Friday, September 5, 2014

Anna - My Chicago Fringe Festival experience

Tonight is our final performance of THE MECHANICAL MAN in the Chicago Fringe Festival (at 7pm at the Ketchup-Less Stage aka The Gift Theatre). I (and we) have had a great time performing in and being part of this year’s festival.
Some personal perspective that I’ve experienced by performing in the festival is that it is super organized! My hat goes off to Anne and Vinnie and Mikayla and Adrienne and everyone else involved. Our stage managers and venue managers have been great. We love Sarah and Jessica and MacKenzie and we’d love to hire them at DTC after fringe is over! Also, I’ve noticed an improvement in the venues since the birth of fringe. Walking into a space performing after only one tech can be pretty nerve wracking, and despite the one or two tiny blips (to be expected in ANY performance) we had a really smooth experience.
Another bonus I’ve found as a performer in the festival is that there have been so many opportunites aligned with the festival for getting word out about the show. In really creative ways too! Running DTC with a full production going at the same time, we haven’t had tons of time to dream up schemes on how to get the world to know about THE MECHANICAL MAN, but through the relationship to the festival we’ve been given the opportunity to do a podcast, perform in a mall, have our picture taken in a high traffic location with tourists (though we had to back out of that one last minute because of last minute rehearsals), do a 1 minute preview of our piece, be interviewed bya newspaper, get our pictures and blurbs posted all over local media, meet the local Jefferson Park people (John & Cyd are AWESOME!) and wander around a couple of great Chicago summer festivals in costume. The leg work involved in doing all those things on our own would have been too difficult for our small family company to accomplish.
We at DTC go way back to the festival’s beginning, the conception even- and are proud to have seen it grow into the communal love of art that it is today. I’ve only been able to see 5 of the 47 different shows in this year’s festival: LOVE IN A HEAT DEATH UNIVERSE, 10 & 2, MRS. PRESIDENT: A VISIT WITH MARY TODD LINCOLN, OUT OF TUNE CONFESSIONAL & TEENAGERS FROM OUTER SPACE!  With the only 3 days left this year we have the opportunity to see a few more, though I wish I could have seen them all. You can hear why I love the idea of participating in the fringe festival here in this podcast interview with one of the fringe’s founding fathers, Vinnie.
We went to the Fringe Benefit and won some awesome raffle stuff. It was a great event. Overall I have enjoyed going to Fringe Central to hang out and meet other artists. It’s laid-back and pretty comfortable (even though this past week has been hella hot!). One weird request/suggestion I would have for future is to also put restrooms on the Fringe Map. Spending the day in Jefferson Park with the opportunity for only one pee with no sink & hand sanitizer was a little frightening for me, but I think I have that problem with all of Chicago in general. (I would gladly pay a potty tax, but that’s another blog entry for another day.)
Another crazy Anna hair brained idea would be to introduce local acts to out-of-towners right after the initial lottery. I found that being a local made it easier for us to dive in to all the activities, and my personal observation with the out-of-towners is that they’re a bit shy. Though we couldn’t have hosted out-of-towners at our house, I would have gladly adopted another act long ago and face-timed with them to help them with the local stuff while they couldn’t be here in town. I was already buzzing about our show long ago, I would have been glad to plug another one right along with it if I had met and talked to another act.
THE MECHANICAL MAN is a show that I really love personally. It has all the things that I like in a show. My biggest inspirations are the founders of United Artists: Mary Pickford & Charlie Chaplin. In THE MECHANICAL MAN, the characters are archetypal yet also complex. The plot is easily identifiable but with a twist. I love melodrama and silent film. I love that all our props fit in a box. And I love what the show looks like.

