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what our actors, staff and
board members have to say
about Redtwist. Redtwist
Theatre is a not-for-profit
|From Artistic Director
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
absolutely love an explosive drama in an intimate
space because when I see a play, I want to feel
something. Second, I want to make sure that I
see the actors up close…every nuance of their
emotional lives in a great drama. 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 that is one of its signature
qualities. The theatre itself feels like a room
because it is a room. And since we do family drama,
it works really well because families live in rooms.
It doesn’t feel like a business, it doesn’t even
feel like a building, it doesn’t feel corporate, it
doesn’t feel industrial, it doesn’t feel
warehouse-y, it doesn’t feel like a gymnasium. It
feels like home. And we hope you feel it's your home
Our special little space is the perfect fit for what
we do, but more importantly, it's the wonderful
people and talented artists and awesome patrons who
make up the actual Redtwist family, so please be
generous and support Redtwist so we can keep things
actor Kathy Ruhl...
At Redtwist I was onstage before I was in the
audience. Later, my granddaughter and I saw "Glass
Menagerie and both felt privileged to be part of
such a small audience. This intimacy is one of the
reasons so many people come to Redtwist once and
keep coming back. Besides intimacy, I look to
Redtwist for interesting plays, fine acting, and to
see what designers and directors can achieve in
Redtwist's long narrow theatre THIS time. Redtwist
felt "like home" from the beginning. It's not just
small, it's cozy! And that coziness isn't spatial
accident, it's the Redtwist ethos: actors,
audience,crew, and staff enjoying great theatre and
each other in a small space. Coziness has its price
though. Do the math: with 36 or so seats and low
ticket prices, Redtwist needs our help to give us
the Redtwist experience. It's my pleasure to support
Actor Brian Parry...
Live theatre is magic.
Storefront theatre is up close and personal
"table-side" magic; for both the performer and the
spectator, there's no place to hide. I love
performing in the Redtwist space because it scares
the heck out of me. I love seeing shows in the
Redtwist space because the characters and situations
just splash and spill all over me. If you thrill at
messy in-your-face, in-your-lap theatre, as I do, I
hope you'll make Redtwist your home.
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 Abby Dillion...
Redtwist has become a home and a family to me. The
intimate space makes it a great place to both be on
the stage and to watch the shows. You are so close
to each other that you can catch every tender or
tense moment. You become part of the story. And
Redtwist is very smart about choosing to do work
that's new and provocative to encourage open-minded
discussion! A donation from you would be a great way
of showing your support of live theatre and new
work! We're all in this together!
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)
board member Denise Fiducia…
My husband & I enjoy theatre, particularly small
venues. We have been Saints for many years &
began ushering at Redtwist about 9 years ago. We
were so impressed by the quality of the performances
that we decided to become subscribers so we would
not miss any shows. We travel a bit of a distance
but have not been disappointed. I enjoy the up close
& personal nature of the space. So when asked to
be a board member earlier this year I thought what a
great way to be involved.
board member Lois Hobart...
After several seasons as a flex-tix owner (aka
subscriber) and finding myself at the annual Rave to
enjoy food, drink, engaging with ensemble and other
patrons, I wanted to know what ELSE this tiny yet
magical place held in store. Finding out what was
coming season to season has
been important. I see a LOT of theatre all over
town, so I wasn't really even sure WHY Redtwist
grabbed me so much.
Then I was invited to be on the board. (apparently,
they'd been watching me, too!) After several
invitations, I finally accepted. That's how it's
impacted my life. I'm going public with this pride
of being on Redtwist's board--and pledging to
contribute my time and money to them--especially
trying to encourage others I know, and don't yet
know, to do the same. (Read more of
Lois'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 board member Lois Hobart...
Due to the intimacy of the space, a
theatre-goer at Redtwist has to be gutsy. It
all unfolds right in your face and
sometimes comes precariously close to your lap.
cultural thrill ride! As "experiential" as
you can get without being onstage, too!
When I initially came to Redtwist, it was to see an
actor I knew from another ensemble performing in
"The Pillowman.” I was awestruck by the
intensity of drama in this overly intimate setting.
And said, "Wow, I've got to come back and see what
ELSE they do!" ... And I have—for several years
now. While I see a tremendous amount of Chicago
theatre and am very heart-committed to the
"storefronts" & "little black boxes", there's
just something about Redtwist I adore & admire.
What IS it? Cleanest bathrooms in
town? Friendliest box office
staff? Flex-tix opportunities that never fail
to ensure patron satisfaction? The annual Rave
to thank patrons? It's all of these
things--plus superior acting and direction on
shoestring budgets. Always.
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
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 think,
make us question, and perhaps even move us to
action. We love creating the vehicle that tells
these stories and I'm honored and humbled that so
many of you have chosen to support Redtwist with
your presence, your time, and your donations. We
can't do what we do, without you. Thank you!
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