Sad Clown | Annoyance Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Sad Clown The Short List (Theater) Recommended Image Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Sundays. Continues through Aug. 20 2017

Directed and hosted by comedic improviser and psychiatric nurse Matthew Manning, this hour of inspiring personal essays, each launching subsequent improv, highlights experiences with mental illness. Manning kicks off with a classic joke, where a doctor recommends that a depressed patient see a clown, Pagliacci, who’s come to town, only to learn that the titular sad clown himself is the patient. On the night I attended, Bryson Howard, Chelsea Hunter, and Toby Yount shared stories about their struggles and triumphs over illnesses including anxiety, depression and autism, displaying vulnerability and courage rarely seen in a comedic setting. Manning says his mission is to loosen up the way we talk about mental illness, and this heartbreaking and frequently funny show takes an admirable stab at “unclogging the pipes.” —Marissa Oberlander

Price: $10

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