TIC at Northwestern to Co-Present Inaugural S.I.T.E. Festival
Three-week site-specific theatre festival to feature thesis work of MFA directors and designers
EVANSTON, Ill. --- The S.I.T.E. (Surprising Intersections of Theatre in Evanston) Festival will feature three compelling productions presented in non-traditional theatre spaces located in or on the edge of Evanston. A vacant building on Howard Street, Evanston’s first craft brewery and an 18-hole golf course are the settings for these upcoming works at the S.I.T.E. Festival.
The May 23 through June 8 theatrical event, designed to directly engage Evanston community members, is a joint collaboration of the Theatre and Interpretation Center (TIC) at Northwestern University, the City of Evanston, the Temperance Beer Company and the Evanston Wilmette Community Golf Course.
Open to the public, the festival’s three plays are “Far Away” by British playwright Caryl Churchill, “American Dead” by Chicago playwright Brett Neveu and “Thou Proud Dream,” co-written by Northwestern MFA student director Damon Krometis and Northwestern alumna Jenni Lamb.
The festival is the brainchild of Northwestern’s Michael Rohd, assistant professor of theatre at the School of Communication and founding artistic director of Portland Oregon’s Sojourn Theatre, which has earned a national reputation for participatory theatre.
“Instead of inviting people to come through our doors and see what we have made, we're asking people to engage with us around our art making and invite us into their spaces,” said Rohd, the festival’s faculty mentor. “Our hope is to expand on existing relationships and build new ones, so our students are more deeply rooted in the community where they reside.”
Casts for all three productions will feature Northwestern undergraduate students along with several guest professional actors from Chicago.
A Festival Pass -- available for $25 at sitefestival.northwestern.edu -- guarantees a reservation to each of the three S.I.T.E. Festival productions. The pass also is an exclusive ticket to a June 8 end-of-festival party at Temperance Beer Co.
Individual tickets are available in advance at the Theatre and Interpretation Center Box Office at (847) 491-7282. Tickets are $10 for general public and $5 for Northwestern students with valid Wildcard IDs. Day-of tickets are subject to availability at the door, $10 cash only.
S.I.T.E. FESTIVAL PRODUCTIONS
• Alderman Ann Rainey of Evanston’s 8th Ward and the City’s economic development department were advocates for director Jessica Fisch to stage “Far Away” by Caryl Churchill at 727 Howard St., a vacant building that has been a church, a storefront and a proposed theatre space. “Far Away” will be performed at 8 p.m. Friday, May 23; 8 p.m. Saturday, May 24; 2 p.m. Sunday, May 25; 8 p.m. Friday, May 30; 2 p.m. Sunday, June 1; 8 p.m. Friday, June 6; and 8 p.m. Saturday June 7. It describes a world where everything in nature is at war and tells the story of a young girl who witnesses something she was never meant to see. Discovering dark truths far beyond her years, nothing will ever be the same for her again. “Far Away” and its stage design team of Northwestern students Shawn Ketchum Johnson, Stephanie Cluggish and Maya Fein create a magical world on the Evanston/Chicago border.
• “American Dead” audiences will visit Evanston’s first microbrewery, Temperance Beer Company at 2000 Dempster St. Performances will take place at 8 p.m. Friday, May 23; 8 p.m. Saturday, May 24; 2 p.m. Sunday, May 25; 8 p.m. Friday, May 30; 2 p.m. Sunday, June 1; 8 p.m. Friday, June 6; and 8 p.m. Saturday, June 7. Written by Chicago playwright Brett Neveu and directed by Scott Cummins, “American Dead” is the story of a man haunted by the murder of his sister who tries to uncover the truth of her death. Enlivening one of Evanston’s light industrial warehouse spaces, Northwestern graduate student designers Lindsey Lyddan and Carolyn Sullivan will create the world of the play by engaging structural elements inside the craft brewing company.
• “Thou Proud Dream,” adapted from Shakespeare’s “Henry V” by director Damon Krometis and Northwestern alumna Jenni Lamb, guides audiences on an outdoor walk through the Evanston Wilmette Community Golf Course at 1030 Central St., in Evanston. Performances will take place at 8 p.m. Friday, May 30; 8 p.m. Saturday, June 1; 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 3; 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 4; 8 p.m. Thursday, June 5; 8 p.m. Friday, June 6; and 8 p.m. Saturday, June 7. Hoping for inspiration for his highly anticipated homecoming speech, Iraqi war veteran Leroy turns to his favorite war story, “Henry V.” But something within him wants to tell a different war story -- his own. Northwestern graduate students Shawn Ketchum Johnson, Maya Fein and Carolyn Sullivan will use the 18-hole public golf course to paint the scene of a classic tale cast in the contemporary light of our modern, warring world. Since audience members will be engaged in walking during the outdoor production, they should wear comfortable shoes.