Theater Oobleck is pleased to participate in the Chicago Commercial Collective’s first Off-Loop Tour, aimed at exporting the best of Chicago theatre to colleges and universities throughout the Midwest.
Along with our There Is a Happiness That Morning Is, the touring productions include: A Steady Rain by Keith Huff (Chicago Dramatists), Unveiled by Rohina Malik (16th Street Theatre), Honeybuns by Dean Evans (Collaboraction), and Crime Scene: A Chicago Anthology by Anthony Moseley (Collaboraction).
The tour will go from Fall 2014 to Spring 2015, and tour booking begins now. If you know of a college, theatre, and the circuit will begin in Fall 2014 and run through Spring 2015. If you are associated with a college or university, and would like to book any of these shows, please contact Associate Producer Benjamin Brownson at (312) 724-7604 or via email.
Videos, photos and additional information are here.
Meanwhile, you can tell your friends all over the country: many theater companies continue to present their own productions of Happiness.
Capital T Theatre (Austin, Texas) and WSC Avant Bard (Washington, DC) just wrapped up productions (the reviews are here and here, and upcoming there is:
Available Light Theater, Columbus Ohio, January 17th.
(Boulder, Colorado), opening February 28.
Theater Oobleck’s anthology of plays, More If You’ve Got It, was reviewed in the inaugural issue of the Chicago Art Journal.
Critic Kerry Reid said:
For me the one company that mattered, the one that challenged the old gods and old orthodoxies — of what a play means, of how it is created, of what yardsticks measure a “successful” company — was Theater Oobleck…
Read this collection. Pass it along. Produce these plays. Please.
Read the full Journal here. (It’s a 40-page pdf, so might take a couple minutes to download.)
Big news: Theater Oobleck is embarking on a collaborative circus arts production with El Circo Nacional de Puerto Rico. We will develop the work — a melding of circus arts and Oobleckian narrative, addressing issues surrounding emigration from Puerto Rico — to premiere in both Chicago and San Juan in 2015.
The project is being made possible through the generous support of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s International Connections Fund. You can read about all the wonderful projects they are supporting this year by reading their press release.
The populist El Circo Nacional de Puerto Rico was founded in 2010. It has performed regularly throughout the island at festivals, schools, theaters, and in the streets.
Gapers Block came out to the Hideout Inn to catch our Baudelaire in a Box “Episode 5” reprise. They said:
Like Baudelaire’s poems, which connect profound urban ennui to sometimes bawdy, sometimes gory imagery, the illustrations linked one non-sequitur to the next with sometimes humorous, sometimes distressing strokes.
Although the French read Baudelaire with great seriousness, one can only imagine that the poet himself meant for them to be read — or sung — as they were last night
The full review is here.
We had a great night. We thank 80 Foots Per Minute for warming up, the incredible Ronnie Kuller for making us a part of her month-long musical residency, and the Hideout for hosting.
Do you want to keep tabs on your favorite Theater Oobleck ensemble members? Here it is… a busy calendar of events from a busy bunch of people.
October 2 through October 19
October 5 through November 3
- Mickle Maher has authored The Pine, produced by The Catastrophic Theatre in Houston. Tell your exes who live in Texas and read the great Houston Chronicle article all about Mickle.
- Guy Massey appears as Fetus Two in Smokefall at the Goodman Theatre. Check out some great rehearsal photos of him.
- David Isaacson returns to The Paper Machete at the Green Mill. It is a weekly salon in a saloon!
October 18 & 19
- Martha Bayne reads her work at That’s All She Wrote!, a LiveLit event, 8pm at Swim Cafe, 1357 W. Chicago.
October 17 through December 3
- Dave Buchen (and his kids) will appear in The Singing Pictures Show at the Jalopy Theater in Brooklyn. It’s a festival of cantastoria.
October 18 through November 1 (3 shows only)
- Colm O’Reilly appears in A Red Orchid Theatre’s production of Trevor.
October 24 – November 16
- Diana Slickman appears in the latest BoyGirlBoyGirl show, Phenomena of Materialisation with our good friends Stephanie Shaw, David Kodeski, and Edward Thomas-Herrera.
- David Isaacson will talk about allergies at Ray’s Tap Reading Series at the Prop Thtr, 3502 N. Elston, 10pm.
And in other ensemble news, Dave Buchen’s annual hand-printed calendar is done and available for purchase.
