• "Wonderful acting"-
  • "honors the experiences of the victims of this now almost-forgotten genocide"- Chicago Stage Standard
  • "The five actresses in this cast give it their all" - Picture This Post
  • 10 Hot Shows to See in Chicago, via Choose Chicago
Sickle by Abbey Fenbert

Sickle by Abbey Fenbert



by abbey Fenbert

directed by Elizabeth Lovelady* (D.O.A., Fail/Safe)

1802 W Berenice Ave, Chicago, IL 60613

Dates: 7/1/18 – 7/29/18


Monday, July 9, 2018 - 8:00 PM Thursday, July 19, 2018 - 8:00 PM 

FREE TOUCH TOUR: Sunday, July 15, 2018 - 2:30 PM

Click to view program

Set in the Ukrainian Holodomor, Joseph Stalin’s Soviet genocide through a man-made famine that killed between 7 to 10 million people.

Five female characters struggle against a tyrannical oppressor. An important reminder. Powerfully written.

Jeff Award Winner for Best Adaptation, Elizabeth Lovelady

2013 Mark Twain Prize for Comic Playwriting, Abbey Fenbert


ANNA: Moira Begale

IRYNA: Christine Vrem-Ydstie

HALKA: Catherine Dvorak

NADYA: Katherine Bourne

YASIA: Brittany Ellis

HALKA/YASIA/ANNA U/S: Cristiana Park Barbatelli

IRYNA/NADIA U/S: Maddie Todd


Red Theater is supported by our Comrade Patron Program. For every $10 monthly donation we receive, Red Theater is able to provide three #FreeTheater seats to nontraditional audiences over the course of our season.

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The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity


The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity

by Kristoffer Diaz


August 7 – 10, 2018
at South Shore Cultural Center
7059 S. South Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60649


Chad Deity is a flashy American satire set in the world of professional entertainment wrestling. Culture and race are distorted and deranged to sell tickets to white bread Americans, as Macedonio Guerra a professional "fall guy" drop-kicks and body-slams his way into your heart.


  • 2018 Best Fight Choreography Award: Kyle Encinas – Non-Equity Jeff

  • 2018 Best Performer in a Principal Role Nomination – Non-Equity Jeff

  • 2017 Top 10 Best Off-Loop Productions – Chicago Tribune

  • 2017 Top 5 Shows (#1) – The Hawk Chicago

  • 2017 Top 5 Shows (#2) – Theatre by the Numbers

  • 2017 Top 10 Best Moments – Chicago Inclusion Project

  • 2017 Best Revival of a Play Nomination – Broadway World

  • 2017 Jeff Recommendation


Jeremy Aluma



Alejandro Tey as MACE
Harsh Gagoomal as VP
Breon Arzell as CHAD DEITY
Frank Stasio as EKO
Will Snyder as THE BAD GUY
Dave Honigman as REFEREE


Production Stage Manager: Jamie Crothers
Costume Designer: Hailey Rakowiecki
Lighting Designer: Charles Blunt
Sound Designer: Sarah D. Espinoza
Technical Director & Set Designer: Becca Venable
Projection Designer: Alberto Mendoza
Fight Choreographer: Kyle Encinas
Props Designer: Kat Moraros
Assistant Director: Nathan Speckman
Dramaturg: Joseph Galizia
Associate Producer: Rory Jobst
Accessibility Director: Cheryl Farney
Red Theater Artistic Director: Aaron Sawyer
Red Theater Executive Director: Marisa Lerman
Red Theater Managing Director: Joey Lubelfeld


