CHICAGO: Sideshow Theatre Company has announced Chicago-based playwright Preston Choi as an artist-in-residence. Through a nine-month residency, Sideshow will provide Choi with artistic and dramaturgical support as he develops his full-length play Drive-In to the End of the World. The residency culminates in March 2022 with a reading of Choi’s final script. Choi had previously been selected to participate in Sideshow’s new-play development program, the Freshness Initiative.
“Preston originally joined us in collaboration for the Freshness Initiative, but as many of us have experienced, quarantine and working remotely have drastically altered the process,” said artistic director Regina Victor in a statement. “We have instead decided to innovate and devise a residency that would once again center this talented playwright, whom we are fortunate to host. This was a thrilling opportunity to take a step back from the capitalist mindset and center ourselves in practices of process over product and the limitless potential world-building of Black radical imagination.”
Award-winning director Marti Lyons will serve as Choi’s primary mentor through the residency. Both Lyons and Victor will collaborate with Choi and offer feedback and insight on his work. Choi will also participate in regular script consultations with Sideshow ensemble members and friends of the company for a diversity of perspectives on the piece.
Sideshow is also pleased to present the final two installments of its digital House Party Series: Fabuloso! by Makasha Copeland, streaming Fri., Aug. 20 at 7 p.m. CST, and The Whisperer’s Apprentice by Walt McGough, streaming Fri., Sept. 17 at 7 p.m. CST. Both events will be streamed on Sideshow’s Twitch channel. Tickets are pay-what-you-can, with a suggested donation of $10. As a companion event to the latter reading, McGough will lead a group of Sideshow artists through a weekly campaign of Dungeons & Dragons Live Stream, produced by Bo Frazier. The campaign will start the week following The Whisperer’s Apprentice; dates to be announced soon. For additional information, visit www.sideshowtheatre.org.
Preston Choi (playwright, Drive-In to the End of the World) is a Chicago-based playwright whose work focuses on Asian American history, mixed-race experience, and social science fiction. His plays include A Great Migration or The Migratory Patterns of the North American Monarch Butterfly and Fatherless Sons (2017 Agnes Nixon Award; 2018 Playwrights Realm Scratchpad Series finalist), This Is Not a True Story (CAATA ConFest 2018; 2019 Bay Area Playwright’s Festival finalist), Happy Birthday Mars Rover (the Passage Theatre; 2018 G45 Lightbulb Reading Series), You Will Get Used To It (2019 Playwrights Realm Scratchpad Series finalist) and 100 Mysteries of [REDACTED] Community College (Clubbed Thumb 2020 Biennial Commission Finalist). His plays have been developed with Silk Road Rising, A Squared, Theatre Mu, Artists at Play, CAATA, the Passage Theatre, G45 Productions, The Forum, AATAB, Chicago Scratch, Victory Gardens College Night, Our Perspective, Wave Productions and Vertigo Productions. He graduated from Northwestern University in 2018 with a B.S. in Theatre.
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