Sunday, July 31, 2016

August Spaces Available for BookClub’s Summer Day Camp in Wicker Park for 6-12 Year Olds

Explore the written word through art with BookClub in Wicker Park

Announcing BookClub, a new place in Chicago’s Wicker Park where readers of all ages gather to strengthen their relationship with the written word through art. During the month of August, Kids BookClub Camp offers a chance to play, get messy, and explore the world through books and art to children ages 6-12. Each week focuses on a different theme: Animals + Nature, Architecture + Museums, Stars, Space + Science, Greek Myths + Fairytales, and Books + Movies.

Camp includes shared and personal reading time, thoughtful discussion and focused art projects. Each week will consist of up to 12 participants, mixed ages will be separated into small groups.

weekly Monday – Friday, 9:30am-12:30pm
1211 N. Wood Street, Wicker Park storefront
EARLY DROP OFF is available 8:30am-9:30am
EXTENDED DAY is available 12:30pm-4:30pm (reading time, guided art projects and play outside weather permitting)

COST AND SIGNUP $325 for 1 week of camp Monday – Friday, 9:30am-12:30pm
Additional $50 for 1 week, early drop off at 8:30 – 9:30am
Additional $300 for 1 week, Extended afternoon 12:30-4:30

To register go to


New to Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood, BookClub is a place where readers of all ages gather to strengthen their relationship with the written word through art. BookClub offers book club options for adults and children that are moderated or privately hosted as well as BookWorms for preK through Kindergarten. In addition, BookClub has summer day camp for kids ages 6-12 and provides customized Kid BookClub birthday parties. Located at 1211 N. Wood, Chicago, IL. Book Club Chicago

Take the Kids While It's Still Summer! Barrel of Monkeys (BOM) Every Monday Night

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

That’s Weird, Grandma
written by kids. performed by grownups. enjoyed by humans.

Sometimes it's easy to put off seeing the long running shows. They're always there... every week. Well don't. There's a reason they're long running shows. They're just that good! Barrel of Monkeys' (BOM) is one of those. They are long time favs of ours here at ChiIL Mama & ChiIL Live Shows. The kids and adults in our family all adore them. The rotating scenes are written by Chicago area school kids, then brought to the stage by pros with hilarious results. Barrel of Monkeys truly is the bomb. Take your kids while they're out of school and can still sleep in on Tuesday morning. We practically guarantee you'll laugh a LOT.

BOM has been doin' their thang for 15 years now!! Still, with a Monday show time (so their theatre friends can go on what's usually a dark day for other theatres), it's tough to bring school age kids, though the show is written by kids and is fine for all ages. Do note, it is short(ish) and generally over by 9pm, so it's not a crazy late night, especially for summertime. Here at ChiIL Mama & ChiIL Live Shows we highly recommend them, because really, what's more fun that a Barrel of Monkeys?! 

ON STAGE NOW: That’s Weird, Grandma: The Summer Strikes Back
(View Full Calendar)

WHEN: Mondays at 8pm, June 13 - August 15
WHERE: The Neo-Futurist Theater, 5153 N. Ashland (Directions)
HOW MUCH: $6 for kids, $12 for adults

What is That’s Weird, Grandma?
That’s Weird, Grandma is a variety show of short sketches and songs adapted from stories written by students in Barrel of Monkeys’ arts education programs. The weekly show, now in its 15th year, runs the gamut from clever and funny to touching and poignant, and includes live music, original song-and-dance numbers, wigs and props galore, and a rotating cast of talented professional actors who celebrate the imaginations of children through this raucous performance.

You probably already knew that the show changes every week, as we adapt new stories and audience members vote on their favorites. But did you ALSO know that we divide the show into “Rounds” with special themes, in order to keep the show fresh and exciting for you? Our current round is That’s Weird, Grandma: The Summer Strikes Back.

