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Abbie Hoffman Died for Our Sins XIV

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The 2002 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 XIV" 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 in this year's fest include A Red Orchid Theatre, the Hypocrites, Theatre Wyrzuc, Famous in the Future, Black Forest, and the Factory Theater as well as Mary-Arrchie, whose entries include festival perennials Gas Mask 101 and Wild Dogs. 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 16-18: 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 16

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 north 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.

War-Dice

The Dramatist Revolutionary Army presents an improvised show in which audience members roll dice to choose situations and emotions for the actors, who will dramatize how people live during times of war. 7:15 PM.

Southside

Whatupyou? Productions presents Dee Bolos's one-woman show about life on Chicago's south side. 7:35 PM.

Pigeons Eating Chicken

The Chicago Company of Important Theatre performs "a story of some deer who move to the suburbs." 8 PM.

D 'n' D: Live on Stage!

The Hi-Volt Theatre Company explores the world of fantasy role-playing games. 8:05 PM.

Sock Puppet Showgirls

Harvey Finklestein's Institute of Whimsical, Fantastical and Marvelous Puppet Masterage (whew!) presents a parody of Paul Verhoeven's notoriously bad 1995 film about the Las Vegas skin trade. "The movie is ripe for a scathing send-up, which [this] ramshackle troupe of puppeteers provides, hitting all the right notes with its obnoxious, profane interactive show. Finklestein's Showgirls is 100 percent id, as astonishingly elaborate sock puppets delight in baring their boobies and dry humping one another. [This] relentlessly mean-spirited Punch-and-Judy show draws its audience into the fray and makes something that's easy to ridicule even more fun to hate," says Reader critic Nick Green. 9:05 PM.

A Good Day

Two strangers come together at a dinner party in this Double Monkey production of Ryan Burkett's play. 9:35 PM.

The Demon Rod

This Black Forest production by James Moeller involves "a man, a woman, and a magic member." 10 PM.

Willie Laszlo

The videographer screens his latest work. 10:15 PM.

The Bride

The Black Forest theater group performs James Moeller's piece about two brides locked in mortal combat. 10:20 PM.

Parker Brothers' Ouija

The "occult icon of pop culture" is explored in Kristy Kambanis's piece for Reality Theater. 10:35 PM.

Leviticus 18

The Hypocrites offer their take on the Old Testament injunction against incest. 11 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. 11:15 PM.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 17

Varicose Veins vs. the World

The press release calls this "a motorcycle gang musical." 12:05 AM.

Your Minute of Fame

Ow Myeye Productions returns with its audience-interactive booth to make you a star. 12:30 AM.

The Spinkleteen Machine

This series of short comedy sketches was written collectively by the cast. 12:45 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. 1:35 AM.

Paper Bag Void

Nick Jones of Noumena, Inc., "will hand out paper bags, talk about the void, and then everyone pops their bag." 2:05 AM.

The Deconstruction of a New American Poet

Rusted Media presents poetry and analysis of same by Nick Rust. 2:10 AM.

Willie Laszlo

See listing for 10:15 PM Friday. 2:55 AM.

The Happiness of Schizophrenia

Anthony Wills Jr. confronts mental illness with "a collage of music, dance, monologues, and other excitements." 3:02 AM.

A Nonastute Antipolemical Inquiry Into the Quivering Vitriolic Core of the Poetic Impulse

Who else but The Man With No Name would have written this one? The press release promises "screaming, laughing, and gnashing of teeth." 3:05 AM.

Willie Laszlo

See listing for 10:15 PM Friday. 3:52 AM.

Anna in the Darkness

Uffda Productions and Dream Theatre present this one-woman show written by Jeremy Menekseoglu in which "a woman is trapped in her house and the whole town wants to kill her." 4 AM.

To be announced

4:35 AM.

Jive Talk

A Red Orchid Theatre presents its version of a call-in talk show. 5 AM.

To be announced

6 AM.

Ani DeFranco Doll and Other Facts of Life

Theatre Wyrzuc presents a performance piece by Brian Gary Kirst and Clover Morell celebrating the titular singer-songwriter. 10 AM.

