Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Announcing Season 11

Our 11th Season is a sprawling, ambitious re-affirmation of all the ways we source and nurture new works in Chicago.  Three wildly imaginative world premieres, featuring a scorching bedroom comedy in co-production with our collaborators at Broken Nose, a Southern secret second family drama developed in our Writers’ Room program, and a timeline-hopping adventure developed from the ground up with our Ensemble; this season sprints out of the gate and never lets up. We can’t wait to share this wide range of stories that pivot, inspire, and speak to the heart of who we really are.

Written by Liam Fitzgerald
Directed by Elise Marie Davis
Co-Produced with Broken Nose Theatre

November 13 – December 14, 2019

Peg is excited. Steve is nervous. Sure, they’ve opened a nice bottle of wine, dinner smells delicious… but the brand-new strap-on they ordered has just arrived, and tonight’s plan is to flip the script. Peg wants to peg Steve. And even though he was all for it initially, his last-minute hesitation will force this ordinary couple to face their kinks, quirks and societal conditioning, as they’re quickly reminded that gender politics follow them everywhere – including the bedroom.

By Ensemble Member K.L. Parker*
Directed by Spenser Davis

April 1 – May 3, 2020

When her husband dies while out of town on a business trip, Delphi Rabbitt calls upon her children and sister to assist in planning the funeral arrangements in their town of Altoga, Texas. That is, until she discovers his body is traveling from Houston accompanied by another family… another wife, another son, another life that no one knew about it. When both Rabbitt families find themselves under one roof, they’re forced to decide: is it possible to bury our grievances before we bury the man who deceived us all?

By Co-Artistic Director Fin Coe*
Directed by Elyse Dolan

July 15 – August 15, 2020

In the summer of 2001, a renowned physicist invites three strangers to her family’s cabin. Horrified by the results of the recent Presidential election, the team of scientists set to work building an experimental machine with a wild and irresistible purpose: to get them the hell out of their awful timeline. Political differences, personality conflicts, and a disruptive drug-dealing pizza driver ratchet up the tension; as the machine grows closer to completion, the team must reckon with what they will do when it’s finally time to turn it on.

The New Colony is also pleased to welcome four new ensemble members: Zoe Benditt*, Lila Gilbert*, Cedar Larson* and Evan Sposato*.
Finally, Elyse Dolan will serve as TNC’s Director of New Work (formerly Director of Education) and Katy King will serve as the company’s Director of Education (formerly Director of Marketing).

Monday, March 20, 2017

Announcing Incoming Co-Artistic Directors Fin Coe and Stephanie Shum

The Board of Directors of The New Colony is pleased to announce the appointment of Fin Coe and Stephanie Shum as the company’s new Co-Artistic Directors. Coe and Shum succeed Founding Members and Co-Artistic Directors Andrew Hobgood and Evan Linder, who will step down in January 2018 at the conclusion of the company’s ninth season.

“We are so pleased to welcome of Fin Coe and Stephanie Shum as our new artistic leaders,” comments The New Colony Board President Emilee Lales. “We are fortunate they will gift us with their outstanding artistry, numerous relationships within the Chicago theater community, a detailed knowledge of the company’s history and an infectious enthusiasm for telling new and original stories on stage. We are grateful to our outgoing Co-Artistic Directors Evan Linder and Andrew Hobgood for their visionary work the past decade – and we are extremely excited by the fresh, inclusive and creative vision that Stephanie and Fin will use to take us into our second decade. The entire board and staff looks forward to working with them in their new roles.

Comments Fin Coe, “I am a longtime admirer of Andy and Evan’s work with The New Colony, a company that immediately captured my imagination when I first moved to Chicago. It’s been an honor to get to know and work with the company, and then join this artistic family. The New Colony is the place where you’re going to find a play that must surely have been written just for you, and you alone, and that’s something incredibly special. I’m thrilled that I can now use the experience and skills I’ve acquired since I saw my first show here to help keep the vision and the artistic dream growing and thriving.”

Adds Stephanie Shum, “I’m thrilled to be a part of The New Colony’s future in this new capacity alongside one of my dearest collaborators and the company’s dedicated board and inspiring ensemble. I count myself very lucky to call The New Colony home and I look forward to charging into our tenth season in fierce support of furthering our mission and new works process.”

Monday, September 19, 2016

Playwright Submissions for The New Colony

Call for Playwrights

The New Colony is looking for more playwrights to join our ranks.  As a laboratory for new work, we are so proud of the artists who have brought us their stories to help develop and share with Chicago audiences. Since our founding in 2008, each play in The New Colony’s season has been either A.) a world premiere written by a TNC ensemble member and/or B.) a world premiere written for TNC’s ensemble. We pride ourselves on our unique process for developing new work, giving playwrights access to intensive workshops before they have even begun writing their script.  You can read more about The New Colony’s method for developing new plays here: Our Mission and Our Method.

