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what our actors, staff and
board members have to say
about Redtwist. Redtwist
Theatre is a not-for-profit
Redtwist's Artistic Director Michael
This is the time of year when we ask for your
support. Let me share why I feel that Redtwist is a
worthy recipient for your tax-deductible, charitable
Whenever I’m asked to describe our theatre to
someone who has not seen a Redtwist show, I have a
standard reply. I say that it’s the size of a large living room.
That description embodies the character and
personality of the Redtwist space, and the reasons
why I love it.
A large living
room, even a really big one, translates
into a very small theatre, and that's ideal for the
two things I like to see with every show.
- First, I love an explosive drama in an
intimate space because when I see a play, I want
to share the emotional life of the characters. I
do enough thinking
all day long. When I go to the theatre, I want
something. It’s called drama for a reason.
- Second, I want to see the performers up close.
When I watch terrific actors, I want to see not
only their bodies, I want to see their souls.
A living room
means homey, and the entire Redtwist space has an
effortless cozy warmth, which is one of its
signature qualities. This might sound simplistic,
but Redtwist feels like a room because it is a room. And
since we do a lot of family drama, it works really
well because families live in rooms.
It feels like home.
- It doesn’t feel like a theatre. It sure
doesn’t feel like a business. It doesn’t even
feel like a building.
- It doesn’t feel corporate or industrial or
- It doesn’t feel like a gymnasium, or a hall,
or a loft, or an attic, or a church basement.
And we hope you feel that it's your home too.
Our tiny black box is the perfect fit for what we
do, but more importantly, it's the wonderful people,
talented artists, and awesome patrons who make up
the entire Redtwist family, so please be generous
and support Redtwist so we can keep on rollin’ for
another fifteen years…and beyond.
Michael Colucci, Artistic Director
|From Redtwist's Media
Director, Jan Ellen Graves...
It never ceases to amaze me how many artists and
patrons consider Redtwist their theatre home. When
my husband, Artistic Director Michael Colucci, and I
opened the doors to this little black box on Bryn
Mawr, we knew we wanted to create a special place
where people could experience timeless
stories...stories that inspire us, make us feel,
make us question, and perhaps even move us to
action. We expected our friends and family to come
see a show, but had no idea that we’d have this
wonderful, extended family after 15 years. Thank you
for being part of that family.
As the year comes to a close, we thought you might
enjoy a video (click here)--a
snapshot review of all the main season shows we’ve
done since 2003. Such wonderful memories—and we
couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you!
|From Redtwist Actor and
Company Member, Kathleen Ruhl...
Before I ever SAW a play at Redtwist, I was IN a
play at Redtwist: “The Cripple of Inishmaan.”
Being in a play at Redtwist was a great experience.
The warm sense of community there comes from the top
down—from Michael and Jan—and infuses the work cast
and crew do with caring and good will as well as
artistic pleasure. It was a bit of an adjustment to
get used to the realism required in such an intimate
space and to seeing the faces of the audience at
such close range. Eventually, this proximity
felt like a good thing because the actors see the
audience responding encouragingly to their work.
After “Cripple,” I took my granddaughter to see “The
Glass Menagerie” and, even before the play began,
responding to being in the audience, I said “Wow,
what a privilege it feels like to be in such a small
audience.” Feeling this made me realize why so many
people I’ve introduced to Redtwist keep coming back
for more and why so many strangers in the audience
have become so familiar to me over the years I’ve
been, also privileged, to work at Redtwist.
So, it’s a privilege for all of us, actors, crew,
and audience, to share the intimate environment of
The downside of providing this intimate environment
for us, is that in order to keep our ticket prices
accessible, we need help to maintain the quality of
“the Redtwist experience,” both artistic and
communal. Just this week, I heard our props designer
explain to the assistant stage manager that her
budget could not handle real milkshakes for a scene
that called for them nor could it provide the
spaghetti needed for an extension of the run. I cite
that example of the kinds of things intimate theatre
at Redtwist requires: real food to create the
theatrical illusion of reality.
If, as I do, you think of
the intimate experience of theatre at Redtwist as a
consider a gift to Redtwist beyond the price of your
ticket. After all, we’re all (audience, cast, and
crew) in this together! Thanks for your support:
past, present, and future, moral and financial
See you at the theatre!
Lois Hobart, 2016-2017 Board
Tis the season—to be wrapping up packages and
loose ends of the year. At Redtwist Theatre,
we’re wrapping up our loose ends by reaching out
to you with our end-of-the-year appeal.