Friday, August 22, 2014

A letter from Audence after seeing MEDEA

Jeremy and all who worked so hard to create a masterful and marvelous performance -
I feel I must share some thoughts with you. Forgive the style - I am always in junior English class - but the sentiment is genuine and immediate.
"All the world's a stage..." Perhaps true, but not all stages are the world - that is to say not all productions touch into real lives - real people - real worlds. When I catalog the shows I have seen (or been involved with): musicals, classic productions, opera, children's shows, circus performances, spoken word concerts, rock concerts, high school productions, puppet shows, professional theater, films, television programming, etc - placing the filter of "touched my life" reduces the number I can count to the scant few. Storytelling is NOT the same as true DRAMA. I suppose I am focusing on the questions "What is the purpose of drama?" , or to be less eloquent, "Why bother?"
Medea answers this question. Actually, it explodes the question and shouts back at the viewer. Shouts, "I AM life - I am YOUR life, YOUR family, YOUR culture, YOUR problem, YOUR mess, YOUR world. I AM YOUR WORLD!" At the risk of over analyzing an ephemeral experience, I feel I must try to explain more fully. If I fall into "term paper" mode, forgive me. But I feel this production deserves a much more thoughtful analysis than a simplistic critique would offer.
The play, the words themselves, delve into humanity. Character flaws, character strengths, preconceived idealized versions of mankind vs realistic fallible, flawed and broken humans: beings replete with emotions, contrived civility and convention, contrary behaviors, forced social ordering and posturing and societal modeling inhabited the small space between my chair and the wall. These characters spring to life from the words you have written and the masterful portrayals your actors imbue them with. In short, these characters are mankind - REAL PEOPLE, yet cloaked in the guise of "characters in a play". These individuals are multi-dimensional - not cut-outs representing simple melodramatic archetypes. Jason is not merely a military man on the fast track to heroic success - but also broken, flawed, and far from the icon for strength, courage and dignity he hopes to convey. The juxtaposition of his career success with his obvious personal failures makes him a REAL man - one we can relate to, sympathize with, despise, target our anger and disgust upon - in fact we can do anything but ignore him, or relegate him to average or irrelevant. He is modern man - and all that our culture confuses for manly is worn on him like the uniform he clearly treasures. He is a father - father to his children? No. Father figure - figure head - in today's woefully broken family. He is Father in title only. And, as such, he makes us question, "What IS a father? What should a father be like? What is the role that man should play once he has procreated?" Likewise he makes us reflect on the title husband. What is a HUSBAND? What does it mean to be a husband? In these ways, Jason confronts the audience not only with his shortcomings, but with our own. We are convicted and stand naked and ashamed.
Medea. That name alone can conjure a host of reactions. To those who know the story, it usually points to her murderous nature towards her own children. In the classic Greek tragedy, we can stand apart - look dispassionately on at the un-natural and evil act. Label it and move on. Not so your Medea. She is NOT a footnote, not a symbol or allegory. She is REAL. She speaks and speaks from places we fear to go, but know are true, are real. She is not just a woman in a story. She is woman TODAY, in THIS world, THIS culture, THIS day. She confronts the culture - the world WE live in. The world that treasures, idolizes, adores and desires YOUTH in women and offers nothing to them as they age. She is the collateral damage of a society that forces it's definition on her - defines, "what is WOMAN?", "What is MOTHER?", "What is WIFE?" She refuses to be discarded; refuses to wear the mantle of "older woman", "ex-wife" of "mother to HIS children"... Her reasoning runs off the rails, but not as far as we would like to think.... Her conclusion could easily be ours. Every woman who has been abandoned or divorced for some younger model, someone "new and fresh" can relate to the rage, the hurt, the desire, the fear, the confusion and the obscenity of the unrealistic role society expects her to play after she has been replaced. After her body has altered with age, and childbirth, after she has lost her name to his and taken on his life as hers...only to be betrayed and abandoned. This Medea - she is REAL.

