke, Robin Witt, Michael Shannon, Guy Van Swearingen, and Troy West
Directed by Dexter Bullard

Bug takes place in a motel room on the outskirts of Oklahoma City. Forty -year old Agnes White is living a withdrawn, transient life, working as a waitress in a local saloon. She is down to a few seedy friends who stop by to do drugs and booze it up, when into her life comes Peter Evans—a young man with a secret past. As Agnes and Peter desperately throw themselves at one another, Bug delves into the ideas of love, paranoia, and government conspiracy.

The Grey Zone
Midwest Premiere
by Tim Blake Nelson
Directed by Dado
Featuring: Lance Baker, Troy West, Douglas Vickers, Corryn Cummins, Aaron Lisman, Andy Rothenberg, and Mark Vallarta.

The Grey Zone centers on the true account of survivor Dr. Myklos Nyiszli, a Jewish surgeon hand-picked by Joseph Mengele to conduct autopsies on Mengele’s questionably deceased “experiments”; and a selection of Hungarian Jews picked to work in sonderkommando (or Special Commando) units. Their duties are to assist in the heinous act of gassing and burning the incoming trainloads of Jews. At first concerned solely with their own survival Dr. Nyiszli and the sonderkommando find they have given up too much and must fight back in order to save their humanity. The Grey Zone examines the Holocaust not as the abstract horror we have learned but as a real, visceral story that can illustrate the greater truth of what it means to face terrorism with dignity and courage.

 

2000-2001

George Dandin
by Moliere, translated by Albert Bermel
Directed by Richard Cotovsky
Featuring Harry Eddleman, Deb Heinig, Sean Nix, Michael Rothschild, Kori St. Peter, Rick Sandoval, Martha Schoeneberg, Doug Vickers.

George Dandin (or “The Confounded Husband”) is the hilarious chronicle of the troubles of a noveau-riche man’s attempts to better himself through marriage to an aristocratic younger wife. In this translation by Albert Bermel, Moliere hysterically skewers the self interest and jealousy that arise in such situations. When George Dandin discovers his wife is cheating on him, his hilarious attempts to prove her infidelity only end up backfiring on him. In the end he can only resign himself to his new “place in society” `that of the confounded husband.

1999-2000

Place of Angels
World Premiere
by Bob Adams
Directed by Dexter Bullard
Starring Jeff Still

An autobiographical account of Mr. Adams’ experience as a medic during the Vietnam War, Place of Angels goes beyond the G.I. Joe iconography that distorts many dramatic interpretations of the conflict. Filled with the vivid details and complex relationships that only first-hand experience can offer, Mr. Adams explores his plight as a man responsible for the care of wounded soldiers in a terrifyingly difficult and, at times, aimless.battle.

Mr. Bundy
Chicago Premiere
by Jane Martin
Directed by Richard Hesler
Starring Carolyn Bowyer, Kirsten Fitzgerald, Kate Martin, Maeve O’Connor, Rick Sandoval, Daniel Hoppe and Danny McCarthy

Mr. Bundy chronicles what happens in a peaceful, suburban community when it suddenly finds a convicted sex offender living next door. This compelling drama about the dilemma of sex-offender registration and the right to privacy questions humanity and its levels of tolerance. There are no easy answers, especially when some in society view these offenders as nuclear waste.  In Mr. Bundy, the “not in my back-yard” adage takes on a palpable significance, creating a paradigm that addresses how our need for protection can ultimately destroy us.  Mr. Bundy forces us to face the question: are these the lessons we want to teach our children?

1998-1999

The Treatment
(Midwest Premiere)
by Martin Crimp
Directed by Adrian Bucher
With: Bill Bannon, Mierka Girten, Mike McNeal, Lara Phillips, Kathleen Powers, Maria Stevens, Doug Vickers, Wesley Walker and Cedric Young.

In this astonishing satire of the art world at its most ruthless, a team of filmmakers attempts to rewrite the story of one woman’s life. On the run from her husband, who keeps her locked up in their Brooklyn apartment, Anne finds refuge in Manhattan. When two producers offer to buy her story, they end up buying her body and her mind. The Treatment offers a provocative look at the relationship between artist and subject, while exposing the aggressive heart of the city of New York.

The Cut 
(U.S. Premiere)
by Mike Cullen
Directed by Lawrence Grimm
With: John Bakos, LeBron Benton, Matt Gibson, Guy Van Swearingen

The Cutis the story of a coal-miner returning to work after eight years of imprisonment. Searching for the truth behind his father’s mysterious death, he is unable to find anyone willing to face the violent repercussions of honesty. He soon finds himself the victim of selfish manipulators working toward their own social advancement.

