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Abbie Hoffman Died for Our Sins XIII

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The 2001 edition of the Mary-Arrchie Theatre Company's annual marathon showcase of emerging talent features a slew of local fringe theater and performance companies and solo artists. The Abbie Fest was founded in 1989 to honor the late anarchist author of Woodstock Nation and to commemorate the anniversary of the 1969 Woodstock music festival. "Abbie Hoffman Died for Our Sins XIII" offers a steady flow of entertainment while seeking to foster a communal spirit among performers and audience (which may be enhanced by sleep deprivation). A sliding admission-price scale allows audiences to attend a specific show or to come and go throughout the weekend; there are convenience stores nearby for those in need of a snack, the theater is air-conditioned, and there's indoor plumbing--so you don't need to use port-a-potties like the folks at Woodstock did. Participants include A Red Orchid Theatre, the Hypocrites, the Factory Theater, solo artist Jennifer Biddle, and the jazz-rock band Milkbaby, as well as Mary-Arrchie, whose own entries include festival perennial Gas Mask 101, a nostalgic look at college life in the Vietnam war era. At press time, several slots in the schedule were assigned to the ever popular "To be announced"; check with the theater for updated information. Mary-Arrchie Theatre Company, Angel Island, 731 W. Sheridan, 773-871-0442. August 17 through 19: Friday-Sunday, according to the schedule below, which is subject to change, delays, etc. Tickets: $5 for a single admission (allows you to come in once and stay as long as you can take it--"no leaving for cigarette breaks or beer," a press release warns); $10 for a one-day pass (allows you to come and go at will on a single day); and $25 for a weekend pass (with in-out privileges) to the full festival.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 17

Gathering of the Tribes

Festival participants and viewers meet at the Richard J. Daley Civic Center, 50 W. Washington, starting at 2 PM; a march northward to Mary-Arrchie's Uptown headquarters begins at 3 PM.

Opening Ceremonies

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

The Bride

The Black Forest theater group presents James Moeller's piece about two brides locked in mortal combat. 7:15 PM.

Sweet Eros

The Theo Ubique Theatre Company presents Terrence McNally's dark comedy about an emotionally dysfunctional man who kidnaps and rapes a young woman. "[This] performance of Sweet Eros . . . consists of . . . an extended, graphic depiction of rape. . . . McNally has written a madman's rant, a superb portrait of a woman hater; [director Fred] Anzevino has chosen to enact not just the portrait but the hatred," says Reader critic Kelly Kleiman. 7:30 PM.

The Root of Chaos

Douglas Soderberg's study of the destruction of a family in a Pennsylvania mining town is presented by Stuck in Lucky. 8 PM.

The Curious Sofa

See Critic's Choice. 8:50 PM.

Blob Love

Ow Myeye Productions presents the world premiere of Joe Winston's one-act play about the romance between a half-human alien and a half-alien human. 9:05 PM.

The Gas Heart

Exploding Undulations performs a Dada theater piece by Tristan Tzara. 9:50 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. 10:20 PM.

Paper Bag Void

Nick Jones's exploration of "the creation and destruction of order in the world" is presented by Blackjack Productions. 11:10 PM.

The Reincarnation of Eddie--Rearrangements From the Notebooks of Richard Foreman

Anthony Wills's adaptation of texts by New York experimental-theater guru Richard Foreman examines the relationship between art, artist, and audience. 11:15 PM.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 18

The Invisibo Radio Show

Neil McNamara performs a parody of 1940s radio drama. 12:05 AM.

No Se, No Se: Part II

Comic monologuist Sergi Bosch portrays a pot-smoking Spanish-American grad student. 12:10 AM.

Let Us Go Out Into the Starry Night

Passion Play presents John Patrick Shanley's study of two strangers who meet in a cafe. 12:30 AM.

When I Wished I Worked at Jiffy Lube

The Mary-Arrchie Theatre presents a new play by John Irish about a man working the late shift at a small gas station. 12:55 AM.

Gunmetal

Anthony Roberts's drama, about a man who threatens his roommate with a pistol, is presented by the Keyhole Players. 1:05 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; the play is still trotted out for this yearly festival. 1:30 AM.

Cops

The Mary-Arrchie Theatre presents Michael Merritt's one-act about two policewomen at a shooting range who chat about their affairs--with each other's husbands. 2 AM.

Willie Laszlo and My Shins

Laszlo screens three short videos featuring his comedy group My Shins: Chobilly Cheap, The Widower, and Handicapped Hunters. 2:05 AM.

The Root of Chaos

See listing for 8 PM Friday. 2:15 AM.

A Show in the Life of a Buckheaded Shemp

Gafftape Productions presents "a technical geek puppet show" by J. Sam Iam. 3:05 AM.

To be announced

3:35 AM.