The children - our children - all our children... US. The children of Medea and Jason have always attracted the most attention - the most sympathy. But these children, from THIS production are not just innocents. They are the broken, the discarded, the forgotten and unloved children of OUR world. They are OUR future, OUR culture. They are the product of OUR "fathers" and "mothers" - OUR broken homes. Mermerus reminds us of every child who is forced to be the parent, maturing long before he is ready – taking on burdens too large and seeking approval that will never come. This child who so clearly sees his parents for what they really are, yet childishly craves for them to be different – he is the son or daughter in OUR dysfunctional homes. His younger brother Pheres compliments him with a less complete level of damage– revealing his desperate belief in goodness and happy endings; Pheres is the incomplete version of his elder sibling. Not yet hardened by realization, Pheres remains painfully innocent – yet we already glimpse the disturbing effect of dysfunction upon him as he flings himself through space, craving human connections and closeness regardless of the obvious hurts and wounds that repeatedly greet his advances. These children are OUR children – they walk our streets, join gangs, go to schools, live lives of delinquency and fill our detention facilities. We are horrified to see Medea murder her children while Jason stands impotently as spectator. But in that moment we must confess that WE stand just as impotently by - letting the destruction take place. We sanction their deaths - we allow the "slaughter" to continue in our own homes- scarring, wounding, and killing our own children, our own future.
And then there is Glauce. Such a complicated figure. She serves to contrast Jason and Medea - but we learn she is no better. Obviously intelligent, she fails at real life - real mess - real relationships. While seeking a middle ground (so easy to do when standing on higher ground) she fails, as many "do-gooders" will, to fully recognize the situation before her. The dangers and pitfalls remain unseen and unimagined. Like a social worker who fails to research the area/culture where one practices, she assumes all hurts are just like hers -that all parents are just like hers, and that all women are just like her. We are Glauce. We navigate our culture as if it is all familiar territory and the people in it just like us. And in so doing, we feed the very fire that will, in the end, consume us as well.
And Hera. Greek gods and goddesses have always seemed aloof, uncaring and distant. Above it all. Yet, THIS Hera steps into OUR world - into our mess. Channeled by the prayers of sacrificed Glauce, Hera "rescues" Medea. But it is not so much a rescue as it is a claiming - an owning - a recognizing. This is quite different in its intent than "rescuing". Again, we are forced to confront our own world - our own culture. Who CLAIMS us? Where do we turn for the "fairness" meted out by a Goddess? As Jesus walked with mankind and felt the cruel attacks of man, so to Hera steps forth as sympathetic deity –one who has felt the wounds of the penitent. The goddess who suffers serial infidelity and betrayal from her husband breaks through the veil to claim a kinship to Medea – to the “aging woman” in OUR world. In a manner she could not enforce in her own world of gods and goddesses, Hera enters onto Earth’s stage and enforces the justice or fairness she sees fit. And oh, how desperately we feel the need for some intervention, some overarching balance or structure to the chaos presented by Jason and Medea. Yet, much like rulings in today’s judicial system, we are left questioning the authorities and the final decisions that rule the lives of others – as they ultimately rule our own.
This family – this collection of characters – this small cross-section stands as a warning sign in OUR world. Flashing lights and warning bells alert us – proclaiming the destruction that lies ahead: the ruination of OUR world and OUR families. THIS play and THIS production does so much more than “entertain”. As audience, we are confronted with ourselves – a powerful reflection of a culture that is tending toward madness and despair, murder and regret. THIS Medea steps out of the dust of ancient storytelling and slaps the spectator – forces them to wake up and be present in THIS world. Wake up, before it is too late. Before we realize that we have murdered our children and are left with ruin and tragedy.
I want to thank you. Thank you for a marvelous production. For a show that is continuing to spark conversations in my home. A show that makes me want to grab people off the street and bring them to the theatre. I felt the need to write this because I want to let you know how very important what you do is – not just to me as an audience member – but to the audience as members of a larger society. THIS is the purpose of drama.
Most Sincerely and with Deepest Appreciation,
Becky Roppelt

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Anna, in the Darkness, Medea and more!

Finally, a post overfull with wonderful things to tell you, dear Audience!
  • ANNA, IN THE DARKNESS will run weekly between mainstage shows!
  • We're doing a workshop at the Old Town School of Folk Music's Square Roots Festival!
  • We're opening MEDEA on August 8!
  • We're doing an all-girl silent steampunk play, THE MECHANICAL MAN, at Chicago Fringe!
  • and those are just our summer plans! So many exclamation points! 
We are unveiling our new Dream Laboratory location at 5026 N. Lincoln Ave. with the critically acclaimed ANNA, IN THE DARKNESS. Our one-woman psychological thriller will be performed every Saturday at 10 p.m. between mainstage shows fromJune 28 through August 2. Seating is limited, so get tickets for your preferred Saturday at
Here’s what some have said about ANNA, IN THE DARKNESS:

“In Megan Merrill’s flawless performance, Anna’s shifts between sympathetic vulnerability and deep-seeded rage throw both her innocence and her sanity into question … the play inflicts a devilish torture on the imagination.”
– Marissa Oberlander, Chicago Reader

“Megan Merrill gives a quietly powerful tour de force … Anna is also immersed in psychological darkness, and this is the darkness that haunts long after you’ve left the theater.” – Zach Freeman, New City

“A chilling experience … you feel like you’re stuck in that dang living room with her, exposed and susceptible to the lurking danger outside.” – Nina Metz, Chicago Tribune

SQUARE ROOTS FESTIVAL: Anna W Menekseoglu teaches the workshop Zombie Movement: Reanimating Your Stage Presence. Saturday July 12 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. at the Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln Ave. Look for DTC company members mingling all weekend in costume!