You already know what great work we do in our
intimate space. You already know you can
expect something memorable when you come to our
Edgewater theatre. And we already know that
the end of 2017 may also bring a big change to
just how all of us can give and receive.
Due to upcoming changes in tax laws, “how” you
choose to make charitable contributions may change
significantly after 2017. That’s why I want to
candidly ask you to please give to Redtwist now—before December 31—so
you can fully claim your tax-deductible
contribution and we can receive it with abundant
grace, gratitude and joy.
We, like so many non-profit organizations are in
need. We produce terrific theatre on a
shoestring. Regularly. Our actors aren’t
paid much, if anything. Same for our
fearless leaders. Yet, we must pay the rent, keep
the lights and heat on, the washrooms clean and
stocked and, and, and … We live more in a state of
lack than abundance; yes, all for the sake of
making great theatre for you.
How can you help us RIGHT NOW? Your contribution
is greatly needed and appreciated. And, we are excited to
share that this amount will be matched up to
$20,000 by a generous donor. I know you want to
play a role in the success of meeting and
exceeding this challenge!
May we count on your charitable spirits to help
make our seasons merry and bright?
2017 Board Chair, Carol Wilson...
As board chair for Redtwist Theatre, I have to share
my excitement with you about both the year past and
the year ahead.
We are coming off a very strong year of amazing
performances, including Redtwist's highly successful
productions of two of the best-known US plays ever:
Death of a
Salesman and Our Town. Our talented
company--joined by invited guest artists--was able
to bring both of these to Chicago audiences in ways
that thrilled and delighted packed houses through
I believe their success speaks directly to the
quality of work being produced at Redtwist.
And we are now
embarking on something new and different--a series
of new plays, starting with the show currently
running, the Chicago premiere of I Saw My Neighbor on
the Train and I Didn't Even Smile by
British playwright and screenwriter Suzanne
Heathcote. This spring, Redtwist will mount Surely Goodness and
Mercy by Chisa Hutchinson as part of a
Rolling World Premiere event, and this summer, the
company delivers a second Chicago premiere, Sagittarius Ponderosa
by MJ Kaufman.
And all that is in addition to Frost/Nixon--a
show in which I'll get to see my husband, Brian
Parry, play a man I grew up hating!
With our growing ambitions, there is always the need
for fundraising. But there is excitement on that
front as well! A donor has stepped up to match dollar-for-dollar
all funds we can raise through the end of the
year, up to $20,000! This is a great
opportunity for those of us who love Redtwist to
have the most impact with our donation dollars.
I'm hoping that, as a previous Redtwist patron, you
share our excitement at what lies ahead, and will
consider being part of making all this happen. You
can do that in two ways:
And if I can ask for one more thing, we are always
interested in your feedback on any aspect of
Redtwist--the plays, the performances, the facility,
or anything else.
- Make a year-end donation to Redtwist of any
size. This email fundraiser is our largest
effort of 2017 to ask the people who enjoy our
theater to help sustain and grow it. And this
year, your donation is matched
- Buy a Flex Tix Pass before December 31 and get
a package of five heavily discounted tickets to
our three remaining shows.
Thanks for taking the time to read this. I and the
other board members: Lois Hobart, Denise Fiducia,
Paul Kaufman, and Pat Blumen are often around the
theatre and always eager to hear what you have to
say. You can also reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please put "Redtwist feedback" in the subject line
so I get to your comments more efficiently.
|From Redtwist actor and
company member, Brian Parry…
Until I joined Redtwist Theatre 11 years ago, I
thought of the audience mostly as those folks in the
dark in the distance, watching me, in the light on
the stage. As someone who has been a Redtwist
patron, you know we turn that dynamic on its head.
I now stand within inches of an audience member to
deliver a monologue. I splatter red paint with
abandon, knowing some patrons are in the "splash
zone." I shatter a violin wondering who'll catch the
At Redtwist, theatre is intimate and personal and,
we hope, all the more powerful as a result.
That familiarity doesn't end when the theoretical
curtain falls, however. We believe in connecting
with our audience and I often do, after shows, at
past Redtwist Raves and especially when I'm in the
audience watching my acting colleagues perform.
