Fancy seeing you here. Welcome to Sincerely, from the footnotes, a blog for The Impostors Theatre Company. You are now in ~unscripted~ territory (blech.) Read on to learn more about our journey and mission, to read charming short essays inspired by our company, or to analyze more tantalizing studio shots of me and others.

Burying Friends and Unearthing New Ones

Burying Friends and Unearthing New Ones

It’s no secret that we’re hosting a big fundraising bash this Friday, July 26. No cover charge required, no dress code required (though we’d especially ADORE it if you dressed to the nines because, why not? It’s a bash!) Not even a passcode required. We just hope you come ready to join hands with Chicago’s newest ensemble and watch us climb closer and closer to our financial goal—a goal that you’re helping us reach! We are as serious as ministers when we say that every cent counts. We’ll even have a visual  to break down where each cent goes and how it affects our company.

But beyond the financial element of Technicolor Nightfall (did I mention our fundraiser is called Technicolor Nightfall? Pretty sexy, right? All the more reason to absolutely murder the fashion game), we’re also extremely giddy to reveal our next season of productions. All Summer long, we’ve been preparing for this special evening, but we managed to sneak in some auditions for our first show of the season. With our first show cast & the foundation solidifying for our second one, we are ready to hit the ground running. And you get to see them unveiled in a very ~cool~ way at Technicolor Nightfall! Put that in your pipe and Smoke it all night.

Of course, with all the preparation for our next season, we’ve been reflecting a lot on our inaugural season. Bittersweet is the only word for it—otherwise, it’s indescribable thinking back to all the blood, sweat, and tears (no exaggeration) that went into the work we’ve produced so far. Beyond the successes, we’ve forged connections with stellar people, we’ve experienced the pride of creating something new and watching it affect audience members in real time, and we’ve learned a lot about the Chicago theater scene. So, indeed, putting them to rest (at least for the time being) elicits some bittersweet emotions. 

Before we get all weepy on you, here’s a fond and (don’t worry) brief little sendoff to each of our shows of the first season.

The Wood by Mallory Swisher

In The Wood, Boy snidely told Girl that she spoke as if every word were capitalized. So, Henceforth, I Will Be Capitalizing Every Word I Type. The Wood Made For A Perfect First Show Because It Required Ingenuity, Movement, A Fondness For Our Mission, And A Lot Of Imagination To Tell The Story. We Relished A Show That Was Both Frightening And Tenderhearted, And We Jumped At The Chance To Work With An Ensemble Of People Who Were As Magical Offstage As They Were On It. They Say You Can’t Leave The Wood, And We Won’t Ever Leave. We’re Still There, Actually. Can You Hear Us? Do You Remember Us?

Alright, enough of that joke. Here’s a wee breakdown of The Wood:

  • Tickets Sold: 344

  • Shows: 11

  • Cast: 8

  • Puppets: 3

  • Trench coats: 1 (v. cool one)

  • Deaths by Faerie King: Roughly 7 (not including audience members)

  • Sticks: The limit does not exist

Caged: An Allegory by Stefan Roseen

With both The Wood and Caged: An Allegory, we were thrilled by the numerous variety of interpretations we overheard from viewers. Caged offered an especially rich wealth of varied reactions. We love to encourage the kind of conversation that sneaks up on audience members, and Caged managed this with first a shock, and then a rhetoric-charged discourse. Staging a story about the responsibilities and pitfalls of identifying as an artist was a bloody labor, and we’re pleased with our little bundle of flesh (har har har blech). Now that the cat’s out of the bag—or shall we say, the Creation’s out of the Cage—we couldn’t be more relieved and proud. 

  • Tickets sold: 286

  • Shows: 10

  • Blood packs used: 30

  • Gallons of tea masked as bourbon: 10

  • Creations escaped per show: 1

  • Severed limbs per show: 1

  • Deaths by Splash Zone: Less than 10

Footholds by the Chicago Community

We wanted to place an emphasis on new works for our first season, and we knew one of the best ways to do that was to reach out to playwrights beyond the confines of our ensemble. One fun prompt and 14 anonymous anonymous submissions later, we were stoked to showcase five new short plays by five kickass female-identifying playwrights. Working with the same talented actors across such different scripts made for a juicy challenge for both directors and actors. We’re excited to see how this production grows and changes down the road, but for now…

  • Tickets sold: 225

  • Shows: 8

  • Sacrifices per show: 1

  • Births per show: 2 stars 

  • Damned souls per show: Enough to fill 7 rings

  • Origami friends per show: More than the amount that sent you a Happy Birthday message this year

  • Pounds of red construction paper: 10,000 papercuts worth  

Tippy: Stories from the River by Kayla Belec 

We hosted one of our notorious staged readings in May, this time for a show written by some biddy named Kayla Belec. We love making our staged readings as performance-ready as possible, and we think this one really delivered. The show incorporates a slew of characters, live music and lip synching, and some folksy, dolksy, schmaltz. One of the highlights of this staged reading occurred during the talkback after the performance. We all talked about what would be left of us if a river washed our lives away... some said a record player or a keyboard, others said a box of biscuits or a broken pair of glasses.

  • Butts in seats: 34

  • Fishermen: 1

  • Spooky zombie lady: 1

  • Kerchiefs: 6

  • Tears shed: Dozens, all by the playwright at inconvenient times

  • Fleetwood Mac songs: 3

  • New discoveries: 1 big one (we learned Isaiah Williams’ nickname as a kid was Biscuit. Wowowowowowowowowowow this is so cute)

Skull Sessions (I.e. Talkbacks)     

After each of our productions, we hosted a talkback so we could get a sense of the audience’s response and some much-needed feedback. Especially with new works, we want to make sure we’re cracking this egg right, ya dig?

  • Total number of Skull Session participants: 75-100

  • Total number of references to Count Olaf during the Caged Skull Sessions: at least 4 but we are not complaining

  • Total number of ~tough~ questions: at least 17. Just made that number up. But it seems right. But we want more! Come to our Skull Sessions! Make us sweat!

Suffice it to say, we are very proud of our inaugural season. If you join us at Technicolor Nightfall, we’ll have some fun production displays with favorite props (i.e. puppets from The Wood and the severed hand from Caged) for you to interact with, plus we’ll send off our first season in a more meaningful way. Are we promising some behind-the-scenes action? Maybe. You’ll have to come see for yourself. 

The OG Storytellers

The OG Storytellers