Route 66

Where the road Begins

NO WAKE

The Chicago Premiere of NO WAKE Written by William Donnelly Directed by Kimberly Senior Nolan and Rebecca have moved on since their divorce – she to a new husband and he to a series of failed relationships. When an unexpected tragedy brings them back together, they’re forced to navigate a web of grief and guilt […]

The Chicago Premiere of NO WAKE

Written by William Donnelly

Directed by Kimberly Senior

Nolan and Rebecca have moved on since their divorce – she to a new husband and he to a series of failed relationships. When an unexpected tragedy brings them back together, they’re forced to navigate a web of grief and guilt that leads to tears, laughter and ultimately, hope.

At once deeply touching and filled with humor, NO WAKE takes an honest look at the grieving process and the unexpected consequences it can bring.


June 11 through July 12, 2016 at the Greenhouse Theatre Center in Chicago

February 29 through March 19, 2016 at VS. Theatre in Los Angeles


NO WAKE featured Raymond Fox as Roger, Lia Mortensen as Rebecca, and Route 66 Artistic Director Stef Tovar as Edward.


William Donnelly’s (Playwright) plays have been produced by Portland Stage Company, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Berkshire Theatre Group, Active Theater Company, Act II Playhouse, The Public Theatre (Lewiston, ME), Unicorn Theatre, Sacred Fools and Mill 6 Collaborative, among others. He has been the recipient of an Edgarton Foundation New American Play award and a Playwriting/New Theatre Works grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Magnetic North was awarded the Clauder Competition grand prize in 2006. Other plays include Homestead CrossingMotel StoriesThe Gas House and Painted Alice (music and lyrics by Michael Mahler).


Kimberly Senior (Director) is a freelance director and the director of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize winning play Disgraced by Ayad Akhtar. Her New York and regional credits include: Disgraced (Broadway, Lincoln Center Theater 3), The Who and The What (La Jolla Playhouse, Lincoln Center Theater 3), Little Gem (City Theatre), Murder on the NileA Few Good Men (Peninsula Players), Mauritius (Theatre Squared, Fayetteville, AR). Her many Chicago credits include Rapture, Blister, Burn (The Goodman) The Diary of Anne Frank, Hedda Gabler, The Letters (Writers Theatre, where she is a Resident Director), 4000 Miles, The Whipping Man (Northlight Theatre), WantThe North Plan (Steppenwolf), My Name is Asher LevAll My SonsDolly West’s Kitchen (TimeLine Theatre, where she is an Associate Artist), Disgraced (American Theater Company), The Great God PanAfter the Revolution, MadagascarThe Overwhelming and The Busy World is Hushed (Next Theatre) and Waiting for Lefty (American Blues), among others. Kimberly is adjunct faculty at Columbia College, and is a proud member of SDC.

GOLDFISH

The Chicago Premiere of GOLDFISH Written by John Kolvenbach Directed by Damon Kiely June 11 through July 12, 2015 at the Greenhouse Theatre Center Cast: Shannon Cochran, Francis Guinan, Tyler Meredith, and Alex StageGoldfish was Jeff Recommended and enjoyed much critical praise. “Great acting and sharp dialogue keep heavy subject matter afloat in John Kolvenbach’s portrait of children and parents.” […]

The Chicago Premiere of GOLDFISH

Written by John Kolvenbach

Directed by Damon Kiely

June 11 through July 12, 2015 at the Greenhouse Theatre Center

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Cast: Shannon Cochran, Francis Guinan, Tyler Meredith, and Alex StageGoldfish was Jeff Recommended and enjoyed much critical praise.

“Great acting and sharp dialogue keep heavy subject matter afloat in John Kolvenbach’s portrait of children and parents.”
Time Out Chicago
Critics’ Pick

“It is a play that is both astutely funny and agonizingly beautiful…Stage and Meredith are perfect as the play’s idealistic teens.”
Newcity Stage
Recommended

Goldfish is a beautiful story with loads of heart. Don’t miss this little gem.”
Highly Recommended
★★★★★
Goldfish is a story of a young man who raises his father, then leaves home. He meets a young woman who undoes him, but the young woman has her own story: a mother who is a force of nature. It’s a play about legacy and leaving home. We raise our children to leave us, to walk out into the world. But then they do.

Scenic Design by Collette Pollard

Costume Design by Izumi Inaba

Original Music and Sound Design by Josh Horvath

Props Design by Jesse Gaffney

Lighting Design by Lee Keenan

Ellen Willett (Production Manager)

Nancy Staiger (Stage Manager)

Matthew Bonaccorso (Assistant Stage Manager/Route 66 Company Manager)

Skye Robinson Hillis (Dramaturg)

Stef Tovar (Assistant Director/Route 66 Artistic Director).