1997-1998

The Removalists 
by David Williamson
Directed by Adrian Butcher
With: Kirsten Fitzgerald, Lara Phillips, Mark Nelson, Richard Sandoval, Guy Van Swearingen and Wesley Walker

The Removalists tells the story of an attractive young woman who, while attempting to free herself from a brutish husband, seeks help from two police officers who feign compassion for their own self-serving reasons.

Saturday Stories 
(World Premiere)
by Jimmie Cumbie
Directed by Bea Bosco
With: Hanna Dworkin, Linda Gillum, Kurt Naebig, Erin Philyaw, Christopher Thometz
and Wesley Walker

Saturday Stories examines the lives of six urban dwellers trying to catch up with themselves on the one day they have to call their own. Through image and word, each character looks in vain for the bright promise of a Saturday afternoon, leaving their dreams and disappointments scattered across the stage.

The Killer 
by Eugéne Ionescö
Directed by Danny Torbica
With: Bill Bannon, Tim Beamish, Dominic Conti, Kirsten Fitzgerald, Gwendolyn Sue Grote, Rich Hutchman, Mechelle Moe, Michael Shannon, Guy Van Swearingen and Wesley Walker

Written in 1958, Ionesco’s The Killer remains a harrowing meditation on man’s quest to find home and community for himself in the metropolises of the industrial age. Ionesco tells the story of Berenger, an anonymous everyman. Berenger journeys from the Radiant City, a ridiculously utopian neighborhood, to his search for a Killer. A mystery even the police have given up on solving, Berenger cannot rest until he uncovers its culprit and restores the Radiant City’s sparkle and shine.

1996-1997

The Physicists
by Friedrich Dürrenmatt
Directed by Guy Van Swearingen
With: Richard Atwater, Mary Beth Burns, David Carlson, Richard Cotovsky, Marilyn Dodds Frank, John Gray, Lawrence Grimm, Steve Juergens, Keith Kupferer, Lara Phillips, Daniel, Benjamin Silverstein, Marzena Szajer-Bukowska and Troy West.

With the advancement of new and profound theories in science, what does one do with the information discovered? In The Physicists,Science and humanity must co-exist while three scientists attempt to navigate each other’s secrets. Set in an asylum, Durrenmat’s dark comedy explores insanity, science, and what we owe to knowledge.

The Persecution of Arnold Petch 
(World Premiere)
by David Hauptschein
Directed by Dan Sauer
With: Julie Goldstein, Pat Healy, Ann Jennings, Michael Shannon, Wesley Walker
and Gary Wilmes

Arnold Petch, numbed by his low-income, dead-end existence, conceives of a  conspiracy theory that the “secret police” are slowly stealing his memory, his reality, and his sanity–and that they are trying to make him assassinate the President. Trouble ensues when the president arrives in town, forcing him to make the “big decision,” which could either end his persecution or his life.

‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore 
by John Ford
Directed by Dexter Bullard
With: Dominic Conti, Paul Dillon, Hanna Dworkin, Steve Juergens, Tracy Letts, Jeff Mangrum, Marc A Nelson, Erin Philyaw, Matt Robison, Laura Ruth, Michael Shannon, Guy Van Swearingen, Doug Vickers, Wesley Walker, and Holly Wantuch

This celebrated Jacobean potboiler concerns the hand of Annabella, the fairest maiden in Parma. She has many suitors,but none rival Giovanni, her brilliant and spirited brother. Giovanni and Annabella nervously but passionately consummate their love and must not only reckon with their sins before Heaven, but also dodge the mounting calamity that ensues with their affair. Breathtakingly restless in its shifting plots, Ford’s ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore ultimately ponders whether the arbiter of truth, justice, and beauty is God or ourselves.

1995-1996

Victims of Duty 
by Eugéne Ionescö
Directed by Shira Piven
With: Christopher Gerson, Amy Landecker, Shelia-Marie Robinson, Michael Shannon
and Guy Van Swearingen.

Victims of Duty opens as Choubert, the archetypal bourgeois everyman, and his wife Madeleine are spending a quiet evening at home. Their tranquillity is interrupted when the Detective, who is trying to track down Mallot, the previous tenant of their flat, arrives and calls on Choubert to aide his search. What ensues is a roller-coaster ride of high comedy and horrific tragedy as Choubert examines his past, present, and future to figure out exactly where Mallot could be hiding.

Written in 1952, Ionesco’s Victims of Duty exploits the noir detective formulas of its time as it explores the enigmatic process of establishing a personal identity in the modern world. Director Piven teams up once again with A Red Orchid Theatre to bring this insightful and provocative work to the stage.

