CHICAGO: Sideshow Theatre Company has announced their digital 2021 season, featuring the premiere of a work from their new-play development program.
“The Sideshow Ensemble is excited to have cultivated a season full of curiosity and delight to gather the community in these tough times,” artistic director Regina Victor said in a statement. “I’m so grateful to be able to continue to build upon Sideshow’s legacy of presenting and developing some of Chicago’s most memorable and exciting plays.”
The season will begin on Feb. 28 with a benefit screening of Mia Chung’s You For Me For You. An archival recording of Sideshow’s 2018 production directed by Elly Green, You For Me For You follows two North Korean sisters who find themselves on opposite sides of the border.
Sideshow’s House Party Series will begin March 19 and run through September, featuring virtual plays followed by customized digital party experiences. The first play in the series will be Thin Mints by Ellen Steves, directed by associate artistic director Justin J. Sacramone. Thin Mints follows a group of scouts as they prepare to elect a new troop leader using torture, terror, and trauma.
The series will continue on April 23 with Dawn Renee Jones’s A Heap See. The play follows a woman named Koua as she moves from Laos to St. Paul, Minn.
The next play in the series will be Once in a Bleu Moon (May 21) by Mallory Raven-Ellen Backstrom. The play, which will be directed by Victor, follows Bleu on the eve of her 33rd birthday as she seeks to master her ancestral demons after casting a forbidden spell.
Following will be Fabuloso! by Makasha Copeland. The play, which screens Aug. 20, follows three maids and a middle school student who investigate the murder of their boss at Oak Hill Resort.
The final play in the House Party Series will be Walt McGough’s The Whisperer’s Apprentice on Sept. 17. The play follows two young siblings in an ancient kingdom where storytelling has magical powers. To accompany the reading, McGough will lead Sideshow artists and audiences through weekly live-streamed games of Dungeons & Dragons.
Additionally, as part of Sideshow’s Freshness Initiative, a new-play commissioning and development program, the company will present Drive-In at the End of the World on July 13. Written by Preston Choi, Drive-In at the End of the World follows the crew of a drive-in movie theatre who must become paranormal investigators when Mothman burns the theatre to the ground. The play will be directed by Sacramone, with dramaturgy by Yasmin Zacaria Mikhaiel.
Sideshow’s mission is to spark new conversation and bring audiences together as adventurers in a communal experience.