Tuesday, July 28, 2015

BoHo Announces Bold 2016 Season

BoHo Theatre is thrilled to announce plans for its upcoming 2016 season. Building on its rich, 12-year history, BoHo continues to bring an eclectic mix of musicals, dramas, and classic plays to Chicago stages focusing on emotional human relationships. The company is dedicated to being an incubator for up-and-coming Chicago talent by creating safe, supportive artistic environments for our artists to experiment and grow. With these goals in mind, BoHo’s 2016 season will feature the innovative song cycle Fugitive Songs by Chris Miller and Nathan Tysen, a groundbreaking new adaption of Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya by playwright Annie Baker, and the hit Broadway rock musical Next To Normal by Brian Yorkey and Tom Kitt.

The Season In Depth


Music by Chris Miller and lyrics by Nathan Tysen
February 11 – March 13, 2016 at the Heartland Studio

Fugitive Songs is an innovative song cycle focusing on everyday people on the run: a disgruntled Subway sandwich employee, a jilted ex-cheerleader, a pair of Patty Hearst fanatics, a stoner forced to rob a convenience store against his will, and many others. The writing team of Miller and Tysen blend traditional folk music with contemporary pop and gospel to create a moving portrait of restlessness in America. While many of BoHo’s shows have focused on the reasons people come together, this production instead looks at why people choose to run away from the relationships in their lives.

“The journey of running away can teach us about who we are,” says Artistic Director Peter Marston Sullivan. “Too often, we’re not running from another person or a situation, we’re running from ourselves and the hard choices we need to make. To me, it’s when we realize why we’re running and stop that we find true freedom.” Following on the success of BoHo’s previous intimate musicals Myths & Hymns and Ordinary Days, Fugitive Songs will be staged at the company’s Heartland Studio space in Rogers Park and will open during Chicago Theatre Week.


By Anton Chekhov
in a new adaptation by Annie Baker,
working with a literal translation by Margarita Shalina and the original Russian text
May 25 – June 26, 2016 at the Heartland Studio

When the ailing Professor Serebryakov retires to the country with his new, beautiful, younger wife Yelena after a lifetime of posh metropolitan living, it throws his entire estate into turmoil. The estate originally belonged to Serebryakov’s first wife, and her mother, daughter, and brother still live there. Soon passions are flaring, with several of the gentlemen declaring their love for Yelena and Professor Serebryakov announcing his intention to sell off the estate. For as much as the family has lamented the stagnation of their lives, the introduction of change is even more frightening to them.

This intimate, immersive new adaptation of Chekhov's classic from critically-acclaimed playwright Annie Baker (Body Awareness, Circle Mirror Transformation, The Flick), brings colloquial language to this beloved story of human relationships and yearning. Written with the “goal of creating a version that sounds to our contemporary American ears the way the play sounded to Russian ears during the play’s first productions in the provinces in 1898,” Ms. Baker's Uncle Vanya introduces 21st century audiences to Chekhov's enduring wit, insight, and emotional depth. BoHo is excited to bring its trademark focus on character and relationships to this new work, focusing on the inner desires and turmoil that lives underneath the surface of our everyday lives.


Book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey
Music by Tom Kitt
Fall 2016 (dates TBD) at Theater Wit

The Goodmans seem to be an normal, average suburban American family. Dan is an architect; Diana rushes to pack lunches and pour cereal; their daughter and son are bright, wise-cracking teens. And yet their lives are anything but normal. Diana has been struggling with bipolar disorder and hallucinations for 16 years, and the strain of keeping this locked up within the family threatens to tear them apart. The harder the family tries to be “normal”—including medication and a variety of therapies—the farther they move from being true to themselves.

“What is so powerful about this show is not only the exploration of what mental illness does to one person, but also what it does to everyone around them,” says Sullivan. “The struggle to maintain identity and retain relationships in the midst of mental illness is what makes Next to Normal so fascinating… and so emotional.” Having taken Broadway by storm (Next To Normal won three 2009 Tony Awards including Best Musical Score and the 2010 Pulitzer Prize), BoHo is eager to bring its trademark intimacy and focus on characters to this affecting and timely story.

Season Memberships On Sale Now

BoHo Memberships are unique subscription packages that allow for flexibility in choosing productions and dates, as well as reserved seating and invitations to exclusive events. Membership packages for BoHo’s 2016 season are on sale now at www.BoHoTheatre.com or (866) 811-4111.