Soon the amazing folks at the Chicago Fringe Festival will be giving us our dates for our 5 performances of THE MECHANICAL MAN, an all-girl silent steampunk play told in German Expressionist film style, but with DTC's signature raw, unflinching form of art. Look for us at Fringe between Aug. 28 and Sept. 7
And finally: 

Our first mainstage show will be Artistic Director Jeremy Menekseoglu's reimagining of MEDEA. With the "unstoppable" Rachel Martindale in the title role, the show will also feature company members Anna W Menekseoglu, Amanda Lynn Meyer, Madelaine Schmitt, Megan Merrill and Jeremy Menekseoglu. 

We can't wait to share all this new work with you!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Dream Theatre needs your help to open the Laboratory

Dear Friends of Dream Theatre Company:

We are excited to announce a lot of positive changes for Dream Theatre Company this summer. We have been developing the administrative side of our theatre, and we moved: Mold and landlord problems in our Pilsen space forced us to move quickly, but we found a new spot in Lincoln Square – a busy, arts-friendly neighborhood easily accessed by public transit -- where we can return to our historically intimate style. 

The need to move urgently means we need to cover our moving expenses and bills until we can get shows up and running. Please consider donating now to fund our move and keep providing Chicago with theatre that can’t be found anywhere else. 

We’d like to offer you the following rewards for supporting our mission: 

  • $50 donation:    Recognition on our website and in our show programs for the                                                       season 
  • $250 donation:   Four tickets to be used at any point during the season
                                Recognition on our website and in our show programs for the                                                       season
  • $500 donation:  Two tickets to each show of the season
                                Copy of a script of your choice
                                Recognition on our website and in our show programs for the
  • $1500 donation: Two tickets to our Annual Gala
                                Reserved seating for two on opening night of each show in the
                                Free quarter-page ad in each show program for the season
                                Copy of a script of your choice
                                Recognition on our website and in our show programs for the
  • $2,500 donation: A private lesson from a company member on a subject of your
                                 choice (anything from an acting lesson to costume/millinery
                                 construction to puppet making or makeup design)
                                 Private performance of Anna, in the Darkness for up to 30
                                 Two tickets to our Annual Gala
                                 Season Pass: see any show of the season as many times as
                                 Reserved seating for two on opening night of each show in the
                                 Free half-page ad in each show program for the season
                                 Copy of a script of your choice
                                 Recognition on our website and in our show programs for the
We want to make it easy for you to donate. A Paypal button is on the home page of our website so you can donate with just a click. Checks can be made out to Dream Theatre Company and sent to our new address: 5026 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago IL 60625. You can also donate by phone: Contact Managing Director Anna W Menekseoglu at 773-552-8616 with phone donations or any questions. 

Dream Theatre Company is a nonprofit charity organized under 501(c)3 and all donations are tax-

Your support is needed now. Please join us in fulfilling our mission of bringing you the highest art possible in its most raw, unflinching and entertaining form. 


Megan Merrill, Director of Marketing and Development 
Dream Theatre Company

Click here to donate now

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Dream Theatre 2014 season

We shuffled things around a little, thanks to our move, and we are so happy to share with you the shows you will be seeing in our new Laboratory space in Lincoln Square! 

First up, audience and critic favorite ANNA, IN THE DARKNESS will be running every week between mainstage shows. 

The first mainstage will be ALLIGATOR: Not monsters from the past, drug addiction, mental collapse nor well-intentioned Olympic gymnasts can prevent a young woman from falling in love and rediscovering hope.

Next is the third installment of Dream Theatre's 15-minute horror play / haunted house experiences: where one to four audience members play the lead role: AUDIENCE ANNIHILATED: CHERRY BOMB

Then it's THE UNCHOSEN, where a guilt-ridden factory worker whose parents chose to keep him marries one of the countless, expendable “unchosen” orphans of their dystopian society. The realities revealed threaten to ignite a revolution.

Then in December we have the lovely A CHRISTMAS CAROL, ABRIDGED. It has been called " a fantastic three-person production of the essential A Christmas Carol ... This is how to be entertained. It's classy. It's well performed. It's a perfect capstone to Christmas." 