Save the Dates:
Upcoming Rounds!
That’s Weird, Grandma: It Came from the Voting Booth
Mondays at 8pm, August 22 - October 3 and October 24 - November 28

That’s Weird, Grandma: The Holiday Special Returns
Mondays at 8pm AND Sundays at 2pm, December 4 - December 26

INCOMING: 7th Annual CHICAGO FRINGE FESTIVAL Returns With Adult and Family Friendly Offerings

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

Over Twelve Days, 47 Companies Gather in Jefferson Park Including  the Return of Kids Fringe and Special Events, 
August 31 – September 11, Tickets Go On Sale Monday, Aug. 1

The Chicago Fringe Festival is proud to announce the schedule for its seventh festival. Performances in the seventh annual Chicago Fringe Festival take place in five venues in Jefferson Park, August 31 – September 11. Tickets go on sale Monday, Aug. 1 at 12 p.m. 

Entrance to the Chicago Fringe Festival, called Chicago’s “Best Performing Arts Festival,” by the Chicago Reader, is a one-time button purchase of $5, after that all individual performances are $10. Kids Fringe is a one-time button purchase of $5 plus each show ticket admission of $10 for adults and children ages 12 years and younger are $5 for each Kids Fringe performance, no button required. 

Passes with a discounted ticket price are available when attending multiple performances: a four-show pass is $36, a ten-show pass is $80 and an unlimited pass is $175. Each venue will have a box office for day-of purchase and the box office for the entire festival is located at Fringe Central, Location TBA. Tickets may be purchased at

ChicagoFringe2016-1- "Hip Hop is Alive" from Chicago Fringe 2013 (Photo by Ashley Dean)

The Chicago Fringe Festival 2016 returns to Jefferson Park featuring 47 groups in about 200 performances selected by lottery Saturday, Feb. 27. The shows include comedies, dramas, dance pieces, musicals, performance art and the unclassifiable. This is an uncensored, unjuried, no-holds barred performance event that returns 100% of ticket sales to the artists. In its first six years, Chicago Fringe has returned more than $172,000 to artists. This year also marks the return of Kids Fringe with family-friendly performances dedicated to audience members  5 - 12 years old with free workshops and activities.

The 2016 Chicago Fringe Festival includes performance groups from around Chicago, the United States and the world, including local performers, Nick DiMaso, Loft Productions, Johnny Garcia, Coffee & Whiskey Productions, Larry Todd Cousineau, Hellbent Productions and Azusa Productions. Kids Fringe artists include Shut Up, Barrel of Monkeys (also participated in the inaugural Kids Fringe 2015), Smarty Pants, FEMelanin and Karen Yatsko. 

Other performers hail from: California, Colorado, East Sussex, Florida, Kentucky, Ohio, New York, Tennessee and Canada. Some of the performance groups in Chicago Fringe Festival 2016 have participated in other prominent Fringe Festivals, including the Edinburgh Festival, Indy Fringe and the FringeNYC.

The main box office, information and activity center for the Chicago Fringe Festival is Fringe Central (Location: TBA). Fringe Central has a party atmosphere and houses activities throughout the Festival, including after-parties, music and more. 

ChicagoFringe2016-2  Misfits All Around (Photo by Bob Taylor)

A Preview Party on Wednesday, Aug. 31 at the Copernicus Center offers a sneak peek of the lineup with three-minute previews by the participating artists. The party is free and open to the public.

The Congregational Church of Jefferson Park is hosting the Chicago Fringe Festival at two venues: 
· Congregational Church of Jefferson Park Gymnasium, 5320 W. Giddings St and
· Congregational Church of Jefferson Park Meeting Hall, 5320 W. Giddings St.

The additional three Jefferson Park performance venues are:
· The Gift Theatre, 4802 N. Milwaukee Ave.
· Windy City Music Theatre Black Box Studio, 5340 W. Lawrence Ave. and
· Jefferson Playhouse, Home of Windy City Music Theatre, 5340 W. Lawrence Ave.

