August Essay Fiesta
Aug
21
7:00pm 7:00pm

August Essay Fiesta

Join hosts Karen Shimmin and Willy Nast at The Book Cellar on Monday, August 21 at 7pm for these cosmically entertaining writers and performers (eclipse glasses not required):

- Very Funny Person Amy Sumpter
- Writer and Illustrator Miden Woo'd
- Miss Spoken Co-Host and Rascal Jasmine Davila
- Story Sessions Producer Jill Howe

The show is free, but we collect cash donations to support the great programming and the interstellar geniuses at 826CHI.

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Science Night at Steppenwolf
Jun
9
to Jun 10

Science Night at Steppenwolf

  • Steppenwolf 1700 Theater (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Wearing lab coats and goggles, teams of two face off against each other to win the title of Preeminent Tandem Scientists. Players must outmaneuver their opponents to create billowing foam, shapeshifting goo, drop eggs into bottles, explode plastic lunch bags and more, all before time – or resources – run out.

Science Night at Steppenwolf is part of the multi-genre performance series LookOut.

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Truth or Lie
Nov
6
7:00pm 7:00pm

Truth or Lie

Truth or Lie is a monthly reading series which blends true stories and fictional pieces, calling into question our perceptions of each. The event features storytellers spinning true or fictive tales and leaving the audience to wonder, truth or lie?

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HEIST at the Chicago Humanities Festival
Nov
6
1:00pm 1:00pm

HEIST at the Chicago Humanities Festival

From the Heist to the Long Con - a presentation at the Chicago Humanities Festival

Heist is an interactive experience that invites audience members pull off a classic, cinema-style robbery. Inspiration for the project comes from the great heist movies of the past 50 years, and the colorful history of bank robberies in the United States: the former football star who stole $400,000 from a bank with the help of craigslist and an inner tube; the a southern belle who spent decades robbing banks dressed as a bearded cowboy; even the two men who robbed banks without a trace for 30 years until one of them wanted to retire.

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Heist at DCASE
Jul
29
7:00pm 7:00pm

Heist at DCASE

  • Chicago Cultural Center, Studio Theater (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

The Dilettantes craft distinctive, immersive experiences that contain both performance and participation. Their projects can be narrative‐based, structurally experimental, or anywhere in between -- exploring what’s joyful, unexpected and necessary about being in a room with other human beings.

Heist is an interactive experience that invites audience members to pull off a classic, cinema-style robbery. Employing game structures and techniques to place the audience at the center of the action, The Dilettantes will immerse you in all the hallmarks of a heist in a participatory, theatrical environment.

Part of their In the Works grant through the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. A public showing of the project will take place on Friday July 29th at 7pm, at the Chicago Cultural Center’s Studio Theater.

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Science Night at Steppenwolf
Jun
15
8:00pm 8:00pm

Science Night at Steppenwolf

Wearing lab coats and goggles, teams of two face off against each other to win the title of Preeminent Tandem Scientists. Players must outmaneuver their opponents to create billowing foam, shapeshifting goo, drop eggs into bottles, explode plastic lunch bags and more, all before time – or resources – run out.

Science Night at Steppenwolf is part of the new, multi-genre performance series LookOut.

To purchase tickets, visit thedilettantes.org.

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High Concept Labs Open House
May
14
6:30pm 6:30pm

High Concept Labs Open House

This spring, I've been working with The Dilettantes on their newest project, Heist. An interactive experience inspired by the great heist films of the past 50 years, Heist invites audience members to plan and execute an classic, cinema-style robbery. The Dilettantes are part of High Concept Lab’s Sponsored Artist Program and we're premiering some early elements of Heist at the HCL Spring Open House. Join us to investigate your inner criminal, and to check out performances, installations, music by the rest of the HCL Spring Sponsored Artists.

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You're Being Ridiculous: Oops
Mar
12
7:30pm 7:30pm

You're Being Ridiculous: Oops

Join You're Being Ridiculous at Mayne Stage (1328 W. Morse) on February 20, 27 & March 12! The doors open at 6:30 pm  and our all new oops-themed show begins at 7:30 pm. Come early and enjoy dinner at Act One and then stick around for an AMAZING line-up full of some of Chicago's very best writers and storytellers. Don't miss this chance to find out all about our happy accidents!

March 12 Lineup: 
Brooke Allen, Ricardo Gamboa, Elizabeth Gomez, 
Tyler Greene, 
Sarah Hollenbeck, Jill Howe, Sam Irby, Rebecca Makkai, Jeremy Owens, and Karen Shimmin

Tickets are $15 (which goes directly to the performers), and can be purchased by clicking here.