We will publish dates soon!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Megan - DTC and community partnerships

I think most everyone has a cause that's close to their heart. Dream Theatre has dedicated several past performances to raising money for the Tree House Humane Society, a wonderful no-kill cat shelter in Andersonville that specializes in caring for sick cats. The heroine of our Season 12 opener, RiO, was a victim of domestic violence and so we linked that show to North Side Community Resources' Victim Advocacy and Support Program, which does life-saving work for domestic violence survivors. 

There are so many organizations out there, like Tree House and NSCR, that provide services that improve the quality of life, and even save lives, and these organizations deserve our recognition and support. Long ago I worked briefly in social services myself, and it was brutal. It was good and necessary service but I burned out after a year. I have nothing but the utmost respect for people who dedicate their careers to helping others, day after day, week after week, because it takes a huge emotional and psychological toll on the provider.

So going forward, for each of our shows DTC would like to partner with one of the many Chicago-based organizations that do this kind of work: work that is hard but work that some depend on to eat, to work, to live. We want to know what community services organizations have made a difference for you or someone you love, so that we can recognize and possibly even help raise funds for them. You can link to these organizations in the comments or privately at megankmerrill at gmail dot com.

Below is what we printed in the program for RiO. We would like to identify our partners early in the season, so that together with each organization we can figure out how best to help them. And thank them.

photo by Megan Merrill

"My name is Mary Graves, and I am a victim of spousal abuse."
-opening line from RiO 
There are lots of people like Mary Graves, including some who are a part of Dream Theatre Company. We wanted to take a moment to talk about domestic violence outside of the play. The way the state of Illinois sees it, if anyone you've lived with or had a relationship with hurts, threatens or abuses you -- physically, emotionally or sexually -- then that is domestic violence and help is available to you. No one should have to do what Mary Graves does: walk for miles and ask strangers for change.
One resource available is North Side Community Resources' Victim Advocacy and Support Program. They will loan you a free phone, so you can contact people without being monitored. They will help you get an Order of Protection to keep your abuser away from you. They will connect you with places to stay, legal representation, medical help and counseling. They will literally hold your hand through a court process that can be confusing and frightening. If you are in an abusive situation but are not yet ready to leave, they will give you a phone, provide you with options and help you create a safety plan to prepare yourself and your loved ones for future unsafe situations. No one will pressure you or judge you; they will support you both before you leave the abuse and after.
If you live with domestic violence -- whether you are male or female, no matter what the relationship to the abuser -- or know someone who needs this help, call them. If you don't, please consider donating to them. They do life-saving work. 
North Side Community Resources
Jennifer Caruso
773-338-7722 x15
Other resources:
Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women's Network: 312-527-0730
Between Friends: 800-603-HELP (24-hour crisis line)
City of Chicago Domestic Violence hotline: 877-863-6338

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

We are moving!!

We are SO EXCITED YOU GUYS. Today we got confirmation that we will be moving into our new home in Lincoln Square! The storefront at 5026 N. Lincoln will be converted into a 30-odd-seat laboratory space for Dream Theatre, -- close to the el! -- and we hope to have it ready and running some shows in July. We can't wait to meet our neighbors and join the community there!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Best of Chicago 2014: Anna in the Darkness and Megan Merrill

Voting for the Chicago Reader's Best of Chicago 2014 Poll is now open, and we think Dream Theatre has some of the most outstanding artists in the city. The play that has come to be our signature piece, ANNA, IN THE DARKNESS, is now in its 12th year and nominated for BEST LONG RUNNING PLAY. Megan Merrill, nominated for BEST ACTRESS, has been playing Anna for over four of them.
Megan Merrill in the 2012 production of Anna, in the Darkness
All most people know when they see Anna, in the Darkness for the first time is that Anna is a schoolteacher trapped in her house in small-town Texas, and tonight is the night the people of her town finally come to kill her. Playing Anna once was a rite of passage for actresses hoping to become Dream Theatre Company members; the role has been played by at least a dozen actresses, sometimes two in the same show. Before the show was extended into an open run, many of our Audience would come back Halloween after Halloween to see Anna, and some even would make sure they saw each actress playing Anna in a given year. Anna has been played in a tent, in abstract darkness, in a basement, with different endings for different actresses ... after 12 years our Audience still loves Anna, still wants to experience terror along with her. 