The complete list of performances and times, company and performance descriptions and venues are available at

Preview Party
Wednesday, Aug. 31 at 7 p.m.
Copernicus Center, 5216 W. Lawrence Ave.
In addition to refreshments, the Chicago Fringe Festival kicks off this year’s Festival with a Preview Party. Performers in the 7th Annual Fringe Festival each have three minutes to preview their show to the audience.

7th Annual Chicago Fringe Festival
August 31 – September 11
Five venues in Jefferson Park
Performance schedule and locations are announced August 1 at Performers are currently listed on the site and include 47 acts from around Chicago and the globe.

ChiIL Mama's Chi, IL Picks List:
Kids Fringe 
September 3 – 11 
Participants: Barrel of Monkeys, Cafe Antarisa, FEMelanin, Shut Up Productions and Smarty Pants 
Jefferson Playhouse, 4766 N Milwaukee Ave.
Kids (5 – 12 years old) $5, Adults $10 with 2016 Fringe Festival button 

The Chicago Fringe Festival Kids Fringe is for audience members 5 – 12 years old. It features five shows along with free crafts, workshops and more! 

ChicagoFringe2016-3 - That’s Weird Grandma - Kids Fringe 2015 (Photo by Lydia Hoover)


The Chicago Fringe Festival, now in its seventh year, annually presents performances over the course of two weeks. The Chicago Fringe Festival is a member of the Fringe Festival movement and is one of many festivals held throughout the world. Chicago Fringe produces an annual performing arts festival devoted to celebrating an inclusive community of adventurous artists, volunteers and patrons.

ADULT NIGHT OUT: Solo Celebration Continues With MOTHER (AND ME) at Greenhouse Theater Center

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:


The Greenhouse Theater Center’s “Solo Celebration!” Presents Melinda Buckley's Unstoppable One Woman Comedy

“Mother (and me)” comes to the Greenhouse Theater Center (2257 N. Lincoln Ave.) for a limited engagement, running Aug 4 – 14 as part of the Greenhouse’s “Solo Celebration!” series. Written and performed by Broadway veteran and comedian Melinda Buckley and presented as originally directed by Kimberly Senior. “Mother (and me)” tells the auto-biographical tale of a larger-than-life Hungarian “Mama Rose” and her “Broadway baby” as they experience a shifting dynamic in their relationship. This hilariously honest solo show won the “Best of Fest” award at the 2014 New York International Fringe Festival, and was originally developed and produced by Barabara Whitman Productions. 

“Melinda Buckley's ability to make us laugh at something that simultaneously touches our hearts is truly brilliant,” said Greenhouse Theater Center's Artistic Director Jacob Harvey. “I connect to Melinda's story on a deeply personal level, as do most of us, and am grateful to share in the smiles that radiate from Melinda's story.”

“Mother (and me)” poses the question, who is it harder for: the one who can’t remember or the one who can’t forget? This is the touching story of two women who are losing everything they have ever been – in very different ways – as they lose each other.

The performance schedule is as follows Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m and Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00 p.m.

Single tickets for Limited Engagements, which range in price from $25 -$30 are also on sale.Flex passes to the “Solo Celebration!” series, can also be purchased which offers admissions to three full production plays for $99 or five plays for $164, are on sale. Flex passes and tickets can be purchased by contacting the box office at 773-404-7336 or by visiting

Melinda Buckley has appeared on Broadway and in the national tours of several hit musicals, including “Crazy For You,” “A Chorus Line” and the revival of “Sweet Charity” directed by Bob Fosse. Buckley has performed improv and sketch material with Gotham City Improv and Chicago City Limits and appeared as a stand up guest at Caroline’s, Stand-Up NY and Gotham Comedy Club. She has written and performed several solo shows and her most recent show, “Mother (and me),” was featured in FringeNYC 2014, winning ‘Best of Fest’ at the C.O.W. It has since received developmental runs at Second Stage Uptown, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Cape Playhouse and at Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor.

