Close, but Not Enough | Letters | Chicago Reader

Close, but Not Enough 

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To the editor:

Your colorful and rewarding coverage of the career of Del Close (March 12) makes the same error of omission as the obits in the daily papers, ignoring Del's two-year return to Chicago in late 1970 (or early 1971). Here he directed his own free workshop at the original Kingston Mines on Lincoln Avenue, solidifying and extending his work on the Harold, which he had begun at the Committee. Accordingly, he called his group the Chicago Extension Improv Company.

After several months Del narrowed the troupe to a dozen players, who continued workshops and pass-the-hat public performances at the Body Politic (now Victory Gardens Theater). For the record, the members of the Chicago Extension were "Broadway" Betty Thomas, Dan Ziskie, Brian Hickey, Bill Noble, Keith Schwartz, William McKinney, Jamie Levin, Linda Wesley, myself, and a few more whose names I can't recall, although I can visualize them.

Del left Chicago again in mid-1972 to do Story Theatre with Paul Sills in Los Angeles. Before he left he began to explore dream-based improv with the Chicago Extension. The troupe continued this work after he left, resulting in the first Dream Theatre show, and the establishment of Dream Theatre as a separate company following the disbanding of the Extension the next year.

Jonathan Abarbanel

W. Roscoe


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