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Around the Coyote

Running September 4 through 8, the seventh annual edition of this Wicker Park/Bucktown weekend festival claims to be the nation's largest studio walk and arts exhibition, showcasing emerging artists in all media--including theater and performance, as reflected in the schedule below. Coordinator Jonathan Pitts has organized some 40 theatrical offerings into programs loosely linked by theme or style, assigning each program to a specific venue (ranging from legitimate theaters to park district field houses, school auditoriums, and front lawns) as shown below. The agenda also includes site-specific performance art, poetry readings, dance, and music; in addition to the following listings, check the dance, art, and music listings elsewhere in this issue for information on the rest of the fest.

Admission to all performances (except the opening-night benefit) is free once you've paid a $3 donation for the entire festival. For more information, call 342-6777, visit the festival's web site at, or check at the ATC info booth at the festival's "ground zero" at the intersection of North, Damen, and Milwaukee .

The Reader lists festival schedules (which are subject to last-minute change) on a week-by-week basis; following is the schedule of theater and performance offerings for September 4 and 5.


Opening Night Gala

An 8 PM concert is preceded by a 6 PM cocktail reception. This benefit event costs $19.50 for the concert only or $50 for the concert and reception. Congress Theater, 2135 N. Milwaukee.


All One Alone

An evening of "intimate and dark theater." 7 PM: Chapman. Timothy Hiatt plays John Lennon's assassin in Silken World Productions' one-man show, set in New York during the days prior to the December 8, 1980, killing. "Hiatt neither demonizes nor deifies Chapman, but he never really convinces us that he's come to understand his subject in more than a superficial way. The result is a rather generic portrayal of a confused, profoundly depressed man who in some twisted way thought he was fighting for justice when in fact he was committing cold-blooded murder," said Reader critic Adam Langer when he reviewed the show's original run at Cafe Voltaire. 8 PM: A Summer's Day. This absurdist comedy by Polish playwright Slawomir Mrozek, seen here in its U.S. premiere, concerns two men who examine each other's "fortunes and failures." This is a preview of the Eclipse Theatre Company's new production, which opens September 9. 9 PM: Birth of a Sun. The hOstage tHeater cOmpany presents Sam Jordan's play about "life after the end of the world, when all that is left are two men, one black, one white." 10 PM: Tough Choices for the New Century. David Kirk directs this satire by Jane Anderson about a seminar on quick response to catastrophic situations. Eclipse Theatre Company, 2074 N. Leavitt.

Kidding on the Square

An evening of "comedy from the urban heartland." 7 PM: Soiree Dada. Die Hanswurste and the WNEP Theater Foundation present an evening of dada-style performance art. 8 PM: The White Whore and the Bit Player. The Trap Door Theatre previews its upcoming production of Tom Eyen's dark comedy about the last moments of a woman's life. 9 PM: That's the Way It Is, By Golly. The Nomenil theater group presents a new comedy by Allen Conkle and Courtney Evans. 10 PM: Kitten With a Whip. Hellbent Productions presents Reader contributor Jack Helbig's comedy about "bad theater and a difficult theater company." Trap Door Theatre, 1655 W. Cortland.

Talk, Talk, It's All Talk

An evening of monologues and short plays. 7 PM: The Hick, the Spic, and the Chick. Performance artists Paul Turner, Antonio Sacre, and Donna Jay Fulks team up for an evening of solo storytelling. Turner's piece is inspired by his rural upbringing; Sacre's work recounts his upbringing in a Cuban-Irish household; and Fulks's The Magic Kingdom uses comedy to explore her reaction to her brother's death. The monologuists "achieve universality by plunging into the particular, connecting with the audience by simply and honestly revealing, using just a hint of humor, the details of their lives. . . . You'll leave this delightful hour-long show wanting more," says Reader critic Jack Helbig. 8 PM: Wisconsin Girl Makes Good. Stephanie Kulke's one-woman show focuses on "remembering the lessons of adolescence." 8:30 PM: Deep-Fried and Suck My Nose. "At a time when confessional monologues about performers' crazy, hateful families or crazy, lovable families are as common as discarded candy wrappers at a carnival, Kelly Anchors, who wrote and performs Deep-Fried, and Mike McKune, who wrote and performs Suck My Nose, eschew easy formulas, telling their stories with candor and without judgmentalism, ridicule, or hee-haw hyperbole," said Reader critic Mary Shen Barnidge when she reviewed this "refreshingly original and engaging little show" in its original run. 9:30 PM: Rules of Engagement. Angela Allyn presents a "short, dark comedy about a husband, a wife, and a therapy session." Wicker Park field house, 1425 N. Damen.

The Yearning Tree

An evening of theater "that searches life and spirituality." 7 PM: Grow Up! Telemachus Productions presents an evening of long-form improv, featuring eight adult actors hosted by a seven-year-old girl. 8 PM: Gabriel's Threshold. The Ma'at Production Association of Afrikan Centered Theatre (MPAACT) presents Shepsu Aahku's play about urban strife, torment, and young love. 9 PM: Each One's Journey Is Their Own. The Radiant Theatre's production, directed by Shannon Epplett and choreographed by Tanya Picard, draws on biblical passages, texts by Joseph Chaikin and Sam Shepard, Native American folktales, and rock music in an effort to reflect "the theme of spiritual harmony." Pulaski Park field house, 1419 W. Blackhawk.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Photo of cast of "The Hick, the Spic, and the Chick".

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Agenda Teaser

Lit & Lectures
October 14
Performing Arts
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