Join the fun at our second Lunar Eclipse party!

Artistic Director Nathaniel Swift in Plaza Suite. Photo by Scott Cooper.

Artistic Director Nathaniel Swift in Plaza Suite. Photo by Scott Cooper.

Come celebrate & network with all of us at Eclipse as well as our colleagues and friends from the theatre community, as the Chicago theatre fall season begins and Eclipse’s 2-year Celebration Series concludes.

The night kicks off at 7:00 pm at our swanky digs with beer, wine & food, live DJ & dancing, a little Wii Bowling, and your chance to mingle with some of the coolest people in Chicago theatre!

If you are in a show that evening, please come by afterwards!

Actors, Designers, Directors – feel free to bring your pic/resume!

$15 suggested donation or whatever you can donate at the door.

At the Eclipse Space: 4001 N Ravenswood, Chicago, IL 60613

For more info, call us at 773.325.9655 or send us an email.

Speed Theater

Greenhouse Theater Open HouseThe Victory Gardens Greenhouse Theater, our home for five years now, is having an Open House tonight – it’s a free event with food, drinks, and performances from Eclipse, Shattered Globe, MPAACT and Victory Gardens. We’ll be presenting a scene from Candles to the Sun, which is now a week into rehearsals.

The “Speed Theater” format – a Valentine’s Day play on Speed Dating – means you’ll have the chance to meet and flirt with all four companies in under two hours, and decide who you’re interested in seeing again. And unlike most speed dating events, polygamy is encouraged here.

The doors open at 6:00 tonight at 2257 N Lincoln.

Ethnicity in Theatre

Last summer Time Out Chicago had a feature article discussing the race barrier in Chicago. Prior to the articles publication Eclipse had already announced their 2007 season playwright, African American writer Pearl Cleage. A mostly white theater company producing an entire season of theater by an African American playwright. Could this work? Eclipse has had success with the first two production Blues for an Alabama Sky brought home 5 Jeff citations alone. Since the article several Chicago theatres have followed suit, whether it was the Time Out article or the plan was in the works prior to publication. Steppenwolf added 6 new ensemble members, 4 out of 6 are African American, in addition to the daring color blind casting used in their current production of The Crucible. Did Time Out strike a nerve with Chicago theatre companies or did they just recently become aware of the color barrier?

Read on to see what prolific African American playwrights think about the subject:

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Who is Suzan Lori Parks?

For those of you whom are unfamiliar with SLP-Let’s take a glimpse at Suzan Lori Parks life and work-

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Suzan Lori Parks was born on May 10, 1963 in Fort Knox, Kentucky. She attended a German high school (her father was in the military) and attended college at Mount Holyoke College. In 2002 Parks became the first African American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Topdog/Underdog. Other plays include: Fucking A, Imperceptible Mutabilities in the Third Kingdom (1990 Obie Award for Best New American Play), The American Play, Venus (1996 Obie Award), The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World, and In the Blood (Pulitzer Prize Finalist). In 1989 she was named the “year’s most promising playwright” in the New York Times.

Park’s approach to language is partly vernacular as she attempts to reproduce speech both at it is spoken and as her audience assumes it may be spoken.  She demonstrates a passion for searching for knowledge, history and identity, evident in all of her work.

In my opinion, what makes her work unique is the language she uses, which is often jagged yet incredibly lyrical and very open for interpretation.  She has one of the most unique and recognizable writing styles in contemporary literature, which I encourage everyone to explore.

Kick Off to Eclipse’s SLP 365 Days/365 Plays

In a little over a month Eclipse will produce their week of Suzan Lori Parks’ 365 Days/ 365 Plays.  I am dramaturging Eclipse’s portion of the festival and directing one of the pieces.   

For those that have not heard about this year long world premiere play festival here is a summary:  In 2002 Pulitzer Prize winning Suzan Lori Parks got an idea to write a play a day for an entire year so from November 13 to November 12 of the following year, she wrote a play everyday for an entire year.  A few years later friend and producer Bonnie Metzgar asked “what’s up with those 365 plays?” and followed the question with her production concept of producing simultaneous world premieres shared by 52 theatres in different locations. 

Parks and Metzger sought out different hub locations such as Chicago , New York and Los Angeles and collectively got 17 different ‘hub’ locations on board with the project.  Each hub then combines forces with 52 different (mostly) theatrical organizations to each produce one week out of the 52.  In Chicago , there are 52 different companies participating in this event; including Shattered Globe, IMPACCT and Eclipse.  Thus, creating 884 world premieres of her newest theatrical work 365 Days/365 Plays.      

More to come regarding SLP 365 Days/365 Plays.

Watch the acceptance speeches from the Jeff Awards

In case you weren’t at the Park West for the 34th annual Jeff Awards a few weeks ago, our friends at stagechannel have put together a compilation of all the acceptance speeches throughout the evening.

First up is Alfred Kemp, who barely had a chance to settle in before getting called up on stage to accept a Supporting Actor Citation for playing Guy in Blues for an Alabama Sky.

Scroll through the list on the right to watch all the speeches – Charlette Speigner, Michelle Courvais and Steven Fedoruk all take the podium for their roles in Blues for an Alabama Sky and Boy Gets Girl, and Artistic Director Anish Jethmalani echoes Pearl Cleage herself in accepting the Citation for Outstanding Production.

34th annual Jeff Awards

Congratulations to everyone who was honored with nominations and Citations from the Joseph Jefferson Committee this past Monday night, and especially to those we were fortunate enough to have the chance to work with – Eclipse finished the evening with five Citation Awards: 

Outstanding Production: Blues for an Alabama Sky

Outstanding Direction: Steven Fedoruk, Blues for an Alabama Sky

Oustanding Performance by an Actress: Michelle Courvais, Boy Gets Girl

Outstanding Performance by a Supporting Actor: Alfred Kemp, Blues for an Alabama Sky

Outstanding Performance by a Supporting Actress: Charlette Speigner, Blues for an Alabama Sky

Also nominated and deserving much recognition were Steve Scott (Outstanding Direction for Boy Gets Girl) and TayLar (Outstanding Performance by an Actress for Blues for an Alabama Sky).

Congrats to all, and thanks to friends, family and fans for supporting us.