Kimberly Senior is a freelance director and the director of the world premiere 2013 Pulitzer Prize winning play “Disgraced” by Ayad Akhtar. Senior was recently awarded the prestigious Alan Schneider Award at the 2016 TCG Conference.  She is also the recipient of the 2016 Special Non-Equity Jeff Award for her Chicago career achievements as a trail blazer, champion and role model for emerging artists. In Chicago, Senior is a resident director at Writers Theatre and an associate artist at TimeLine Theatre. Her work has received multiple Jeff nominations. Senior founded Collaboraction Theatre Company in 1997, spent 10 years as an associate artist at Strawdog Theater, eight years as an associate artist at Chicago Dramatists and six years as an associate artist at the much beloved Next Theatre.

Barbara Whitman is a theatrical producer currently represented on Broadway by “Fun Home” (Tony Award, Best Musical), “The Humans” (Tony Award, Best Play), and “Fully Committed” starring Jesse Tyler Ferguson.  Upcoming projects include “Oh Hello” starring Nick Kroll and John Mulaney.  She made her Broadway debut producing “A Raisin in the Sun,” starring Sean Combs. Other Broadway credits include “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” (Tony Award, Best Musical Revival), “If/Then” starring Idina Menzel, “Hands” on a Hardbody, “Red” (Tony Award, Best Play), “Next to Normal” (Pulitzer Prize), “Hamlet” starring Jude Law, “33 Variations” starring Jane Fonda, “Legally Blonde - The Musical,” “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” and “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.” A native New Yorker, Whitman attended NYU's Gallatin School and received an MFA in Theatre Management and Producing from Columbia University. She serves on Northwestern University's School of Communications National Advisory Committee, the Board of the Tectonic Theater Project, and is a member of the Leadership Council of BroadwayCares/Equity Fights Aids.

About Solo Celebration!
“Mother (and me)” is one of 12 plays featured in Greenhouse’s “Solo Celebration!,” which includes ten full productions, two limited engagements and other special events running June 2016 through February 2017. Among the other directors connected to solo series are Goodman Theatre Producer and Artistic Collective Member Steve Scott, Writer’s Theatre Resident Director Kimberly Senior, Directors Lab Chicago Artistic Director Elizabeth Margolius and Remy Bumppo Artistic Associate Linda Gillum. Some of the performers confirmed to star in solo works include Jeff Award-winners Kate Buddeke, Gene Weygandt, Linda Reiter acclaimed British actor Simon Slater, Will Allan and Carin Silkaitis. Most productions will be produced in their entirety by Greenhouse, while other plays will be stated with co-producers including Sideshow Theatre Company and The Other Theatre Company. Greenhouse’s “Solo Celebration!” is co-produced by Forum Productions and underwritten by the Wendy and William Spatz Charitable Foundation.

About the Greenhouse Theater Center.
The Greenhouse Theater Center is a nonprofit performance venue located at 2257 N Lincoln Ave, in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. Our complex offers two newly remodeled 190-seat main stage spaces, two 60-seat studio theaters, an in-house rehearsal room, and Chicago’s only dedicated used theatre book store.

Our mission at the Greenhouse is first and foremost to grow local theatre. We strive to cultivate a fertile environment for local artists, from individual renters to our bevy of resident companies, to develop and produce their work. In 2014 alone, The Greenhouse Theater Center provided space for almost 1,000 ticketed performances, serving more than 54,000 patrons. Among these events were at least 30 productions by our resident companies, including the celebrated American Blues Theater and Remy Bumpo Theatre Company. Through our Trellis Program, we offer the community affordable access to our work by housing Chicago’s only dedicated used theatre bookstore, located on the second floor of our complex, as well as offering a free reading series each Tuesday night where local artists workshop their latest scripts. Additionally, we also continue to play an active role in cultivating and nurturing our community through continued partnerships with the League of Chicago Theaters and local Chambers of Commerce.

