Joan Kohn as Charolotte and Tom McElroy as Henry in the world premiere of The Art of Disappearing - picture by Anthony Aicardi

Joan Kohn as Charolotte and Tom McElroy as Henry in the world premiere of The Art of Disappearing – picture by Anthony Aicardi

 

THE ART OF DISAPPEARING

opened on Thursday night with the press premiere and I want everyone in the entire world to come see it. I’m so proud of this production. Our team is amazing and I can’t say enough wonderful things about everyone involved.

 

I had the incredible privilege to talk to the audience each night after the performances while I was in Chicago. This play is reaching people on a level that I had hoped. It’s not an easy one, but Chicago audiences are taking it in and allowing it to jostle and move them. They came out and filled the house on Saturday for both performances during a snowstorm which turned into a blizzard. Chicago doesn’t scare easily.

 

Thank you, Chicago, for being so sublimely real. Thank you for being drawn to this work. Thank you for taking a chance on a new playwright and a new play.

 

It’s playing at 16th Street Theater in Berwyn. If you don’t know this theater, you should. You can get to know it from afar by reading this piece from AMERICAN THEATRE MAGAZINE, or you can get to know it in person by coming to see my play.


If I may, I recommend a pre-show dinner at Capri or Autre Monde. Both on Roosevelt. Lovely food and atmosphere.

 

And if you are the type to read reviews before a show, here is one from Hedy Weiss of the Chicago Sun-Times:

 

“The Art of Disappearing” Captured In Painfully Honest Drama – Chicago Sun-Times

 

The theater is an intimate 49 seats, so get your tickets before they are gone. HERE.

 
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I’m one happy playwright. Tomorrow is the Chicago Dramatists reading of my full-length play, THE ART OF DISAPPEARING.

I began writing this play just over 9 years ago. 9 years! And tomorrow it is getting a wonderful reading by an extraordinary cast of actors at the place where I took my first playwriting class taught by Lisa Dillman.

This play has had readings and was a finalist for the 2008 Princess Grace Award for Playwriting. But I have never felt as confident about it as I do today. I’ve put so much into it and had so many supportive voices along the way.

From my playwriting class with David Scott Milton in grad school at USC (where I began writing it) to Lee Wochner’s Workshop in Silver Lake where I began to rewrite it, and the wonderful organizations (Moving Arts, The Blank, Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights) actors and directors who have given their time to it along the way.

Tomorrow’s reading is being directed by Ann Filmer. I’m loving working with her on the play. We are having such fun… which is saying something considering the heavy subject matter.

This cast is so good that in rehearsal the other night, one of the actors exclaimed, “When do we mount this?!”

I responded, “That’s what I want to know.”

I truly believe that this play is ready for a production. And I’d be one happy and lucky playwright if it were with this director and this cast.

I’m so grateful to Chicago Dramatists – specifically David Barr and Russ Tutterow – for inviting me into this process. It’s restored my faith in this work. And I needed that. Because let’s face it, after nine years of writing and rewriting and sending it out and getting rejected… well, that faith can be shaken.

But today, I’m 100% behind this play. For better or worse. And I’m visualizing its opening night. Hopefully here in Chicago. Because this is where the play is set.

Tomorrow is the reading. Where I get to hear what works, what doesn’t, where it drags, where it soars, where it confuses, where it intrigues, where it alienates and where it lands.

It’s always a nerve wrecking experience. But this time I have NINE years of work behind me. I’m ready. And I’m supported by a brilliant director and cast.

Me = Happy playwright

If you’re interested in attending the reading… here is the info:

“The Art of Disappearing”

by Stephanie Alison Walker

directed by Ann Filmer.

Cast includes:
Joan Kohn
Meghan Reardon
Thomas Edson McElroy
Zach Kenney
Weston Blakesley

synopsis:

When Melissa receives a mysterious invitation to brunch from her mother after a two-year estrangement, she returns to a home where nothing is as it seems. The devastating truth she discovers in her parents’ house threatens to tear all of them apart for good.

Come on out, have a listen, stay for the talk back and talk back.

$5 donation.

Saturday, March 24

2PM

Chicago Dramatists (at Chicago and Ogden)

 
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