At the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N Lincoln Avenue, Chicago

Click here to download the full Goldfish press release.

The Downpour

Written by Caitlin Parrish Directed by Erica Weiss September 10, 2014 – October 19, 2014 The Downpour was Jeff Recommended, enjoyed critical praise, sold-out houses and a successful extension to its run.   “Three and a Half Stars! The Downpour…is filled with an intense clutch of performances from some of Chicago’s more unstinting actors…[it’s] quite the September […]

Written by Caitlin Parrish

Directed by Erica Weiss

September 10, 2014 – October 19, 2014

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The Downpour was Jeff Recommended, enjoyed critical praise, sold-out houses and a successful extension to its run.

 

“Three and a Half Stars! The Downpour…is filled with an intense clutch of performances from some of Chicago’s more unstinting actors…[it’s] quite the September sleeper.”- Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune

“HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.Impeccably performed…it’s a deeply affecting show.”-Chicago Reader

 

“Four Stars…Erica Weiss’s production [is] well-rounded; for a deeply serious play, there are good laughs, awkward moments, and even romance.” -Time Out Chicago

 

“The first act left me beautifully shaken…every character is finely drawn and motivationally executed.” -Newcity Stage

 

“Caitlin Parrish’s new drama is timely and important… [it’s] an evening of theatre that’s both illuminating and entertaining.” -Chicago Theatre Review

 

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CICADA

  In our first full season of new work as a resident company and Greenhouse Theater Chicago, Route 66 produced the Jeff Recommended world premiere of Cicada. In association with Hear/Tell Productions, Cicada was first workshopped at the Voices of the South Theatre in Memphis, TN, and was the 2011 winner of the Bryan Family […]

 

In our first full season of new work as a resident company and Greenhouse Theater Chicago, Route 66 produced the Jeff Recommended world premiere of Cicada. In association with Hear/Tell Productions, Cicada was first workshopped at the Voices of the South Theatre in Memphis, TN, and was the 2011 winner of the Bryan Family Foundation Award for Dramatic Literature from the Fellowship of Southern Writers. Set in rural Mississippi, this coming of age ghost story is deeply rooted in the life of a small southern family on the verge of transformationThe unrelenting July heat presses in on seventeen-year-old Ace and his mother Lily as they dig their way out of the past.

 

“Dye’s voice is most definitely authentic and his understanding of trauma and loss palpable.”  – Chicago Tribune

 


“Both the quick and the dead are sensitively played by the fine cast of this Route 66 Theatre Company staging.”  –Chicago Reader (RECOMMENDED)

 

 

“Jerre Dye’s poetic southern drama rides over waves of angst and anger, laced with moments of unexpected humor. …audiences will find the promise of an exciting new playwright represented in a memorable, thought-provoking production by one of Chicago’s consistently fine theatrical companies.” – Chicago Theatre Review

 

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A TWIST OF WATER

Written by Caitlin Parrish
Story by Caitlin Parrish and Erica Weiss
Directed by Erica Weiss
FEBRUARY 17, 2011 ↔ MARCH 26TH, 2011

Joseph Jefferson Award nominee

Best New Work

Joseph Jefferson Award nominee

Best New Work

Joseph Jefferson Award Winner

Video/Projections design

"10 Best Shows of 2011"

- Chicago Tribune

"10 Best Shows of 2011"

- Time Out Chicago

"Best Box Office Hit of 2011"

- Chicago Magazine

"Best Box Office Hit of 2011"

- Chicago Magazine

A Twist of Water centers on Noah, a gay, widowed history teacher, raising his adopted African-American daughter Jira alone in the wake of his husband’s death in a car accident. When Jira decides that she wants to seek out her birth mother, Noah’s already grief-stricken and strained relationship with his child is pressed to the breaking point. As he struggles to hold on to and rebuild his family, a burgeoning new romance with a younger man serves to complicate matters, but may also be a saving grace. This world premiere introduced us to a seemingly non-traditional family, and at the heart of their story is our beloved city of Chicago, whose history and progress is the centerpiece of the play. A Twist of Water is a love letter to the Windy City, a deeply funny and profoundly touching story of fathers and daughters, and what it means to be a family. Named one of the top ten shows of 2011 by The Chicago Tribune, Time Out Chicago, Chicago Theatre Beat, and the Best Box Office Hit of 2011 by Chicago Magazine, A Twist of Water ran for 6 months in Chicago, first at Theater Wit and then at The Mercury Theater. In 2012, the production transferred off-Broadway to 59E59 Theaters and was to rave audience and critical reviews.

