Season II

"At the Wake of a Dead Drag Queen opens The Story’s second season with style... If Friday night’s enthusiastic sold-out audience is any indication, this company is doing things right."

At the Wake
of a Dead Drag Queen

Written By

Terry Guest

September 5–22, 2019

Raven Theatre

Directed By

Mikael Burke


Synopsis

Courtney Berringers (given name: Anthony Knighton) would like to welcome you to her wake! She has recently died from complications due to AIDS, you see. And by recent, we mean 2019 in rural Georgia, baby. But—make no mistake—this isn’t your grandma’s funeral. There will be no black frocks, no perfumed flowers, and definitely no crying. Probably. Tonight is a celebration.

Cast

  • Courtney/Anthony — Terry Guest^
  • Vickie/Hunter — Paul Michael Thomson^

Creative Team

  • Director — Mikael Burke
  • Stage Manager — Lucy Whipp^
  • Production Design— Racquel Postiglione
  • Scenic Design — Alyssa Mohn
  • Lighting Design — Kyle Cunningham
  • Costume Design — Uriel Gomez
  • Sound Design — Sam Clapp

^denotes a member of The Story Governing Ensemble

"Author Terry Guest stars in the one-act, two-hander play that delves deep into Blackness, queerness and the fine art of drag. It explores identity and personal narrative. The candid conversations that break the fourth wall is simply wonderful and the hopping between timelines of memories, imagination, and the unknown. Guest the 2019/20 Emerging Playwright in Residence at The Story Theatre and holds much of the budding new company’s values to heart in this production. On the back of the playbill there is the HIV/STI surveillance report in 2018. "

"Instead of a night of somber respect and lowered eyes with hands clasped in laps, it is a celebration of queerness, blackness, and identity told through traditional scenes as well as direct monologues and drag numbers and stagecraft. Directed by Mickael Burke, this fascinating, captivating, and heart-wrenching examination of the concepts organic, inorganic, and the combination of both inspires the audience to evaluate the presence of these concepts in their own lives."

Partnering Organizations

Marie Antoinette
And The Magical Negroes

Written By

Terry Guest

March 4, 2020

Raven Theatre

Directed By

Regina Victor


From the Playwright

"Marie Antionette & the Magical Negroes is a play about rage. Revolt. Revolution. It is about what happens when black people grow tired of sitting down and turning the other cheek. What are we left to do? Do we scream? Pray? Should we be peaceful? Should we riot? Can the tools we have used in the past possibly work for the future or do we need to write a new script? Using trap music, fashion shows and the backdrop of the French Revolution, I hope to explore these questions in a way that is as messy and complicated as public execution."

Cast

  • Jim Crow — Breon Arzell
  • King Louis XVI — Will Wilhelm*
  • Mammy — Melissa DuPrey
  • Marie Antoinette — Brenna DiStasio^
  • Sambo — Darrionna Barnes
  • Sapphire — Darian Tene
  • Savage — Lewon Johns
  • Stage Directions — Brittani Yawn

Creative Team

  • Director — Regina Victor
  • Stage Manager — Darek Mia Lane
  • Lighting Design — Lucy Whipp^

^denotes a member of The Story Governing Ensemble

*denotes a member of Actors' Equity Association

Staged Reading

March 4, 2020 @ 7:00p

Big Kids

Written By

Isabel Thompson

Staged Reading

Postponed Due to COVID-19 Restrictions

Directed By

Devon de Mayo


Synopsis

To become a Bat Mitzvah is to become accountable for your adult self. But how do you stay accountable to an identity you’re constantly questioning? And what does accountability even mean to a 13 year old? As Zoe's big day rapidly approaches, she and her bestie Becca navigate the boundaries of intimacy, friendship, and faith during the private minutes they spend in Becca's bedroom, waiting for Grandma to take them to Hebrew school. Isabel Thompson's new play BIG KIDS is about two Jewish kids who are not yet big but are starting to feel the hugeness of their hearts.

Cast

  • Zoe — Katherine Kupferer
  • Becca — Olivia James
  • Stage Directions — Gaby Moldovan*

Creative Team

  • Director — Devon de Mayo
  • Stage Manager — Lauren Peters
  • Lighting Design — Lucy Whipp^

^denotes a member of The Story Governing Ensemble

Late, A Cowboy Song

Written By

Sarah Ruhl

Digital Pivot

Instagram @thestorytheatre

Directed By

Matt Bowdren


Synopsis

This play is for all the lady cowboys of heart and mind who ride outside the city limits of convention. Mary, always late and always married, meets a lady cowboy outside the city limits of Pittsburgh who teaches her how to ride a horse. Mary’s husband, Crick, buys a painting with the last of their savings. Mary and Crick have a baby, but they can’t decide on the baby’s name, or the baby’s gender. A story of one woman’s education and her search to find true love outside the box.

