“Raising Adults” to premiere at Chop Shop June 7


Kait Staley and Brittany Wagner

Brittany Wagner and Kait Staley — who co-created, co-wrote and co-star in the new dark comedy webseries, Raising Adults — are not afraid to shoot scenes that feature at least one of them using the bathroom. And they’re the mature members of the cast.

“The series follows two young girls raising their crazy, disabled parents,” explains Britt. “It's all about their struggle to get by, reluctantly taking care of the ones they love.”

Since both of the main characters are first-born children of single-parent homes, Britt adds, they dwell in a place “where growing up too fast as kids meets growing up too soon as young adults.”

The script of Raising Adults is based on the actual lives of Britt and Kait, who met during a 48 Hour Film Project in Cincinnati about seven years ago.

“I grew up without a mom,” says Britt. “She grew up without a dad."

The not-quite-fully-developed parents, likewise, are modeled after the real deals.

Kait’s mother is a hoarder who once tried a homegrown liposuction technique that involved a vacuum cleaner. Britt’s dad is a gay, unfiltered former construction worker who spent several years pretending to be a typical heterosexual family man.

“My dad didn’t have a soundboard or anyone to talk to,” Britt remembers. “So I was basically his partner in crime and confidante.”

One of the major themes of the show, she says, is “You do what you have to do to take care of each other.”

The effort to launch the project was fueled by career frustration and a dose of femininspiration.

“Kait and I were both at a place where we were going through the motions,” Britt continues. “She’s an actress. I’m a producer. It seems like women are often furthering the dreams of other people, often men.”

When Kait learned that she was getting kicked out of her apartment last fall, they decided to make the idea come to life.

“I hit the ground running and poured everything about my real life into this and put it on display,” says Britt.

The majority of the footage was shot in Cincinnati. All of the editing was completed with the “super supportive” expertise of people in the Chicago film community.

Danny McCarthy cut all but six of the 12 episodes. Emily Tolan and Jackie Cohen from Cutters each edited two. Greg Jaffe and Bryan Ward from Big Teeth each edited one.

Chicago hip hop artist Chris Crack, who Britt describes as “a damn dream,” provided most of the music.

Chicago’s Noisefloor handled audio for the first half of the episodes; Floodgates did the rest.

The first four episodes of the series will premiere tomorrow night during an extravaganza at the Chop Shop on 2033 W. North Ave. from 7-10 p.m.

The program will begin with three local female comedians at 7:30. The screening will take place around 8 p.m. and a performance by Chris Crack will follow at 9 p.m.

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