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Chicago Writers' Bloc 2013 New Play Festival of Readings at Next Theatre in Evanston
Next Theatre
Evanston, IL
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Chicago Writers' Bloc 2013 New Play Festival of Readings at Next Theatre in Evanston
Chicago Northside and North suburban playwrights, several whose hit shows have been performed across the U.S. and overseas, will premiere 13 new plays and musicals at Next Theatre Company, 927 Noyes St. during the Chicago Writers' Bloc 2013 Festival of readings, April 29 - May 22.
The Fest begins with a gala benefit performance of Genderella, an original musical that launches the Festival at 7 p.m. with free food and drinks, a silent auction, and a raffle.  Tickets for the gala are $20.  All other shows are $10 and begin at 8 p.m.  A Festival Pass good for all performances, many featuring Equity actors, is available for $25.  Tickets may be purchased from Brown Paper Tickets, at 800-838-3006, online at www.brownpapertickets, or by paying at the door.
Funds raised help support the Chicago Writers' Bloc and ease the cost of readings for playwrights.  The Festival is supported, in part, by the Dramatists Guild Fund, Inc.  Additional donations are welcome.  For further information about Chicago Writers' Bloc, including contact information, see our website at http://www.writersblocfest.org.

April 29: Genderella chronicles one person's gender journey based on a story by Honey West.  Book is by Joanne Koch and Honey West, music by Ilya Levinson and lyrics  by Myrna Petlicki.  An Evanston resident, Dr. Koch has had 17 plays and musicals produced throughout the US including Soul Sisters, American Klezmer, and Belle Barth: If I Embarrass You--Tell Your Friends.  A Midwest Emmy and American Film and Video Award winner, Dr. Koch is the director of the National Louis University Graduate Writing Program.  Chicago composer Ilya Levinson has been widely praised for his operas, musicals, symphonic and chamber music, and film scores. He is Assistant Professor at the Music Department at Columbia College Chicago.  Myrna Petlicki is a freelance arts writer, arts columnist for Pioneer Press  newspapers and managing editor of Footlights, a theater program publication. She was the lyricist for Black, White and Gray produced at Theatre Building Chicago. She lives in Skokie.  Honey West is very proud to be a 2012 inductee into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of  Fame.  Her cabaret act ran for 13 years in Chicago and in touring productions.  Recently she appeared as Big Mama in Hell in A Handbag's Pussy on the House by Ryan Landry for which she received a Best Actress Award from Broadway World.com. She lives in Chicago.

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April 30: Jersey Justice by June Finfer explores the process of protecting the innocent and punishing the guilty when six African American men are rounded up, tried and sentenced to death when a shopkeeper is killed in Trenton, New Jersey.  The only problem is that they didn't do it.  A sister, a friend, and the Communist Party are their only hope.   Based on the true story written from the book Jersey Justice by Cathy Knepper, Jersey Justice is an exploration of how far authorities will go to make citizens feel safe.  Finfer has also written a musical with Elizabeth Doyle called The White City, which  toured Chicago recently, about the construction of the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago.  Her play,The Glass House, focused on Mies van der Rohe's Farnsworth House, was recently produced by Resonance Ensemble Theatre in New York City.

May 1: In Zipporah Porton's The Beneficiary, Harry Gold has found a way to make millions of dollars.  While his methods may be legal, are they morally ethical?  Agent Fiona Tower doesn't think so.  Porton holds an MFA in playwriting from the University of Southern California.  Her plays have been produced at USC, Cypress College, Princeton University and in Los Angeles and Australia.  Her play Breakfast was chosen as Best One-Act Play 2000 by the Internet Theatre Workshop and was published in an anthology.  She is a resident of Roscoe Village.

May 6: features Blake Levinson's drama, By Reason of Sanity.  It explores the relationship between a troubled white therapist who shares a fascination for the benefits of violent uprisings with her client, a battered black woman.  The startling results begs the question: 'Do Two Wronged Women Make a Right?"  Levinson lives in the  Lakeview neighborhood..

