Spiel Chicago Episode 12 – Not In Our House

In June of 2015, actress Lori Myers heard–for the fourth time in two months–a story from yet another colleague about extreme abuses of power in the Chicago theatre community.  Frustrated, she posted a now infamous Facebook post asking, “If your friend, sister, daughter, or coworker was working under a sexual predator—what would you do about it?”…

12 – Not In Our House

In June of 2015, actress Lori Myers heard–for the fourth time in two months–a story from yet another colleague about extreme abuses of power in the Chicago theatre community. Frustrated, she posted a now infamous Facebook post asking, “If your friend, sister, daughter, or co-worker was working under a sexual predator—what would you do about it?”

She had no idea at the time that her post would provoke hundreds of comments, dozens of private messages and eventually a massive action movement to end abuses of all kinds against artists in all non-equity theaters. This week I sat down with Lori along with Laura T. Fisher to discuss the Not In Our House movement, the evolving Chicago Code of Conduct and the incredible waves their work is making in the world of non-equity theatre.

Race and Representation Among Decision-Makers in Chicago Theatre (or How Guerrilla Research is Like Performance Art)

Diversity on Chicago’s stages has been the hot button issue in 2016.  But, as director Lavina Jadhwani observes, “Casting is the symptom, not the root problem. I wish we could focus the conversation more on decision makers (including directors and writers — but also producers, artistic directors, etc).”  The lack of diversity she saw in…

Spiel Chicago Episode 11 – Kara Tesch

Throughout her academic career Kara Tesch promoted herself as a costume designer.  When she got to the world of professional theatre she found that her training has prepared her for a job she’d love even more.  We discuss this along with her recent move from DC to Chicago and the the weirdest costume piece she’s ever had to…

11 – Kara Tesch

Throughout her academic career Kara Tesch promoted herself as a costume designer. When she got to the world of professional theatre she found that her training has prepared her for a job she’d love even more. We discuss this along with her recent move from DC to Chicago and the the weirdest costume piece she’s ever had to craft.

Spiel Chicago Episode 10 – Iris Sowlat

The only question for which Iris Sowlat didn’t have a detailed answer was, “what do you do in your free time?”  Iris is the definition of hustle and in the short time she’s been in Chicago, she worked or interned with Steppenwolf Theatre, American Theatre Company, Stage Left Theatre, Pride Films and Plays and About…

10 – Iris Sowlat

After Orlando: A Night of Readings, is a co-production by my guest Iris Sowlat and Pride Films and Plays. It’s also a national theatre action in response to the Pulse nightclub shooting in June. Learn more in this episode about the readings happening November 15th at Pride Films and Plays here in Chicago.

If you like what you hear, please subscribe, rate and review the podcast. See you at the theatre!

09 – Mary Shelley, Feminism and DIY Theatre

Playwright and director Olivia Lilley along with her assistant director Anna Hendrix sit down with Smyra to talk about their new show Mary Shelley Sees The Future, which opened this past weekend at Outer Space Studios. We talk about Mary Shelley’s radical polyamorous romance with Percy Shelley, how she serves as an interesting lens to examine contemporary feminism and also what it’s been like for them to work on a show with an all-female production team.

Mary Shelley Sees The Future runs Oct 21 – Nov 13, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 8pm at Outer Space Studios 1474 N Milwaukee Ave, 3rd Floor. Tickets are pay what you can and the venue is BYOB!

Spiel Chicago Episode 8 – Melissa McNamara

This week Smyra talks with the incredibly multi-talented Melissa McNamara.  Melissa is an improviser, movement director, pilates instructor and solo performance artist.  We discuss how she found herself on such a diverse path and how she started Mind Art Core Pilates Performance, which has twice won The Chicago Reader’s “Best Of Chicago” award for best…