Articles tagged with: Gwendolyn Whiteside
Review: Kate Hunter is terrified, desperate, hanging on by her fingernails. Her adolescent daughter ran away three years ago, and finally Kate has a lead to the girl’s seclusion in a cult – even a glimmer of hope that on this day, all may end well. That’s why, in Steven Dietz’s thriller “On Clover Road,” we find Kate holed up in a dilapidated motel room with a brusque, imperious de-programmer who claims he’s experienced at reeling kids back from the abyss. It’s a heart-stopping encounter at American Blues Theater. ★★★★
Preview: Chicago’s turn into real winter comes with the consolation of intriguing theater just ahead. Think of it as warming countermeasures. Porchlight offers the musical farce “The Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder” while Raven plots Paula Vogel’s now-classic memory play “How I Learned to Drive.” American Blues jumps into the season’s second half with Steven Dietz’s “On Clover Road.” If a play synopsis that begins “At an abandoned motel on a desolate road” sounds more like a chiller, at least it will unfold in a snug place.
Third in a series of season previews: Gwendolyn Whiteside, the producing artistic director of American Blues Theater, sees a cosmic – or perhaps the better word is earthly — connection between her company and N. Richard Nash’s play “The Rainmaker,” which opens ABT’s season. “What draws us to ‘The Rainmaker,’” she says, “is its expression of incredible human resilience and the human need for hope.”
13th in a series of season previews: Season themes can sometimes seem like a loose fit, but American Blues Theater’s 2014-15 overarching concept of “Lost and Found” looks well-tailored from a world-premiere adaptation of Richard Wright’s tragic “Native Son” to Warren Leight’s “Side Man,” a dark riff on family alienation that infects the life of a jazz trumpeter. But artistic director Gwendolyn Whiteside also offers a larger label that sums up American Blues’ 29-year history: “We’ve got pluck. We don’t have a lot of money, but we go for the stars.”
Third in a series of season previews: The spirit and legend of Americana buoys the 2013-14 season at American Blues Theater, from a musical biography of country star Hank Williams to the world premiere of Christina Gorman’s “American Myth,” about a professor of history who has perhaps fudged the details of his own past. The new season also sees storefront American Blues taking up residence at the Greenhouse Theater Center on North Lincoln Avenue.
Fourth in a series of season previews: The world premiere of James Still’s “Illegal Use of Hands” kicks off American Blues Theater’s 2012-13 season, which marks both the company’s 27th year on the Chicago scene and, in its reconstituted form, its fourth.