As of 2016, the Greenhouse Theater Center embraced the true spirit of growth and launched its producing entity. With the announcement of our 8 month long Solo Celebration Series, helmed by Artistic Director Jacob Harvey, we will produce 12 solo plays from June 2016 to February 2017. Through this inaugural effort, we hope to expand the solo play cannon while also cultivating a larger conversation about the possibilities of the one-person play.

With new ideas always incubating, the Greenhouse Theater Center is flourishing.
Come grow with us!

Saturday, July 30, 2016



Neo-Futurists Announce a Slew of Summer Programming and Launch Next Years’ Premiere-Packed Season with a 24-hour Party

I first saw The Neo-Futurists back in 1990, on a weekly basis at Live Bait Theatre, which was walking distance from my first Chicago apartment in Uptown. Back then we cued up outside early to get a coveted spot in the tiny theatre, and they passed out playing cards that equaled their audience capacity. When they sold out (which was every show), they ordered out -- pizza, which generally arrived just as the 60 minute show ended. Admission was the roll of a die, so an affordable $1-$6. Those were fun times and fond memories. The Neo-Futurists pioneered this wacky new form of theater in 1988, launching what became Chicago’s longest running show, Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind, now in its 28th year.

From humble beginnings as the first late-night theater production in Chicago, The Neo-Futurists have grown to become one of the most highly regarded experimental theater companies in America. More than 70 Ensemble-alumni have added thousands of new works to the American theatre canon and today branches bring Neo-Futurism to both coasts in New York City and San Francisco.

Their 2016-17 Season, which includes three world premieres, multiple in-process initiatives and a 24-hour party. Can’t Stop//Won’t Stop: A 24-Hour Fundraiser with The Neo-Futurists launches the 28th season with local bands and pop-up performances, all benefitting the company’s 2016-17 season and programs. 

The 28th season includes three full-length Prime Time productions: Saturn Returns created by Tif Harrison; The? Unicorn? Hour? created by Leah Urzendowski and Anthony Courser and The Food Show created by Dan Kerr-Hobert and Caitlin Stainken. The company continues its Neo-Lab residency, presenting Kirsten Riiber’s Tangles and Plaques. In addition to beginning the 28th year of Chicago’s longest running show, Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind, The Neo-Futurists expand their recurring storytelling performances with The Arrow, created by Kurt Chiang and Lily Mooney and explore a new Neo-structure through Nick Hart’s The Infinite Whale. All season events are held at The Neo-Futurarium, 5153 N. Ashland (at Foster) in Andersonville, unless otherwise noted.

The 2016-17 Neo-Futurists Season includes: 

NeoFuturists_Tangles: (L to R) Kirsten Riiber and Jan de Goede. Photo by Will Sonheim.

2016-17 Neo-Lab presents: Tangles & Plaques
Created by Neo-Futurist Ensemble member Kirsten Riiber
Workshop presentations: Wednesday, Dec. 14 and Saturday, March 11, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $8

Tangles & Plaques is a play about the life and death of memories; the ways they persist, the ways they depart and the various ways they distort over time. Driven by live memory games, improvisation and scene deconstruction, the show functions as a machine that creates, warps and loses memories, with the input and participation of the audience. Interviews with a local artist who is currently living with dementia will inform what it means to have a memory taken from us without warning and what remains after a memory is lost. Tangles & Plaques attempts to demystify the experience of dementia in the language of theatre— offering a vivid, poignant, participatory experience that is unique to each audience and different every night.