Cast

  • Mary — Brenna DiStasio^
  • Red — Gaby Moldovan^
  • Crick — Dominic Rescigno

Understudies

  • Mary — Amber Washington
  • Crick — Alex Rocha

Creative Team

  • Director — Matt Bowdren^
  • Assistant Director — Brittney Brown
  • Dramaturg — Maggie Mohr
  • Stage Manager — Lucy Whipp^
  • Original Composition — Jake Sorgen
  • Scenic Design — Jordan Dell Harris
  • Intimacy Design — Jyreika Guest
  • Costume Design — Stefani Azores-Gococo
  • Lighting Design — Kyle Cunningham
  • Properties Design — Racquel Postiglione

^denotes a member of The Story Governing Ensemble

Performances

Cancelled Due to COVID-19 Restrictions

Partnering Organization

Season I

"Carefully constructed and wonderfully acted, Leave Me Alone! is one of those little gems that deserves to find an audience. The Story Theatre has, in its inaugural production, entered the crowded Chicago theatre scene with a quite literal bang. Here’s hoping they stick around awhile."

Leave Me Alone! Like Anton Chekhov's Ivanov, but Gayer

Written By

Paul Michael Thomson

July 26–August 12, 2018

The Heartland Studio

Directed By

Matt Bowdren


Synopsis

Nik Ivanov is broke. His wife is dying. He’s losing his bid for reelection. And he might be gay. But at least he has his looks! Leave Me Alone! tells the story of a cry for help. It’s about labels, identity, advice, Chekhov’s gun, and how none of that matters when you’re depressed…except perhaps the gun.

Cast

  • Nik Ivanov — Sean Gallagher
  • Dr. Love — Ayanna Bria Bakari^
  • Anna — Brenna DiStasio^
  • Sam — Jordan Dell Harris
  • MB — Gaby Moldovan^
  • Aida — Nicole Laurenzi
  • Paul — Randolph Johnson
  • Matt — Michael Kingston
  • Babs — Chelsea Turner
  • Gabrielle — Sarah Bartley
  • Female Swing — Nadine Merheb
  • Male Swing — Keenan Larson

Creative Team

  • Director — Matt Bowdren^
  • Stage Manager — Lucy Whipp^
  • Scenic Design — Brian Hendricks
  • Lighting Design — Lucy Whipp^
  • Costume Design — Stephanie K. Brownell
  • Original Composition — Jake Sorgen
  • Sound Design — David Hagen

^denotes a member of The Story Governing Ensemble

"This production marks an auspicious beginning for this brand-new storefront theatre company. It’s exciting to imagine what new tales The Story Theatre will next present... In their debut production, Artistic Director Paul Michael Thomson’s beautifully-adapted contemporary version of Anton Chekov’s classic tragedy, skillfully directed by Matt Bowden, we have an exciting new company who can stand confidently beside Chicago’s other fine theatrical troupes."

"I asked my husband what he thought of this play and he said, “It was sort of brilliant.” I agree. Carefully constructed and wonderfully acted, Leave Me Alone! is one of those little gems that deserves to find an audience. The Story Theatre has, in its inaugural production, entered the crowded Chicago theatre scene with a quite literal bang. Here’s hoping they stick around awhile."

Partnering Organizations

Artemis Books
& The Well-Meaning Man

Written By

Paul Michael Thomson

March 13, 2019

Raven Theatre


Synopsis

Regina (Reggie) runs a femme-centric feminist bookstore in Tucson, AZ. Artemis Books is a safe space for queer people, free expression, and womxn of all kinds. When her boss unexpectedly jumps ship, Reggie is stuck with a new-hire: straight, white, cisgender JJ. Workplace romances, existential anxieties, and some questionable spell casting abound as Reggie tries to reclaim her safe space. Does identity have to influence ideology? Does colonialism ever stop? And what in the actual hell is a "good guy"?

Cast

  • Reggie — Gaby Moldovan^
  • Asha — Ayanna Bria Bakari^
  • Emerson — Brenna DiStasio^
  • JJ — Matt Bowdren^
  • Maya — Emily Hawkins

Creative Team

  • Stage Manager — Lucy Whipp^
  • Sound Design — David Hagen

^denotes a member of The Story Governing Ensemble

Partnering Organization