The Art of...Communication

This series of scenes created by the ensemble Misguided Talent explores communication and relationships.

10:30 AM.

To be announced

11 AM.

The Garden Shop

"A garden shop employee . . . tortures his coworker with fertilizer" in this Todd Lillethun presentation. 11:30 AM.

War-Dice

See listing for 7:15 PM Friday. 11:40 AM.

Accolade

A movie producer and an actor engage in a battle of wills in this play written by Bilal Dardai and performed by the Living Room Project. Noon.

Map

The work of poet Joy Harjo provides the basis for this collaborative work in progress by Caffeine Theatre. 12:30 PM.

Empty Bottles, Broken Hearts

Lance Eliot Adams's poetic drama is set in a neighborhood tavern whose longtime patrons are being displaced by affluent younger drinkers. Director Richard Cotovsky "is as much traffic cop as director, trying to make the script's random encounters, fragmentary dialogue, and derivative plot amount to something," says Reader critic Lawrence Bommer of this Mary-Arrchie Theatre production. 1 PM.

Strawberry Mourning

A couple comes together after the death of a mutual friend in Manuel Galvan's drama. This world premiere is presented by Vantage Point Productions. 2:20 PM.

A Canterbury Tale

In Frank Merle's adaptation of Chaucer's "The Knight's Tale," one of King Arthur's knights rides out in search of what women really want. 3 PM.

Indeed

The Keyhole Players perform Matthew David's play about four strangers on a momentous elevator ride. 3:15 PM.

Cops and Teens

This series of monologues was developed in Live Bait Theater's workshop for Chicago police officers and teenagers. 3:30 PM.

Apartment Building of the Blind

The Dreadnought Theatre Company explores the nature of sexual desire in this play by Bret Fetzer. 3:50 PM.

My Neighbors in Uptown

David Andrews tells us about his neighbors in this Rogue Theater Company production. 4 PM.

A Good Day

See listing for 9:35 PM Friday. 4:05 PM.

Parker Brothers' Ouija

See listing for 10:35 PM Friday. 4:30 PM.

D 'n' D: Live on Stage!

See listing for 8:05 PM Friday. 5 PM.

Pigeons Eating Chicken

See listing for 8 PM Friday. 5:55 PM.

Masters of Anonymity

Famous in the Future performs a revue of original sketches and songs. 6 PM.

Titanic

Ship meets iceberg and "a family finds out things about each other that maybe they would rather not know" in Christopher Durang's campy comedy. Open Eye Productions presents a preview of its upcoming rendition of the play. 6:55 PM.

Terror n' Martha

Martha Stewart expounds on the postapocalyptic good life in this monologue by Anne Vandervort. 7:15 PM.

Kleptopatra, Queen of the Shoplifters

Mom and Dad Productions present this comedy by Michelle Zlatanovski. 7:30 PM.

Off the Hook

This one-act by Roman Scott Marra is performed by New Leaf Theatre. 8 PM.

Willie Laszlo

See listing for 10:15 PM Friday. 8:15 PM.

Hidden in This Picture

This early one-act by West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin is New Leaf Theatre's second contribution to the festival. 8:20 PM.

No Exitway

A family is doomed to an eternal road trip in Clay McCleod Chapman's spoof of Sartre's No Exit. A Reasonable Facsimile Theatre Company performs. 9:05 PM.

Map

See listing for 12:30 PM Saturday.

9:35 PM.

Horsemeat--Long Form Improvisation

A single audience suggestion gets this Warden's Daughter production under way. 10 PM.

My Life Change 'Cuz of the Bible--Cosmo

Sara Berry Short's new play about three lesbians planning a bank heist is presented by In Your Face Productions. 10:30 PM.

Miss Lake Luther

Two girls compete in a beauty pageant at a Lutheran camp in this collaboration

by Lotti Pharriss and M.K. Victorson.

11:30 PM.

Boise, Idaho

Stuckinlucky performs Sean Michael Welch's piece about "strangers sucked into a story they hadn't bargained for." 11:45 PM.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 18

Seven Minutes in Heaven

Michael Brownlee's play about "an entire relationship in a closet over the course of seven minutes" is presented by Speaking Ring Theatre. 12:10 AM.

