In 1999 Jill Elaine Hughes, Founder and first Artistic Director of Stockyards Theatre Project, wrote, performed and appeared in two world premieres during the opening season in Chicago. The premieres kept coming for the fledgling company and though the company changed hands a few times over the years they've never wavered on the Stockyards Theatre Project mission statement of ‘giving volume to the voices of women.’
Play for Keeps is a workshop that was created in 2006 to empower female actors and enable them to get their ideas down on the page and then onto the stage. The program is open to men and women and has grown over the years including novice writers working along with professionals. Some of the professional writers have used the workshop to get a stalled project back on track for them. Play for Keeps has helped get those plays out of neutral and off to productions in theatres across the country.
Participants come to the workshop with ideas or works in progress and begin developing a play structure, style and character. Through the feedback and instruction in the workshop the writers bring their voice into a dramatic structure honing the pieces to prepare for the staged reading in front of an audience.
The 2014 readings will be held in the Public House Theatre located at 3914 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60613 on three consecutive Monday nights – July 14 & 21 & 28 at a mere $7 which not only includes admission to an evening of new works but along with that is a FREE PBR.
This year’s list of writers includes some who have participated since the beginning of Play for Keeps in 2006, some who have supported the workshop over the years and others who are brand new to this process.
The line up for Monday, July 14 at 7:30
Lyndee McPeek is an actor, dancer, and spoken word artist making her first foray into playwriting. She is the writer/director of “Follow Me” – Rachel is immersed in social media, with a popular youtube channel that has become her full-time job. Her recent breakup coupled with her best friend's engagement puts her loneliness in sharp focus.
Laura Nessler is a proud artistic associate with 20% Theatre where her play Outside Agitators will be produced this fall. She will aslo begin a Master’s in Social Work at Loyola University Chicago this fall. Laura is the writer with Ellen Chambers directing “Check the Box” – Mya needs a job. Serving hot dogs to college kids at a university sports arena isn't her first choice, but right now it's her best shot.
William Gregory obtained a Master's Degree at Columbia College Chicago. At 19 his musicals Electric Butterfly and Welcome to the Shangri-La were performed at Southwestern College and U.C.S.D. His short stories can be found in Hairtrigger. William’s music reviews can be read in In Pittsburgh, CRC-Pulse and On the Turntable. William is the writer with Marrissa Miles Coccaro directing “Whatever happened to Veronica Castro and is there Life after Telenovelas?” – In a botanica in Pilsen, Aurora visits her friend Berta, whom she hasn't seen in weeks. Tensions mount after Berta reveals the gossip on the street, unveiling what these two women really mean to each other.
Francesca Peppiatt, creator of Play for Keeps, is the writer with Jordy Williams directing “Destruction: The Ultimate Experience” - When faced with her feelings of confusion and loss, Patricia's doctor suggests that she re-write her life. As she begins to follow her doctor’s prescription the characters she is creating take on a life of their own. So, who’s crazy now?
Those are just the plays and the artists connected with the first night of the readings. Here is the line up of the rest of the writers. Be sure to check out the follow up articles with more information about the writers and synopsis of these works at the following two nights of readings..
Monday, July 21:
Catherine Davidson – Writer; Juan Carlos Pelayo - Director of “As We Know It”
Oona O’Leary – Writer; Breahan Paustch – Director of “Passengers”
Carriece Clark – Writer; Jo Cattell – Director of “The Session”
Tanise Robnett – Writer; Richard Paro – Director of “Someone’s in the Kitchen with Olivia”
Monday, July 28:
Lucca Suvi – Writer; Cyra Polizzi – Director of “Girl Time”
Chuck Greenia – Writer; Patricia Tinsley – Director of “Standard and Times”
Elana Elyce = Writer/Director of “Facing Herstory”
Teri Jo Marie Rask – Writer/Director of “No Date”
Stockyards Theatre Project and the writers connected with Play for Keeps would love to see you at all three evening readings. For tickets please contact the Public House Theatre you can purchase tickets in advance as well as at the door.