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Read what our actors, staff and board members have to say about Redtwist. Redtwist Theatre is a not-for-profit 501c3 organization donate
MCFrom Redtwist's Artistic Director Michael Colucci...

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 donation.

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 to feel 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 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 warehouse-y.
  • It doesn’t feel like a gymnasium, or a hall, or a loft, or an attic, or a church basement.
It feels like home.

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

JEGFrom 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...

Dear Friends,
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 Redtwist.

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.

KRIf, as I do, you think of the intimate experience of theatre at Redtwist as a privilege, please
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!

Happy holidays,

Kathy Ruhl

LoisFrom Lois Hobart, 2016-2017 Board Member...

Dear Friends!

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?

Thank you,
Lois Hobart

From Redtwist's 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 extended runs.

I believe their success speaks directly to the quality of work being produced at Redtwist.

logoAnd 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:
  • 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 dollar-for-dollar!
  • Buy a Flex Tix Pass before December 31 and get a package of five heavily discounted tickets to our three remaining shows.
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.

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 cnwedit52@gmail.com. Please put "Redtwist feedback" in the subject line so I get to your comments more efficiently.

Kind regards,
Carol Wilson

BPFrom 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 pieces.

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 donating.

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 $20,000.

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 impactful?

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 Richard Nixon.

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,
Brian Parry

Testimonials from 2016...

From 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.


From 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!

From 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!

From 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.

JQ From actor Jacqueline Grandt...
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)

From 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)

From 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)

From 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 alive. (Read more of Debra's comments below)

From 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. Thanks!
From actor Adam Bitterman...
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!

More 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 very special.

More 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.

From 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, and Saints!

More 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 consistent basis. 

More 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 Chicago.