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.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving Reflections from Artistic Director Peter Sullivan

Today, as we gather around a table with friends, with family, with loved ones, for a holiday on which we take stock of our lives and be thankful for what we have, I'm asked to consider: What am I thankful for? I’ll tell you, if you’ll allow me to drop my typical bohemian sentimentality for a moment.

I’m thankful we’re still here.

Peter Marston Sullivan directing the cast of Kiss of the Spider Woman

This may not come as “big news” to most, but it’s really hard to keep a Chicago storefront theatre company running. It’s hard to spend hours, days, weeks, months and even (really?!) years working to not only make it to the next show, but also ensure that the next show is as good as it can be. It’s hard to learn that just doing good theatre is not enough, or to ask company members and artists to give up so much of their time for little or no pay. It’s hard to get people to spend $20 and 2 hours to come see something you, your company and its artists are incredibly passionate about. It’s hard to not feel that some things - or all things - are your fault. It’s hard to wonder what shock or surprise will come next (though there is, at least, comfort in the knowledge that a shock or surprise will, in fact, be coming soon). For me, personally, sometimes it’s hard not to simply walk away, throw in the towel, or go grab one and get in some beach time... in Hawaii... with a drink. And yet...

I’m thankful we’re still here.

I know what you’re thinking: “So why do it?” I think many would share my answer: “We have to.” Whether it’s for self-fulfillment, or the hope that one individual life may be changed, be it an artist or audience: We have to. Because without these challenges, without these stories, without the process of putting something together as a cast - or a company - without those memories, those tears, that joy, the passion, what would be the point? We need to. I need to. And so...

I’m thankful we’re still here.

Peter Marston Sullivan talking with the cast of Pippin

And here we are, ending our 10th Season and celebrating our 10th year as a company. We’re planning a 10th Anniversary Bohemian Birthday Bash. It’s impossible not to look back on what my personal story is with BoHo. And I’ll tell you, it’s a complicated story, filled with a slew of twists and turns and chapters of sorrow and hilarity and joy. And you know what? I wouldn’t trade it for anything. The incredible memories I have of moments, of people, of shows. Of sitting in the audience, holding tight with a fellow traveler in hopes the lights and sound actually work. It’s been amazing. And because I wouldn’t mind a little more of it...

I’m thankful we’re still here.

So yes. Yes. I’m incredibly thankful to the myriad of astounding artists that have devoted their time and passion to this company. I am so grateful to the friends I have made these past years. I’m thankful to a company that continues to grow, change, adapt, learn and dream. I am thankful to our board, and those that have given donations and helped us make it to the next show. I’m so grateful to everyone that decided to spend that $20 and those 2 hours to see what our little storefront company can do. And you know what? I’m thankful it’s hard. Because those challenges have taught me more about myself than any simple journey could ever hope to.

I’m thankful we’re still here. And we're ready for what’s next.

-Peter Marston Sullivan
BoHo Theatre Artistic Director

Monday, July 28, 2014


Following up the success of its landmark 10th anniversary season, BoHo Theatre is excited to announce its lineup for its 11th Season. BoHo has gained widespread acclaim for the quality and range of its programming, including leading Chicago with the most non-Equity Jeff Award nominations for the past two years. In choosing its next  season, BoHo continues its commitment to celebrating the Bohemian Pillars of Truth, Beauty, Freedom, and Love and exploring them through the lens of human relationships.

Beginning with its 11th Season, BoHo will begin presenting each of its seasons in a single calendar year, bucking the current theatrical trend of presenting season programming from fall to spring. The upcoming 2015 Season will explore Beauty with Adam Gwon’s Ordinary Days, Truth with Jeffrey Hatcher’s Scotland Road, Love Dogfight by Benj Pasek, Justin Paul, and Peter Duchan, and Freedom with a special benefit gala.


