Episode 1: Meridith Friedman Re-Release

As we chug along with production on Season 2 of Spiel Chicago coming out in September, here’s a look back at our very first episode.  At the time, playwright Meridith Friedman was opening her show The Firestorm at Stage Left Theatre.  This season, Stage Left is producing another one of Meridith’s plays, The Luckiest People.…

Re-release Episode 9: The Runaways Lab Theatre!

Only a couple of months until Season 2 of Spiel Chicago!  Until then, we’re re-releasing some old favorites to tide you over.  Here’s an interview with the Anna Helman and Olivia Lilley, directors of Mary Shelley Sees the Future produced by The Runaways Lab Theatre.  We talk about their current Freaky-Friday style story with gothic…

Bonus Episode: Chicago Theatre Marathon!

After the Reader exposé and subsequent closing of Profiles Theatre here in Chicago, playwright Cassandra Rose wanted to fill the vacuum left behind with something communal and reparative, something that would eliminate barriers to people telling their stories.  In this Summer Bonus episode, you’ll hear not just about how the Chicago Theatre Marathon came to…

Episode 14 – Avi Roque Pride Weekend Re-Release!

Spiel Chicago is on Summer hiatus, but re-releasing a few episodes to get you excited for season 2!  First up: Avi Roque! I first saw Avi in An Alamac for Farmers and Lovers in Mexico produced by The Jades.  Avi is gender neutral and uses the pronouns they/them/theirs.  We were able to talk a little about their…

Episode 20 – Laura Stephenson and Rinska Carrasco

Rinska Carrasco is so pumped to direct a grim Latinx fairy tale at Halcyon Theatre and after talking with her, I’m super pumped to see it.  I sat down with Rinska and Laura Stephenson, casting director for Halcyon Theatre to talk about their upcoming show THE RIVER BRIDE, their amazing cast as well as Halcyon’s…

Episode 19 – Lavina Jadhwani

Lavina Jadhwani is a director, playwright and casting director who is fascinated by the art of the mash-up.  She recently adapted Uncle Vanya for Rasaka Theatre Company, the midwest’s first South Asian American theatre company where she previously served as Artistic Director.  Lavina spoke with me about the kind of work that’s important to her,…

Episode 18 – Lauren Sivak

Growing up, Lauren Sivak always knew she would move to Chicago, she just didn’t know why.  In 2009, she came for an education internship at American Theatre Company.  Now she’s the Managing Director at 2nd Story, a storytelling collective located in Albany Park.  Lauren and I sat down in 2nd Story’s new home to talk…

Episode 17 – Delia Kropp

Actress Delia Kropp took a ten year hiatus from the Chicago theatre scene. When I asked her if that was hard she replied, “it was necessary.” Delia is a transgender woman and has only in the last few years returned to auditioning–now as her true gender. She spoke with me about her work as an actress, the challenges facing transgender actors in Chicago, and what she and others are doing to make our stages more inclusive.

You can catch Delia’s work when she directs the winner of the Pride Films and Play Trans Play Festival on June 11th and 12th. To learn more about her creative and activist work, you can visit her website.

Episode 16 – Loose Chicks

“I have had a long and interesting life,” says producer Roberta Miles. She chronicles her experiences (“Sex gone wrong stories–I have a lot of those”) in one woman show and in her monologues performed at Loose Chicks, a bi-monthly storytelling performance co-produced by Jillian Erickson. Roberta began writing after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and found herself spending a lot of time in bed. In this episode, Roberta and her collaborator Holly Beaudry discuss what it’s like to hear raw and revealing stories from Chicago women as well as what makes a great monologue.

Episode 15 – Erica Vannon

Director Erica Vannon is drawn to the kind of work that makes you “giggle into a bit of horror.” Or stand up and scream like you’re at a football game. Or cry (a lot (if you’re me)). She produces the impossible, like a devised opera performed in a hotel room or a 3 minute piece with 47 actors.