Support Palestinian Theatremakers! An Open Letter in Solidarity with The Freedom Theatre in Jenin

Editor’s Note: Rescripted has always believed in sharing the unfettered and unedited opinions of our arts community as they fight for justice, and the fight for Palestine’s freedom is no different. The following is an open letter on behalf of the Jenin community, and The Freedom Theatre in the West Bank. Artistic Director Ahmed Tobasi, Producer Mustafa Sheta, and theatre graduate Jamal Abu Joas and many others were taken from their homes, physically abused and detained. Only Tobasi has been freed thus far. We join our colleagues around the world in advocating for their release, for an immediate ceasefire, and for the end of the occupation in Gaza. The letter here is presented in full, but you can read, sign, and view all signatories at this link

This letter calls for the immediate release of Mustafa Sheta, Jamal Abu Joas and all 100 members of the Jenin community detained on Wednesday 13th December. Please read the letter in full and fill in the form linked below if you would like to add your signature to the list. Completing this form will add your name to a public list on the letter itself. Your name may also be used for press opportunities. Your email will be kept confidential and only used in the event of updates, or related actions. Whilst we are particularly interested to hear from those working within the theatre industry, this letter is open for anyone to sign. So please share it widely. Sign the letter here.


We, as venues, artists and culture workers are united in our commitment to justice, dignity, freedom, and equality for all people in Israel and Palestine. We hold every life to be precious, and we grieve every death.

On Wednesday 13th December, Israeli soldiers attacked The Freedom Theatre in Jenin, shooting the building, destroying offices and assaulting its staff.

Artistic Director Ahmed Tobasi, Producer Mustafa Sheta, and theatre graduate Jamal Abu Joas were taken from their homes and detained. Jamal was severely beaten.

Ahmed Tobasi has since been released, also beaten. His colleagues, along with approximately 100 other Palestinians taken hostage from Jenin, remain detained. Continue reading “Support Palestinian Theatremakers! An Open Letter in Solidarity with The Freedom Theatre in Jenin”

An Open Letter From the Past, Present, and Future Resident Companies of Victory Gardens

To the Victory Gardens Board of Directors:

We, the past, present and future resident companies at Victory Gardens, are writing to express our frustration at the lack of clarity, transparency, and generosity given to Victory Gardens’ Staff and Resident artists. We stand in solidarity with Ken-Matt Martin, the Resident Artists , and staff members of Victory Gardens’ Theatre. We are equally troubled by this board’s lack of leadership, and even more troubled by its pattern of blatant and ongoing disrespect towards Roxanna and Ken-Matt, and the repeated dismissal of the Playwright’s Ensemble and staff.

Continue reading “An Open Letter From the Past, Present, and Future Resident Companies of Victory Gardens”

Sideshow Theatre Expands Company Membership, Radically Embodying Chicago’s Cultural Landscape

Sideshow Theatre Company has announced the addition of ten new company members listed below:

Ensemble Members: estrellita beatriz, Adelina Feldman-Schultz, Hanna Kime, Tina Muñoz Pandya and Shariba Rivers.

Artistic Associates: Sam Boeck, Olivia Canaday, Sydney Charles, Micah Figueroa and Mallory Raven-Ellen Backstrom.

Sideshow Theatre Company’s first recruited cohort under Victor exploded with BIPOC representation. This year’s cohort continues to demonstrate the direction the company is taking under the guidance of Artistic Director Regina Victor and Executive Director Brian Pastor.

Comments Sideshow Artistic Director Regina Victor(they/them), “One of the greatest gifts of being the Artistic Director of Sideshow Theatre Company is the ability to collaborate with the ensemble to cultivate a community that reflects our artists, and our city. This past year we have spent time identifying our values and evaluating our ethics, which lets us be specific about who we are becoming, and who we want on that journey. We are all such huge fans of these artists, fans of their intellect, talent and values. Each of these artists represents the future of Chicago theatre in their own unique way, and I cannot wait for Chicago to get to know them even better through this affiliation.”

You can support Sideshow Theatre Company’s endeavor to diversify the Chicago arts landscape by visiting their website and/or donating to their $21,000 for 2021 campaign.

Bias Alert: Regina Victor is the Editor of Rescripted.org.

