Ambition, Violence, Redemption and "American Idol" Will Color World Premiere of Kid Sister

By Kenneth Jones
July 20, 2010

Profiles Theatre in Chicago will give Will Kern's Kid Sister, a "dime novel in two acts," its world premiere in the fall.



From the author of Hellcab, the new play about an ambitious teen-age single mom with "American Idol" dreams, will be directed by Profiles' artistic director Joe Jahraus for a Nov. 2-Dec. 19 run. The staging will feature ensemble members Eric Burgher, Darrell W. Cox and Allison Torem. Opening night is Nov. 7.

Here's how the work is billed: "Demi Williams, a sexy 19-year-old single mom and 'American Idol' wannabe, believes only one thing stands between herself and singing superstardom her stalker, ex-boyfriend, Kendall Fritch. To get this psycho out of her life forever, she elicits the aid of her brother Cassius, recently returned from a stretch in Florida's Gainesville Prison. But ex-con Cassius wants more than she's willing to give custody of her newborn baby girl. This 'dime novel in two acts' tells the story of a deadly ambitious sister who stops at nothing on her quest for musical stardom as well as her kind-but-cunning brother's desperate shot at redemption."

Kern's Hellcab is one of the longest running shows in Chicago's history. Originally produced by Famous Door Theater Company in 1992, it ran for over nine years. His newest play, Mothers and Tigers: True Stories of Korean Women, received its World premiere from the Chaimoo Theater Company in Seoul, South Korea, where he teaches communications at the Sookmyung Women's University.

Kid Sister marks the first unsolicited script to receive a full production in Profiles' 22-year history.

Artistic directors Joe Jahraus and Darrell W. Cox announced Profiles Theatre's 2010-11 season on July 20. It will also include the Midwest premiere Jailbait by Deirdre O'Connor (Aug. 27-Oct. 17); the Midwest premiere of Neil LaBute's Broadway play, reasons to be pretty, directed by Steppenwolf ensemble member Rick Snyder and featuring Profiles ensemble members Somer Benson and Darrell W. Cox (Jan. 21-March 13, 2011); and the Midwest premiere of Fifty Words by Michael Weller, directed by artistic director Joe Jahraus and featuring ensemble member Darrell W. Cox (April 15-June 5, 2011).

Profiles will also host a return engagement of An Evening with Neil LaBute: Live and in Person, a one-night event featuring all new readings and a talk back with the celebrated playwright.

Profiles Theatre is following up its successful 21st season, which featured an extended run of Ellen Fairey's world premiere Graceland, which has now gone on to a wider life (including an Off-Broadway production by Lincoln Center Theater's LCT3 project).

All productions are held at Profiles Theatre, 4147 N. Broadway, Chicago. For more information, visit www.profilestheatre.org or call (773) 549-1815.

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Profiles Theatre is a not-for-profit professional theatre company founded in 1988 by five Eastern Illinois University alumni. Profiles brings new works to Chicago that illuminate the determination and resiliency of the human spirit. The company produces world, U.S. and Midwest premieres by new playwrights, as well as established writers whose work has been seen across the country and around the world. According to its mission, "Profiles is particularly drawn to playwrights with a unique narrative style and use of language. The company takes pride in carefully selecting scripts that combine integrity with risk. Profiles Theatre is committed to producing plays that tell a story in a captivating way with productions that complement the ensemble and speak to its audience."