Abbie Hoffman Died for Our Our Sins VII | Festival | Chicago Reader

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Abbie Hoffman Died for Our Our Sins VII

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Jerry Garcia's dead, the U.S. has recognized Vietnam, and it's mid-August--time for another edition of Mary-Arrchie Theatre's annual theater festival commemorating the anniversary of Woodstock and the passing of the radical clown and Woodstock Nation author who gives the event its name. Seeking to stimulate a communal spirit (which may be enhanced by sleep deprivation), Mary-Arrchie's Richard Cotovsky has organized the festival's three days as a nearly nonstop procession of entertainment by numerous local theater and improv troupes. In keeping with the 60s mindset, the fest's centerpiece is Mary-Arrchie's acclaimed current production, the Vietnam-war drama Tracers. Informality and spontaneity are the order of the day--so note that the schedule listed below, provided at the beginning of the week, may be subject to change. Mary-Arrchie Theatre, Angel Island, 731 W. Sheridan, 871-0442. August 18 through 20: Friday-Sunday, according to the schedule below. Tickets: $5 per admission (allows you to come in once and stay as long as you like); $10 for a one-day pass (allows you to come and go at will on one day); $25 for a weekend pass to the full festival.


Opening Ceremonies

Actor and festival organizer Richard Cotovsky adopts the persona of Abbie Hoffman to welcome the audience. 7 PM.

Chloroform to Cancer

Theatre Wyrzuc performs Brian Gary Kirst's play about a young gay man and the women who influence him--"his regal upper-class mother and a southern white-trash goddess." 7:30 PM.

Diary of a Madman

Nikolay Gogol's story about a nutcase in czarist Russia is adapted and performed by Rush Pearson. 8 PM.


Chris Metzger performs his cosmic comic serial about an outer space insect and his fight against evil. Every performance of Starbug during the festival will feature a different episode. 9:15 PM.

My Next Husband Will Be a Beauty

The late off-off-Broadway playwright Tom Eyen penned this short comedy, presented by Punkin Productions, about a girl who's molested and murdered by a strange man in the Plaza Hotel. 9:25 PM.

Betty Page Talks Sin: A Lecture/Demonstration

The cheesecake icon discusses market exploitation and sexual politics in this Labor-o-Love production. 10:25 PM.

Gas Mask 101

Arlene Cook's weirdly wistful portrait of college guys fretting over the draft in 1970--the era of campus protests, guilt-free dope, and sexually segregated dorms--is presented by the Mary-Arrchie Theatre. 10:50 PM.


The Merratic Theater Company presents a play by Lynne Nottage, about an abused woman whose husband spontaneously combusts (who needs a burning bed?). 11:40 PM.

Robin Steele

Momus Productions presents Raymond Hughes's comedy about a gangland slaying in a Chicago suburb. This is a preview of the first act of a full-length play due to open this fall. 11:50 PM.


See listing for 9:15 PM Friday. 12:50 AM.


Splunge Productions' comedy concerns three people who can't connect. 1 AM.

Cirque de Fiant

The Defiant Theatre performs. 1:35 AM.

Wild Dogs

Matt Borczon's play concerns "two males [who] turn their hostility toward women on each other," said Reader critic Tom Valeo when he reviewed this Mary-Arrchie Theatre production in 1991. 2:30 AM.

Broken Museum

The Merratic Theater Company performs Christopher Ellis's dramatic piece about guilt. 3 AM.

Upright Citizens Brigade Orientation

The UCB performs comic scenes. 3:45 AM.

To Be Announced

4:45 AM.


Karma Talk (Formerly Pool Talk Formerly Cake Talk)

A Red Orchid Theatre performs a radio talk show for the stage. 8:30 AM.

To Be Announced

9 AM.

The Mary-Arrchie Kid's Show

The company performs three folk tales: "Rumpelstiltskin," "The Boy Who Left Home to Learn Fear," and "Urashima and the Turtle." 10 AM.

Collateral Damage

The Drama Gym performs LA playwright Grant Gottschall's piece about a power lunch between two defense contractors. 10:40 AM.

Famous in the Future vs. Famous in the Future

The Famous in the Future comedy group performs a series of satirical sketches. 11 AM.


See listing for 9:15 PM Friday. 11:50 AM.

Robin Steele

See listing for 11:50 PM Friday. Noon.

Chloroform to Cancer

See listing for 7:30 PM Friday. 1 PM.

Ellie Weingardt

The singer performs. 1:30 PM.

Upright Citizens Brigade Orientation

See listing for 3:45 AM late Friday. 2 PM.

Group Tai Chi

Daniel Guidara, who choreographed Mary-Arrchie's Tracers, leads an audience-participation workshop. 3 PM.

Wild Dogs

See listing for 2:30 AM late Friday. 4 PM.


See listing for 1 AM late Friday. 4:30 PM.

Craggs and Braggs

Jake McKinney and Stevie Lee perform a comic fight extravaganza. 5 PM.