Rescripted is a community-funded publication, and we are grateful for your support. If you’d like to support arts criticism like this,  subscribe to our Patreon today! 

An Open Letter to the Chicago Theatre Community about Metropolis Performing Arts Centre

Last month, Rescripted received an email from an anonymous theatre artist with the subject ‘Time’s Up Metropolis.’ In the email were anecdotes collected from a large number of actors, directors, and various other theatre artists, which spoke of the culture of harassment, intimidation, and unsafe working conditions at Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights.

We are currently working on a long-form piece about Metropolis and will be applying our resources to investigate these matters more thoroughly. If you have worked at Metropolis and have a story you would like to share (anonymously or otherwise), please email us directly at rescriptedreviews@gmail.com. If you are a victim seeking community and support, you can also check out the Time’s Up Metropolis Facebook page.

Below is an open letter from Lauren Berman — a long-time director at Metropolis — who offers up her experience in the hopes of bringing these issues into the spotlight.


Continue reading “An Open Letter to the Chicago Theatre Community about Metropolis Performing Arts Centre”

Sideshow Theatre Company Offers Artistic Residency to Playwright Preston Choi

CHICAGO (July 22, 2021) – Sideshow Theatre Company has announced they will be offering a nine-month artistic residency to Chicago-based playwright Preston Choi. Through the residency, Sideshow will provide Choi with artistic and dramaturgical support as he develops his full-length play Drive-In to the End of the World. The residency will culminate in March 2022 with a reading of Choi’s final script. This residency strengthens the existing artistic partnership between Sideshow Theatre and Choi, who had previously been selected to participate in Sideshow’s new-play development program, “The Freshness Initiative.”

Artistic Director Regina Victor expressed their excitement for Sideshow’s continued partnership with Choi: “Preston originally joined us in collaboration for The Freshness, but as many of us have experienced, quarantine and working remotely have drastically altered the process. We have instead decided to innovate and devise a residency that would once again center this talented playwright, whom we are fortunate to host. This was a thrilling opportunity to take a step back from the capitalist mindset and center ourselves in practices of process over product and the limitless potential world-building of Black Radical Imagination.”

Continue reading “Sideshow Theatre Company Offers Artistic Residency to Playwright Preston Choi”

Actors Theatre of Louisville to Produce All-Trans and GNC Reading of ‘The Wolves’ by Sarah DeLappe

As a coordinated attack on transgender youth escalates across the country, Actors Theatre of Louisville and casting director/producer Charlie Hano are partnering on an all-trans/gender non-conforming reading of Sarah DeLappe’s The Wolves, about an indoor soccer team navigating adolescence as they go through their daily warmups. Amid passing drills and stretching routines, a portrait emerges of nine teenage athletes actively figuring out their roles in the changing world around them.

All proceeds exceeding costs will go directly to the ACLU of Kentucky for their advocacy and support of trans rights.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021
7:30 p.m. EDT

The Wolves
written by Sarah DeLappe
directed by Regina Victor
produced by Actors Theatre of Louisville and Charlie Hano

Age Recommendation: 13+

Run Time: approximately 90 minutes

Tickets start at $10 at ActorsTheatre.org

The ensemble includes Sandra Caldwell, August Forman, Theo Germaine, Z Infante, Esco Jouley, J Riley JrSushma SahaOmer Abbas Salem, Quei Tann, Sawyer Smith, and Evie Shuckman.

The production was written by Sarah DeLappe and directed by Regina Victor. The production team includes casting director and producer Charlie Hano, stage manager and production designer Estrellita Beatriz, artistic producer Emily Tarquin, dramaturg and gender consultant Catherine Miller, and assistant director and dramaturg Emma Durbin.

Continue reading “Actors Theatre of Louisville to Produce All-Trans and GNC Reading of ‘The Wolves’ by Sarah DeLappe”

An Interview with Will Wilhelm: Shakespeare, Tarot, and Creating Queer Spaces in Art

This week, our chief editor Regina Victor had the chance to chat with Chicago-based actor Will Wilhelm (they/them) about their interview podcast, Teacakes and Tarot. Topics discussed include reclaiming Shakespeare, and how to create spaces for queer artists that aren’t just based around explaining things to the cishet crowd. This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.

