Category Archives: Fillet of Solo

Sneak Peak of “Fillet of Solo” Results in Laughter!

Lifeline offers “Sneak Peek” events to our subscribers and donors a few weeks early in the rehearsal process of every Lifeline show.  These events are among my most favorite things we do because they give Lifeline staff and artists the opportunity to get to know our biggest fans and supporters. The Sneak Peek event for our Storytelling festival, Fillet of Solo, was another riotous good time.

As usual, the evening began with wine, cheese and mingling, then we did a teaser presentation of sample stories and ended with conversation, building tours, and more snacks and wine!  Guest performers included Amanda Rountree (who is developing a one-woman show for the Fest and, by the way, also works in Lifeline’s education department, both on-site and as an artist in residence at our neighboring Chicago public schools), Kris Simmons (from the kates), and Dana Norris, artistic director of Story Club.  Festival founder and current co-curator Sharon Evans (Artistic Director of Live Bait) was also in attendance along with storytellers from 2nd Story, The Lifeline Storytelling Project, Sweat Girls, and solo star Tekki Lomnicki — all of whom will be participating in Fillet of Solo.  We are so proud to be hosting so many powerhouse Chicago storytelling collectives at this Festival.

Remember that a Fest pass to see the whole kaboodle of shows between Jan 3-20 is only $30!

Storytelling/Live Lit groups that will be part of this Festival will include:

– En Solo

PLUS…solo shows by Tekki Lomnicki, Kim Morris, Amanda Rountree, and Eric D. Warner!

Dorothy Milne
Artistic Director

Summer at Lifeline Theatre! (No longer the slow season of our year.)

CHECK OUT OUR NEW PROGRAMMING!
The Lifeline Storytelling Project has begun! I’m a huge geek for the personal storytelling form and I’m a 17-year veteran of the solo-performance/storytelling scene. I am super-excited for this opportunity to encourage a new generation to explore this form. Fifteen Lifeline-affiliated artists are currently participating in solo writing/performing workshops with me, which began in April. And now the group has started performing every Monday at Duke’s Bar (right next door to Lifeline at 6920 N. Glenwood). We’ve had performances on June 13, 19 and 27. We’ll skip the 4th of July and resume on July 11th. And then we’re going to have a show every Monday at 7pm for a long, long time! Mark your calendars! Come buy a beer and watch some great (free!) stories.

Participating artists so far include: Diego Colón, Leah Cox, Bryan DiLoreto, Kate Donoghue, David Fink, Eduardo Garcia, Christina Hall, Tiffany Keane, Alex Kyger, Amanda Link, Charlotte Long, Darren Meyers, Joe Schermoly, Anne Sears and Jason Weinberg. Seven of these writers have been on stage one or more times at Duke’s already and the rest are hitting the stage very soon!

The next exciting thing is…

THE 15th ANNUAL FILLET OF SOLO FESTIVAL
It’s a whole storytelling festival! This Festival had a long, proud history at Live Bait Theatre and when they closed their doors a couple years ago, artistic director Sharon Evans approached us about taking over hosting the event. She felt we’d be a great fit because we are also a new work theater. We thought so too! So we dipped our toes in the water last year with a small festival and this year we’ve gotten more ambitious. We’ll be producing at a total of three venues, all within a block of each other here in Rogers Park.

The Festival runs July 21-August 7. We’ll have two shows a night at 95-seat Lifeline Theatre, two shows a night at 30-seat Heartland Studio Theatre (just a few steps up Glenwood Avenue) and the final performance at the 300-seat Mayne Stage (around the corner on Morse Ave). We have three storytellers coming in from New York, one from Los Angeles and for our local acts, we have 16 of Chicago‘s finest storytellers representing the home team. (And a subset of our Lifeline Storytelling Project will do a show in this Festival too!)

Complete details on the festival are here.

GLENWOOD AVENUE ARTS FESTIVAL
The Fest is coming August 20-21 this year. This is the best Fest in the city. Seriously. Not that we’re biased or anything. 100 artists! 36 bands! Fantastic food (all from Rogers Park restaurants). Lifeline will be in the thick of it, as usual, with all our neighborhood partners that come together to make this thing happen! You can check out all the details about what’s going on where at GlenwoodAve.org.