The Fantod Story 15 Min.: Worse Than Florida

The Fantod Theatre presents a piece by Guy Jackson. 3:50 AM.

Acts of Provocation

Acts of Provocation performs a theater piece. 4:10 AM.

Trash Talk

A Red Orchid Theatre presents a late-night talk show for the stage. 5 AM.

To be announced

6 AM.

Tai Chi Demonstration

Tai chi chuan choreographer Daniel Guidara exhibits and discusses the form. 9 AM.

Mindi

The Biddle LaFleur Company presents Jennifer Biddle's solo piece about a New Age adherent who discusses her fascination with crystal healing. 11 AM.

Gunmetal

See listing for 1:05 AM Saturday. 11:15 AM.

The Fantod Story 15 Min.: Worse Than Florida

See listing for 3:50 AM Saturday. 11:40 AM.

Cops

See listing for 2 AM Saturday. Noon.

The Art of . . .

Misguided Talent presents an original work about "the power of the individual to change." 12:05 PM.

Crossing Over

The Biddle LaFleur Company presents Jennifer Biddle's monologue about a woman who can't talk to her husband. 12:35 PM.

Acts of Provocation

See listing for 4:10 AM Saturday. 12:50 PM.

The Lover

Blackjack Productions presents Harold Pinter's darkly comic 1963 one-act about a middle-aged husband and wife who spice up their marriage with erotic fantasy games. 1 PM.

The Reincarnation of Eddie--Rearrangements From the Notebooks of Richard Foreman

See listing for 11:15 PM Friday. 1:50 PM.

Audiovideo

Michael John Garces's comedy, presented by Flush Puppy Productions, concerns two boys alarmed to discover that the video they made has inadvertently been left at the home of the grandmother of one of the youths. 2:40 PM.

Illuminations and The Bride

The Black Forest theater group presents two plays by James Moeller. The first is a study of hallucinogen-induced transcendence; see listing for 7:15 PM Friday for The Bride. 3 PM.

The Gas Heart

See listing for 9:50 PM Friday. 4 PM.

Dino, Standup From Hell

James Moeller's portrait of a comedian from hell is presented by the Black Forest theater group. 4:30 PM.

Bill Schmoctor, M.D.

This improv group performs a long-form montage of comic scenes based on an audience suggestion. 4:40 PM.

Cops

See listing for 2 AM Saturday. 5:05 PM.

To be announced

5:10 PM.

Mindi

See listing for 11 AM Saturday. 5:30 PM.

Willie Laszlo and My Shins

See listing for 2:05 AM Saturday. 5:50 PM.

Crossing Over

See listing for 12:35 PM Saturday. 6 PM.

When I Wished I Worked at Jiffy Lube

See listing for 12:55 AM Saturday. 6:15 PM.

Death of a Legend

Dean Barrett's play about the relationship between two hit men is performed by the Mary-Arrchie Theatre. 6:20 PM.

Rough for Theatre II

Bottle of Smoke presents Samuel Beckett's portrait of a would-be suicide. 6:45 PM.

Faces of Mild Injury

The comedy troupe Famous in the Future, a mainstay of Abbie Fest since its first year, performs a revue of songs and sketches. 7 PM.

Gator Paws

The Automotive Theatre Group presents writer-director Geoff Button's "adaptation of a tape-recorded love letter from an insecure teenage boy to the girl destined to forget him." 7:50 PM.

The Invisibo Radio Show

See listing for 12:05 AM Saturday. 8:05 PM.

White Trash Wedding and a Funeral

The Factory Theater revives its 1995 production of Mike Beyer and Bill Havle's comedy about a septic-tank-cleaning mogul whose wedding is marred by his intended's plot to murder him. "[This] gleefully moronic exaltation of white trash culture . . . leaves little to the imagination. A furious, acid-laced potboiler, [the] profanity-laced, flatulence-fueled script borrows the central conceit of Hamlet and sets it in a central Illinois American Legion hall. . . . At its smartest moments, White Trash Wedding and a Funeral sticks a boot in the ass of Middle America while placing a mirror to 'polite' society. At its dumbest moments, the laughs are both uncomfortable and infectious," says Reader critic Nick Green. 8:10 PM.

Chekovian Scene

Open Eye Productions presents Jon Sevigny's reinterpretation of the play within the play from Chekhov's The Seagull. 9:10 PM.

The Curious Sofa

See Critic's Choice. 9:40 PM.

The Devil Vet

The Mammals preview excerpts from their forthcoming production of Bob Fisher's play about a Transylvanian veterinarian who tries to teach dogs how to talk. 9:55 PM.

Wild Dogs

See listing for 1:30 AM Saturday. 10:25 PM.

Food and Death Dished Up by Hi-Volt Theatre

The Hi-Volt Theatre Company performs a collection of seven short pieces about . . . food and death. 10:55 PM.