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May 7: showcases Lincolnwood  resident Zan Skolnick's Enduring Loves," a comedy about issues of aging, personal and financial loss, loyalty, and friendship.  Following a recent reading in New York, a noted director found the characters "lovely and fascinating."  Skolnick's produced plays include ...And Puppy Dogs' Tails, Whale, Down From the Hill, and God Help the Rabbi which had three different Chicago/suburban productions. A Lincolnwood resident, Skolnick's plays have won local, national, and international awards.

May 8:  Judy Veramendi's  sizzling comedy, Men Around the World,  catalogs an innocent's relationships abroad.  Many of her works have a  Latin American flavor.  Last year Alegrias y lagrimas (Happiness and Tears) mixed true stories of Latino immigrants with dances from their countries in a co-production at Raven Theatre with Centro Romero.  Next Theatre hosted a production of Hall of Hungry Ghosts, a drama about the disappeared during Argentina's "dirty war." Forever Flamenco, a musical covering three generations of gypsy dancers was produced at Instituto Cervantes, Chicago.  Now an Evanston resident, Veramendi's plays have also been produced in Argentina and Uruguay.

May 13:  Bev Rosen 's comedy, I Owe You a Lullaby, concerns a former diva who receives a visit from her daughter after 40 years of separation.   The show had an earlier reading at Boxer Rebellion theater.  Her play Near Niagara was produced at Snowmass, CO, and at Chicago Playwrights Center.  A Lakeview resident, Rosen has had several short plays performed in festivals at Circle Theatre, Oak Park, and at the Open Door Ensemble Short Plays Festival.

May 14: Parasol, Chloe Bolan's haunting play about a survivor of the Eastland, a tourist ship that in 1915 capsized in the Chicago River drowning 850 people, is explored in musical scenes -- book and lyrics by Bolan, music by Gerald Bailey.  Parasol was a semifinalist in the Moondance Film Festival.   Bolan's children's play, M. KiKi, about a French trufflehunting pig published by Heartland Plays, now has drawings by artist Beth Bird.   Bolan, an East Lakeview resident, teaches English at Truman College.  Bailey, an actor/director/composer, has worked with CWB  playwrights for several years.

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May 15: Liz Ellison will offer Itch Loves Louie.  Two home-schooled sisters, closely watched by their nervous, unpredictable parents, feel ready to see what the real world  looks like, but Itch and her younger sister, Dobs, find their escape plans aren't much alike.  Ellison is a 2012-2013 Core Apprentice at the Playwrights Center.  Her plays have been developed and produced in Chicago, New York, Omaha, Aspen and Ypsilanti.  She has been a semifinalist for the Princess Grace Award and a three-time O'Neill National Playwrights Conference semifinalist.  A Ravenswood resident, she is a 2011 alum of the MFA program in dramatic writing from Carnegie-Mellon University where she was a recipient of the Steven Bochco Fellowship.

May 20: One Red Grain of Sand, by emerging playwright Gerald Cole, concerns a Muslim family that moves to Cairo, IL, where they learn about prejudice and kindness.  A trained Shakesperean actor, he's performed in many plays and musicals.  He was head writer for a cable children's tv show B.N. Explorer.  A resident of Avondale, Cole recently received a Master's in Writing from National Louis University.

May 21: Verve, a 90-minute musical that follows five women at a gym as they lose the fat fetish and find friendship was written by Fran Zell (book and lyrics) and Karena Mendoza (music).  Zell, an award-winning playwright and  fiction writer, developed Verve at Midwest New Musicals.  She lives in Evansville, WI.  Mendoza is an award winning vocalist and composer based in Riverside, IL.

-May 22: Nikki Paley Cox's comedy, All Other Nights, concerns a family's daughter who returns home for a Passover Seder to try reconcile with her family, but real-life signs and wonders force her to question her belief in family and faith.  A Lakeview resident, she recently completed a movie version of Lift and Separate that premiered at Writers' Bloc Fest 2011.


Next Theatre
927 Noyes St.
Evanston, IL 60201
United States


Arts > Performance
Arts > Theatre

Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!



Abraham S.
Chicago, IL United States
May 21, 2013 2:27 PM
Name Withheld
Chicago, VA United States
May 21, 2013 8:33 AM
Name Withheld
Chicago, VA United States
May 21, 2013 8:33 AM
Name Withheld
Chicago, IL United States
May 21, 2013 7:27 AM
Name Withheld
Chicago, IL United States
May 21, 2013 7:27 AM

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