Abbie Hoffman Died for Our Sins IX | Festival | Chicago Reader

Abbie Hoffman Died for Our Sins IX 

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Abbie Hoffman Died for Our Sins IX

First presented in 1989 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Woodstock music fest--and named in honor of the anarchist author of Woodstock Nation, Revolution for the Hell of It, and Steal This Book--this weekend marathon of theater and performance, hosted by the Mary-Arrchie Theatre, emulates Woodstock by offering an almost constant flow of acts while seeking to stimulate a communal spirit among performers and audience (which may be enhanced by sleep deprivation). Mary-Arrchie's Richard Cotovsky (who on several occasions will adopt the persona of Abbie Hoffman) has once again organized the festival's three days as a nearly nonstop procession of local theater, improv troupes, and individuals, ranging from fairly well known groups like A Red Orchid Theatre, the Defiant Theatre Company, Studio 108, and Theatre Wyrzuc to such whimsically named unknowns as Super Huge Media Conglomerate and Meow Mix. (What are these, theater companies or rock bands?) Mary-Arrchie's own entries include Gas Mask 101, a nostalgic look at Vietnam War-era college life, and a remounting of this spring's Package, whose theme of artistic and political radicalism reflects the festival's namesake. Informality and spontaneity are the order of the day--so note that the schedule listed below, provided at the beginning of the week, may be subject to change. Mary-Arrchie Theatre, Angel Island, 731 W. Sheridan, 773-871-0442. August 15 through 17: Friday-Sunday, according to the schedule below. Tickets: $5 per admission (allows you to come in once and stay as long as you can take it); $10 for a one-day pass (allows you to come and go at will on a single day); $25 for a weekend pass to the full festival.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 15

Opening Procession

Celebrants will gather at 2 PM at Richard J. Daley Civic Center Plaza, 50 W. Washington, for a 3 PM march to the Mary-Arrchie space.

Opening Ceremonies

Actor and festival organizer Richard Cotovsky adopts the persona of Abbie Hoffman to welcome the audience. 7 PM.

It

Chicago playwright Jeff Grafton penned this farce about a man locked in a trance by his TV; it's performed by the Constellation Players. 7:15 PM.

The Playground

Impact Theatre Chicago presents Todd Frampton's play about a brother and sister who schedule their playtimes for mutual fantasy and exploration. 7:30 PM.

Diary of a Madman

Rush Pearson's one-man show, based on Nikolay Gogol's story about a nut case in czarist Russia, returns from last year's festival; this is the popular attraction's only performance in this year's event. 8 PM.

Starbug: Episode #N

Chris Metzger performs his ongoing science-fiction super-hero serial about an interstellar insect and his fight against evil. Every performance of Starbug during the festival will feature a different episode. 9:10 PM.

Occupation

Studio 108 presents Greg Nagan's dark comedy about workplace power struggles; Nick Digilio directs. 9:20 PM.

Janelle Anderson Returns!

Caren Skibell portrays a lounge singer in this one-woman performance. 10:10 PM.

Gas Mask 101

Arlene Cook's weirdly wistful portrait of college guys fretting over the draft in 1970--the era of campus protests, guilt-free dope, and sexually segregated dorms--is presented by the Mary-Arrchie Theatre. 10:25 PM.

Curse of the Alligator Woman

Writer-director John Weagly's play examines "how two women cope with friendship, society, and alligator people." It's presented by Iguana Productions. 11:15 PM.

Nebulous

Jennifer A. Sowinski wrote and directed this absurd comedy, about a broomstick and a feather duster making a quest through "the dark chambers of the establishment." It's presented by Screech Productions. 11:45 PM.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 16

MC2

Scott Dominion, a faithful fan of the festival in previous years, found a way to beat the cover charge: he's performing. This is one of two monologues he'll present. 12:10 AM.

The Valerie of Now

Peter Hedges, best known as the author of What's Eating Gilbert Grape?, wrote this one-woman play about "a girl walking the line between childhood and reality" on the eve of her twelfth birthday. It's performed by Sarah Pace. 12:15 AM.

I Was a Teenage Christ

Natural Highlights presents Jimmy Dean Carlson's study of a man's battle with his "Jesus syndrome," which features the messiah in various incarnations (homeless Christ, gay Christ, etc). 12:35 AM.

The Interview

G. Riley Mills's psychological thriller, set in a bar, concerns a meeting between two strangers that turns into a perverse cat-and-mouse game of unfolding secrets. It's presented by Skeleton Crew Productions. 1:35 AM.

