Kicking off The Story Theatre's fourth season, The (W)rites of Summer is a new play festival like you've never seen before! Featuring three elevated staged readings of world-premiere plays by local Chicago playwrights–Lena Barnard, NJ Draine and Gloria Imseih Petrelli.

Production Sponsors
The Iole Foundation

July 20, 2023

light: A Lyric Noir

Written By

Lena Barnard

Directed By

Halena Kays

Beverly Jaw can’t get out of bed. She lives in her best friend’s basement and pines for his sister, Alice. But her best friend is dead and things with Alice are complicated. On a Monday, a strange man named Fred arrives looking for a private detective. He needs to find Sabrina, his childhood babysitter. Even though she isn’t a private detective, Beverly takes the case. Across town, Alice attempts to sell Sabrina a house. light is a queer noir about depression, loss, and facebook.

Community Outreach

For Real Therapy

For Real Therapy is rooted in the belief that therapy is a political act -- where resilience and rest are supported simultaneously. It is a practice for people who recognize the ripple effect of their impact on the world at large, and why it is integral to commit to the work of intentional self-healing to relate to yourself so you can best relate to others.

For Real Therapy: Musings

Thank you to the For Real Therapy Team: Samantha Galvez, Fabrice Lubin, Noopur Shah, Jen Mccool, and E Lee.

July 21, 2023

The Housing Situation on Neptune

Written By

NJ Draine

Directed By

Terry Guest

Sisters Kiki and Alma know that living in a burning country owned by a technocrat trillionaire warlord is kind of a drag, but at least the internet service is reliable. And, honestly, it’s not that bad. Just a few tips: avoid the Red Zone if you can; always keep a gas mask handy; and have an active Playground© subscription for those days when you wanna leave this reality and escape into VR (which will be often). Also, steer clear of ANYONE even remotely adjacent to the Resistance.

Community Outreach

Very Human Social


Very Human Social is an evidenced-based, body-centered social wellness club on a quest to transform how we connect with ourselves, each other, and our planet. We offer intentionally designed experiences, workshops, and retreats that bring humans together in new ways to inspire self-exploration, self-acceptance, authentic human connection, and embodied transformation.

Our mission is simple: to change how we discover ourselves, relate to one another, and operate in our daily lives. We believe that life should be lived fully and felt deeply to bring about sustainable, personal, and collective change. We’re optimistic for a future that’s mentally and emotionally resilient, socially connected, present, informed, and, more than anything else, human.

Friend Request is an intimate social experience designed for those who strongly desire authentic, heart-centered, and meaningful connections. This event encourages mindfulness, curiosity, vulnerability, and thought-provoking conversation to inspire intentionally cultivated relationships.

With 1 in 5 Millennials having no friends at all and 79% of Gen Z folk reporting feelings of loneliness, seeking and nurturing friendships is crucial to enrich the quality of our lives.

Friend Request affirms a welcoming and inclusive environment to share in the fullness and joy of who we are. All humans are welcome.

More Events Hosted by VHS

Thank you to Candis Oakley of VHS.

July 22, 2023

The Live In(n)

Written By

Gloria Imseih Petrelle

Directed By

Maiya Corral

By night, Bruna works as a nanny for the dutifully progressive(ish) Ayad-Eklund household in Lincoln Park. By day, she is recording and reporting across Chicago, trying to get the Just Tax act passed, increasing taxes for the top 5% to be redistributed to…everyone else. When her two worlds collide, Bruna starts to get messages and assistance from an unlikely source…the Ayad-Eklund home itself.

Community Outreach

Housing Justice Resources

Thank you to Hephestion Bolaris and Jake Marshall for providing resources.

Community Outreach

Land Access & Justice Resources

Thank you to Cooper Forsman for resources and consulting.

Explore the archive of The Story Theatre's past shows, including production photos and videos.