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Steppenwolf Announces Garage Rep 2011 Companies


Steppenwolf TheatreSteppenwolf Theatre has announced the three Chicago companies selected for its 2nd annual GARAGE REP: Sideshow Theatre Company, The Strange Tree Group and UrbanTheater Company. These innovative, young companies will present three productions in rotating repertory for a ten-week run February 16 - April 24, 2011 in Steppenwolf's Merle Reskin Garage Theatre, 1624 N. Halsted St.

"These are three companies with wildly different aesthetics, but who all bring an irresistible energy to their work," comments Steppenwolf's Director of Artistic Development Polly Carl. "These are the kind of companies and artists who we know we can learn from. At its core, the GARAGE REP is an opportunity for a dialogue between our respective companies and our audiences in hopes that we can build a fully multigenerational theater for the 21 st century. Sideshow, Strange Tree and UrbanTheater are already in a conversation with their own audiences that we're anxious to listen in on," adds Carl.

The GARAGE REP 2011 Production & Companies:

Sideshow Theatre Company presents
by Elizabeth Meriwether, directed by Jonathan L. Green

A book falls from the sky and a depressed Michigonian housewife is kidnapped by a clan of renegade robots, whisked away to the jungles of South America, and forced to perform the title role in a mechanical version of Hedda Gabbler.  As a documentarian searches for the truth about the abduction and the woman's family mounts a search party, Ibsen himself enters the picture to defend his well-made play.  Sideshow is partnering with robotics experts across Chicago to present a cast of human actors and functioning robots in this bizarre and savagely funny Chicago premiere. 

Sideshow Theatre Company was founded in 2007.  Sideshow's mission is to mine the collective unconscious of the world we live in with limitless curiosity, drawing inspiration from the familiar stories, memories and images we all share to spark new conversation and bring our audiences together as adventurers in a communal experience of exploration. For more information, visit

The Strange Tree Group presents
The Three Faces of Doctor Crippen
by Emily Schwartz, directed by TBA

A world premiere that resurrects what was once the most famous and fanciful criminal investigation the world has ever known: the calamitously comedic tale of Dr. H. H. Crippen, England's most notoriously inept cellar murderer. Chased across the sea by destiny and Marconi's wireless telegraph, this factual turn of the century tragedy explores three versions of the life and death of this homicidal homeopath. Three Crippens ! Three tales! Three truths?

The Strange Tree Group is a collective of multifaceted individuals dedicated to creating intricate, intimate theatrical experiences that extend beyond the boundaries of a traditional stage. We produce works that inspire creativity not only in our actors but also in our audience. We Trees embrace the theatrically inherent in live performance and are committed to producing pieces that celebrate the strange and the magical; the dangerous and the fantastical; and the surprisingly usual nature of unusual behavior. The world is full of adventure... let us embark on this one together! For more information, visit

UrbanTheater Company presents
Sonnets for an Old Century
by Jose Rivera, directed by Madrid St. Angelo in collaboration with Juan Castañeda and Ivan Vega

In a waiting room for the afterlife, we find a dreamscape filled with poignant, funny, lyrical and haunting monologues from recently deceased individuals. This Midwest premiere by Obie Award-winning playwright and Academy Award -nominated screenwriter Jose Rivera asks: "Where do we go when we die?" And if you were to offer commentary regarding the life that you've lived, "What would you say?"

UrbanTheater Company (UTC) is committed to the creation and exploration of urban-inspired works that convey, illuminate and empathize with the human experience. FROM the STREETS to the STAGE. For more information, visit

Steppenwolf's inaugural GARAGE REP, presented February 18 - April 25, 2010, included three productions in rotating repertory: Adore by XIII Pocket, punkplay by Pavement Group and The Twins Would Like To Say by Dog & Pony Theatre Company.

The Garage is dedicated to new plays, new artists and new audiences.  It provides artists the opportunity to present their work with the scale, space and resources it merits. For audiences, it creates another opportunity to build a multigenerational conversation about the new, provocative work emerging from Chicago's diverse and vibrant theatre scene. The Garage offers programming featuring new voices for the American theater – directors, writers, designers and actors.

For additional information, visit


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