Buzz

Michael Gotch's comedy, about two pairs of friends gossiping about the previous night's dates, is presented by the Constellation Players. 2 AM.

Wild Dogs

Matt Borczon's play concerns "two males [who] turn their hostility toward women on each other," said Reader critic Tom Valeo when he reviewed this Mary-Arrchie Theatre production in 1991; the play is still trotted out for this yearly festival. 2:15 AM.

The Leader

Jesse Cramer directs Eugene Ionesco's portrait of the crowd mentality for the White Knuckle Theatre Company. 2:45 AM.

Chester Drawers

Scott Dominion performs a monologue. 3:15 AM.

The Big Gulp Getaway

Meow Mix presents a comedy about four small-town kids who rob a convenience store. 3:20 AM.

To Be Announced

At presstime, the festival organizers hadn't found anybody nuts enough to go on now, but they will. 3:50 to 5 AM.

Love Talk

A Red Orchid Theatre presents a radio-style talk show. 5 AM.

To Be Announced

6 to 9 AM.

The Chinese Tea Ceremony

Sarah Pace executes an Asian-style ritual. 10 AM.

MC2

and Chester Drawers

See listings above for 12:10 and 3:15 AM today. 10:50 AM.

Family Dating Delusions

Jason Tugman's one-man show about childhood upbringing is presented by Sleeping Girl Productions. 11 AM.

It and Buzz

See listings above for 7:15 PM Friday and 2 AM Saturday. 11:45 AM.

To Be Announced

12:15 PM.

Ethel Mae Potter, We Never Forgot Her

Howard Casner's comedy offers Ethel Mertz's revisionist history of what really went on behind the scenes of I Love Lucy. Liz Robertson stars in this one-woman show presented by Potter Productions. 12:45 PM.

Three Way Split

Michael Ryczek wrote and directed this trio of monologues, about three people who are touched by the death of a mutual friend. It's presented by Impact Theatre Chicago. 1:30 PM.

Group Therapy With Dr. Myra Kopin and The Mad Prophet of the Millennium

Super Huge Media Conglomerate presents two one-person shows, featuring Claire Kaplan and Jeff Mash respectively. 2 PM.

An Untitled Series of Comedy Sketches

Famous in the Future, an improv comedy troupe that has appeared at every Abbie Hoffman festival since the beginning, presents a collection of comic vignettes. 3 PM.

The Valerie of Now

See listing above for 12:15 AM Saturday. 3:45 PM.

Wealthy Lady

Adria Dawn performs her own one-person play about a disturbed woman seeking emotional freedom. It's presented by Red Dawn Productions. 4:05 PM.

The Man Who Couldn't Dance

The Mary-Arrchie Theatre presents Jason Katims's short piece about a man and a woman "trying to resolve the wound left by going in different directions." 4:15 PM.

Family Dating Delusions

See listing above for 11 AM Saturday. 5:05 PM.

Missing Twin

Eric Andrade's play, a "dark fable about sibling rivalry," is presented by Martinis in a Cab Productions. 5:50 PM.

Co-Conspirators

The Conspiracy Theatre Company performs improv. 6:05 PM.

Jesus Tonight!

Humorist Neil Elliott performs a one-man show about Christ. 6:55 PM.

The Psychology of Clumsiness

"Dramatic fool" Drew Richardson performs a program of physical comedy. 7:10 PM.

Starbug: Episode #N+1

See listing above for 9:10 PM Friday. 8:05 PM.

Package

This one-act by Scott Stuart concerns a xerography artist and her relationships with a street-theater performer and a political activist. "Though . . . Package aims to resonate on a political level, its most interesting drama lies in the relationships of the three main characters. . . . Fortunately, a strong ensemble helps give [the play] some dimension and keeps the production alive, if not altogether clear," saidReader critic Gabrielle S. Kaplan when she reviewed this Mary-Arrchie Theatre production's original run earlier this year. 8:15 PM.

Janelle Anderson Returns?

See listing above for 10:10 PM Friday. 9:05 PM.

The Big Gulp Getaway

See listing above for 3:20 AM Saturday. 9:20 PM.

Harm

Actor-writer Brian Gary Kirst's play concerns a young gay man whose dead mother butts in when he falls in love with a punk rebel. (So what mother wouldn't?) It's presented by Theatre Wyrzuc. 9:50 PM.

Starbug: Episode #N+2

See listing above for 9:10 PM Friday. 10:15 PM.