Music and lyrics by Adam Gwon
February 13 – March 15, 2015 at the Heartland Studio
Representing the Bohemian Pillar of Beauty

From one of musical theatre's most exciting new composers comes Ordinary Days, a refreshingly honest and funny musical about making real connections in the city that never sleeps.  In the bustle and routine of New York, Ordinary Days tells the story of four everyday people discovering that their dreams, their passions, and their struggles are anything but ordinary. True to BoHo’s Bohemian ideals, this intimate musical is about finding the beauty and the extraordinary in the everyday. The LA Times calls Ordinary Days "arrestingly poetic", and the New York Times says this is "a quietly affecting show."

By  Jeffrey Hatcher
May 15 – June 14, 2015 at the Heartland Studio
Representing the Bohemian Pillar of Truth

A  young woman in 19th century clothing is found floating on an iceberg in the middle of the North Atlantic. When rescued, she speaks only one word—“Titanic” –before falling into a frustrating silence. Using his wealth to bend the rules, an obsessed aristocrat brings her to an isolated facility on the coast of Maine with the sole purpose of getting her to talk, and to admit that the idea that she is a survivor of the famed sunken ship somehow transported through time is a fraud. But nobody here is truly who they appear to be, and with revelations come both transcendent and dire consequences. After finding success with last fall’s Veronica’s Room, BoHo brings to the stage another suspenseful mystery, one that begins as an investigation into the true identity of one woman and ends as a journey of understanding identity for all involved.

Music and Lyrics by  Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
Book by Peter Duchan
October – November (dates TBD) at Theater Wit
Representing the Bohemian Pillar of Love

November 21, 1963. On the eve of their deployment to a small but growing conflict in Southeast Asia, three young Marines set out for one final boys’ night of partying, debauchery, and maybe a little trouble. But when Corporal Eddie Birdlace meets Rose, an awkward and idealistic waitress whom he enlists to win a cruel bet with his fellow recruits, she rewrites the rules of the game and teaches him the power of compassion. With some of the best new music on the current musical stage, Dogfight begins as a rousing song and dance adventure and ends as an intimate story about finding the beauty and comfort of love in the most unsuspecting places. BoHo is thrilled to present this new musical based on the Warner Brothers film. Time Out New York calls Dogfight “easily the most delicate, surprising, musically satisfying score since Spring Awakening.”

BoHo Memberships are unique subscription packages that allow for flexibility in choosing productions and dates, as well reserved seating and invitations to exclusive events. Membership packages for BoHo’s 11th season will go on sale in September online at


BoHo’s 10th Season isn’t quite done yet! The 2013-2014 Season will come to a close with Alfred Uhry and Jason Robert Brown’s sweeping musical Parade, opening October 16th at Theater Wit. Look for more information on this exciting production soon!

Friday, May 16, 2014

From the Desk of the Executive Director - Kaela Altman - May 2014

Hello and Welcome to May


On Tuesday, May 6, BoHo Theatre officially kicked off rehearsals for our summer production of MYTHS & HYMNS by Adam Guettel. Representing the Bohemian Pillar of Freedom, this song cycle tells the story of a young couple, recently married and with very different outlooks on the world. When they find they must grapple with the sudden changes in their lives, the young man finds meaning in his accomplishments, while the young woman sees the world through her Christian faith. Together, they must confront their own strengths and limitations.

BoHo Theatre is no stranger to Adam Guettel's work, having produced Jeff nominated FLOYD COLLINS in 2012. We cordially invite you to join us June 13-July 13 at the Heartland Studio for this challenging and original work unlike any version you have ever seen.

Buy Tickets


On Friday, May 16, BoHo wrapped up our Strategic Planning Initiative as part of A&BC - Business Volunteers for the Arts program. Our dedicated team of volunteer consultants donated a total of 236.75 hours to guiding our project. As a result, the project is valued at $28,410.00 in pro bono consulting received.

Personally, I found the entire process to be a fun and engaging team building exercise, and one that helped BoHo's board and company members come together to successfully plan the future of our organization.

Special thanks to Katie Kurcz of the Arts & Business Council of Chicago and of course BVA's: Sara Coffou, Maggie Baranski, Amanda Daniels, and Kate Sheey. Thank you for your guidance, your insight, your friendship, and most of all your commitment to helping BoHo grow to our next level!