The Stronger

The Theo Ubique Theatre Company presents August Strindberg's drama. "The Stronger [is] a marvelous but difficult piece: Mrs. X speaks while Miss Y communicates only with her face and body. Mary McCloskey [and] Niki Lundgren [are] terrific, [and the] play itself is the perfect portrait of an epiphany," says Reader critic Kelly Kleiman. 11:40 PM.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 19

Milkbaby

The jazz-rock band performs. Midnight.

The Adventures of the Black Knight

Careening Theatre Company presents David Skuarla's comedy about "silliness, sex, and violence during the last days of Camelot." 12:55 AM.

The Art of . . .

See listing for 12:05 PM Saturday. 1:25 AM.

Saccharine Pop Death

Blackjack Productions presents Nick Jones's "analysis of pop culture music as it relates to trepidations about the millennium." 1:55 AM.

Let Us Go Out Into the Starry Night

See listing for 12:30 AM Saturday. 2:10 AM.

Bill Schmoctor, M.D.

See listing for 4:40 PM Saturday. 2:25 AM.

Bitch With Rich

Mary-Arrchie's late-night kvetch session is hosted by talk-show terrorist "Skid Mark" (aka Richard Cotovsky); the show features guest artists and video segments, and audience participation is de rigueur. 2:50 AM.

Acts of Provocation

See listing for 4:10 AM Saturday. 4 AM.

The Reincarnation of Eddie--Rearrangements From the Notebooks of Richard Foreman

See listing for 11:15 PM Friday. 4:05 AM.

Trash Talk

See listing for 5 AM Saturday. 5 AM.

Wild Dogs

See listing for 1:30 AM Saturday. 6 AM.

To be announced

7 AM.

Food and Death Dished Up by Hi-Volt Theatre

See listing for 10:55 PM Saturday. 10 AM.

Tai Chi Demonstration

See listing for 9 AM Saturday. 10:45 AM.

Readings From "Woodstock Nation"

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

A Show in the Life of a Buckheaded Shemp

See listing for 3:05 AM Saturday. 12:30 PM.

Blob Love

See listing for 9:05 PM Friday. 1 PM.

Foul Play With Waterfowl

Iguana Productions presents a character study by John Weagly about two women discussing "life, missing husbands, and ducks." 1:45 PM.

Illuminations, The Bride, and Dino, Standup From Hell

See listings for 7:15 PM Friday (The Bride), 3 PM Saturday (Illuminations), and 4:30 PM Saturday (Dino, Standup From Hell). 2 PM.

Tai Chi Demonstration

See listing for 9 AM Saturday. 2:35 PM.

The Adventures of the Black Knight

See listing for 12:55 AM Sunday. 3 PM.

When I Wished I Worked at Jiffy Lube

See listing for 12:55 AM Saturday. 3:30 PM.

Gunmetal

See listing for 1:05 AM Saturday. 4 PM.

Acts of Provocation

See listing for 4:10 AM Saturday. 4:25 PM.

Faces of Mild Injury

See listing for 7 PM Saturday. 4:35 PM.

A Show in the Life of a Buckheaded Shemp

See listing for 3:05 AM Saturday. 5:30 PM.

Audiovideo

See listing for 2:40 PM Saturday. 6 PM.

Foul Play With Waterfowl

See listing for 1:45 PM Sunday. 6:20 PM.

Death of a Legend

See listing for 6:20 PM Saturday. 6:40 PM.

Jenny Died

The Vantage Theatre Company presents a play by Michael Dice about the impact a Chicago girl's death from a drug overdose has on the people connected to her. 7 PM.

Rough for Theatre II

See listing for 6:45 PM Saturday. 8 PM.

The Curious Sofa

See Critic's Choice. 8:20 PM.

The Fantod Story 15 Min.: Worse Than Florida

See listing for 3:50 AM Saturday. 8:35 PM.

Changes

The Homeground Theater presents Paul Moulton's drama about a late-night encounter in a hospital emergency room. 8:55 PM.

The Lover

See listing for 1 PM Saturday. 9:15 PM.

Paper Bag Void

See listing for 11:10 PM Friday. 10:05 PM.

Gator Paws

See listing for 7:50 PM Saturday. 10:10 PM.

Dionysus 2.1

Theatrevolution Outreach presents Matt Carter's updated adaptation of Euripides' tragedy The Bacchae. 10:25 PM.

Gas Mask 101

See listing for 10:20 PM Friday. 11:25 PM.

Closing Ceremonies

Richard Cotovsky as Abbie Hoffman pronounces a farewell benediction. Survivors of the weekend may find themselves echoing the words of the real-life Hoffman: "I emerged exhausted, broke and bleeding from the Woodstock Nation." 12:15 AM.

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