The Graphite Salesman

Mark Glinski's farce, set in the men's room of an airport, concerns "questions of identity in the perverse world of international business." It's directed by Scott Tomhave for the Yurodivy Company. 10:25 PM.

An Untitled Series of Comedy Sketches

See listing above for 3 PM Saturday. 11:25 PM.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 17

To Be Announced

12:10 AM.

La Surprise Grande

The Defiant Theatre performs a play by Alfred Jarry, as adapted by Richard Ragsdale and Joe Foust. 12:20 AM.

Generation Y--What Do We Want?

Red Dawn Productions presents writer-performer Adria Dawn in "a raw look at young twentysomethings." 1:20 AM.

Occupation

See listing above for 9:20 PM Friday. 1:35 AM.

Boxing Chicken, Too

Abby Schachner's one-woman show is a follow-up to her 1996 offering, Boxing Chicken. 2:35 AM.

Bitch

This late-night kvetch session, formerly known as Bitch With Rich, is hosted by talk-show terrorist "Skid Mark" (aka Richard Cotovsky); a regular ensemble, guest artists, and video segments are featured, and audience participation is de rigueur in this Mary-Arrchie Theatre effort. 3:20 AM.

To Be Announced

4:20 to 5 AM.

Love Talk

See listing above for 5 AM Saturday. 5 AM.

To Be Announced

6 to 9 AM.

The Graphite Salesman

See listing above for 10:25 PM Saturday. 9 AM.

Jesus Tonight!

See listing above for 6:55 PM Saturday. 10 AM.

I Was a Teenage Christ

See listing above for 12:35 AM Saturday. 10:15 AM.

The Man Who Couldn't Dance

See listing above for 4:15 PM Saturday. 11:15 AM.

Wild Dogs

See listing above for 2:15 AM Saturday. 11:35 AM.

Readings From Revolution for the Hell of It

Don't steal this book, just listen to it: actors perform passages from Abbie Hoffman's manifesto. 12:05 PM.

Starbug: Episode #N+3

See listing above for 9:10 PM Friday. 12:50 PM.

Nebulous

See listing above for 11:45 PM Friday. 1 PM.

Penguin Blues

Ethan Phillips's comedy concerns a nun and a voice-over artist who meet at an alcohol rehab center. Michael Ludden directs for the Dreadful Engines Theatre Company. 1:30 PM.

Curse of the Alligator Woman

See listing above for 11:15 PM Friday. 2:15 PM.

Caldera

The aural-theater ensemble Chongo's Bongo Village presents a "sonophysic investigation of power and powerlessness." 2:45 PM.

Jenny, Jenny, Bang Bang

Jennifer Biddle performs five monologues about "surviving the social and not so social events that shape us." 3:30 PM.

Wealthy Lady and Generation Y--What Do We Want?

See listings above for 4:05 PM Saturday and 1:20 AM Sunday. 4:20 PM.

Harm

See listing above for 9:50 PM Saturday. 4:45 PM.

The Valerie of Now

See listing above for 12:15 AM Saturday. 5:10 PM.

Missing Twin

See listing above for 5:50 PM Saturday. 5:30 PM.

Co-Conspirators

See listing above for 6:05 PM Saturday. 5:45 PM.

Wild Dogs

See listing above for 2:15 AM Saturday. 6:25 PM.

To Be Announced

6:55 PM.

Starbug: Episode #N+4

See listing above for 9:10 PM Friday. 7 PM.

Penguin Blues

See listing above for 1:30 PM Sunday. 7:10 PM.

The Interview

See listing above for 1:35 AM Saturday. 7:55 PM.

Hipsters Mad Record Party

Hipsters Inc. presents what it claims to be "the only production in the history of theater in which we listen to 78 RPM records live on stage with improvisation during, before, after, and in between recordings." 8:20 PM.

Group Therapy With Dr. Myra Kopin and The Mad Prophet of the Millennium

See listing above for 2 PM Saturday. 8:50 PM.

Ethel Mae Potter, We Never Forgot Her

See listing above for 12:45 PM Saturday. 9:50 PM.

MC2

See listing above for 12:10 AM Saturday. 10:35 PM.

The Leader

See listing above for 2:45 AM Saturday. 10:40 PM.

Starbug: Episode #N+5

See listing above for 9:10 PM Friday. 11:10 PM.

Gas Mask 101

See listing above for 10:25 PM Friday. 11:20 PM.

Closing Ceremonies

Richard Cotovsky as Abbie Hoffman pronounces a farewell benediction. 12:10 AM.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Package theater still.

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