And so does Megan. Megan Merrill has been a company member with Dream Theatre since 2008. Her performance as Anna has been called "flawless" (Chicago Reader) and a "tour de force" (NewCity Chicago). She has this to say about her tenure as Anna: 
"After four years, I still discover new things about Anna in every performance, and it's because every performance has a new Audience. I see what parts of Anna's story they respond to, what parts scare them, what parts upset them. Anna's story is reflected back to me in the Audience's faces. Anna speaks directly to the Audience -- there is no fourth wall -- and she needs them to know her story, she needs them to understand. Some Audience are there with her right away and some need Anna to bring them in. Anna's experience changes based on what the Audience feels along with her, and so playing Anna is just as intense, and just as terrifying, as the first time I stepped on stage with my candle." 
Megan in the 2013-2014 Anna, in the Darkness

These are the other votes we cast in the poll. We'll be posting more about the artists we think deserve recognition as the week goes on. Click here to vote!
Best Long-Running Play: Anna, in the Darkness
Best New Play: Amleth, Princess of Denmark
Best Off-Loop Theatre Company: Dream Theatre Company
Best Stage Director: Anna & Jeremy Menekseoglu
Best Actor: Jeremy Menekseoglu
Best Actress: Megan Merrill (for Anna, in the Darkness)
Best Performing Arts Festival: Chicago Fringe
Best Burlesque Troupe: Vaudezilla 

Friday, May 2, 2014

Best of Chicago 2014: Jeremy Menekseoglu

Voting for the Chicago Reader's Best of Chicago 2014 Poll is now open, and we think Dream Theatre has some of the most outstanding artists in the city. Here's a little bit about Jeremy Menekseoglu, who we voted as Best Playwright, Best Actor and one of the Best Directors:

Jeremy Menekseoglu as the title character in Agamemnon

One of the four founders of Dream Theatre Company, Jeremy has written more than 40 full-length plays, most of which have been produced as world premieres here at Dream Theatre, where he has been the Artistic Director since 2003.

Some of his plays include: The Tragedy of Amleth, Princess of Denmark; Anna, in the Darkness; the trilogy Peter Pan’s Shadow (named Best New Work 2012 by the Chicago Reader); The Agon Trilogy (named Best of Chicago 2010 by the Chicago Reader); Somewhere in Texas (Critic's Choice, Chicago Reader, 2009); The Black Duckling (Jeff Recommended 2009); and Ismene, which opened simultaneously in five countries for The Ismene Project in 2011.

Jeremy as Cruel Paul in Devilish Children and the Civilizing Process
These are the other votes we cast in the poll. We'll be posting more about the artists we think deserve recognition as the week goes on. Click here to vote!
Best Long-Running Play: Anna, in the Darkness
Best New Play: Amleth, Princess of Denmark
Best Off-Loop Theatre Company: Dream Theatre Company
Best Stage Director: Anna & Jeremy Menekseoglu
Best Actor: Jeremy Menekseoglu
Best Actress: Megan Merrill (for Anna, in the Darkness)
Best Performing Arts Festival: Chicago Fringe
Best Burlesque Troupe: Vaudezilla

Friday, April 25, 2014

Vote for Dream Theatre for Best of Chicago 2014!

It's time to vote for the Chicago Reader's Best of 2014! Here are our suggestions: 

Best long-running play: ANNA, IN THE DARKNESS


Best off-Loop theatre company: DREAM THEATRE COMPANY

Best stage director: ANNA & JEREMY MENEKSEOGLU



Best performing arts festival: CHICAGO FRINGE FESTIVAL

Click here to go to the poll, and remember Dream Theatre in your Arts&Culture votes!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Megan - We are moving!

The things you find when you pack ... actually, there's a whole box of terrifying dolls on the set of Anna, in the Darkness that we just tore down. We spent the afternoon packing years worth of costumes and props and memories and posters ... I'm so glad it was with company members I've known for six years and some of our incredible artistic associates who have been so amazing over the last year.

So Dream Theatre will be moving! After almost six years in our Pilsen location, we are moving to a new home. We found a place we really like but we're still negotiating, so we hope to be able to share more information soon.

We are definitely moving to a smaller spot, so we'll be selling a TON of stuff -- maybe you can pick up one of these terrifying dolls, or a piano, or some shitkicker boots, who knows what else. Come by on May 10 from noon to 5, help us bid goodbye to our old spot, pick up some of the crazy amazing stuff we have and get some news on our move.

Come say hi!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Backstage at RIO

You only have three more chances to meet this great group before RIO is closed. 

