BREWED in Pittsburgh this summer

It’s been announced elsewhere and I’m late to the party, but I’m thrilled to announce that BREWED will be produced in Pittsburgh this summer with No Name Players. My friend and fellow Steeler fan Steven Wilson will direct.

Brewed Poster Image

The cast will feature Sol Crespo as Paulette, Tressa Glover as Babette, Siovhan Christensen as Juliette, Kelly Trumbull as Roxette, Cindy Jackson as Nannette, Alex Manalo as Collette, and Moira Quigley as Lee.

I’m so excited to be playing in my hometown again. And running just before we move, too; it feels like a welcoming.

Check out No Name’s website for info and tickets.


Erin Myers

I don’t normally post here about personal matters, but I feel compelled to tonight, because someone very dear to me will soon be moving on to whatever plane awaits beyond this one we all know and cherish.

Erin Myers is bravery. She is beauty. She is vitality and wisdom. One of the most generous, complicated, devoted, courageous, and smart-smart-smart people I’ve ever had the privilege to know and share my artistic life with. Casey and I will be moving to Pittsburgh in a few months, and when I look back on the decade I spent here, Erin will be among the most impactful and important people who touched my life in Chicago.

For anyone who doesn’t know her, you can read her breathtaking, heartbreaking, inspiring writings on her battle with cancer at her blog THE VIEW FROM THE 21st FLOOR.

Everyone should read it start to finish. Erin’s voice is a gift. Her honesty: essential and jaw-dropping.

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Erin learning fights for BREWED, summer of 2012

I knew Erin through the theatre scene for a few years before I actually got to know her. Then, in 2011, we worked on back-to-back shows together as actors, one with WildClaw, and one with The Mammals, and have been friends since. In 2013, Erin originated the role of Paulette in my play BREWED, a role she elevated with grit, passion, and precision. I made major changes to that play and that character during the process, and the credit goes to Erin. Her choices, insight, and limitless curiosity gave me a better understanding of who the character was, and who she could be. Her strength, her resolve, her outer rage and inner pain. Erin once said she viewed Paulette as a poet, though a severely frustrated one. I have thought of the character that way since.

During the course of these experiences, though I never told her (or anyone really), I came to think of Erin as an artistic sister-figure. I admired her the way I admire my older brothers. I always learned from her. I always felt small near her, but comfortably small. She was someone I trusted fully with my opinions and ideas, the rare person I actually found myself opening up to at times. I held her in the highest esteem and I always will.

Late last year I finished my first novel. The first person to read it was Casey. The second person to read it was Erin Myers. If it is ever published, it will be dedicated to her.

I’m heartbroken for her husband, her family, and all of her many friends (who I am lucky to count myself among). She’s a warrior. A special breed of bad-ass. And I will think of her every time I hear the word: “Motherfucker.”

[Erin Myers passed away on May 2. A superior woman, artist, troublemaker, and ally. She will be deeply missed.]

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WildClaw Theatre’s MOTEL 666

Been a while since I updated… There’s been a lot going on. New kid on the way, new city on the horizon, new job(s), new theatres to explore, new everything. Even though we’re moving to Pittsburgh (which is where we both grew up) it’ll feel like a completely new town because neither of us has lived there as an adult. It’ll be a crazy fall.

Back on earth, my next project goes into rehearsals soon. WildClaw Theatre’s MOTEL 666, a new horror anthology featuring plays by Christopher Hainsworth, Ele Matelan, Brett Neveu, Michaela Petro, Christopher Walsh, Joseph Zettelmaier, and myself. My play, “Hanger-On,” concerns a woman named Gemma, whose sister Clea has had her body invaded. Gemma’s resolved to get Clea across the border to an expert in the morning, but first they’ll have to survive a night at Motel 666.

Scott Cummins directs this massive project, which will open in June at the DCASE Storefront Theater.

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MOTEL 666

A World Premiere

Written by Scott T. Barsotti, Christopher Hainsworth, Ele Matelan, Brett Neveu,
Michaela Petro, Christopher M. Walsh & Joseph Zettelmaier

Directed by Scott Cummins

Conceived by Aly Renee Amidei & Brian Amidei

On the forgotten highways of the American Midwest, there is a vacancy waiting for you at Motel 666. Run by a clerk of questionable morals and kept clean-ish by a trickster maid, Motel 666 is the finest establishment on the road to nowhere. Be you lonely or loved, guilty or relatively innocent, charmed or just plain down on your luck, you can rest your weary soul at Motel 666. (Note: Management cannot be held responsible for souls lost or misplaced.)

Previews: June 3-4, 2015
Opening: June 5, 2015
Closing: June 28, 2015

Performances** will be held at the DCASE Storefront Theatre, 66 E. Randolph Street, with shows ThursdaySaturday at 7:30pm and Sundays at 2:00pm.

TICKETS ON SALE SOON!


TODAY WE ESCAPE – plays inspired by OK Computer

THE REVENANTS is closed, and my next project, already in rehearsal, is a piece in Tympanic Theatre’s upcoming production Today We Escape.

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My contribution is a short play called WAVELENGTH, inspired by the song “Climbing Up the Walls.” WAVELENGTH is directed by Rebecca Willingham and stars Chris Acevedo and Libby Conkle.