Little Red Cyrano


Little Red Cyrano




Cyrano: Benjamin Ponce

Red: Dari Simone*

Christian: Dave Honigman

Chorus/Christian US: Brendan Connelly*

Chorus/Red US: McKenna Liesman^

Chorus: Michele Stine

Chorus/Music Composition:: Jenni M.  Hadley

Chorus Captain: Les Rorick

Woodsman/Lise: Christopher Paul Mueller^

Grandmother/Raganeau: Michael J. Stark*

Understudy Swings: Jean Carlos Claudio | Madeline McKelvey* | Scott Ray Merchant

Little Red Voices: Emily Turner | Kristin Schmitz

Christian US Voice: David Rice


Producers: Juan Bernal*^ | Marisa Lerman^

Co-Directors: Michael J. Stark* | Aaron Sawyer^

Assistant Director: Scott Ray Merchant

Stage Manager: Mary Kate Ashe

Scenic and Props Designer: Kevin Rolfs

Costume Designer: Stefanie Johnsen

Sound Designer: Sarah D. Espinoza^

Projections Designer: Michael Commendatore

Lighting Designer: Charles Blunt^

Production Manager: Becky Warner

Technical Director: Becca Venable^

Academic Researcher: Mary Lutze

Dramaturge: Cara Beth Heath^

Casting Coordinator: Rachel Paige^

Marketing Consultant: Joán Joel Campos

Graphic Designer: Jake Fruend

Interpreters: Sheila Kettering | Veramarie Baldoza | Emily Turner |

Rob Russo | Whitney Love

Student Interpreters: Frances Dravellas | Emma Smith | Alice Weidner

*indicates a person who identifies as d/Deaf

^indicates a Red Theater Board or Company Member


R+J: The Vineyard was the first Chicago production in 15+ years to feature non-Equity d/Deaf actors. The creation process was a pressure cooker with hearing and d/Deaf artists forcing Shakespeare-sized ideas through the hands of a single interpreter. The play’s attempt to present “two households, both alike in dignity” angered d/Deaf and hearing audiences “equally” by excluding them alternately between scenes of English or ASL without the help of captions. The play’s warring sides were also reflected in the rehearsal process, which became a moderated six-month peace negotiation. While rewarding, it was also exhausting and demoralizing to all involved.

For the next project, I vowed to invert the dynamics. Instead of being separated by English and sign, the play would operate inside a universal, visual language. Our story would be about an ideal, rather than a divide. We needed a character with an extreme respect for both languages while worshiping creativity, courage, and love.

Cyrano became that character.

Then, there was the question of cultural appropriation. We would have hearing actors using American Sign Language. Was this to be celebrated or shamed? Was the language for all, or should it be contained? When it came to casting, important discussions were happening throughout the world regarding Deaf roles being cast with #DeafTalent. We attempted to ask one question further: could a play be constructed where all roles were open to all actors regardless of gender or whether they were d/Deaf? We cast and constructed the play to have no requirements beyond ability.

Beyond these external considerations, we must also address the issues inside the play!

Little Red Riding Hood’s French origins in 1617 as penned by Charles Perrault seem to echo a series of sixteenth century Werewolf Trials where men were accused of shape-shifting, killing and devouring young children in the woods. At the end of Perrault’s story, a moral is attached: “Children, especially attractive, well bred young ladies, should never talk to strangers, for if they should do so, they may well provide dinner for a wolf. I say "wolf," but there are various kinds of wolves. There are also those who are charming, quiet, polite, unassuming, complacent, and sweet, who pursue young women at home and in the streets. And unfortunately, it is these gentle wolves who are the most dangerous ones of all.”

In the 1897 French classic, Cyrano de Bergerac, the plot also centers on the deception of a woman, this time by two men: a gifted wordsmith with an unfortunate nose, and a beautiful body without a creative bone. Far from a villain, Cyrano is presented as an ideal poet/warrior cursed with an external ugliness (his nose) preventing him the "dream of being loved by even an ugly woman." Cyrano uses his dexterity and charm to evade, harass, or defeat nearly every character in the play. With different intentions, Cyrano and the Wolf both view women as things to be lured, pursued, fed, and consumed. Modern day wolves are appearing with regularity. A revolution is occurring and those of us who have fed those wolves will not be granted absolution.

-Aaron Sawyer, writer and director.

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