Q: You have had guests ranging from Jehan Osanyin to Robert O’Hara. How do you select the guests for Teacakes and Tarot, and what has been your favorite thing (or things) you’ve learned from them? 

A: During the first season of Teacakes & Tarot: Conversations with Queer Futurists, I was really excited about highlighting and further excavating conversations that I’ve had in my personal and professional relationships. When I find myself in public conversation with other queer artists, it is often formatted as some sort of panel discussion for the benefit of a majority cis-het audience. I find that I have so much to say in these settings, but it takes so long to get everyone on the same page around basic rhetoric and cultural awareness. So, my co-creator, Erin Murray, and I decided to create a space where I could have intimate and in-depth conversations with the people who inspire me and simply allow the audience to observe. They’ll learn what they learn, and some things may go over their heads. Ultimately, though, we thought the conversations would be more substantive and focus more on how queer and trans folks would structure our industry if we were given the power. So, in season one, I invited a bunch of friends and colleagues to share space with me and shed some light on their personal experiences.

Continue reading “An Interview with Will Wilhelm: Shakespeare, Tarot, and Creating Queer Spaces in Art”

Abolish The Police

Publishing our planned pieces would have felt out of place this week, as we mourn Daunte Wright, yet another Black citizen killed by police. We also honor Adam Toledo, a 13-year-old boy killed by police here in Chicago. As the inevitable news and social media cycle starts up yet again, it becomes even more blatantly obvious that the only way to stop this is to disarm, defund, and abolish the police. We have seen again and again that police reform does not work, and is in fact often used as an excuse to funnel more money into already huge police budgets. Abolishing the police will not fix systemic racism, and must include other reforms like abolishing prisons — but it is an important first step. If you want to learn more about these ideas, or want to donate to causes that are pushing for this change, we’ve compiled a short list of resources below.

Yes, We Mean Literally Abolish the Police

The “abolish the police” movement, explained by 7 scholars and activists

To All The Black People Killed Before Me

Donate to support Daunte Wright’s family

Donate to the Brave Space Alliance

Donate to My Block, My Hood, My City

Rescripted Launches Patreon, Announces Community Funding Model

Big news: We are launching an official Rescripted Patreon! As of 2021, Rescripted is restructuring financially so that we are funded by you, our community. All of our reviews, essays, and other content are free to access, and our site is ad-free. Our Patreon is a way for you to support us so we can continue advancing our work: giving artists agency in their critical process, and reshaping our field from a place of empathy, justice, and accessibility — as well as paying ourselves and our writers a decent wage.

Some of the perks and benefits we’ll be offering include:

  • The Weekly Digital Roundup, a summary of the most exciting digital theatre happening online curated by our Assistant Editor Aaron Lockman. This is the same list that gets sent to our writers, so you get the scoop at the same time our writers do!
  • Our monthly Patron-only newsletter, featuring exclusive content such as artist profiles, a letter from the Editors, interviews, and behind-the-scenes access.
  • Credit on the Rescripted website as one of our top donors.
  • And at the highest level, exclusive access to the monthly Rescripted Podcast, where Chief Editor Regina Victor and Assistant Editor Aaron Lockman discuss the hottest topics in Chicago theatre.

Thank you so much for your support, both as we move into this new crowd-funded era, and over the last three years. Please go support us on Patreon if you can!

Sideshow Theatre Presents ‘You For Me For You,’ Mutual-Aid Food Drive

 Sideshow Theatre Company is pleased to launch its 2021 season with a one-night-only benefit screening of its 2018 hit You For Me For You, written by Mia Chung and directed by Ensemble Member Elly Green*. The archival recording of this imaginative production will stream Sunday, February 28, 2021 at 7 pm CST via sideshowtheatre.org, as well as the company’s YouTube and Twitch channels. Tickets (pay-what-you-can) are currently available at sideshowtheatre.org

Sideshow is also partnering with Paramount Catering to offer meal add-ons the night of the benefit. Prices start at $40, including delivery for one person, and meals can be donated to those in need starting at $30. Vegetarian and meat options are available. Sideshow will be providing its own donation of free meals to those in need through Farm, Food, Famlias during the month of March, and the meals patrons donate will be added to this number. Continue reading “Sideshow Theatre Presents ‘You For Me For You,’ Mutual-Aid Food Drive”