September 1st, 8pm @ The RBP! 4001 N Ravenswood!
The RBP is excited to present an interactive staged reading of local playwright/performance artist Beth Richards’ original play, Welcome to My Living Room. Feedback is welcome and refreshments will be served! Come join in the discussion this Saturday night!
Everyone is familiar with the phrase “the elephant in the room.” Those issues we all collectively choose to ignore. Everyone has ignored an elephant at some point in their life. Welcome to My Living Room is the story of one family’s elephants.
and performer Beth Richards’ sharply witty solo work explores the role and havoc that unaddressed issues have had in the lives of her mother, father, and herself. Beth dons her and her parent’s identities to delve into how each struggled to conform to a perceived set of cultural expectations. Cultural norms of gender, sexuality, health, class, and education are explored for the ways those conflicts helped shape the individual personalities in this family. The audience is taken on a darkly humorous journey through their efforts to hide, contort, or distort themselves to avoid the ever-present elephants. Combining text and movement elements, Beth shares sobering honest portrayals of her parent’s efforts to escape or ignore their difficulties. In doing so, she holds a mirror up to her attempts to reconcile with her own elephants… Welcome to My Living Room was originally presented in a full production at the Antioch Area Theater Yellow Springs, OH in December 2004 and directed by Louise Smith.
Beth Richards is a native of the western suburbs of Chicago. She is a graduate of Antioch College Yellow Springs, OH. In the process of earning her B.A. in theatre, she re-imagined her vision of what theatre could accomplish and encompass. The most important of these experiences were her first brush with Samuel Beckett and internships at Performance Space 122 and the Wooster Group in New York. Yet more important are the relationships with Antioch faculty Karen Gundersen and Louise Smith. Beth has worked in a variety of theaters in a variety of technical capacities, and as a performer is a newly-minted ensemble member with Pride Films & Plays. She is ecstatic to be working with the Right Brain Project on the expansion of Welcome to My Living Room and would like to thank them for their suppose in this endeavor.
A Note from the Director, Nathan Robbel, on MARAT/SADE:
“I have never tackled a play as thematically dense as Peter Weiss’s Marat/Sade, and it has been great hearing the thoughts of our audience members who have been moved by the play, and have dug out of the play multiple angles on contemporary issues that are (sometimes unfortunately) still timely.
Very early in our process, we were faced with one of the largest challenges that the play, in its very conceptualization, presents - we were presenting a play about mental patients presenting a play. What do these people look like? How do they act? Are they lunatics singing and dancing with no regard for social decorum? And what of the staff of Charenton who are always present, but nameless in the script and seem to only serve as a tool? And then there’s the infamous Marquis de Sade. Was he really the Libertine he wished to be viewed as? What were his sub-textual motives for presenting this play? The amazing thing about this ensemble is that we came together to overcome these questions (amongst countless others), by really getting at the root of each of the 29 characters in the play - fleshing them out to discover their hopes, their motives, their fears, their individual obstacles, and finally, their passion. It may not have been the grittiest, or most “shocking” production of Marat/Sade to ever see the light of day, but we quickly chose to forgo this direction and present a production that asks the audience to look closer at these people and the very pertinent arguments presented by the Marquee in his face-off between a Marat of his own construction, and Coulmier, the director of Charenton. It was our hope to present a Marat/Sade that was a little more humane, intimate, and maybe even cathartic (while still keeping us “left with a question that’s always open,” as is Sade’s last line of the play) amongst the chaos. In doing so, I feel we held on to the elements that have made RBP shows so unique (in my opinion), while experimenting with something on a scale that is much larger than anything else we’ve ever attempted.”
Gaby Labotka (Coulmier’s Daughter) is very excited for her first Right Brain Project production! Before this you may have seen her around Chicago theatres as a ninja inRomeo vs. Juliet (Pretty/Windy), as a house manager for Mary Arrchie Theatre Company, as a demon in The Living Canvas: Demons (2010), as a pirate aboard the Tallship Windy at Navy Pier, as an intern for the House Theatre of Chicago, or as the director of The Living Canvas: Rain (2011)… or maybe you haven’t. That’s ok, it’s nice to meet you! Gaby recently graduated from Illinois State University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Acting and Directing, and is currently enjoying trying to figure out her grown-up-theatrical-artist life in the city. Love and thanks to her family and friends.
Paul Krick (Patient) is excited to be making his Right Brain Project debut withMarat/Sade. He received his BFA in Acting at the University of the Arts in addition to studying theater at the National Theater Institute. His most recent Chicago credits include The Xylophone West(Fine Print Theater), A Winter’s Tale (The State Theater), and The Big Funk (Rodez Productions). He wishes to thank the RBP, the cast and crew, and his family.
Ryan Heindl (Patient) is working with the Right Brain Project for the first time withMarat/Sade. His Chicago credits includePunk Rock (Griffin Theatre), Slaughter City(Jackalope Theatre), The Grapes of Wrath(Infamous Commonwealth), Frag and FASTER (the side project), and Stone Cold Dead Serious (Circle Theatre). Ryan received his B.A. from Columbia College. He would like to thank everyone at the Right Brain Project, as well as his friends, family, and those in attendance.
Stacie Hauenstein (Charlotte Corday) is excited to be doing her fourth show with the RBP. Since coming to Chicago she has worked with companies such as the State, Redmoon, Strangeloop, Point of Contention, Dream Theatre Company, and Theatre-Hikes. In May of 2008, Stacie graduated from the two-year conservatory program at Act One Studios, where she could be seen in production such as American Devine, The Laramie Project, and Cherrywood. She also has a B.A. in theatre from UW-Madison.
Meghan Hartmann (Sister) is a graduate of University of Notre Dame with degrees in Theatre and Anthropology. She spent two seasons with the Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival, which allowed her to be one of only three women to ever play Hecate in Tho R. Middleton’s The Witch. Meghan has also appeared as Patricia in the North American premiere of Guernica and as Julie in Cosi for the Autralian company PAANDA in Perth. Here in Chicago, she has performed with Redmoon, 3eyed Monster, LiveWire, and Chicago Opera Theatre. Special thanks to Dane, Mom, Dad, Missy & Joey for their love and support.
Liz Goodson (Sister) is excited to be performing in her first production with the RBP. Her most recent Chicago theatre credits include 6 in 60 with Roundhouse Productions and Little Triggers with the Ruckus, both of which required her to brush off her mask and puppetry skills. She would like to thank the people of the Right Brain Project for the opportunity to work with such talented and committed individuals.
©2012 Tom McGrath
MARAT/SADE Promotional Photos taken by the extraordinary Tom McGrath!
Stephen Gawrit (Polpoch), a native Chicagoan, is a company member of the Right Brain Project (PR/Marketing), and he is very excited to work with Nathan and the cast in Marat/Sade. Other RBP credits include Titus Andronicus (Actor/Fall 2012),The Fall of Man (Sound Design), the workshop of Hammer(Playwright/Composer), The Archivist (Playwright/Sound Design), and Pretty Penny (Actor). Stephen is a proud graduate of the Chicago Academy for the Arts (Theater, 2004). Other recent theatrical credits include Caesura: A Butchery (The Plagiarists), Radio Silence (The Nine),Saints and Sinners (Goat Song), and Stalk (La Costa). Special thanks to his parents, siblings, other family, the RBP team (Nathan, Emma, Alex, Michelle, Mike), and Amanda for their constant support.