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Fillet of Solo Festival
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2015-16 Performances:
Miss Buncle's Book
Mr. Popper's Penguins
Midnight Cowboy
Lester's Dreadful Sweaters
Northanger Abbey
Fillet of Solo 2016
Concert Reading Series

Celebrating the breadth of Chicago’s enduring storytelling and live lit scene, Lifeline Theatre and Live Bait Theater are thrilled to bring 14 storytelling collectives and numerous solo performers together for a three-week, multi-venue selection of powerful personal stories.

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The 2016 solo performance and storytelling festival features the work of:

Plus: solo performances by Anu Bhatt, Jasmin Cardenas, Minita Gandhi, Nicole Hollander, June Huitt, David Kodeski, Kim Morris, Cathy Schenkelberg, and Betsy Vandercook.

Performances are at Lifeline Theatre (January 15-31) and Heartland Studio Theatre (January 15-24). Free parking and shuttle available: see Performance Venues below for more details.

Tickets are $10 for each performance, and Festival Passes are available for only $50, which allow admission to any number of performances. Tickets may be purchased from the Lifeline Theatre box office (773.761.4477) or online.

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Lifeline Theatre (January 15-31)
6912 N. Glenwood Avenue

Heartland Studio Theatre (January 15-24)
7016 N. Glenwood Avenue

Both venues are located in Chicago's Rogers Park neighborhood, in the Glenwood Avenue Arts District, steps from the Morse Red Line CTA stop. Free parking is available at the designated lot west of the theatres (NE corner of Morse and Ravenswood) with free shuttle service before and after the shows. Street parking is also available.

For all performances, call the Lifeline Theatre box office for tickets (773.761.4477) or click here.

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Anu Bhatt
Where Is My Goddamn Coconut: and Other Musings of a Small Brown Woman
Written and performed by Anu Bhatt

An exploration of body image, cultural identity and depression narrated through the humorous voice of a French talking mime. Explore a universal story told through the unique lens of South Asian performing artist Anu Bhatt.
The BYOB Story Hour
The BYOB Story Hour is an intimate night of storytelling and live music. Once a month, six of Chicago’s best storytellers take the stage to share personal narratives based on that month’s theme. In addition to hearing some incredible stories, you will also get to see a live musical performance by local Chicago musicians. The event is normally BYOB (hence the name) but we are sure it will still be a night of laughter, tears, and music!
Friday Night Sampler
A sampling of stories, including:
Breaking the Mold
Written and performed by Jasmin Cardenas
Directed by Dorothy Milne

A first generation American juggles marriage, motherhood, her career and her Colombian heritage...while confidently walking in sexy heels.
Nestor "the Boss" Gomez was born in Guatemala and has called Chicago his home for the last twenty five years. As a child Nestor used to have a speech impediment, he stuttered. A little over a year ago he participated in his first Moth Slam. Since then he has won the Moth Slam seven times, was March 2015 Moth Grand Slam winner and placed second on the July 2015 Grand Slam, but if you ask him about his major accomplishments he will tell you about his kids, winning the heart of his girlfriend Melissa Pavlik "sweet Mel" and making his mother proud. He hosts Do Not Submit on Pilsen. Nestor will tell a different story for each of the Fillet shows.
Huitt and Hollander
Written and performed by June Huitt & Nicole Hollander

Developed through the Goodman Theatre’s GeNarrations writing program

June and Nicole try to get out of a Chicago winter, but we plan and the gods laugh.
Waiting for Hillary
Written and performed by Betsy Vandercook
Directed by Dorothy Milne

It’s your high school reunion and one of your classmates is running for president, again. You have so much to talk about besides email leaks and the Iowa Primary. But will she show up? Betsy Vandercook is thrilled to return to the Fillet of Solo Festival, where she last performed in 2014. As a former aldermanic chief of staff, she is no stranger to politics herself, and is intrigued by questions of the personal and the political, celebrity, memory, and magical thinking.
Minita Gandhi
Written and performed by Minita Gandhi
Directed by Heidi Stillman

The life of a young Indian-American woman is forever changed when, on a retreat to her homeland, she unearths family secrets, encounters a prophet, and ultimately discovers her own voice. The Familiar and the Foreign swap roles in this dark comedy about culture, identity, spirituality, and sexuality. (This performance runs approximately 75 minutes.)
A vibrant, politically engaged and nostalgic (but never sentimental) evening of stories. Writing generated as part of Goodman Theatre's GeNarrations writing program.
the kates
An all-female comedy group that encompasses the distinct voices of up-and-coming Chicago performers. The kates provide an intimate night of comedy with pieces ranging from darkly amusing musical numbers, the awkward art of clowning, absurd solo performances, and uproarious stand up comedy.
David Kodeski
David Kodeski's True Life Tales: Another Lousy Day
Written and performed by David Kodeski
Original production directed by Michael Thomas

When rummaging through an antique store on Chicago's north side in the late 90s, David Kodeski came across two diaries from 1960 and '61. He bought them, took them home, and began to read. The result, "Another Lousy Day," the award-winning one-man "junk-store detective story" detailing his quest to find the diary's author — a single working woman who spent her days toiling on a television factory assembly line - and looking for love.
The Lifeline Storytelling Project
Through the Looking-Glass
Written and performed by Brian Bush, Allison Cain, Darren Meyers, Carol Ann Tan, Emily Wills & Ellen X
Directed by Dorothy Milne

The Lifeline Storytelling Project produces monthly live music and storytelling events designed to develop and showcase artists affiliated with Lifeline Theatre.

