Refracted Theater Company Announces Chicago Inaugural Season


Refracted Theater Company announced its inaugural season in Chicago, featuring a kick-off event, world premiere and new play development initiative. Refracted is dedicated to curating experiences where curiosity is rewarded with the unexpected, and an open heart is welcomed with a colorful presentation of what it means to be human.

Refracted’s 2022 season kicks off this summer with the company’s official launch party, the Refracted Lounge, on Thursday, July 14, 2022 from 6:30-9:30 p.m. at Guild Row, 3130 N. Rockwell St. Meet the executives of company and learn how to participate in this free event inspired by the “salons” of 18th century France. Mix and mingle while enjoying a festive evening of fun, food and drink! Registrations are currently open at reflectedco.com/season-2022/salon.

This fall, Refracted brings its first production to Chicago: the world premiere of Andrew Kramer’s black comedy St. Sebastian, directed by Artistic Director Graham Miller. This threesome film about a queer white couple who move into a historically black neighborhood will premiere at the Den Theater (2B), 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave., in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood. Tickets will go on sale in July 2022 on thedentheatre.com.

The company is also pleased to launch its first RefrAction Lab, an eight-month program playwriting initiative for emerging Chicago playwrights to create comprehensive plays through a “Refracted” lens. As part of the development process, the lab includes a two-night public showcase in December 2022. Refracted is currently accepting applications until May 2, 2022 at reflectedco.com/refraction-lab.

Refracted Artistic Director Tova Wolff comments, “When we launched Refracted in the fall of 2019 in New York City, we looked at a polarized and divided socio-political landscape and thought, ‘How can we make theater that reward curiosity? How can we create an audience experience that allows people who disagree to start talking to each other again? Cut to 2020, and the theater industry comes to a screeching halt. Through drive and innovation, Refracted has continued to produce safety-focused live theater experiences throughout the pandemic, shows that have upended our audiences’ expectations of how theater works and performs. feels. Now, we are honored to join Chicago’s artist-led theater community, a community that will undoubtedly further the growth and impact of Refracted Theater Company. Our team believes in Refracted’s mission to use theater as a prism through which to reveal the complexity of the human experience is what Chicago communities need to lead the way together.”

Refracted Artistic Director and Director of St. Sebastian, Graham Miller, adds, “I am grateful to have the opportunity to continue to develop Andrew Kramer’s play, St. Sebastian, and to share it with our new audience. from Chicago. from beginning to end. Tova and I have talked a lot about how, because of the pandemic, we’ve spent the last few years “refracting” form, inventing unique ways to experience theatre. In this piece, we rely heavily on refracted content. We intend to deliver a heart-pounding, heart-pounding theatrical experience with an intriguing (and sometimes hilarious) entry point for some of the most difficult and contentious conversations people have with those closest to them. .

The Refract Theater Company’s 2022 season includes:

Refracted living room

Thursday July 14, 2022 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Guild Row, 3130 N. Rockwell St., Chicago

Tickets: Free. Registration and proof of vaccination required. For more information, visit reflectedco.com/season-2022/salon.

The Refracted Show is the launch event for the Refracted Theater Company and an invitation to become part of the Refracted family. The Salon is a one-night event inspired by the “salons” of 18th-century France, where intellectuals discussed the revolutionary ideas of the time, and young artists sought patronage and notoriety at an annual art exhibition .

The Refracted lounge turns these vapid and tense French historic events into a killer evening that promises an array of stellar performances, rowdy debates, food/drink and delicious debauchery. Hosted by artistic directors Graham Miller and Tova Wolff, all Chicagoans are invited to come meet the new company in town.

September 15 – October 2, 2022

San Sebastian – World premiere!

By Andrew Kramer

Directed by Art Director Graham Miller

The Den Theater (2B), 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago

Press opening: Friday September 16 at 8 p.m.

St. Sebastian is the Refracted Theater company’s first Chicago production. The play is a dark comedy with a disturbing edge. Ben convinces his much younger boyfriend, Gideon, to move out of their apartment in town to flip a house…but he omits that the new house is in a historically (and currently) black neighborhood. When Ben befriends and employs a neighborhood kid named Reuben, the blurred line between ignorance, activism and fear exposes how pernicious racism lurks just beyond the face of the ” awakening”. After five years of development on San Sebastian, playwright Andrew Kramer (Armature), whose plays have been seen across the country and abroad, will work with a team of Refracted artists to deliver his beautiful and intricate work on stage, fully produced for the first time.

June 2022 – February 2023

RefrAction Laboratory

RefrAction Lab is a playwriting lab for emerging Chicago playwrights interested in developing plays through a specific entry point as a writer. We ask: how can a playwright transform a question into theatrical action?

