Shakespeare troupes struggle to bring the Bard into Chicago classrooms

Mulvaney celebrates with kids after workshop.

By Jessica Gable Ever since Arin Mulvaney first performed Shakespeare with a high school troupe for elementary and middle school students, her dream has been to bring her beloved Bard and his work to younger children. Today, she is the Artistic Director of Shakespeare All-Stars, a group of professional actors who travel around Chicago schools […]

‘Dunsinane’ spins Macbeth at Chicago Shakespeare Theater

Gruach stands in the snow.

By Jessica Gable David Grieg’s Dunsinane may share a host of characters and a location with William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, but the similarities to the Scottish play end there. Dunsinane, a production of the National Theatre of Scotland and the Royal Shakespeare Company presented by the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, is a witty, gritty and sometimes uncomfortably […]

First Laughs, Second Time Around

By Jessica Gable When Greg Luick submitted his one-act play, Work in Progress, to Piccolo Theatre’s First Laugh One-Act Festival last February, he wasn’t expecting to win. In fact, he hadn’t even expected to finish the play. “It was originally a revue sketch that didn’t really seem to have an ending,” Luick said. “I wrote […]

Second City’s Evil Stepchildren

Michael Pieper was born in rural western Nebraska into a family of farmers, but knew immediately his interests lay elsewhere.

By Jessica T. Gable Michael Pieper approaches the craft of acting from very serious, ancient traditions. For him, the craft is rooted in Native American shamanism and his method of accessing a character is anchored by a very strong sense of spirituality. But he applies those traditions as a teacher at the premiere comedy institution […]

Feminists Ride the Next Wave

Cast discusses feminism.

By Jessica Gable A buzz of high-energy conversation enveloped participants in the Goodman Theatre’s Context event at Wicker Park’s Geek Bar Beta on Tuesday, Feb. 17. Specialty drinks of all colors and sizes were poured and French fries and the bar’s Awesome Sauce consumed with gusto. Faces of women, who mostly made up the crowd […]

Puppets — not just Muppets

Nasty, Brutish and Short experiments with various puppetry techniques.

By Jessica T. Gable On Jan. 22, a crowd descended on a small, intimate theater in Links Hall, a shabby studio caught halfway between Lakeview and Logan Square. They encountered a tiny bar complete with worn wooden countertops and rickety stools inviting them to indulge in a libation before the performance. And when the lights […]

D-Generation: An exaltation of larks

By Jessica T. Gable On a darkened stage in Chicago’s Columbia College Dance Center on Jan. 16, four lifelike puppets bound to tiny wheelchairs stared out across the sea of empty seats with a gaze that seemed too penetrating to come from something inanimate.