(Evan Linder and Jeffrey Freelon in Byhalia, Mississippi)

More than ever before, The New Colony enters our 9th Season recognizing the unique opportunity our process allows to playwrights, both emerging and established, who truly want to reflect the world we live in right now. Through our Writers Room and Associate Company Intensive, The New Colony continues to seek out the stories that are not being told and give them a place to be developed. For emerging playwrights, this could mean the story that you have wanted to tell your entire life that might spring to life through a workshop team assembled by The New Colony. For established playwrights, it could be the ambitious play you wish you were writing instead of the four character single-set family drama you think will sell.

(Mary Hollis Inboden, Sarah Gitenstein and Michael Peters in The Warriors)

What Are We Looking For?
1. Playwrights who want an ensemble to write for.
2. New stories that are not being told and that speak to who we are right now.

(Elise Mayfield, Lizzie Schwarzrock and Daeshawna Cook in Plastic Revolution)

What to Include in Your Submission
1. A cover letter telling us why your voice is unique, why your story is now and why your play needs The New Colony’s process.
2. A summary (3 pages maximum) of the play you would most like to develop at The New Colony. (PDF)
3. A 10-page sample of a previous play. (PDF, No Complete Scripts)
4. Your resume or CV that includes contact information, website, etc. (PDF)

Simply send your submission to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
We currently are able to send responses to submissions within 30 days.

We look forward to meeting the future playwrights of The New Colony!
Let’s make some plays.

The New Colony
New Art. New Artists. New Audiences.

(Thea Lux, Caitlin Chuckta, Rachel Farmer, Megan Johns and Kate Carson-Groner in 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche)

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Writers Room Readings

We’re ecstatic to announce FOUR (YES, FOUR!) new plays from our Writers’ Room will receive staged readings in the coming months! Congratulations to our playwrights!

Eden in Silence by Jamie Olah
Directed by Kacie Smith
November 2, 2016 at 7:30pm

Seeds of Ember by Breeshia Turner
Directed by Spenser Davis
December 11, 2016 at 6:00pm

The Bridge by Nora Leahy
Directed by Sarah Illiatovitch-Goldman
December 18, 2016 at 6:00pm

Ascension by Michael Allen Harris
Directed by Siiri Scott
January 25, 2016 at 7:30pm

Friday, August 12, 2016

DONATE to The New Colony Here!

Click HERE to donate!

100% of your contribution will go toward producing and marketing our world premiere productions! Help us continue to be what Time Out Chicago has called “Chicago’s New Essential” voice!

We hope you can help! Your donation will mean way more to us than its monetary value. You’ll become a part of a new community of artists and their supporters: The New Colony.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Announcing our 2016 Season!

We’re so excited to announce our 2016 Season which will include 4 Main Stage productions at The Den Theatre!

Byhalia, Mississippi
Written by Evan Linder
Directed by Tyrone Phillips
A World Premiere Conversation co-produced with Definition Theatre Company

Even Longer and Farther Away
Written by Chelsea Marcantel
Directed by Thrisa Hodits

Kin Folk
Written by William Glick
Directed by Evan Linder

The fourth production will be announced soon!

Read all about it through the Chicago Tribune!

In addition, we’re pleased to announce 3 spankin’ new Ensemble Members: Monica M. Brown, Sarah Collonge and Chris Fowler!

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

The Goldfish Project: Procreation starts this week!

The Goldfish Project is back this weekend with a brand new theme: Procreation! Margie’s been awfully busy online since we last saw her. Here are just a couple of the conversations shes been having…

Get your FREE tickets now!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Jen’s Rehearsal Reports

Theatre Did It’s new children’s musical, Orville and Wilbur Did It!, is set to hit the road on a 58 city tour starting in Chicago on June 13! Here’s a glimpse inside rehearsals from Stage Manager Jen!

Check back for more rehearsal updates and book your tickets now!

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

An interview with Shawn Bowers and Sarah Gitenstein

Our brand new bi-monthly series, OKAY CUPID, starts up March 28 and 29!
Learn more about the project from creator Shawn Bowers and co-curator Sarah Gitenstein!


What is OKAY CUPID and how did it come about?

Shawn Bowers: OKAY CUPID started as a weekend project back in 2012.  I (the actual me) had used Okcupid off and on since college and I was always curious what the experience was like for the other half.  I was the kind of user who would be very careful about my communication…I would put too much thought into a message and try to be specific and ask questions was just putting too many eggs in too few baskets a lot of times.  And I was also doing more sending than receiving, which I think is a pretty traditional male experience on there.  Initially, it was just interesting to see that it’s the exact opposite for a female profile: I got a few hundred messages in the first weekend, most of them copy/paste introductions or one-liners, and I decided to just have some fun with them.  I quickly realized that guys will play along with really asinine things if it means the messages keep coming, and it became a challenge to try and craft these exchanges that played off their enthusiasm and horniness. 