Lately I've been standing on stage, after
performances of Our
Town, asking the audience to consider
I'm stepping up now to make a virtual appeal, but
I'm happy to say this one has a little red twist. I
am asking you to consider making an end-of-the-year
donation to Redtwist of any size, so that we can
take advantage of a one-time, dollar-for-dollar
match being offered by a generous donor, up to
That's right, every
dollar you donate now is doubled, up to $20,000.
Last year's end-of-year fundraising appeal came very
close to that figure, so we know we have patrons
willing to support us.
Will you please consider doing that now, when your
donation has the potential to be so incredibly
I should also mention that our Flex Tix Passes are
still available, until December 31, for you to
purchase tickets to our three remaining shows: Surely Goodness and
Mercy by Chisa Hutchinson in a rolling
world premiere event, the Chicago premiere of Sagittarius Ponderosa
by MJ Kaufman and Frost/Nixon,
the award-winning drama in which I get to play
Just imagine, sitting at arm's length from me, as I
try to persuade America that I am not a crook.
Thanks for your consideration,
Testimonials from 2016...
actor, playwright Tommy Lee Johnston...
Our veteran patrons will tell you the Redtwist
experience begins well before the first light has
dimmed or the first actor has stepped on stage. All
your senses will begin to fire the second the lobby
doors. If teleportation exists, this is it. You are
literally on the stage! You have now become the
proverbial “fly on the wall”, and will not only
witness, but become a part of a magically
orchestrated theatrical free-fall. It really is kind
of like jumping out of a plane, you’ll feel the
nerves, maybe a bit of fear, absolute certain
exhilaration until finally and safely coming back to
earth under a canopy of masterful theatre. The
smaller confines and limited seating surprisingly
create an immeasurable experience for the theater
goer and actor alike. Redtwist will change the way
you think of theater and undoubtedly you’ll become
hooked as many have.
actor Peter Oyloe...
Great theatre requires an intimate exchange between
those on stage and off. At Redtwist the audience is
an important cast member in each and every show. It
is this shared breath that has thrilled me so much
in my work at Redtwist. Some of my most important
theatrical memories have been made while treading
the boards at Redtwist. Tears and laughter have
flowed in abundance and I wouldn’t have traded a
single moment. I love Redtwist, and I love each and
everyone who has come to support the work I have
done in those hallowed halls. May all our work be so
fulfilling. Thank you for supporting live theatre.
We are all better for it!
actor KC Karen Hill...
I discovered Redtwist during their production of
EQUUS in 2006. It was such an astounding production,
and having grown up on a horse farm I was fascinated
with the production. I was drawn to the intimate
space because I had done a lot of work in
a small black box in drama school, and now I am
happy to call this amazing company my artistic home.
Redtwist has consistently inspired me with
productions that allow us to view ourselves in
another dimension leading us to a greater
understanding of ourselves, and our complicated
world. It is theatre at its very best, holding
the mirror up to society revealing humanity, and
human foible. Redtwist is a special, and safe space
that not only asks questions, and challenges
conventions but awakes, inspires, amuses, and
disturbs. Redtwist will always live in a
time and space in our Chicago theatre community,
however, in order to keep producing we have to keep
moving forward. Please consider donating to our
brilliant little company. Hope to see you
soon. Happy Holiday!
actor Michael Sherwin...
Redtwist is my artistic home for many reasons, but
most of all because of the people. We have developed
a community between artists, technicians, and
audience which is unlike any other company I have
been a part of. This season, I'll be performing in
my 11th (TURTLE), 12th (DEATH OF A SALESMAN), and
13th (CIRCLE MIRROR TRANSFORMATION) shows at
Redtwist. Each one has been memorable, from the
magic sink in MAN FROM NEBRASKA, to exploding a
violin in OPUS, to the audible gasps in CLYBOURNE
PARK and TURTLE; the audience is always the most
important part of the show. I feel the shows we
select are grounded in reality, both beautiful and
heartbreaking; and our audiences are intelligent and
trusting to come along for the ride, wherever it may
lead. Michael and Jan have created an environment in
which it is safe to take risks, reach for the stars,
and provides not just entertainment, but memories.
I'm proud to play my part, and I thank you for
playing yours. Together, we make magic.
Redtwist Theatre productions create
the ultimate Chicago storefront theatre experience.