BoHo's Artistic Advisory Committee has been hard at work the past 5 months carefully reading and selecting scripts for our 11th Season. The wait is officially over! The season is decided...

But I can't tell you just yet!

You'll have to wait for our Season Reveal Party scheduled for later this summer. While you wait, though, I encourage you to venture a guess on what BoHo's next feat will be!

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 

Eleanor Katz

I'm pleased to announce that BoHo recently on-boarded a new company member. Many of you may remember Eleanor Katz 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 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!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

From the Desk of the Executive Director: February, 2014

Welcome to February:
On Saturday, February 15, BoHo Theatre proudly opened the second show of our Landmark 10th Season: AMADEUS, directed by our Artistic Director, Peter Marston Sullivan. The show opened to a sold out house and so far it’s been very well received. The cast, production team, company, and board then met up at Cooper's, located across the street from Stage 773 for an after-party to celebrate this phenomenal opening event. 

Producing at Stage 773 has been a wonderful experience thus far. Their welcoming lobby and concession stand has been an outstanding place for our guests to meet, mingle, and share their BoHo experience before, during, and after the show.

Have you seen AMADEUS? Consider sharing your thoughts with us in the comments section below. We’d love to hear your feedback about the performance.

AMADEUS runs through March 16 at Stage 773. Get your tickets today!

Welcome New Company Member: Molly Layton.

Molly came on board as a pilot company member and immediately jumped into her new position as BoHo's newest Casting Coordinator. She, alongside our Casting Associate Stephanie Sullivan, supervised the casting process for both AMADEUS and our upcoming production of MYTHS AND HYMNS. Later this year, Molly will join our production team for MYTHS AND HYMNS as a Production Assistant and will support our efforts to bring this extraordinary musical from inception to performance. 

Please join me in welcoming Molly to our family!

BoHo Is Now Hiring

BoHo is currently accepting directing proposals for our final production of the 10th season: PARADE. Please visit our ad on for more information. Be sure to submit soon! The deadline is fast approaching.

Additionally, BoHo is currently seeking a Scenic Designer/Technical Director for MYTHS & HYMNS. Interested persons should contact us directly. Please include a copy of your resume and a link to your online portfolio (if applicable). We will follow up with an interview in the coming weeks.

Stay tuned for more updates!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Being Bohemian: Sean Thomas

BoHo Theatre Company Member Sean Thomas, on what it means to be bohemian:

Since I can remember, I have always been my happiest and most fulfilled when being around art, artists and lovers of art in all it's forms. I grew up in a very conservative area of Virginia and took refuge in the freedom that the arts allowed me. Although not an area filled with those comfortable expressing themselves openly, I sought out other artists that could make me feel whole.

I moved to New York City in the early 1990s and found all the fulfillment a young artist could possibly hope for but was living in a major city which had financial restrictions. I was fortunate enough to be allowed to make a living in the theatre but always felt that my artistic voice had been stifled due the necessity of taking more commercial work to pay the bills.

A brutal attack in 2002 stopped my acting and made me re-evaluate my life. I moved to Chicago in 2005 and was surrounded once again by so much culture. Chicago, however, had a different feel in all of the productions I was seeing produced by resident companies. It was an ensemble effort. It was about groups of artists who respected one another, knew one another and who wanted to enjoy each other's artistry. I knew immediately that I wanted to be a part of this unified experience.

BoHo was my second acting job in Chicago in 2010 with Ibsen's Ghosts. I knew immediately that I had found an artistic home. I became an ensemble member later that same year.

Being Bohemian to me has meant finding a supportive and safe group of fellow artists and lovers of art. It has meant having a group of friends that I can agree and disagree with passionately while pursuing the same desire for excellence in storytelling and love of the process and craft. It has meant challenging myself to be part of a collective group and not just an individual. It has meant being a family and welcoming all artists from the community to be a part of us whether in a single production or in multiple productions. I am proud to be a part of BoHo's 10-year tradition. I look forward to seeing what wonderful things BoHo will become in the next 10 years and what new artists I will meet and who will become family.

Truth, Beauty, Love and Freedom!!

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!