2015 Season Concludes This Fall with Dogfight

BoHo’s 2015 Season isn’t quite done yet! The 11th Season will come to a close with Dogfight, with performances beginning September 5 at Theater Wit. Tickets and more information are available at www.BoHoTheatre.com

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BoHo Theatre’s mission is to create bold theatre that challenges convention through innovative storytelling and unites artist and audience in the examination of Truth, Beauty, Freedom and Love through the lens of human relationships. Its vision is to create a shared community of artists and patrons in which all members are moved through art to make thoughtful, well-examined, caring relationships the highest priority in their lives.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

BoHo Theatre Announces Shift In Upcoming Programming

Beginning with our 2016 season, BoHo Theatre is excited to announce a bold new direction for the company’s artistic programming. For the past eleven seasons, BoHo has produced a strong mixture of musicals, plays, and classic works, garnering over 130 Jeff Award nominations in the process. “At this point, we feel we’ve accomplished what BoHo’s founders set out to create,” says BoHo Executive Director Kaela Altman, “which is a rich community of actors, designers, and audiences who put art and relationships first in their lives. So what’s the next logical step?”

Citing a strong demand from our online and local communities, starting with our 12th season BoHo will reposition our artistic voice by becoming Chicago’s first exclusively pet theatre. For our inaugural animal season, we will focus on casting pets from within our community of artists and audiences. “This change has been a long time coming,” muses Altman. “We’ve seen exponential growth in pet-related content online, and we’ve found that social media posts about our pets are some of our most well-received content. This was a natural evolution of the BoHo brand.”

BoHo’s 12th season will kick off with a one-animal show based on the hit movie Gravity. This musical adaptation created by Artistic Director Peter Marston Sullivan will feature Brutus, Sullivan’s 2-year old pug, as Dr. Ryan Stone, a lost astronaut who must make her way back to earth after a catastrophic accident in orbit. Gravity will open at the Heartland Studio on February 10th, 2016.

The second show of our 2016 season will be an innovative reimagining of Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida by BoHo Associate Artistic Director Peter Robel. “Troilus and Cressida is one of Shakespeare’s ‘problem plays,’” observes Artistic Director Sullivan. “Peter Robel’s unique staging will allow audiences to approach this classic work from a fresh perspective.” Performed on a multi-level set, this 6-hour uncut marathon production will feature Robel’s cat Shelley and Executive Director Altman’s cat Dwight in the title roles, with Marketing Director Charles Riffenburg’s cat NCK making a special guest appearance as Agamemnon. Troilus and Cressida opens at the Actor’s Gymnasium on May 13th, 2016.

The third and final show of our exciting 2016 season will be the Chicago storefront premiere of Kinky Boots, the hit musical by Harvey Firestein and Cyndi Lauper. The musical tells the story of a young man who inherits a shoe factory and partners with a cabaret performer and drag queen to help save the business. This production, staged in partnership with the Lincoln Park Zoo, will mark the stage debut of Bean, Casting Associate Stephanie Sullivan’s pug, in the lead role of Lola, and feature tap choreography from Managing Director Ryan Guhde. Kinky Boots will be directed by Sully, pet cat of Studio Liaison Eleanor Katz, and open at Theater Wit in late September of 2016.

Tickets and season memberships for the 2016 season go on sale June 1, 2015. Discount tickets available with the donation of pet food. Visit BoHoTheatre.com for more information.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

BoHo Joins the League of Chicago Theatres

BoHo Theatre is thrilled to announce that we are now full members of the League of Chicago Theatres.

Over the past ten years, BoHo has grown from producing an intimate production of Art at the Bailiwick Studio (our first show) to, most recently, staging the musically and technically complex 15-person musical Parade at Theater Wit. Along the way, we have met and worked with hundreds of talented artists, all of whom we count as members of our extended BoHo family. By fostering an environment that supports and encourages our artists to explore and stretch their limits, we not only create inspiring work for our audience, but also influence the greater community of Chicago artists. We hope that every great experience an artist has with us moves them to help create a nurturing and caring experience with their next role at another company, paying forward the love and goodwill.

As we look around at the Chicago theatre scene today, we see more exciting work being produced than ever before. When we first began this journey, people thought it confounding that we produced both musicals and straight plays. Why couldn’t we settle on one form of theatre? But now, we see more and more theatre companies mixing styles and genres in their seasons, opening up our audience community to broader opportunities to be moved by performing art. Maybe we helped inspire this, maybe not, but at least we’re in excellent company, and our audiences rarely find our range of programming baffling anymore.

So as our tenth anniversary season came to a close, we knew now was the perfect time to finally join the League, an alliance of over 200 arts organizations that forms one of the most diverse theatre organizations in the country. We look forward to partnering with the League to bring our patrons a wider range of community-focused events, such as Chicago Theatre Week and Theatre Thursdays. We will also take advantage of the increased visibility the League offers to invite new patrons to join us in experiencing the next ten years of what BoHo can bring to this beautiful tapestry of Chicago performing arts. For us, a theatre that has spent a decade welcoming people into our large family, it feels pretty nice to be welcomed into an exciting new family ourselves.

BoHo's company at the Bohemian Birthday Bash