The LIVINGroom
The LIVINGroom combines true stories with theatrical elements to connect the performers’ experiences, stories, and thoughts to those of the audience. This collection of pieces includes some of the best-received works from their monthly shows at Stage 773, as well as brand new pieces.
The Lyrical Sublime with Reggie Eldridge
The Lyrical Sublime is an experiment in performative form, comprising textured explorations of black millennial identity in two parts. Each part features a musical artist opening act, followed by Eldridge's performance.

RJ Eldridge is a writer and multidisciplinary artist whose current work explores black millennial identity in a rapidly changing world.
Kim Morris
How to Get Fired
Written and performed by Kim Morris

Mishaps ensue, and then it's a long walk out the door when a new regime takes over the Napkin Folders of America HQ.
OUTspoken! is comprised of storytellers who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, or queer recalling true personal events. Stories are often funny, heartfelt, and sometimes historically significant. The audience will get a window into the lives of a variety of human experiences that will connect on an emotional level regardless of sexual identity.

2016 Storytellers: Sarah Alexander, LeVan D. Hawkins, Archy Jamjun & Altagracia Montilla. Hosted by Kim L. Hunt & Art Johnston.
Cathy Schenkelberg
Squeeze My Cans! A Midwest Girl's Journey Into Scientology And Back Out Again
Written and performed by Cathy Schenkelberg
Directed by Shirley Anderson

The Church of Scientology had actress Cathy Schenkelberg for 14 years; 5 years after leaving them behind, she has the courage to tell us all about it. This hilarious and horrifying story finds its first legs at Fillet of Solo.
Stir-Friday Night!
"We are Asian. We do comedy." Based in Chicago and one of the nation’s premier Asian-American sketch comedy troupes. Having worked with The Second City and iO, Stir Friday Night has become a fixture in Chicago’s illustrious comedy scene.
The Stoop
The Stoop is an off book (no notes/reading) storytelling show. Featured storytellers are given a theme. They take that theme and share a 7-10 minute story related to that theme. Hosted by Moth GrandSLAM champion Lily Be and Badass Clarence Browley.
Story Club
Story Club is a non-fiction storytelling show. Story Club mixes the spontaneity of an open mic with the experience of live theatre. Each show has both featured performers and open mic performers.
Story Sessions
Story Sessions is a collection of performers sharing true personal stories that tug at your heart strings, tickle your funny bone and take your mind on a wild adventure.
Sweat Girls
Sweat Girls: DIY

With 22 years of shared history, the Sweat Girls have been called "the undisputed tribal elders" of the solo performance scene (Chicago Reader, 2014). Known for their "contagious gusto," the Sweats are glad to represent the greying edge of Chicago’s burgeoning Live Lit community.
Tellin' Tales Theatre
Letting Go
Solo performances by Amy Eaton, Tekki Lomnicki, Lindsay Porter & Ben Tanzer (1/24 & 1/31 only)

Tellin' Tales Theatre builds community through story — adult solo performances as well as "Six Stories Up," a mentoring program and show featuring kids and adults, with and without disabilities.

Tekki Lomnicki is a solo performer, playwright, director and educator. She is a recipient of an Illinois Arts Council Artists Fellowship in New Performance Forms, the 2008 3Arts Artists Award in Theater and the 2010 Grigsby Award for Excellence in Solo Performance.
You're Being Ridiculous
A group of real people telling real funny stories about their lives with a theme as their guide. They laugh at themselves and laugh with each other. Everyone has a story to tell -- what’s yours?


Live Bait Theater developed more than 200 world premieres over its 20-year history and was nominated for over 50 Non-Equity Jeff Awards, predominately in the category of New Work. Sharon Evans was the Artistic Director from 1987-2008, and in 1995 she created the Fillet of Solo Festival, which featured over 200 solo artists in its first 13 years.

In 2009, Live Bait closed its doors, but Evans’ enthusiasm for new work and for the Festival remained undiminished. When searching for a new producer of the Festival, it was important to her that it be a theater dedicated to new work and she was delighted to find a perfect fit with Lifeline Theatre. In 2010, Lifeline and Live Bait co-produced the 14th Annual festival, and Lifeline has been carrying on the tradition ever since.

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6912 N Glenwood Ave, Chicago, IL, 60626
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