The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial 
by Herman Wouk
Directed by Wilson Milam
With: Frank Dominelli, Lawrence Grimm, Gordon Gillespie, Steve Juergens, Tracy Letts, Jeff Mangrum, Joan O’Connell, Matt Scharff, Jeff Still, Guy Van Swearingen, Doug Vickers and Benjamin Werling.

The trial of Lieutenant Stephen Maryk, who has been charged with unlawfully seizing control of the U.S.S. Caine from Captain Philip Queeg while the ship was in the midst of a harrowing typhoon. Maryk’s defense hinges on one elusive question: Was Captain Queeg mentally fit to navigate the ship through the storm to safety, or was Maryk’s decision to take the helm the only chance for the crew’s survival? Throughout the course of the testimony, Wouk’s contemporary morality tale attempts to find the line between discipline and compulsion, fear and paranoia, valor and shame.

The Questioning of Nick
by Arthur Kopit
Directed by Richard Cotovsky

Two detectives try to discover the truth about a rough student suspected of throwing a basketball game. Playing on his pride, they learn bit by bit of his recent experiences, and discover that he knows a certain racketeer. Eventually, the student’s boasting betrays him.

Canus Lunis Balloonis
(World Premiere)
by Chris Stolte
Directed by Richard Cotovsky

When a group of men gather one night to drink beer and play poker, the ways in which they cheat each-other are revealed. This production received a Joseph Jefferson citation for Best New Work, and a nomination for Best Ensemble.

1994-1995

COPS
by Terry Curtis Fox
Directed by Scott Tomhave
a co-production with Amicus Theatre Co.
With: Mark Vallarta, Guy Van Swearingen, Lawrence Woshner and others.

Set in the mid-1970s, Cops features a group of Chicago police officers talking shop in an all-night diner. However, when gunman appears and kills a cop, a showdown develops as the gunman barricades himself behind the counter.

Born Guilty 
by Ari Roth
Directed by Shira Piven
With: Becky Wahlstrom, Lawrence Grimm, Joseph Price, Sam Munoz, Kate Walsh and others.

An adaptation of Peter Sichrovsky’s 1988 book of interviews with children of Nazi and SS officials, Born Guilty charts the impact of these interviews on Peter Sichrovsky’s  life. His obsessive quest to find those who killed his grandmother leads to entanglements with bureaucrats, resistant sons and daughters, and a woman with whom he can truly connect.

Seven Stories 
by Maurice Panych
Directed Lawrence McCauley

The story of a suicidal man perched on the ledge of an apartment building, preparing to plunge to his death. All about him, the building’s inhabitants pop in and out of their windows, revealing snippets of their own incongruous lives. As he contemplates the meaninglessness of his existence, he is unexpectedly and suddenly set free. Seven Stories explores what Panych calls “the grotesquely wonderful and relentlessly fantastic aspects of human behavior.”

1993-1994

The Connection 
by Jack Gelber
Directed by Richard Cotovsky

In Jack Gelber’s culturally shocking 1959 play-within-a-play, Jim Dunn (the “producer”) and Jaybird (the “writer”) attempt to stage a production about the underbelly of society using “real” addicts. Some of the addicts are jazz musicians but they all have one thing in common: they are waiting around for their drug dealer, their “connection.”

Drinking in America
by Eric Bogosian
Directed by Dan Meyer

“Bogosian’s gallery of crazy drunks straddles the social gamut, from a wino lying in the gutter to a coked up Hollywood talent agent. What they all share is their pathetic need to be ‘special’ and their reliance on drink and drugs to fool them into fool thinking that fantasy is real.” – New York Post

Mean Tears 
by Peter Gill
Directed by Meredith McCarthy

Set in contemporary London, this ironic, unsparing and heartfelt play is about fractured love affairs, passionate and callous. “This is a romantic drama which intelligently and movingly captures a clenched English intellectual world of lost friendship and sexual treachery, a world peopled by characters who all have the emptiness of a dead vodka bottle. Mean Tears is about sexual and romantic ownership; it’s also about despair and revenge in a society where answer-phones are used like iron lungs and where possession is nine-tenths of the raw reality.” Sheridan Morley, Punch, 1987

WHAT’S NEW

MacArthur Award 2016


Posted on March 21, 2016

  As many of you have heard, A Red Orchid Theatre has been named one of the 14 recipients of this year’s MacArthur Award for Creative & Effective Institutions.  We …

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Professional Development Series


A Red Orchid Theatre Professional Development: **This class is now full. Please check back for upcoming offerings and if you would like to be added to our contact list to …

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