Can’t Stop//Won’t Stop: A 24-Hour Fundraiser with The Neo-Futurists
Saturday, Sept. 17 to Sunday, Sept. 18 from 8 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Full line-up, tickets and information at
Crowdrise fundraising page at
Team 24 – Full Night Tickets: $150
4-Hour segment tickets: $25 

The Neo-Futurists launch their 28th Season with their benefit Can’t Stop//Won’t Stop: a 24-hour fundraiser jam packed with pop-up performances, local bands and DJs and a Neo-Futurist ensemble creating a brand-new Too Much Light throughout the night. The sun-down to sun-up to sun-down marathon invites audiences to stay up all night by joining Team 24 or to purchase tickets for just their favorite acts. Team 24 tickets for the full 24-hour event include entry to the final performance of Too Much Light: 30 Plays in 60 Minutes MADE IN 24 HOURS.  In addition to sponsorships and single tickets on sale, the entry fee can be raised via the peer-to-peer fundraising website Crowdrise, the world’s largest and fastest growing fundraising platform, allowing everyone to access the event and fundraise with the Neos.

Saturn Returns
October 13 – November 19
Created by Neo-Futurist Ensemble member Tif Harrison
Previews: Thursday, Oct. 13 -  Saturday, Oct. 15 at 7:30 p.m.
Opening Night: Monday, Oct. 17 at 7:30 p.m.
Run: Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.,
Tickets: Previews Pay-What-You-Can, Run: $10-$25  

Neo-Lab’s inaugural commission during the 2015-16 Season, Saturn Returns is a two-year Neo-Futuristic exploration that asks larger existential questions about time, patience and the vast expanse of an unknowable universe. Not content simply with looking inward, Tif Harrison and ensemble look upward and outward, offering observations on the silence and solitude of space, on the uncrossable distances between celestial bodies and the intimacy of standing next to somebody you love.

The? Unicorn? Hour?
April 6 – May 13, 2017
Created by Neo-Futurist Ensemble member Leah Urzendowski and Artistic Associate Anthony Courser
Previews:  Thursday, Apr. 6 – Saturday, Apr. 8 at 7:30 p.m.
Opening Night: Monday, April 10, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.
Run: Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: Previews: Pay-What-You-Can, Run: $10-$25 

In a world where hate and anger prevail. Where lines between the dark and light can be broken, where night lights are needed to sleep. Where closet doors are shut. Where monsters lurk under the bed. In a world of death and destruction, one creature, and one creature alone can bring joy and adventure. One creature can light the dark corners and glow in the deepest of fogs. One creature, whose single horn can heal sickness and cure disease, whose majestic body glides through the woods, uncaught, spreading laughter to all who seek him. One creature who will save the world. One hour? at a time. Come and see what it is to fight against the no, to find your inner rumpus, to remove the film and seek the beauty that is saying yes to an unbridled lifting of spirit.

NeoFuturists_FoodShow: (L to R) Daniel Kerr-Hobert and Caitlin Stainken. Photo by Will Sonheim.

The Food Show
July 27 – September 2, 2017
Created by Neo-Futurist Ensemble member Dan Kerr-Hobert and Caitlin Stainken
Previews:  Thursday, July 27 – Saturday, July 29 at 7:30 p.m.
Opening Night: Monday, July 31 at 7:30 p.m.
Run: Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: Previews Pay-What-You-Can, Run: $10-$25  

The Food Show asks what it means to change a family recipe. Created by Kerr-Hobert and his cousin Caitlin Stainken, a Neo-Futurist alum, the performance explores how food brings us together and sets us apart, amidst a backdrop of their family's culinary inheritance and an ensemble of six writer-performers' own stories. Using the structure of a nine-course fine Italian meal, The Food Show honors the traditions of our past and acknowledges our impact on the environment as each generation decides what parts to keep and what parts to throw away. Farmers, restaurateurs, writers, musicians, and audiences come together to experience the common thread of food and memory in American culture.

Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind: 30 Plays in 60 Minutes
Created by Greg Allen, Written by The Neo-Futurist Ensemble
Fridays and Saturdays at 11:30 p.m.; Sundays at 7 p.m.
Every weekend except December 16-18 and 23-25
Best of performances December 2-4 and 9-11
Tickets at the door: Cash only, $9 plus the roll of one six-sided die ($10-15)
Advance tickets: $20 with a $1-6 cash rollback; tickets online at

Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind is The Neo-Futurists’ never-ending, ever-changing attempt to perform 30 plays in 60 minutes. The Neo-Futurists' signature show, now in its 28th year, is the longest-running production in Chicago history. 