Playwrights will generate questions that examine divisive social, political, historical, and interpersonal issues from multiple angles. Over eight months of bi-monthly meetings with a cohort of fellow playwrights and the Refracted artistic team, the playwrights will:

  • address these issues
  • research “both sides” of the story, identifying prevailing biases on all sides of the issue
  • use this research to create characters and plot
  • generate and create workshop pages from their script
  • and finally, showcase their work at a RefrAction Lab showcase

The goal of this program is to help playwrights create a solid first draft of a complete play (with the option of it being a one-act play) generated from scratch by the final meeting of the RefrAction Lab in February 2023.

About Artists and Leadership

Andrew Kramer (Playwright, St. Sebastian, He/His/Him) is a queer playwright from Cleveland, OH. He is a graduate of Ball State University’s Department of Theater and Dance and a proud alumnus of Public Theater’s Emerging Writer’s Group. His plays have been developed by the Downstage Left Playwriting Residency at the Stage Left Theater in Chicago, the Nord Playwriting Fellowship at the Cleveland Public Theater, the Groundbreakers Playwrights’ Group with the terraNOVA Theater Collective, the SigWorks Musical Theater Lab with the Signature Theater, the Ingram New Works Lab at the Nashville Repertory Theater and the Core Apprentice Writer Program at the Playwrights Center. His work has been seen in Cleveland, Indianapolis, Chicago, Brooklyn, Kansas City, Lincoln, Louisville, Nashville, Houston, Williamsburg VA, New York City, Sacramento, Washington, DC, Ft. Lauderdale, Cairns Australia and Bucharest Romania.

Graham Miller (Artistic Director, Director, St. Sebastian, He/His/Him) is a theater director, producer and co-founder and co-artistic director of Refracted Theater Company. He is particularly interested in non-linear storytelling, solo performance, docudrama, queer theatre, meticulous dramaturgical musical theatre, and any work that exposes gray in black and white. Directing credits include: Homeless Garden (co-developer with Matt Minnicino for Refracted), Be a Good Little Widow (Refracted), I Am My Own Wife (Out Front Theater Co., with Peter Smith), Serena Berman’s The Dark (Samuel French OOB Festival Finalist at The Vineyard Theatre), Fostered Love by Claire-Frances Sullivan (TACT Studios), Heavy is the Head…Or Why We Bow by JS Hinds (Amoralists’ Wright Night at Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre), as well only parts for SHOTZ! for AMIOS (The Kraine Theatre) and soap operas for The Bats (The Flea). Graham has also conducted several cabarets/solo plays at venues such as Green Room 42, Don’t Tell Mama, The Duplex and The Tank. Assistant/Associate work includes projects with directors such as Michael Arden (Roundabout), Trip Cullman (Powerhouse/NYSAF), Michael Rader (Cape Playhouse), and Zi Alikhan (BASiC Theater Project.) Graham is a 2018 MTC Directing Fellow /19, SDCF 2018 Observer Recipient and 2017 Director’s Lab Chicago Alumnus.

Tova Wolff (Artistic Director, She/Her/Hers) is a director and producer working in Chicago. Some directing credits include: The King’s Speech (associate director, national tour and Chicago Shakespeare Theatre), Monica: This Play Is Not About Monica Lewinsky (59E59 Theaters & Edinburgh Fringe Festival), A Bad Night (The Frontier), Fade (assistant director, Victory Gardens), Bachelorette (Walkerspace/Soho Rep.), Security! (Secret Theatre) and Still Rising (The Tank). In 2016, Tova won Best Director at the Midtown International Theater Festival for his production of Between Men. She participated in the Chicago Director’s Lab in 2017 and was the 2017/2018 director at the Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago. Refracted was born out of Tova’s desire to tell the unseen side of the story. She embraces nuance and complexity of thought in all of her work. With RTC, Tova aims to build a creative and theatrical home for the passionate pursuit of inclusivity, empathy and community. www.tovawolff.com

About the refractory theater company

Refracted’s mission is to disrupt socially accepted narratives by telling “the other side of the story”. By disrupting audience expectations through innovation and adaptation, Refracted inspires meaningful discourse centered on empathy and humanity.

Refracted is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that was founded in 2019 in New York City by Graham Miller and Tova Wolff. As a two-year-old company, Refracted is proud to have been one of the only theaters in the country to produce two full seasons of live theater during the pandemic, harnessing its powers of creativity and innovation. Now in its third season in its new Chicago home, Refracted invites you to get involved as it redefines what theater can be in order to build a world fueled by curiosity and compassion. Please visit www.refractedco.com for more information and follow Refracted on social media @refractedco.

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