Dead Children | Chicago Dramatists | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Oct. 23 2016
Price: $29, students and seniors $25
Robert Tenges’s Dead Children, a new production from the Side Project in collaboration with Chicago Dramatists, works around memories of events too painful to discuss candidly without risking everything. Most of the time what the characters do instead is make fragile, evasive chitchat—it’s how they survive. Tom (Erik Wagner) is deeply vulnerable, his mother having done unspeakable things to him as a child. It affects his posture: whether talking or listening, his twitchy bald head leans forward, eyes down, like a meek lollipop. He and his wife, Renata (Kirsten D'Aurelio), are splitting up (“We're not physical,” Tom says). Renata, an underachieving daughter, is now caretaker for her mother, the same woman—grown gray and forgetful but still just as nasty—who burned her with a scalding plate of mashed potatoes as a child. It's a pretty raw play, though one with performances that, under the direction of Adam Webster, are also pretty extraordinary, especially Victoria Gilbert as Mary Jo, Tom’s high school sweetheart. —Max Maller



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