This improv show features three intertwined audience-suggested story lines. "At a time when Chicago is awash with talented, sensitive, intelligent improvisers, the awkward, unseasoned, but not untalented performers who make up HOUSEdressing . . . show that pure improv is a lot harder than it looks. And they do it the hard way, by flopping and flailing around the stage, denying each other like crazy, and boring the pants off the audience," said Reader critic Jack Helbig when he reviewed the show's current run at Zebra Crossing Theatre. 5:30 PM.


Carol K. Mack's play, about a computer programmer who creates women scientifically, is presented by Dreadful Engines Theatre Company. 6:30 PM.

Broken Museum

See listing for 3 AM late Friday. 7 PM.

Collateral Damage

See listing for 10:40 AM Saturday. 7:45 PM.


Next stop is Vietnam. This play, conceived by John DiFusco and written by a group of Viet vets, dramatizes soldiers' experiences during the war. "[The] script . . . has lost none of its unflinching power or grim irony. . . . [The] cast's camaraderie . . . contributes to some of the best ensemble work in Chicago this year," said Reader critic Mary Shen Barnidge when she reviewed the show's current run. 8 PM. Note: An episode of Starbug (see listing for 9:15 PM Friday) is performed during the two-act play's intermission at 9:10 PM.

Jess C. Hellmz Gets AIDS, Dies, and Meets Robert Maple-Thorp

Rev. Wildman's Pornographic Communistic Conspiracy Theatre performs its political parody. 10 PM.

Harley Keno (Wakes Up)

Drew Richardson, who specializes in physical clowning (often with a bittersweet edge), performs his commedia-style mask play. 10:10 PM.

Like Our Parents Smoking Cornsilk

The Nomenil collective presents "a cartoonlike fantastical journey of two selves searching for the answers to stupid questions." 11:10 PM.

Famous in the Future vs. Famous in the Future

See listing for 11 AM Saturday. 12:10 AM.

Bang Bang

"Bang Bang, with its discipline and considerable wit . . . consists of a core group of some of Chicago's finest actors," says Reader critic Tim Sheridan of this improv-comedy ensemble. "But the real star of the show is the nerve and spirit of exploration that every member of the group displays." 12:55 AM.

Fonky Ass Bitch

Teresa Valentino's comic performance deals with autobiographical material, including "growing up Catholic in Chicago, her kooky father, working on a construction site, and coming into her own as a woman of the 90s." 1:55 AM.


See listing for 11:40 PM Friday. 2:50 AM.

Bitch With Rich

Richard Cotovsky as "the inimitable Skid Mark" leads a live rant session. 3 AM.


Abby Schachner performs a "one-womb-an show" about Lilly and her mother Edith. 4:15 AM.

Karma Talk

See listing for 8:30 AM Saturday. 5 AM.


To Be Announced

6 AM.

The Brunch Show

Scabies From the Couch performs a comedy revue. 10 AM.


See listing for 6:30 PM Saturday. 11 AM.

Wild Dogs

See listing for 2:30 AM late Friday. 11:30 AM.

Readings From Revolution for the Hell of It

Don't steal this book, just listen to it: actors perform passages from Abbie Hoffman's manifesto. Noon.


See listing for 9:15 PM Friday. 12:50 PM.


See listing for 1 AM late Friday. 1 PM.

The Car Lover

Bruce Jay Friedman's short comedy is presented by A Sense of Urgency. 1:45 PM.

Broken Museum

See listing for 3 AM late Friday. 2:15 PM.

My Next Husband Will Be a Beauty

See listing for 9:25 PM Friday. 3 PM.

Upright Citizens Brigade Orientation

See listing for 3:45 AM late Friday. 4 PM.

Silly-Pie and Big Brain and Where to Pour That Sadness Inside

Two ten-minute plays by Gabrielle S. Kaplan concern relationships. 5 PM.

The Shooting Gallery

Michael Brownstein performs autobiographical tales of life in the urban war zone. 5:15 PM.

Mmm . . . Tattoo Screams of Love

Cathleen Schandelmeier performs her own one-woman play about "a bar pick-up that turns into a twisted, tragic passion." 6:30 PM.


See listing for 9:15 PM Friday. 7:30 PM.

Alma's Pantsuit

Caren Skibell performs her own one-woman show. 7:40 PM.

Silly-Pie and Big Brain and Where to Pour That Sadness Inside

See listing for 5 PM Sunday. 8:25 PM.

Two People Doin' Their Thing

Abbie Schachner and Kevin Scott perform "a potpourri of monologues and performance pieces . . . maybe even a song" under the auspices of Certain Hipness Productions. 8:40 PM.

Ty Cobb's Uterus or the Quick and the Sick

The 44th Floor presents an hour of improv games with song parodies. 9:40 PM.

Silly-Pie and Big Brain and Where to Pour That Sadness Inside

See listing for 5 PM Sunday. 10:40 PM.

The Car Lover

See listing for 1:45 PM Sunday. 10:55 PM.


See listing for 11:40 PM Friday. 11:30 PM.

Gas Mask 101

See listing for 10:50 PM Friday. 11:40 PM.

Closing Ceremonies

12:30 AM.

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