Jeff Dorchen delivers a weekly “Moment of Truth” every Saturday morning on the radio program This Is Hell. It is available for streaming or download.
The folks over at the City of Chicago’s Theater on the Lake have invited us to bring back Mickle Maher’s There Is a Happiness That Morning Is for one final week. Diana Slickman and Colm O’Reilly will reprise their roles, and the wonderful HB Ward (who played Oscar Madison in our “Strauss at Midnight”) will fill the shoes of the wonderful Kirk Anderson.
“Back by Popular Demand” is a theater-marketing cliché, of course, but in this case we can back it up. Fans of the show have been dropping us notes on Facebook, and you can read what they said about the first two runs of the show.
On June 19th, Theater Oobleck celebrated its 25th anniversary with performances of new work and from its very first season, 1988.
The event was presented by Pivot Arts, and was part of the “Rough Magic” series, which harnesses the creativity of the Chicago theater community to benefit innovative organizations.
Soup and bread were supplied by Soup & Bread.
Theater Oobleck raised a total of $1720 for Vital Bridges, The Peoples Music School, and the Preston Bradley Center.
Oobleck’s runaway hit, There Is A Happiness That Morning Is, is currently enjoying not one, but two, national productions. The Catastrophic Theatre in Houston is reprising their 2011 production from May 10-May 25, and the Cleveland Public Theatre is offering a brand-new production, May 9 – May 25.
You can read the Cleveland Plain Dealer review here and the Houston reviews here
Oobleck will also be bringing back our own production for one final weekend, at the City of Chicago’s Theater on the Lake, July 10 – 14.
Happiness playwright Mickle Maher talks about the power of public sex, the actor’s prerogative, and why the play was almost about mummies in this half-hour podcast from Talk Theatre in Chicago. Includes bonus stale bread metaphors!
Proceeds from the performance of There Is A Happiness That Morning Is on Thursday, February 28 will go toward the amazing and worthy Soup and Bread.
“This. Play. Is. Killer.”
Such a book nerd seemed to like the show.
WBEZ’s Dueling Critics Kelly Klenman called Happiness “the most remarkable mix of poetry and drama that you are ever likely to see.” Listen to the segment on theatre week.
“If the American theater harbors a precedent for Mickle Maher’s astonishing 2011 play There Is a Happiness That Morning Is, I’ve never found it . . . “
“ . . . richer, funnier, and more heartbreaking than ever.”
— Justin Hayford, Chicago Reader
READ THE WHOLE THING HERE:
There is an astonishment that There Is a Happiness That Morning Is is
Thanks to Time Out’s Kris Vire, for including us on the teevee in his roundup of notable shows.
ABC 7 NEWS: What’s Playing at Local Theaters
Allison Cuddy’s previews Happiness and interviews Mickle.
READ AND LISTEN HERE
“one of the most emotionally stirring works in the company’s distinguished history.”
Read the rest.
NOW BUY YOUR TICKETS.
More If You’ve Got It: Five Plays From Theater Oobleck
$21 USD incl. shipping and handling. 400 pages.
Hope and Nonthings books has published a volume of Oobleck works entitled More If You’ve Got It: Five Plays From Theater Oobleck.
The book is available from fine booksellers everywhere, or online via the little yellow button at the top of this page. Yes, that one right there, that entreats you to “Buy Now!”“
More If You’ve Got It features works by five Oobleck founding members, each currently active with the company: Ugly’s First World by Jeff Dorchen, in which a singing zombie, seeking revenge against T. S. Eliot, becomes a pawn in a battle to overthrow God; Innocence and Other Vices by Dave Buchen, a half-true, half-blasphemous screwball comedy about the mildly unhealthy relationship between charity and capitalism; Letter Purloined by David Isaacson, a whodunit comedy about war atrocities and a handkerchief; There Is a Happiness That Morning Is by Mickle Maher, a play in rhymed verse, about the poetry of William Blake and having sex in public; and Necessity by Danny Thompson, a bloody and historically inaccurate bio-drama of Thomas Alva Edison. See what audiences around the world have come to know as uniquely Oobleckian: irreverent, vexed, impossibly funny, and unexpectedly transcendent.
“For my money, there is no other theater company in America that has so consistently created original, excellent, principled theater.” – Greg Kotis, from the preface to MORE IF YOU’VE GOT IT