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January Essay Fiesta
Jan
18
7:00pm 7:00pm

January Essay Fiesta

Essay Fiesta is back from winter break! Come to The Book Cellar on Monday, January 18th, at 7pm. Host Karen Shimmin will be joined by:

As always, we'll be collecting donations for 826CHI.

www.essayfiesta.com

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You're Being Ridiculous: Beauty
Nov
21
7:30pm 7:30pm

You're Being Ridiculous: Beauty

Join us at Mayne Stage (1328 West Morse) on November 21, 28 and December 5. The doors open at 6:30pm and our beauty-themed show begins at 7:30pm. These stories are some of the most courageous, fearless, funny and BEAUTIFUL that we've ever featured!

November 21
Brooke Allen, Lily Be, Eileen Dougharty, Keith Ecker, Kate Harding, Jeremy Owens, Karen Shimmin, Megan Stielstra, and Natasha Tsoutsouris

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Essay Fiesta - 6th Anniversary Show!
Nov
16
7:00pm 7:00pm

Essay Fiesta - 6th Anniversary Show!

On Monday, November 16th, come on down to The Book Cellar at 7pm and join hosts Karen Shimmin and Willy Nast for Essay Fiesta’s sixth birthday celebration. Our lineup features some of our favorite Essay Fiesters:

- Comedian and The Kates Producer Kelsie Huff
- Performer and WGN Radio Host Jen Bosworth
- Writer/Actor/Med Student Maura Clement
- Writer and Actor Jamie Black
- Comedian and One Hell Of A Guy Dave Stinton

As always, the show is free. In lieu of birthday gifts, we’ll be collecting cash donations for folks at 826CHI.

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This Much Is True
Nov
10
7:30pm 7:30pm

This Much Is True

This Much Is True is dedicated to bringing the members of our community together in a welcoming environment where we can share with each other, listen to each other, and learn from each other.  Once a month, we gather to celebrate the uniqueness of the individual while simultaneously tapping into the universality of the human experience.  

Our core group of storytellers is joined each month by special guests from every corner of Chicago's creative community.  The stories are often hilarious, sometimes heartbreaking, but always true.

Hosted by Stephanie Douglass & Scott Whitehair and featuring special guests Jahmal Cole, Archy Jamjun, Karen O'Donnell, Cathy Schenkelberg, and Karen Shimmin.

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October Essay Fiesta
Oct
19
7:00pm 7:00pm

October Essay Fiesta

Come on down to The Book Cellar at 7pm on Monday, October 19 and join hosts Karen Shimmin and Willy Nast for an Essay Fiesta lineup that will give you all the sugar rush of a Kit-Kat and M&Ms Chocolate Cake without the crash or regrets (just don’t forget to brush before bed):

- PleasureTown Co-Creator (and, ahem, Essay Fiesta Godfather) Keith Ecker
- That’s All She Wrote Co-Host JH Palmer
- Miss Spoken Co-Host Rose Lannin
- McSweeney’s/Awl/Morning News/Hairpin Contributor Mae Rice
- "There’s A Hamster In The Dashboard" Author David Berner

As always, the show is free, but we’ll be collecting super-sweet cash donations for the superest-sweetest folks at 826CHI.

www.essayfiesta.com

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Science Night
Oct
16
to Nov 14

Science Night

It’s Bill Nye the Science Guy meets Legends of the Hidden Temple! The Dilettantes presents SCIENCE NIGHT, a live interactive game that invites players to experience what it means to be a scientist on the cusp of glory… or failure. Teams of two face off against each other to win the title of Pre-Eminent Scientist of the Lab. Scientists must outmaneuver their opponents to create billowing foam, shapeshifting goo, drop eggs into bottles, explode plastic lunch bags and more, all before time – or resources – run out.

October 16 – November 14, 2015
Fridays at 8:30pm, Saturdays at 5:00pm and 8:30pm
at Enerspace Chicago (1046 W Kinzie St)

To learn more and purchase tickets, visit thedilettantes.org

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Lady Date Live: First Night by Jack Neary Edition
Dec
10
7:30pm 7:30pm

Lady Date Live: First Night by Jack Neary Edition

Diva LaVida is on a mission. A mission to raise funds in the fight against Parkinson’s Disease as a member of Team Fox. Please join us for the last installment of Lady Date Live in 2014. This $10 event is an evening of music, burlesque, and comedy, including a full staged reading of First Night by Jack Neary. First Night is a classic holiday romantic comedy about two classmates who reunite on New Year’s Eve after decades apart to rehash the past and ignite old passions. 


This literary cabaret event will take place on Dec 10 at The Den Theater at 7:30pm. We have a bevy of beautiful people donating fabulous performances to the cause.

Performers include:
Liz Hoffman
George Infantado
Karen Shimmin
Prima Vera
Bübes Radley
And more!

Technical elements managed by:
ThomAss Edison
Shane Abbott
Jessica Forella

Photos to be taken by:
Greg Inda

All funds raised will go to Team Fox, benefiting The Michael J. Fox Foundation. If you are unable to attend, please feel free to visit the fundraising page and make a donation: www.teamfox.org/goto/samanthathediva

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