Bacchanalia 2014

Thank you to everyone who came out to our Bacchanalia 2014 New Play Readings, an exciting new annual tradition!

I want to extend a huge and special thanks to Underground Wonder Bar for hosting us on short notice and saving this production after our initial venue welched and left us without a space.  More on that real-life drama in a later public service announcement.  But it is important to me to begin with a positive celebration of the artists who made this a successful production.

After a nearly year-long hiatus, Blunt Objects Theatre returned to the Chicago theatre scene with a Halloween-themed play reading festival: Bacchanalia 2014!  On Monday October 6 and Wednesday October 8th, we strode the boards at Underground Wonder Bar at 710 N. Clark Street.  8pm both nights with dramatic readings of horrifically excellent plays befitting of the season.  It was an October romp full of great art, great friends, and everyone’s favorite Bacchanalian treat: boozy booze.

BACCHUS Wonderbar

The first play in the line-up was Soda Town by Bill Daniel, about an alienated soda jerk who finds revenge on a group of youths that frequent his establishment to bully him.  I was so excited to include a play that landed so squarely within the slasher sub-genre of horror, with both the campiness and the legitimate creepiness.  I was very impressed with our villain’s ability to seek a Shylock-esque believability, as well as the commitment of the actors to create depth and value to the victims who we all know will be disposable at the violent end.

Meyer Rosenthal – Wyatt Weber
Jim – Mac Trowbridge
Garret – Jay Donley
Kathy – Katie Binger
Lucy – Kimmy Higginbotham

Kaelea Rovinsky and Mac Treowbridge in "O Cult"

Kaelea Rovinsky and Mac Treowbridge in “O Cult”

O Cult  by Jared McDaris is a sly comedy about a cult’s middle manager who gently disciplines a well-meaning acolyte.  With only two actors onstage the entire time, it required intense control of the language just as much as McDaris’ classical language plays that he is known for.  The juxtaposition of disturbing cult terminology and corporate bureaucracy made this a very poignant delight to see played to its absurd conclusion.

Bob – Kaelea Rovinsky
Russel – Mac Trowbridge

Caila Lipovsky and Jay Donley on the ground, with Charlie Davis in "Week"

Caila Lipovsky and Jay Donley on the ground, with Charlie Davis in “Week”

In our final play, Week by Barry Eitel, three twentysomethings plod through their last week of existence as the apocalypse creeps around the edges of their average lives.  Clinging to the increasingly outdated ideas of normalcy even as the fabric of reality crumbles around them, the characters achieve monumental moments of tragedy and hilarity.  The play reads like an episode of Seinfeld written by Sam Shepherd, and I am so proud that these actors took Eitel’s brilliant script and ran with it to the exciting conclusion of the evening.

Guy – Jay Donley
Jack – Charlie Davis
Nicole – Caila Lipovsky

Stage Directions for all plays read by Bohrs Hoff

So great to be back here!

So great to be back here!

The concept of Bacchanalias go back to ancient times, when the god Bacchus was honored by mere humans by indulging the pagan deity’s two favorite things: Alcohol and Theatre.  Recognizing that these two fine things have been intertwined through the generations, Blunt Objects Theatre has returned to the roots of live performance.  For our new season, we celebrated the core of what makes theatre relevant by reveling in the company of old friends and new at one of our favorite watering holes, where we previously produced The Trojan War.  Naturally, the play readings all revolved around the wonderfully spooky ambiance of the October season!

aw

Also, this guy.

As an added bonus, our opening night included special musical guest Aaron Wilhoft, who recently released his first full album of original songs!  Chicago-based singer, songwriter and general badass Mr. Wilhoft  Just a man and his guitar, singing powerful original ballads alongside covers of traditional folk, classic rock, and contemporary pop music that you didn’t know you could love.  We were so honored that he could join us for the show, and again I want to thank all of the actors, our audience, and as always Underground Wonder Bar!

AND NOW A PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT!

We did not originally book Underground Wonder Bar for the Bacchanalia.  Touring a variety of local venues has always been important here at Blunt Objects , and we love networking with artists and managers across mediums.  Bacchanalia was originally booked at a dimly lit, Lincoln Park dive bar called Lilly’s. The bar’s 1800’s architecture and suspicious history as a bordello sold it as an appropriately spooky venue for a Halloween-themed play reading. Unfortunately, the scariest thing about Lilly’s is the horrifically unprofessional management.  After weeks of spotty and unreliable communication from management, they altered our original agreement, then dropped us altogether.  Sad to say, we discourage any artists from booking with Lilly’s Bar at 2515 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60614.

But the show must go on!

With that unpleasant business out of the way, let’s close with something happy: like the impeccable Mr. Aaron Wilhoft performing an original song at Uncommon Ground.

 

 

 

 

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  1. […] Objects Theatre is proud to announce that we are now accepting entries for the return of our “Bacchanalia!” New Play Readings Festival, coming to New Orleans for 2016. All […]

  2. […] audience favorite at Blunt Objects Theatre’s 2014 Bacchanalia, this apocalyptic comedy has been hailed as “profoundly funny, like an episode of Seinfeld […]



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