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Abbie Hoffman Died for Our Sins VIII

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Abbie Hoffman Died for Our Sins VIII

This annual theater festival, which celebrates the anniversary of the Woodstock festival, takes on additional resonance this year as a warm-up to the Democratic National Convention and the unconvention-al antics planned by disciples of the late Abbie Hoffman, the Woodstock Nation author who helped make Chicago's last Democratic confab such a memorable occasion (leading to the infamous trial of the "Chicago 8," excerpts from which will be performed this weekend). Seeking to stimulate a communal spirit (which may be enhanced by sleep deprivation), Mary-Arrchie Theatre's Richard Cotovsky has organized the festival's three days as a nearly nonstop procession of entertainment by numerous local theater and improv troupes. 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 16 through 18: Friday-Sunday, according to the schedule below. Tickets: $5 per admission (allows you to come in once and stay as long as you can take it); $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.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 16

Opening Procession

Celebrants will gather at 2 PM at Richard J. Daley Civic Center Plaza, 50 W. Washington, for a 3 PM march to the Mary-Arrchie space.

Opening Ceremonies

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

You Can't Trust the Male

The Dreadful Engines Theatre Company performs Randy Noojin's romantic comedy about a postal carrier who falls in love with a woman on his route. 7:30 PM.

Diary of a Madman

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

Starbug: Episode 40

Chris Metzger performs his ongoing science-fiction serial about an interstellar insect and his fight against evil. Every performance of Starbug during the festival will feature a different episode. 9 PM.

Factory

This program of dramatic sketches, presented by Rash Productions, concerns the conditioning of human behavior by society. 9:10 PM.

5 Minutes of Comedy With Me Eddie

A Chicken Legs Experiment presents Edwin A. Wilson in a brief program of humorous talk. 9:45 PM.

Zoom! Gali! Gali!

Reader contributor Gabrielle S. Kaplan performs a solo piece about "growing up Jewish in Altoona, Pennsylvania." 9:50 PM.

Herb Lichtenstein

10:20 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. 10:30 PM.

Invisible Lightning

This presentation by Iguana Productions concerns "one woman's search for normalcy in the face of a religious disfigurement." 11:20 PM.

Starbug: Episode 41

See listing for 9 PM today. 11:35 PM.

Invited Dress and The Cheese

The Defiant Theatre performs two short pieces. The first is an absurdist look at the conventions of attending theatrical performances; the second is "a ten-minute argument about cheese." 11:45 PM.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 17

El Crappo del Slappo

Free Money performs a sketch-comedy revue. 12:45 AM.

Boxing Chicken

Abby Schachner's one-woman show examines a variety of fowl topics. 1:30 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 AM.

The Ringmaster

This one-act drama, presented by A Sense of Urgency, concerns a quadriplegic in a mental institution who tries to get his fellow inmates to kill him. 2:30 AM.

The Widow's Blind Date

Jihaad Filmworks presents Israel Horovitz's tense drama about the reunion of three former high-school classmates--a woman and two men who gang-raped her 15 years earlier. 3:10 AM.

To Be Announced

4:40 AM

Travel Talk

A Red Orchid Theatre presents a radio-style talk show. 5 AM.

To Be Announced

6 to 9 AM.

Don't Start the Riot Without Me

Chicago's Political Impromptu Theater Company presents R. Mark Whitehead's farce about sabotage and intrigue at the Democratic convention. "[Without] keen political insight and an eye for the absurd, . . . Whitehead . . . spends too much time aiming at obvious targets," says Reader critic Justin Hayford. 9 AM.

Clowns, Goddesses and Tough Guys: Parts One and Two

Actor James Schneider's one-man show depicts American cultural and historical heroes. 10 AM.

Hideaway

Christopher Ellis's drama, about a young woman who runs away from her home in a small South Dakota town, is presented by the Slaughterhouse Theatre. 10:45 AM.

El Crappo del Slappo

See listing for 12:45 AM today. 11:30 AM.

La Innocencia

Theatre Wyrzuc presents a theatrical rendition of poems by Mary Kathleen Hawley dealing with the troubled politics of South America. 12:15 PM.

What's My Problem?

Claire Kaplan performs an interactive improv comedy about a philosophical supermarket cashier and a wacked-out therapist. "Improvisational theater is always a one-day-at-a-time proposition, but an artist with a sure eye for satire can find humor anywhere, and Kaplan appears to be such an artist," says Reader critic Mary Shen Barnidge. 12:40 PM.

Zoom! Gali! Gali!

See listing for 9:50 PM Friday. 1:40 PM.

Disneyland on Parade

Gothic Productions' one-act uses the California theme park as the backdrop for three dysfunctional relationships. 2:10 PM.

A Night Off

Ray Hughes's play, about a motel encounter between a hooker and a traveling salesman, is offered by ATF Entertainment. 2:55 PM.

That's Life

The Don Cherry Project performs an "improvised in-your-face biography" of a person based on audience suggestions. 3:05 PM.

5 Minutes of Comedy With Me Eddie

See listing for 9:45 PM Friday. 3:50 PM.

Talk to Me Like the Rain and Let Me Listen

Richard Cotovsky directs Tennessee Williams's exquisite mood piece for Mary-Arrchie Theatre. 3:55 PM.

The Conspiracy Trial: Bobby Seale Testimony

Ihsaan Jihaad performs excerpts from the 1969 trial of black militant Bobby Seale and others for conspiring to turn the 1968 Democratic convention into even more of a madhouse than it would have been anyway. 4:10 PM.