NeoFuturists_TheArrow: (L to R) Kurt Chiang and Lily Mooney. Photo by Will Sonheim.

The Arrow
Created by Kurt Chiang and Lily Mooney
November 13; February 5 – 26, 2017; May 21 – June 11, 2017 and August 6 – 27, 2017
Sundays at 3 p.m.
Tickets: $15

Moving into its second year, The Arrow is an innovative storytelling show that subjects written essays to spontaneous interventions. Combining elements of Neo-Futurism, essay reading, improvisation, live lit, and theatrical experiment, The Arrow is a continuing attempt to show dynamic, honest interactions between the people on stage before a live audience. The shows will always be different, and performers will be featured from a variety of disciplines in writing and performance. 

The Infinite Whale
Workshop presentation
Created by Nick Hart
Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2017 and Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $8

Using The Neo-Futurists aesthetic, an ensemble writes an infinite number of experimental plays, each one infinitely long and performs them simultaneously in encroaching darkness. 

The Neo-Futurists
The Neo-Futurists, performers of Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind and creators of over 65 original, full-length productions, are a collective of wildly productive writer-director-performers who are committed to creating immediate, non-illusory, irreproducible events at head-slappingly affordable prices. The Neo-Futurists pioneered a new form of theater in 1988, launching what became Chicago’s longest running show, Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind, now in its 28th year. From humble beginnings as the first late-night theater production in Chicago, The Neo-Futurists have grown to become one of the most highly regarded experimental theater companies in America. More than 70 Ensemble-alumni have added thousands of new works to the American theatre canon and today branches bring Neo-Futurism to both coasts in New York City and San Francisco.

The Neo-Futurists are partially supported by grants from Alphawood Foundation Chicago, Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Chicago Community Trust, a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events, The Field Foundation of Illinois, Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, The MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, and The National Endowment for the Arts.

Brain Arts Rock Musical Camp For Young Artists Ages 6 through 14 Returns to Prop Theatre 8/22-9/2

Calling all procrastinators, thespians, and all around cool, creative kids. There are still a few spots left for Brain Arts Rock Musical Camp at Prop Theatre in Avondale. My son, Dugan has gone to this camp for 3 years and LOVED it. Now that he's aged out as a 15 year old, he's returning as a volunteer jr counselor. We're not being compensated for sharing, though we have traded pr for camp tuition in past years. We're just happy to spread the word on a fantastic Chicago summer camp. Highly recommended!

"I've been through so many camps, I can't even pick a favorite show!"
Evan Patrick, Brain Arts Camper

My son, Dugan, rocking the steampunk look in 2015 in "PEACE-ZA! A Marinara Mountain Saga"!

Rock Musical Camp
For Young Artists Ages 6 through 14

Rock Musical of Epic Proportions 
(2 Week Session)
Monday 8/22/16 through Friday 9/2/16 from 9 am to 3 pm 
Performance Friday 9/2/16 at 2 pm 
Brain Surgeon Theater at Prop Thtr
3502 N Elston, Chicago IL 60618

It's yet to be titled because YOU could title it! Come create original characters, rock and roll song and dance numbers, and, if history is any guide, a surprise ending. Mornings will be structured around character development, playwriting, and scenework; afternoons focus on skill-building workshops including voice, movement, stage combat, and set and costume design. It's a wild ride that guarantees a summer to remember! MAXIMUM 15 CAMPERS. 

$650 for 2 week session
$1200 for sibling or friend pairs (must register together on the same form)
Register Now

CLICK HERE and scroll down for years of ChiIL Mama's original Brain Arts Camp photos & videos:

My son, Dugan, as a juggling wearicorn in 2013!