SUMMER INTERNS!
We have six interns this summer at Lifeline. We have an army! And that’s really good because we need one. We continue to enjoy the company (and benefit from the exertions) of Jason Weinberg and Kathleen Weiss, who have each been with us for this past season as well as this summer. Jason assists in almost every area of the theater and has worked on projects for our benefit, our archives, our day-to-day operations and our scene shop. Kathleen works specifically in the shop where she works with Ian, our TD and where she also recently assisted puppet designer Joanna Iwanicka on the masks for Watership Down.

And — new this summer — we have four more fabulous interns: Kate DonoghueMaggie HumphreyCharlotte Long,and Anna Marr. Kate and Charlotte recently participated (spectacularly) as readers in our in-house Pride and Prejudice read-thru; Maggie is spearheading a special summer Lifeline fundraising event (news here soon about our Bingo Benefit at the Glenwood on August 25!); Anna is working directly with Lea Pinsky, our Education Director, and will assist with our summer camps. All four gals are also working with every one of us on staff on different projects. Their brains, energy and can-do spirit are an enormous boon to our organization.

With the help of our wonderful interns, we are going slay through our impossible list and get everything done this summer! All of it!

Anna Marr Charlotte Long
Jason Weinberg Kathleen Weiss
Kate Donoghue Maggie Humphrey

We hope to see you in the neighborhood soon!

Dorothy Milne
Artistic Director

Upcoming events!

The spring and summer are always busy here at Lifeline, and this year is no exception. Join us in the coming months for some wonderful events, festivals and special programming…

LAURIE KELLER VISITS LIFELINE
On Sunday, April 10th at noon, Arnie the Doughnut author/illustrator Laurie Keller, will join us for a FREE meet-and-greet and book signing in the Lifeline lobby! We’ll have books on sale, along with cast recordings of this wonderful new musical.

Tickets for both the 11am and 1pm performances that day are going fast! Get yours today by calling the box office at 773-761-4477 or order online.

NEVERWHERE RETURNS
If you haven’t already heard, the Chicago Public Library has chosen Neverwhere as its Spring 2011 One Book, One Chicago selection, the 20th book in this remarkable program. There are all sorts of wonderful discussions, appearances, and conversations happening in conjunction with OBOC, including two appearances by Neil Gaiman himself (see here for the full list), but there’s one event we’re particularly excited about…

On Monday, April 11 at 6:00pm, the entire original cast from Lifeline’s spring/summer 2010 production of Neverwhere will reunite for one night only, to perform a full reading of the script and participate in a talkback with fans of the book. This is a FREE event, and it takes place at the Harold Washington Library (400 S. State Street), in the gorgeous Cindy Pritzker Auditorium. We hope to see you there!

WATERSHIP DOWN APPROACHES

Lifeline’s world premiere adaptation of Richard Adams’ beloved best-selling book is fast approaching. Previews begin April 29th, and the show runs through June 19th (full details here). Pre-sales for this highly-anticipated production are moving extremely fast – don’t miss out! Get your tickets today!

SUMMER DRAMA CAMP
Lifeline is thrilled to announce an expansion to our Summer Drama Camp (now entering its 11th year!). Our dazzlingly popular camp will not only serve kids ages 7-11 as usual (July 18-29), but will now offer a week-long program for 4-6 year olds (July 11-15)! Click here for all the details, and to register your children.

THE 15TH ANNUAL FILLET OF SOLO FESTIVAL
Expanding its dedication to the art of storytelling in all its forms, Lifeline Theatre is thrilled to produce the fifteenth annual Fillet of Solo Festival, a three-week, multi-venue solo performance festival running July 21-August 7, 2011. Participants, scheduling and full pricing details will be announced in early April. Check our website soon for updates!

GLENWOOD AVENUE ARTS FESTIVAL
This popular festival (now entering its 10th YEAR) features arts and crafts, theater, music, food and drink for the whole family on the brick streets of the Glenwood Avenue Arts District in Chicago’s historic Rogers Park neighborhood. GAAF 2011 will take place the weekend of August 19-21, and is FREE for the whole family! More details will be available soon at www.GlenwoodAve.org.

