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 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

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Power of Giving

From the Desk of the Executive Director, Kaela Altman

As 2014 starts to wind down to a close I find myself feeling nostalgic and grateful. When BoHo closed Parade on November 16, our Company members gathered together to toast the season, and celebrate what an incredible 10th year we have had.

  • We produced four shows over the course of 16 months.
  • We received another record year of Jeff Nominations, which reminded us of our power to create incredibly thoughtful theater.
  • We saw over 1,000 people at general auditions throughout the year.
  • And we shared our artistry with well over 3600 patrons who came out to support Live Theatre in Chicago.

Last night, in Times Square, a "Bono-less U2" presented a surprise concert in honor of World AIDS Day. After an introduction from former President Bill Clinton, the stage was glittered with A-listers from Bruce Springsteen, Carrie Underwood, Kanye West, and many, many more in honor of those who have lost their battle with AIDS, and in celebration of those who have survived. President Clinton said that in 2013, more people received treatment than were diagnosed, an incredible feat given the state of this crisis some twenty years ago.

And that got me thinking about the Power of Giving. Whether it's $5 or $5,000, every single contribution makes an impact. Contributing doesn't just build a bottom line, or close a revenue gap.

Giving, in it's purest sense, unites a Community of people in support of a common cause.

Giving and Theater are similar in that regard and is representational of a Community of People, a Community of Artists, coming together to share their gifts, their hearts, and their passions which can collectively effect change.

BoHo is incredibly lucky to share this space with our fellow artists and we are incredibly grateful to everyone who gives to storefront. On this #GivingTuesday, I ask that you share your support for your cause today. Whether it is BoHo, your local food pantry or animal shelter, or perhaps another cause near and dear to your heart, celebrate the Power of Giving today and remember the spirit of the season.