Steppenwolf Announces Chicago Troupes for 2011 Garage Rep; Heddatron, Dr. Crippen, Sonnets on Slate

News   Steppenwolf Announces Chicago Troupes for 2011 Garage Rep; Heddatron, Dr. Crippen, Sonnets on Slate
Sideshow Theatre Company, The Strange Tree Group and UrbanTheater Company are the three Chicago companies that will present one work each in Steppenwolf Theatre Company's 2011 repertory program known as Garage Rep.

For the second annual Garage Rep, the "innovative, young companies" will present three productions in rotating repertory Feb. 16–April 24, 2011, in Steppenwolf's Merle Reskin Garage Theatre, 1624 N. Halsted St. Tickets will go on sale at a later date.

Steppenwolf's director of artistic development Polly Carl said in a statement, "These are the kind of companies and artists who we know we can learn from. At its core, the Garage Rep is an opportunity for a dialogue between our respective companies and our audiences in hopes that we can build a fully multigenerational theatre for the 21st century. Sideshow, Strange Tree and UrbanTheater are already in a conversation with their own audiences that we're anxious to listen in on."

The Garage Rep 2011 productions and companies are:

Sideshow Theatre Company presents Heddatron by Elizabeth Meriwether, directed by Jonathan L. Green
"A book falls from the sky and a depressed Michiganian housewife is kidnapped by a clan of renegade robots, whisked away to the jungles of South America, and forced to perform the title role in a mechanical version of Hedda Gabler. As a documentarian searches for the truth about the abduction and the woman's family mounts a search party, Ibsen himself enters the picture to defend his well-made play. Sideshow is partnering with robotics experts across Chicago to present a cast of human actors and functioning robots in this bizarre and savagely funny Chicago premiere."

Sideshow Theatre Company was founded in 2007. Sideshow's mission is "to mine the collective unconscious of the world we live in with limitless curiosity, drawing inspiration from the familiar stories, memories and images we all share to spark new conversation and bring our audiences together as adventurers in a communal experience of exploration." For more information, visit

The Strange Tree Group presents The Three Faces of Doctor Crippen by Emily Schwartz, directed by TBA
"A world premiere that resurrects what was once the most famous and fanciful criminal investigation the world has ever known: the calamitously comedic tale of Dr. H. H. Crippen, England's most notoriously inept cellar murderer. Chased across the sea by destiny and Marconi's wireless telegraph, this factual turn of the century tragedy explores three versions of the life and death of this homicidal homeopath. Three Crippens! Three tales! Three truths?"

The Strange Tree Group is a "collective of multifaceted individuals dedicated to creating intricate, intimate theatrical experiences that extend beyond the boundaries of a traditional stage."

For more information, visit

UrbanTheater Company presents Sonnets for an Old Century by José Rivera, directed by Madrid St. Angelo in collaboration with Juan Castañeda and Ivan Vega
"In a waiting room for the afterlife, we find a dreamscape filled with poignant, funny, lyrical and haunting monologues from recently deceased individuals. This Midwest premiere by Obie Award-winning playwright and Academy Award-nominated screenwriter José Rivera asks: Where do we go when we die? And if you were to offer commentary regarding the life that you've lived, "What would you say?"

UrbanTheater Company (UTC) is "committed to the creation and exploration of urban-inspired works that convey, illuminate and empathize with the human experience."

For more information, visit

Steppenwolf's The Garage is dedicated to new plays, new artists and new audiences.

For additional information, visit

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