Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The 365 Schedule of Shows

One show = 2 weeks of scenes

THU 6/3
8PM – Weeks 1 & 2 “Dancing with the Devil” (director – Mary Jo Bolduc)
10PM – Weeks 3 & 4 “Diversity Chicken” (director – Jason Fleece)

FRI 6/4
8PM – Weeks 5 & 6 “Zombie Space Aliens” (director – Regan Davis)
10PM – Weeks 7 & 8 “Dried and Cured Meats” (director - Rebekah Walendzak)
Midnight – Weeks 9 & 10 “The End of the World” (director - Rinska Prestinary)

SAT 6/5
8PM – Weeks 11 & 12 “An Affair to Whatever” (director – Dunbar Dicks)
10PM – Weeks 13 & 14 “While On My Way To Hell” (director – Rebecca Langguth)
Midnight – Weeks 15 & 16 “Weenus” (director- Derek Van Tassel)

SUN 6/6
7PM – Weeks 17 & 18 “Shows You Would Never See If You Didn’t Know Someone In The Cast” (director - Scott Olson)
9PM – Weeks 19 & 20 “Chekhov in the Trailer Park”- (director – Rich Baker)

MON 6/7
8PM –Weeks 21 & 22 “Jerk Sandwich”- (director – Lillie Frances)
Weeks 23 & 24 “Red, White and Beer”- (director- Wendi Weber)

TUE 6/8
8PM – Weeks 25 & 26 “Twi-Lite” (director – Janna Sobel)
Weeks 27 & 28 “Disco Heaven” (director – David Rocco Facchini)

WED 6/9
8PM – Weeks 29 & 30 “Fools Rush In Where Angels Fear To Treadmill” (director – John HIldreth)
Weeks 31 & 32 “A Thing I Wrote” (director - Chris Othic)

THU 6/10
8PM – Weeks 33 & 34 “Boris vs. Nature” (director – Becky Eldridge)
10PM – Weeks 35 & 36 “Oblique Oblige” (director – Rose Kruger)

FRI 6/11
8PM – Weeks 37 & 38 “What If They Held A Peace Rally And Nobody Came?” (director – Amanda Rountree)
10PM – Weeks 39 & 40 “St. Drunken’s Day” (director – Mary Williamson)
Midnight – Weeks 41 & 42 “Dear Cancer” (Director – Tony Soto)

SAT 6/12
8PM – Weeks 43 & 44 “You Know – Like The End of the World” (director – Bina Martin)
10PM - Weeks 45 & 46 “Who’s Afraid of Virginia, Wolf?” (director – Rachel Staelens)
Midnight – Weeks 47 & 48 “Barflies At The Beach” (director – Danni Parpan)

SUN 6/13
7PM – Weeks 49 & 50 “Farewell To Monster Island” (director – Trish Vignola)
9PM – Weeks 51 & 52 “Polka Dots and Moonbeams” (director – Jen Ellison)

The Directors

Rich Baker
Mary Jo Bolduc
Regan Davis
Dunbar Dicks
Becky Eldridge
Jen Ellison
David Rocco Facchini
Jason Fleece
Lillie Frances
John Hildreth
Rose Kruger
Rebecca Langguth
Bina Martin
Scott Olson
Chris Othic
Danni Parpan
Rinska Prestinary
Amanda Rountree
Janna Sobel
Tony Soto
Rachel Staelens
Derek Van Tassel
Trish Vignola
Rebekah Walendzak
Wendi Weber
Mary Williamson

This Is Nuts!

45 Minutes Productions and WNEP Theater are pleased to announce 365 Sketches, a mini-festival of sketch comedy comprised entirely of 365 sketches written by Second City veteran Joe Janes over the course of the last year as an experiment inspired by the Suzan Lori-Parks’ “365 Plays/365 Days” opening Thursday, June 3 and running through June 13 at Strawdog Theater, 3829 N. Broadway. Tickets for all shows are $10.00 (online at or at the door).

365 Sketches is exactly what it says it is – 365 sketches in 26 different shows, directed by 26 local directors, featuring over 182 actors, on ten nights in June. Presented in order of weekly groupings from January to January, each set is made up of 13 – 15 sketches, all written by Janes. After seeing a number of Suzan Lori-Parks’ pieces around Chicago, Janes was inspired to try his hand at writing a sketch comedy scene per day for an entire year.

“As a teacher, I wanted to do damage to the notion of writer’s block and not having time to write. There’s no such thing as writer’s block. There is writing or not writing. I believe writing is closely linked to improvisation.” Comments Janes. “As a writer, I’m not so much creating as I am transcribing the scene I’m envisioning. You never hear an improviser say, ‘I would have improvised, but I couldn’t think of anything to improvise about.’ The same applies to writing.”

The mini-festival will take place in Hugen Hall, the cabaret space at Strawdog Theater and the location holds a special place for both Janes and producer Don Hall. Long before Strawdog took over the space at 3829 N. Broadway, WNEP Theater (founded by both men in 1992) performed it’s very first revue in the space that is now Hugen Hall eighteen years ago.

The twenty-six hour-long sets are directed by twenty-six directors from all over the Chicago comedy scene. With directors from Second City, the Annoyance, iO, ComedySportz, Robot Vs. Dinosaur, Columbia College, WNEP Theater, and more with over 177 Chicago actors, 365 Sketches either proves that Janes and Hall are brilliant or stupid – you be the judge.

365 Auditions

Last Saturday, we held auditions for 365 Sketches. There were no callbacks, so we did a combo improv-cold reading group auditions. Since there are no callbacks, the improv portion becomes very important. You might wonder why even bother since the actors will be working from scripts and, as the author, I'm not too interested in them improvising what I wrote. The improv portion gives directors an opportunity to see how people might be performing with an ensemble. You also pick up on their personality and get a sense of what they might be like to work with on a project. It's a very effective process. If you see any red flags about someone early in the audition - attitude, lateness, low volume or stage presence, trying too hard, not trying hard enough - it usually becomes a problem if you cast them.

Seventy people auditioned for us. Many directors are casting from their own pool of peeps, but we were able to fully cast three of the shows and supplement many others with one or two folks. And there's a huge stack of headshots and resumes on my desk that we can dip into if someone drops out for any reason.

Saturday really acted like the starting gun for directors to prep their shows for June. The level of talent, from the directors to the performers, is really top notch. And there was a lot of great people who want to be in the shows that we weren't able to place. When it comes to talent, we have an embarrassment of riches.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


This site will be dedicated to providing information on the performance of all 365 Sketches at the Strawdog Theater in Chicago June 3-13.