I Am a Fool

Studio 108 presents Mike Vieau in his adaptation of Sherwood Anderson's short story about a Depression-era horse trainer ruined by his own good intentions. Performances at this festival are previews for the show's upcoming run at the Lunar Cabaret (see regular theater listings). 4:40 PM.

Hostile Makeover

The 44th Floor comedy troupe performs a program of improv games. 5:05 PM.

The Psychology of Clumsiness

"Dramatic fool" Drew Richardson performs a commedia dell'arte mask play about "an eccentric who tries to save the world by discovering why he is so inept (human)." 6:05 PM.

A Night Off

See listing for 2:55 PM today. 6:55 PM.

The Widow's Blind Date

See listing for 3:10 AM today. 7:05 PM.

Starbug: Episode 42

See listing for 9 PM Friday. 8:35 PM.

Small Craft Warnings

Tennessee Williams's 1972 drama crackles with life and energy the way under the direction of Michael Hannen. This flawed but effective work concerns a group of drifters in a bar on the California seacoast; in their sexual and philosophical conflicts--etched in alternately melancholy and wickedly funny tones, and superbly played by a first-rate non-Equity cast--Williams captures the ongoing struggle between the life force and the death force. Note: This festival performance of Mary-Arrchie Theatre's production consists of the first act only; the full play resumes regular performances next week. (see regular theater listings). 8:45 PM.

La Innocencia

See listing for 12:15 PM today. 10 PM.

Starbug: Episode 43

See listing for 9 PM Friday. 10:25 PM.

Hipsters Mad Record Party

DJ Dave Drazin spins a selection of 78 rpm records, then leads a discussion on thoughts provoked by the music. 10:35 PM.

Herb Lichtenstein

11:05 PM.

The Questioning of Nick, The Questioning of Nick, & The Questioning of Nick (Again)

Arthur Kopit's early one-act The Questioning of Nick, about two cops interrogating a suspect, is performed three times in succession with the three actors switching roles each time. "Though the speeches are repeated verbatim . . . the differences in meaning are huge. . . . Michael Shannon, Guy Van Swearingen, and Nick Offerman--the cast assembled by director Richard Cotovsky--immerse themselves in their multiple roles with concentrated agility and intensity," said Reader critic Mary Shen Barnidge when she reviewed this production earlier this year at A Red Orchid Theatre. 11:15 PM.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 18

Bang Bang Spontaneous Theatre

"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." 12:45 AM.

Scriptease

The comedy troupe Famous in the Future performs a revue of sketches and songs. 1:45 AM.

I Am a Fool

See listing for 4:40 PM Saturday. 2:35 AM.

Bitch With Rich

Richard Cotovsky portrays talk-show terrorist Skid Mark, who knows that "any subject can be covered in ten minutes, any problem anyone has is their own, and the truth hurts." Audience participation is de rigueur, presuming that there is an audience at this time of the morning. 3 AM.

To Be Announced

4 AM.

Travel Talk

See listing for 5 AM Saturday. 5 AM.

To Be Announced

6 to 9 AM.

Invisible Lightning

See listing for 11:20 PM, Friday. 9 AM.

To Be Announced

9:15 AM.

The Widow's Blind Date

See listing for 3:10 AM Saturday. 9:30 AM.

You Can't Trust the Male

See listing for Friday 7:30 PM

11 AM.

Wild Dogs

See listing for 2 AM Saturday. 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.

El Crappo del Slappo

See listing for 12:45 AM Saturday. 12:30 PM.

I Am a Fool

See listing for 4:40 PM Saturday. 1:45 PM.

Scriptease

See listing for 1:45 AM today. 2:10 PM.

A Night Off

See listing for 2:55 PM Saturday. 2:50 PM.

The Psychology of Clumsiness

See listing for 6:05 PM Saturday. 3 PM.

Portraits of Memory

Wymbs Productions presents Karla Austin performing poems and monologues by Sylvia Plath, "Jane Martin," and other writers. 3:50 PM.

The Conspiracy Trial: Abbie Hoffman Testimony

Richard Cotovsky performs excerpts from the 1969 trial of Yippie anarchist Hoffman. 4 PM.

Boxing Chicken

See listing for 1:30 AM Saturday. 4:30 PM.

That's Life

See listing for 3:05 PM Saturday. 5 PM.

Starbug: Episode 44

See listing for 9 PM Friday. 5:50 PM.

What's My Problem?

See listing for 12:40 PM Saturday. 6 PM.

Portraits of Memory

See listing for 3:50 PM today. 7 PM.

A Night Off

See listing for 2:55 PM Saturday. 7:10 PM.

Disneyland on Parade

See listing for 2:10 PM Saturday. 7:20 PM.

Talk to Me Like the Rain and Let Me Listen

See listing for 3:55 PM Saturday. 8:05 PM.

Chicago on the Rocks

Reader writer Neal Pollack penned this evening of monologues drawn from his journalism. Pollack's "portraits are of real Chicagoans, whose quirks Pollack captures by having listened well and looked hard, by having found crucial connections among apparent contradictions. . . . Not intrinsically dramatic, it seems stuck between oral history and self-sustaining fiction," says Reader critic Lawrence Bommer of this Free Associates production. 8:30 PM.

The Ringmaster

See listing for 2:30 AM Saturday. 9:50 PM.

Starbug: Episode 45

See listing for 9 PM Friday. 10:30 PM.

Beer Batter Haddock

Clay Sander, Dave Bonde, and Michael D. Starcevich perform sketches, songs, and absurdist poetry. 10:40 PM.

Gas Mask 101

See listing for 10:30 PM Friday. 11:30 PM.

Closing Ceremonies

12:20 AM.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Photo from Small Craft Warnings, by Daniel Guidara.

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