Final Showcase-Brain Arts Camp 2015
slide show:

Brain Arts Camp 2013
"Sail Away Buttercup"

GIVEAWAY: PEEPS & COMPANY® 2016 Sweet Summer Prize Pack & 20% Off Discount Code

A PEEP Into Our Sweet Summer

Here at ChiIL Mama, we love to spend the Chi, IL summers ChiILin' on the beach and relaxing with friends. This summer we're out and about with a stylin' new set of beach gear from our friend over at PEEPS & COMPANY®. I'm happy to partner up with them once again and thank them for providing us with a free Sweet Summer Prize Pack for my family and one for my readers, along with a 20% discount code for everything on the PEEPS & COMPANY® website. We may be between the holidays that made PEEPS & COMPANY® famous, but PEEPS® are always in season. Summer's even sweeter when you rock your Peepsonality, and ChiIL Mama's here to get you started, with a sweet giveaway for our readers nationwide, and a 20% off discount code!

All our readers are winners! 
and enter Discount code: SWEETSUMMER20 
for 20% off your next purchase, no minimum required, 
from now through August 31st

PEEPS & COMPANY® candies make sweet road trip treats, fun s'mores, and playful gifts when visiting friends.

Our Sweet Summer Prize Pack was a huge hit at Chicago's 26th annual Gymnastics Beach Meet on Montrose Beach! The city brings bars, beams, vaults, rings, a tumble track and a full gymnastics spring floor down to the sand and runs a judged gymnastics meet for children through adults. We met a 40 year old woman who used to be an Elite level gymnast, who was still competing with an adult team from IK Gym. She was awesome and inspiring! This was my 13 year old daughter's 5th time competing in the Chicago Beach Meet since 2010.

What a difference 6 years makes!! Here's ChiIL Mama's daughter in her first Beach Meet ever, back in 2010 & now.

Enter Here for your chance to WIN a Sweet Summer Prize Pack that includes the following:
*(U.S. residents only, no P.O. boxes). Enter early and often through midnight August 17th.

PEEPS® Beach Ball: A day at the beach will never be the same with your very own PEEPS® beach ball. A day in the sun will be more fun, if you spend it with brightly colored PEEPS® Chicks and Bunnies!

PEEPS® Collapsible Plastic Water Bottle: Refreshment on the go is no longer a problem with this PEEPS® Chick and Bunny collapsible water bottle. Just fill it with your favorite drink, and off you go. When it's all gone, the bottle can be flattened and packed away, no problem.

PEEPS® Character Flying Disc: Keep the kids occupied for hours with these playful PEEPS® Character Flying Discs! Perfect for the playground, beach, or backyard.

PEEPS® Wetsuit Pouch: You'll be the belle of the changing room with this little accessory! Our Peeps® Wet Suit Tote makes traveling with a wet bathing suit fun again ; ) Can also be used to carry any other messy gear or toiletries you might have.

PEEPS® Pail: There are six bright, new designs to THE collection of PEEPS® Pails! Load 'em with treats and goodies and reuse them later for all sorts of things.

Signature PEEPS® Beach Towel: Towel off in style when you reach for our new Signature PEEPS® Beach Towel. Choose from a green towel (with Yellow Peeps® Chick) or blue towel (with Pink Peeps® Bunny).

Signature PEEPS® Tote: Give new meaning to the term, "Totes Adorbs" with the PEEPS® Signature Tote. Perfect for a day at the beach, pool, or playground.

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Disclosure: ChiIL Mama is pleased to partner up with PEEPS & COMPANY® once again. Products, information, and additional gift pack have been provided by PEEPS & COMPANY®. As always, all opinions are our own.

Beach Meet Flashback:

ChiIL Mama's son & daughter in their first Chicago Beach Meet, 2010

Big wins for the Supergirls threesome at Chicago Beach Meet, 2015