Among the Dead

This presentation is a "teaser" for the Factory Theater's upcoming full-length production. 12:25 AM.

Apartment Building of the Blind

See listing for 3:50 PM Saturday.

12:45 AM.

Best of "Lab Rats"

The Factory Theater presents a sampler of scenes from its late-night show. 12:55 AM.

Shooting Gallery

A man becomes obsessed with winning a prize in a shooting gallery in Israel Horovitz's short play; it's presented by Palio Productions. 1:25 AM.

Lysistrata

Athenian wives go on a sex strike to force their husbands to end the city's war with Sparta in aMuse's production of Aristophanes' classic comedy. 1:45 AM.

Puppet Improv

Harvey Finklestein lets the puppets make it up as they go. 2:25 AM.

Purgatory

William Butler Yeats's dark tragedy is mounted by the theater company Hunger and Dread. 2:55 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. 3:10 AM.

Leviticus 18

See listing for 11 PM Friday. 4:10 AM.

Jive Talk

See listing for 5 AM Saturday. 5 AM.

To be announced

6 AM.

Horsemeat--Long Form Improvisation

See listing for 10 PM Saturday. 7 AM.

To be announced

7:30 AM.

The Garden Shop

See listing for 11:30 AM Saturday.

9:50 AM.

No Exitway

See listing for 9:05 PM Saturday. 10 AM.

To be announced

10:25 AM.

Wild Dogs

See listing for 1:35 AM Saturday.

11:30 AM.

Readings From "Steal This Urine Test"

Mary-Arrchie Theater Company members just say no to the war on drugs as they read passages from Abbie Hoffman's book. Noon.

Ani DeFranco Doll and Other Facts of Life

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

Damn Andersen/Two Chicks

The woes of consulting giant Arthur Andersen gave birth to Famous in the Future's new musical Damn Andersen, which features song parodies by Terry Flamm. The performance also features Two Chicks, an enactment of religious comic strips. 1 PM.

My Neighbors in Uptown

See listing for 4 PM Saturday. 1:55 PM.

Shooting Gallery

See listing for 1:25 AM Sunday. 2 PM.

Off the Hook

See listing for 8 PM Saturday. 2:10 PM.

Willie Laszlo

See listing for 10:15 PM Friday. 2:25 PM.

Hidden in This Picture

See listing for 8:20 PM Saturday. 2:30 PM.

To be announced

3:05 PM.

The Demon Rod

See listing for 10 PM Friday. 4:55 PM.

Willie Laszlo

See listing for 10:15 PM Friday. 5:10 PM.

The Bride

See listing for 10:20 PM Friday. 5:15 PM.

Seven Minutes in Heaven

See listing for 12:10 AM Sunday. 5:30 PM.

Indeed

See listing for 3:15 PM Saturday. 5:45 PM.

My Neighbors in Uptown

See listing for 4 PM Saturday. 6 PM.

Alcatraz

Two women meet in a mental institution in a play written by Michael Patrick Thornton and performed by the Gift. 6:40 PM.

The Mercutio Story

This movement-theater piece by Mark Hackman tells the tale of Romeo and Juliet from the perspective of Romeo's friend. 7 PM.

Strawberry Mourning

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

The Art of . . . Communication

See listing for 10:30 AM Saturday. 8 PM.

The Happiness of Schizophrenia

See listing for 3:02 AM Saturday. 8:30 PM.

Accolade

See listing for noon Saturday. 9:20 PM.

A Canterbury Tale

See listing for 3 PM Saturday. 9:50 PM.

Anna in the Darkness

See listing for 4 AM Saturday. 10:05 PM.

Willie Laszlo

See listing for 10:15 PM Friday. 10:40 PM.

Leviticus 18

See listing for 11 PM Friday. 10:55 PM.

Gas Mask 101

See listing for 11:15 PM Friday. 11:10 PM.

Closing Ceremonies

Richard Cotovsky returns as Abbie Hoffman to pronounce a farewell benediction. 12:15 AM.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Daniel Guidara.

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