Beth - played by Candace Kitchens. Candy is hilarious both on and off stage. She loves soup and is entirely charming. How big can she get her hair for Beth? Come ask her! 

Mary - played by Nicole Roberts.
Don't let the sweet innocence of Mary's character fool you. Nicole is feisty and fiery. (Classic redhead!)

Willy - played by Jeremy Menekseoglu.
Jeremy wrote RIO back in 1996. One trivia fact about writing this play is that he broke at least 3 playwriting rules from his classes. Can you guess them?

Posada - played by Alif Muhammad
With the level of dedication and depth of focus that Alif has while playing Posada, one would think he's an experienced theatre performer. However, RIO is one of few love theatre performances on his resume. He is also a composer! (We love multi-talents at DTC!)

Kaitlin Stewart is our lovely stage manager. She gives great reports and is a perfectionist in the sound booth. She is also an actress. (Secret: she loves the Milli Vanilli song "Girl, You Know it's True)

Then there's me. Anna. I manage Dream Theatre Company. For RIO I run the light cues, the lobby and karaoke! I'm currently addicted to knitting.

Come hang out with us!!!

Tags- DTC, DreamTheatre, DreamTheatreCompany, Rio, Chicago, ChicagoTheatre, FringeTheatre, StorefrontTheatre, Pilsen, PilsenArt, OriginalPlays, Performance, Audience, Plays, Drama, HorrorPlays, HorrorTheatre, Theatre, Theater, Thriller, PsychologicalThriller, PsychologicalTheatre, ArtTheatre, ExperimentalTheatre, No4thWall, AnnaintheDarkness, BasementTheatre, Menekseoglu, JeremyMenekseoglu, Anna, AnnaWeiler, AnnaWMenekseoglu

Thursday, February 27, 2014

now showing at Dream Theatre: RIO by Jeremy Menekseoglu

RIO runs now through March 16th.
Thursdays - Saturdays @8pm, Sundays @7pm, & 2 additional Wednesday performances @8pm on March 5th & 12th. at Dream Theatre - 556 West 18th Street, Chicago. Tickets are $22 and can be purchased at or text 773-552-8616.
In an isolated Texas border town a strange new evil has made itself at home. Forty-seven souls have gone missing, only to be found later in pieces floating along the Rio Grande. When Mary Graves (pictured, played by Nicole Roberts), a young woman fleeing her abusive husband, wanders into town one rainy afternoon, what follows is a furious story of love, hope, innocense, forgiveness, mass murder and ... karaoke!
RIO features Nicole Roberts as Mary Graves, Jeremy Menekseoglu as Willy Bosco, Candace Kitchens as Beth and Alif Muhammad as Bruno Alejandro Posada. Directed by Laura Gouin.
This is the second weekend which I always find to be the best weekend to see a show. The acting is at it's most natural yet also heightened on a second weekend. It also tends to be the less attended weekend of the run, which is a little bit sad to me, since those are sometimes the best shows. Yes, it's always essentially the same show, however, I find that every production has a life of it's own and the second weekend is like the pre-teen/teenage phase of it's life cycle. It is discovering itself and going out into the world trying to get noticed.
photos and graphics by Megan Merrill

Friday, January 24, 2014

TOW 8 & apologies

We write

Join us tomorrow at 8pm or 10pm
See some awesome actresses!!! for tickets

For some reason unknown to me, our website won't load despite my many attempts at reloading it.

In the mean time, see our blog and Facebook page. Sorry!!!

Sunday, January 19, 2014


Only 2 performances: January 25 at 8pm & 10pm

6 plays6 – writers – 6 – directors – a cast of actresses

THEATRE OF WOMEN (TOW) is Dream Theatre Company’s annual play festival consisting of ten minute plays written, rehearsed and performed in a span of 24 hours that celebrates the actress as performing artist.

Dream Theatre Company’s focus on the actress as artist and lead is apparent in all of their productionsThe idea behind the creation of TOW was to push the art of acting through the examination of the actress in the play. These women are created to be strong, sexy, funny, villains, heroines, demons or even to play men, boys or genderless rolesThey are created so we can show the world that Passion, Strength, Innocence, and Intelligence are traits to be valued and celebrated.” Over the years this mission hasn’t changed and many artistic relationships and funny, creative scripts have blossomed from these 24 hour festivals. This year we will uphold the traditions of the past while continuing to explore the question: What is it to be a woman in theatre today?