Stage 773 gains Congo Square and Shattered Globe

Rendering of Stage 773’s new exterior

STAGE 773 SHOWED OFF its newly renovated space on Sunday, Oct. 16 – and also gained two resident companies for the year. Congo Square Theatre Company, which lost its venue at the Chicago Center for the Performing Arts when the latter was taken over by a church, will produce starting in February 2012 at Stage 773.

(The company’s 2011 production of The Nativity will, as in past years, be presented at the Goodman.)

Congo Square has also named longtime ensemble members Daniel Bryant and Ann Joseph-Douglas artistic director and executive director, respectively. Both have served in interim capacities since the departure of founding artistic director Derrick Sanders in 2009.
SHATTERED GLOBE THEATRE, which was on life support for part of last year after the former board announced they were closing down, also moves into the spiffed-up confines of Stage 773 and opens their 20th anniversary season with a series of readings of their biggest hits of yesteryear Sundays through January. They’ll open a full production of Tennessee Williams’ Orpheus Descending in February. For tickets, call 773-327-5252.

local chapter hosts a director/dramatists exchange Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. at the Goodman Theatre, co-hosted by Chicago regional rep Douglas Post and Elizabeth Margolius of DirectorsLabChicago.

The goal is for directors and playwrights to meet, mingle, and otherwise network over new work. No scripts may be brought. The event is open to all current DG members in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin, but space is limited.  Priority will be given to those who haven’t participated in a director/dramatists exchange in the last 15 months.

To reserve a slot, contact Patrick Shearer,, by Nov. 1 with a one-page statement containing your bio, contact info, and synopsis of something you’re working on currently.
Sun-Times theatre critic Hedy WeissTHE JEFF AWARDS will present a special award to Chicago Sun-Times theater critic Hedy Weiss at the Equity Jeff Awards ceremony on Nov. 7 at Drury Lane Oakbrook.
MAGIC AND MENTALISM take the stage next Wednesday, Oct. 26 at the DCA Storefront Theater in conjunction with Strange Tree Group’s The Spirit Play by Emily Schwartz.

From 7-8:30 p.m., actor and magician Brett Schneider (artistic associate with Strange Tree) and historian Ursula Bielski of Chicago Hauntings, Inc. will discuss the rise of spiritualism in the Victorian era. Tickets are free, and doors open at 6:30 p.m.
AND “COMPLETE WORLD KNOWLEDGE” comes your way courtesy of John Hodgman. The longtime “Daily Show” correspondent and author of the new book That Is All returns to Second City e.t.c. with an evening of comedy and “completely made-up, amazing true facts” Nov. 2 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $30 (which includes a copy of the book) at 312/337-3992.
FINALLY, OUR CONDOLENCES to the family and friends of actor Maricela Ochoa, who passed away in Austin, Texas, Oct. 10 after a battle with breast cancer. Ochoa, 48, was a founding member of Teatro Vista who also performed with many other companies around town, including a memorable appearance in Eduardo Machado’s The Cook at the Goodman in 2007.

A local memorial will be held Tuesday, Nov. 1, 7 p.m. at Lenz Studio, 2114 W. Belmont
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