Tell us about collaborating with each other.

Sarah Gitenstein: Shawn and I have known each other for a couple of years. We decided we wanted to collaborate on a project when we were working on Psychonaut Librarians (Collaboraction’s Sketchbook) and recently worked together on Kate and Sam Are Not Breaking Up. It took us about a year to find the right project and another year to nail down the best approach for exploring our options with OKAY CUPID.

SB: In addition, we have a whole team of people who are helping us do side projects and experiments, produce special segments and just generally cast a wider net so that people don’t get sick of my dumb face month after month.  It’s great, because I’m used to working by myself in a vacuum, and it’s nice to have somebody else to say “this is good,” “this isn’t good,” or (more often than not for this project) “you’re about to go too far.”

What should audiences expect coming into this show?

SB: Audiences shouldn’t expect a grand social point to be made.  There are two things that happened in recent years that sort of guided our direction.  The first was the movie (and subsequent TV show) Catfish…and the Manti T’eo scandal later… which suddenly made everyone scared that the person-they’d-been-dating-online-for-a-year-but-never-actually-met wasn’t real.  The other is the more recent trend where bloggers do these grand experiments, going online for two hours as the opposite gender or as “the WORST GIRL YOU’LL EVER MEET” or whatever and regurgitating the points that we all already know: some people online are creepy, some people are normal, and douchey men will always want sex.  With OKAY CUPID, we’re not out to prove humanity right or wrong…we’re here to have fun.  It’s not mean-spirited.  And I’m not out to catfish anyone, because catfish are horrible fish creatures with ugly whiskers.  I call what I do Goldfishing, because goldfish are simple, beautiful creatures that look good on display and only have a memory a few seconds long. 

What do you hope to explore as the series develops further?

SG: For better or worse, online dating has become what the bar scene used to be: the messy, yet hopeful, place where you might meet someone amazing. Or, you might get puked on. We could literally explore this topic forever and barely scratch the surface on the stories it has to offer. My hope for this project is to reach out to a diverse audience and appeal to writers and other performers to tell their own stories, because I know they are out there.

SB: I’m going to keep mining Okcupid for as long as I can, because there’s just so much to explore: how people react to rejection, race, gender, social status, picture quality, children.  Generally, I just like exploring how people choose to express themselves online.  The mixture of sincerity, anonymity and, often, grammatical inability makes for some fascinating reading.

Tell us something weird you’ve learned about online dating.

SG: All of the crazy sites! It’s insane. There is a dating site for every type of person. Farmers, gamers, cheaters, fetishists, EVERYTHING. There’s even a site for people who are looking for a mate with the same proportional facial features!

SB: I’ve learned that the most powerful word to keep men on the hook is “horny.”  Whether Margie is talking about her cat barfing uncontrollably, or how sad she is over the death of her father, or how she’s having a really bad allergic reaction to watermelon…as long as she says “but also, I’m feeling horny” at the end, guys will generally get right back on track.  Let that be a lesson to unappealing people everywhere: if you’re horny, they will come. 


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Meet Kelly

“If you’re going to stand up to the people in charge, you can’t expect them to f*cking smile, shake your hand, and thank you for stealing their power away from them.”

reWILDing Genius begins February 16th as part of Steppenwolf’s Garage Rep 2014

Caitlin Chuckta as Kelly
Photo by Patriac Coakley

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Meet Lily

“Am I scared of working on the campaign? I suppose. But that’s part of the fun of it, right?”

reWILDing Genius begins February 16th as part of Steppenwolf’s Garage Rep 2014

Sarah Gitenstein as Lily
Photo by Patriac Coakley

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Meet Ged

“We are exceptional people, right? We can handle it.”

reWILDing Genius begins February 16 as part of Steppenwolf’s Garage Rep 2014

Wes Needham as Ged
Photo by Patriac Coakley

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Meet Anya

“Money isn’t important to them! OF COURSE it’s not important if you’re part of the White-Hetero-Patriarchal-Millionaires’-Club-of-America!”

reWILDing Genius begins February 16 as part of Steppenwolf’s Garage Rep 2014

Morgan McNaught as Anya
Photo by Patriac Coakley

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Meet Jonathan

“No one thinks to look for a gun if there’s no smoke or bullet hole.”

reWILDing Genius begins February 16 as part of Steppenwolf’s Garage Rep 2014

Evan Linder as Jonathan
Photo by Patriac Coakley

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Meet Grandmaster

“She said you’re the Mozart of hacking”
“I like Bach more.”

reWILDing Genius begins February 16 as part of Steppenwolf’s Garage Rep 2014

Stephanie Shum as Grandmaster
Photo by Patriac Coakley