A companion piece to Tympanic’s critically-acclaimed 2012 play festival, Deliver Us From Nowhere — itself drawn from Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska — Today We Escape pairs twelve Chicago playwrights with thirteen directors to create an evening of theatre inspired by Radiohead’s experimental album, OK Computer. Each writer used a song on the record as the springboard for a short play before an ensemble of musicians composes original music based on the plays themselves. Like Deliver Us.Today We Escape is a meditation on how art reflects art; a live album in the most unique sense of the word, and a celebration of music that is at times detached, yet strangely comforting

TODAY WE ESCAPE: Plays Inspired by OK COMPUTER

March 13th through April 4th

Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.

and Sundays at 3 p.m.

Special industry performance on Wednesday, March 25, at 7:30 p.m.

The Den Theatre (1333 N. Milwaukee Ave.)

Tickets $20 general and you can get them HERE!


Last weekend for THE REVENANTS

WildClaw’s production of THE REVENANTS comes to a close this weekend, just four shows remaining!

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“Playwright Scott T. Barsotti and director Brad Akin have crafted a darkly comic but also genuinely engrossing study in claustrophobic horror, aided by a fine cast and a first-rate design team.” ~ The Chicago Reader

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It’s been a thrill to revisit this show with WildClaw, and it’s made me even more excited for WildClaw’s next project, Motel 666, coming this summer.

Check out THE REVENANTS before it shambles away for good on February 22!

The Revenants

By Scott T. Barsotti*

Directed by Brad Akin

Closes February 22nd

The Atheneaum Theatre

2936 N. SOUTHPORT AVENUE

BOX OFFICE: 773-935-6875

Tickets on Sale Now!

During an uprising of the undead, two couples take refuge in an abandoned basement. Gary and Karen must decide what to do next as their spouses have already been infected and are starting to turn. As they complete their transformation, the question of whether or not they are still themselves becomes impossible to answer. As Gary and Karen come face to face with the true meaning of commitment, they must ask of each other:

When does love die?

Featuring:

Elizabeth Birnkrant as Karen

Josh Zagoren* as Gary

Krista D’Agostino as Molly

Drew Johnson as Joe

http://www.wildclawtheatre.com

(photos by Kyle Hamman)


WildClaw opens THE REVENANTS 1/10

The set is built. The lights hung. The undead harnessed.

WildClaw Theatre’s new production of THE REVENANTS is in tech this week at the Athenaeum, and you can get your tickets here.

There are previews Thursday and Friday so you can get in on the zombie love early.

The Revenants
by Scott T. Barsotti
directed by Brad Akin

January 8th-February 22nd

The Atheneaum Theatre

2936 N. SOUTHPORT AVENUE / BOX OFFICE: 773-935-6875

Tickets on Sale Now!

During an uprising of the undead, two couples take refuge in an abandoned basement. Gary and Karen must decide what to do next as their spouses have already been infected and are starting to turn. As they complete their transformation, the question of whether or not they are still themselves becomes impossible to answer. As Gary and Karen come face to face with the true meaning of commitment, they must ask of each other: When does love die?

Featuring:

Elizabeth Birnkrant as Karen
Josh Zagoren as Gary
Krista D’Agostino as Molly
Drew Johnson as Joe

Costume and makeup design by Aly Renee Amidei
Scenic design by Dan Stratton
Lighting design by John Kelly
Sound design and composition by Rick Sims
Violence design by Scott Cummins
Gore engineering by Ryan Oliver
Movement direction by Scott T. Barsotti
Stage manager: Lauren Lassus, assisted by Norine McGrath
Assistant director: Mandy Walsh
Technical director: Margaret McCarthy
Poster and graphics: Charlie Athanas
*
Rev-Poster


JET BLACK CHEVROLET at the side project through 12/21

JET BLACK CHEVROLET is open and runs through December 21 (which happens to be the shortest day of the year). 

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(photo by Scott Dray)

“Barsotti, whose past horror work includes “Brewed” in a Ruckus/Tympanic Theatre co-production and “The Revenants” for WildClaw Theatre, gets a great assist here from director Devon de Mayo along with a trio of actors who commit to both the mundanity and the numbing terror at the heart of the story. The result is a piece with glancing echoes of Edward Albee’s numerous portraits of troubled midlife couples (especially “A Delicate Balance”) but with a sharp edge honed on the whetstone of an America defined by inexplicable and never-ending conflicts overseas and increasingly grim economic prospects at home.” ~ Kerry Reid, Chicago Tribune (full review)

“…[C]ouches turn into ghouls and chairs seem to weep. Director Devon De Mayo and sound designer Stephen Gawrit construct terror all too capably—the final “phantom” should leave you deeply unsettled, to say the least.” ~ Chloe Riley, Chicago Reader (full review)

Tickets are available through the side project or Brown Paper Tickets, and there are some discounts available for these first couple weeks. The show runs on an unconventional schedule because it’s in rep, including Wednesday evening shows and Sunday matinees at 5:00pm.

I’m thrilled with it. Devon de Mayo is an asskicker of a director, she put together a beautiful production and a stellar cast (that would be Rob Koon, Diana Slickman, and Kathryn Acosta, all of whom are giving excellent, nuanced, challenging performances).

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ALSO, WildClaw Theatre’s DEATHSCRIBE is next Monday, December 1st at the Mayne Stage in Rogers Park. DEATHSCRIBE is my favorite night of the year, five original horror radio plays performed live with foley artists and a band. Tends to sell out so buy your tickets today!

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(poster by Mandy Walsh)

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