Autumn update

Art in the lobby!

Lifeline is proud to feature the work of Rogers Park artist Jhenai Mootz on our lobby walls. Both the box office wall and concession stand area are now bedazzled with an exciting assortment of Jhenai’s ceramic tiles. Make sure to look for the tiles that are specially themed to Lifeline shows this season, like the current Wuthering Heights piece! Numerous pieces have already been sold through Lifeline’s box office. In addition to being a mixed-media artist, Jhenai is an actress and is understudying several roles in our upcoming production of The Moonstone.

Streetscape continues…pardon our dust. (But we’ve got ya covered!)

This is what our street looks like. Can you tell it’s going to be really pretty someday? Acorn streetlights. Wider sidewalks. Planters. It’s going to be awesome. The hard-working streetscape team has promised to keep the road open for us even during construction so you can still drop off your passengers in front of the theater. What’s tougher right now is the parking — because Glenwood is not the only street in our ‘hood that’s torn up. We recommend you come early and make use of our free parking lot at the NE corner of Ravenswood and Morse and the free shuttle that loops back and forth.

Our shuttle driver, Darren, will take good care of you. Darren’s an actor, too. (Perhaps you remember him playing the lead in Crossing California a few seasons ago!)

Our neighborhood in the news:
The YouTube video Glenwood and Morse 2010 (featuring the Glenwood Avenue Arts District, with numerous shots of Lifeline Theatre) was a winner in the Metropolitan Planning Commision’s Placemaking Chicago contest. The video aired on WGN TV on September 17th and was created by our neighbors Mary and Neil who own Duke’s Bar, right next door to us.

More murals have come to our neighborhood this past summer — and more will be arriving soon. (This one is just north of us on Glenwood between Morse and Lunt.) Rogers Park and its plan for a dozen more murals were the focus of a recent cover story in The Reader. We’ll soon be covered in art — even more than we are now!

One. Crazy. Summer.
Summer 2010 was action packed! Get a load of this schedule: Neverwhere extension ran into late July…

Which means it overlapped Lifeline’s Summer Drama Camp (which rocked)…

…which rolled right into the 14th Fillet of Solo Festival (our first year as host!) . . .

. . . which overlapped with the Glenwood Avenue Arts Fest. (Best. Fest. Ever.)

But now there’s a chill in the air . . .
and the box office phones are ringing. Because it’s that time. It’s time to buy tickets to Wuthering Heights. Or Click Clack Moo. Or subscribe! (And subscriptions are going like hotcakes, we’re happy to report.) It’s Fall and we’re back! Can’t wait to see ya!

Dorothy Milne
Artistic Director

News

Welcome to new ensemble members, Hainsworth and Walsh!

We are joyful and proud to announce our newest ensemble members: Chris Hainsworth and Christopher Walsh. You’ve seen them both a number of times at Lifeline (most recently Treasure Island and Neverwhere!


Chris Hainsworth as Isreal Hands in Treasure Island



Christopher Walsh as Mr. Vandemar in Neverwhere

Fun fact: Chris Hainsworth is engaged to ensemble member Katie McLean and they will marry in August. Congrats to Katie and Chris! A Lifeline wedding!


Katie and Chris in Neverwhere

Neverwhere is dust and rubble

It always breaks our heart a little when we have to rip apart a show we loved. Ian and Barney took a day to destroy what it had taken them weeks to build. If you pass by Lifeline in the next couple days, you’ll see a dumpster in our driveway being filled with the unsalvageable scenic elements, chopped up into little bits.


The Neverwhere set, before strike.


Barney and Ian, mid-strike.

We are hurrying to clear the way for Fillet of Solo, next up at Lifeline. And, yow! Right on its heels is Season 2010-11: Wuthering Heights began rehearsal this week. Click, Clack, Moo is cast. Mr. Hatch auditions next week while we also have workshop rehearsals for a project in development across town. We have so much going on we are bursting out of our building! This is how crowded we are: below is a recent rehearsal for Fillet of Solo….in our basement laundry room!

Dorothy Milne
Artistic Director