This intimate, professional, creative, striking
little black box gives root to some of the most
compelling and exciting theatrical experiences in
the city. It is not a theatre to be taken
lightly…and that is one of its greatest
charms. You will always walk away wanting more
and will talk deep into the night about the riveting
play that gripped you and simply won’t let go. Your
donation to Redtwist is essential to its continued
success in creating the “white hot drama” we all
love to experience. Be generous with your donations
so that Redtwist can continue bringing the highest
level of theatre to its audience! (Read more of
Jacqueline's comments below)
actor Aaron Kirby...
As Redtwist continues to put out some of the best
received, best reviewed work in the city, the
greater its responsibility to its surrounding
community becomes. The importance of art to
challenge, reveal, and grow our society is more
important than ever these days, and Redtwist is
constantly on the forefront of producing new and
challenging work--shows that engage the mind and
excite the imagination. By choosing to attend the
theatre and even to donate, you are truly
responsible for the foundation for continued growth
of the theatre and for strengthening the lasting
artistic voice it has to offer. You're a true hero
in my eyes. (Read
more of Aaron's comments below)
actor Sarah Sapperstein...
Redtwist is a place that brings people together.
As an actor, it has brought me into a community of
some of the most talented, supportive, creative
and driven actors I've ever met. As an audience
member, its connected me with my neighborhood, my
community of art-lovers, culture-supporters and
theatre-fans. It's more important than ever that
we secure these places that bring us together to
share our creative spirit, our passion for the
arts, and our support of one another. (Read more of
Sarah's comments below)
actor Debra Rodkin...
We are rich in talent, terrific actors, designers,
directors, tech support and administration. Those
who are part of the company and those who join us to
share an experience or more. Our leadership is
superb and they even dig into their own pockets to
keep us operating, because they know the value we
bring to the community, our wonderful patrons, the
developing companies we have partnered with and the
numerous talented people who join in to create the
magic. We ask you to join in to help keep the magic
more of Debra's comments below)
actor Johnny Garcia...
My hope is that when people either come see a show,
or work at Redtwist, they have a great experience. I
appreciate all the years of support from our
patrons, and hope people will donate generously.
I am so grateful to be a Company Member at Redtwist.
There is so much about this family of artists that
brings me endless joy, not the least of which is the
ongoing commitment to the exact kind of theater I,
personally, always hope to do: fun, daring, vital,
in-your-face, and above all, entertaining!
from Jacqueline Grandt...
What makes Redtwist special to me is the physical
space itself. It truly allows…even forces the
audience in many instances, to live and breathe what
the characters are dealing with. As an actor you can
actually feel the audience members turning away,
covering their eyes and so often crying, as they are
affected by the close up action. There’s just
something about being able to see every nuance in a
character’s face that pulls out a much different and
affected experience for the audience. Redtwist is
from Debra Rodkin...
Redtwist is such a special place. Our stage has been
described as 'the size of a parking space' but what
that means for you is sharing our performance in a
unique way. The proverbial 'Fly on the wall', being
immersed in the action, the emotions,the experience.
It is relentless and exhilarating, frightening,
joyful,moving, inescapable and richly satisfying. A
shared experience with the actors—as we feel you
there with us, witnesses and participants. A give
and take that is the signature Redtwist experience.
box office associate Charles Bonilla…
Every theater has a unique dynamic. Redtwist's
blends passion, humor (lots of humor), and 110%
frontstage-to-backstage dedication. Of course, it's
all for naught without our amazing patrons, donors,
from Aaron Kirby...
Redtwist is my artistic home and has provided me the
opportunity to build significant artistic
relationships, challenge myself with difficult
material, and connect with Chicago audiences in a
way that is hard for me to wrap my head around. It's
not an accident that people like the associate
artistic director of the Goodman Steve Scott has a
seemingly annual sojourn to work at Redtwist. The
people and the work are constantly at an
unbelievably high level and the reputation of the
theatre has only strengthened over the years.
I'm fortunate to be a small part of that legacy in
this city of remarkable theatre.
I hope everyone realizes how truly special Redtwist
is, as are the people who run the theatre. We are
lucky, lucky people to be engaging with that on a
from Sarah Sapperstein...
I've sort of grown up in Chicago with Redtwist. I
became connected with the company when I moved to
Chicago on a whim and found myself in an apartment
down the street. I didn't know anyone, and only
knew that theatre was an important part of my life.
But quickly, I found a warm and supportive home in a
tiny black box. As Redtwist has grown, so have
I--and I'm honored to give back to the company that
supported me, and to call myself a part of the place
that has given so much to actors and audiences of
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