Wednesday, April 23, 2014

From the Desk of the Executive Director - April 2014

CONGRATULATIONS to all the 2014 Jeff Nominees. Your hard work and passionate commitment to Chicago Theatre is one of Chicago's biggest treasures. I am so proud to work with you, and so happy to be a part of such an extraordinary community of artists.

Welcome to April - Welcome to Spring

After surviving a record-setting winter in Chicago, I am so relieved to finally celebrate Spring. BoHo Theatre Company Members have been a flutter with activity! Sean Thomas has just recently closed Sandalwood with Tympanic Theatre while our fabulous Casting Associate, Stephanie Sullivan has been hard at work with Fox Valley Rep working on Cheaper By The Dozen. Greg Foster, who recently garnered a Jeff Nomination for his role in Spamalot, is also  heading towards his opening of Kokandy Production's Assassins, playing Charles Guiteau. Meanwhile,and our own Peter Robel will be starting rehearsals for our summer musical of Myths & Hymns in just a few short weeks.

Announcement: BoHo Theatre Welcomes New Company Member Eli Katz Castellano

I'm pleased to announce that BoHo recently on-boarded a new company member. Many of you may remember Eli Katz Castellano from her role as Anna Hauptmann in our production of Hauptmann in 2013. Eli will be working along side our Space Coordinator, Greg Foster, to assist our renters at the Heartland Studio. Look for Eli around the city - she'll be seen with the Signal Ensemble Theatre in the premier of The Next Thing, "a new musical spanning six years, five movies, four deals, three significant others, two Oscars, and one combustible relationship".
We are so happy to welcome Eli on board!

Arts & Business Council - Business Volunteers for the Arts

As you may recall, last Fall BoHo partnered with the Arts & Business Council - Chicago to participate in their Business Volunteers for the Arts program (BVA). The company and board has worked diligently alongside our fantastic BVA's to craft a three year strategic plan. As part of this initiative, we have identified and explored how to help on-board new faces to help us with this ambitious plan. Keep your eyes on our website for information on open positions, and how to get involved.

Upcoming Events:

Myths & Hymns
June 13 – July 13, 2014
presented at Heartland Studio
Directed by Peter Robel
Music Direction by Nick Sula

Oct 18 – Nov 16, 2014
presented at Theater Wit
Directed by Linda Parson Fortunado
Music Direction by Matthew Deitchmann
(look for information on auditions in the coming weeks!)

2015 Season Reveal Party - Coming Summer, 2014!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Being Bohemian: Anna Hammonds

BoHo Theatre Artistic Associate Anna Hammonds, on what it means to be bohemian:

During a rather quiet rehearsal of Floyd Collins years ago, I watched as actor Jim DeSelm pretended to be trapped by a rock while Jon Harrison sang over his shoulder about the hope of Daybreak. There was a moment at the end of the song where Jon placed his hand on Jim’s shoulder, and I understood that gesture was the only way those brothers could connect with one another in that imaginary world of a cave in Kentucky. It was in a rehearsal room. No one else was in the audience that night, but I felt like a fool as a tear ran down my cheek.

There’s no way for me to understand what it feels like to be trapped underground with no light or warmth around me. But as I watched these two actors quietly and effectively display the love between two brothers, I thought of my own dad and his late brother. As we were producing Floyd Collins that summer, my uncle was dying of cancer. Although he had no earthly means of saving him, dad was able to share hope and love and light, and even an occasional touch on the shoulder to let my uncle know he was there for him.

Truth be told, I hate it when actors say they believe theatre allows the audience to forget their troubles and worries, providing escape from the real world. I believe the exact opposite should be true. If it's good theatre— great theater in fact— it should pull the audience's heart and not let go, assuring them that it is good to laugh from the gut or mourn or fall in love or fight for a loved one to survive.

During my time at BoHo, I have partnered with artists who don't shy from connecting with an audience, whether the backdrop was a drought of the 1930s, or that lonely broken down grill in the dead of a Wisconsin winter. BoHo artists bravely carry that transformative storytelling power that surpasses geographical or cultural boundaries. We really are all connected by the most basic needs and yearnings of wanting to love and be loved. Being Bohemian is to be a brave storyteller, one that is not afraid to share pain or joy in a very real and honest way with patrons from all walks of life. While seeing a production won't cause a soul to forget troubles outside the theatre walls, I hope it reminds them that they are not alone. We are all living out a shared experience of joy, heartache, struggle, wonderment, beauty and love. I am proud to be a part of BoHo Theatre, a company rich with brave storytellers.

Throughout BoHo Theatre's milestone 10th Season, BoHo company members will be revealing what being "bohemian" means to them. What does Bohemianism and BoHo Theatre mean to you? Let us know in the comments or on Facebook!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Being Bohemian: Peter Blair

BoHo Theatre Company Member Peter Blair, on what it means to be bohemian:

I couldn't be more proud that BoHo is celebrating our 10th season. It is a landmark for any arts organization, and I won't stop marveling at how the company has grown, matured and constantly improved. As Executive Director from 2010-2012 I was honored to lead this company, and now I'm equally honored to be led.

For me, being Bohemian isn't a feeling. It's being one in a group of people. I'm less Bohemian than I am a Bohemian, and what I cherish about BoHo is the other Bohemians. We're eclectic and creative, open-minded and focused, diverse and just a bit rough around the edges.

Company members come and go as fate, family and circumstance dictate, but this group of people is never less than immensely honest, creative, surprising and dedicated. I've witnessed incredible acts of generosity and kindness. I've witnessed feats of endurance and patience. I've celebrated and suffered with this group. I love to see our company, board, affiliates and other fans of BoHo come together to pitch in as needed. Nothing is too tedious, dirty, or impossible for this group to give back to BoHo because BoHo has given them so much. In my case, BoHo gave me experience and friends. No other company our size produces the number of shows that BoHo does, but it doesn't feel like work when you really like the ones you're working with.

Here's to 10 more years of creating diverse and exciting theatre with people we love and admire. Cheers, Bohemians!

Throughout BoHo Theatre's milestone 10th Season, BoHo company members will be revealing what being "bohemian" means to them. What does Bohemianism and BoHo Theatre mean to you? Let us know in the comments or on Facebook!