Reviews
Chicago Tribune
Time Out Chicago
Chicago Theatre Beat

MCMEEKIN FINDS OUT

BY SCOTT T. BARSOTTI
DIRECTED BY DAMON KIELY
OCTOBER 7, 2010 ↔ NOVEMBER 14, 2010

In the fall of 2010, Route 66 produced its fifth Chicago premiere and second world premiere, MCMEEKIN FINDS OUT by Scott T. Barsotti. This laugh-out-loud dark comedy played at the Victory Gardens Richard Christensen Theater, starred Randy Steinmeyer and Kate Buddeke, and was directed by Artistic Associate Damon Kiely. This working-class tale told the story of proud Pittsburgh natives Guy and Pam McMeekin, who’s uneventful Sunday is turned upside down by bad news from their seventeen year-old daughter. A chaotic day ensues an interrogation, a taser, a hammer, a lot of duct tape and an unshaken love of football as the family sorts out the uncomfortable truth the best way they know how. With this world premiere comedy, Route 66 continued its commitment to fostering new work.

 

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HIGH FIDELITY

MUSIC BY TOM KITT
LYRICS BY AMANDA GREEN
BOOK BY DAVID LINDSAY ABAIRE
Directed by Peter Amster August 8, 2009 ↔ October 9, 2009

In August of 2009, we produced our fourth production in just over a year with the Chicago premiere of HIGH FIDELITY. This 14- person Equity musical was the first major production of HIGH FIDELITY outside of the initial Broadway run and garnered national press for its undertaking. Route 66 took over the Piper’s Alley theater space on North Ave and Wells that had been home to TONY ‘N TINA’S WEDDING for over 16 years and transformed every inch of the space into a night club.

 

The show ran for nine weeks, was “Jeff Recommended” and sold out performances. NPR “Dueling Critics” called it a “Must See” production, it was “Highly Recommended” in the Chicago Sun-Times and was named “One of the Top Ten Shows of 2009” by the Chicago Sun-Times and Broadwayworld.com. But most importantly, our audiences had a rockin’ good time–proving that music should be a regular part of the Route 66 Theatre Company repertoire.

 

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THE K OF D: AN URBAN LEGEND

BY LAURA SCHELLHARDT
JUNE 9, 2009 ↔ JULY 12, 2009

Winner of the 2009 Jeff award for sound design and a nominee for Best Solo Performance. A summertime ghost story about redemption and a young girl’s haunting kiss.

An entire small town in western Ohio is vividly brought to life in this riveting fable. After a reckless driver kills her twin brother, Charlotte McGraw becomes a supernatural wonder to others when it appears she has received an eerie power from his dying kiss. A poignant summertime ghost story, this quirky and touching play offers the unexpected perspective of a child on the big questions of life, death and redemption.

Reviews
Chicago Critic.com
Center Stage Chicago

I’M SPIRITUAL DAMNIT!

August 15, 2008 ↔ September 14, 2008

Under the direction of Scott Cummins, I’m Spiritual, Dammit! (Climbing the Mountain of Enlightenment with a Martini in One Hand and My Pumps in the Other…) is a continuation of TV and radio personality Jenniffer Weigel’s humorous, irreverent, and often poignant exploration of all things spiritual. From her encounters with spiritually attuned celebrities, to her interviews with renowned psychics and mediums, to her struggle to come to terms with the death of her father, Chicago sports casting legend Tim Weigel, Jen is on a mission to find the answer to one of life’s most burning questions – “What happens when we die?”

Review
Center Stage Chicago

On an Average Day

By John Kolvenbach
Directed by Ron Klier July 31, 2008 ↔ September 6, 2008

Our inaugural production of John Kolvenbach’s ON AN AVERAGE DAY debuted at the Elephant Theatre Lab in Los Angeles, California in collaboration with the Los Angeles based, VS. Theatre Company. Featuring Founder and Artistic Director Stef Tovar alongside VS. Theatre Company’s Artistic Director Johnny Clark, ON AN AVERAGE DAY was met with critical acclaim and enjoyed a sold-out, five week run, an L.A. Ovation nomination and several LADCC nominations.

 

Upon closing, Route 66 Theatre Company brought the entire production along “The Mother Road” for the Chicago premiere in August of 2008 at the then Victory Gardens Greenhouse Theater. ON AN AVERAGE DAY was once again met with acclaim by critics and audiences alike. The show ran for six weeks, was named “Critic’s Choice” in the Chicago Tribune, and received a Jeff Award Nomination for Outstanding Fight Choreography.

 

An emotionally harrowing yet subtly compassionate work, ON AN AVERAGE DAY recalled the brutal family-dysfunction dramas of Sam Shepard coupled with the enigmatic subtext of Harold Pinter. Chris Jones of the Chicago Tribune called it “An auspicious and hopeful debut” for Route 66 and a new Chicago-based theatre company was born.

 

 

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