December 19th, 2011
We are reaching the end of the time-suck vortex that is the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Years. As we snack on cookies, fruitcake (blech), hot chocolate, brats, bagels, Frango chocolates, and if you are lucky enough, a deep fried turkey, it might also be a good time to hit the gym. And reflect on the past year.
It’s been a really fun 2011 for Sideshow. We pulled off the seemingly impossible feat of creating 5 huge, fully functional robots and even put them in an entertaining play! Our Heddatron actors and robots put on a great show, and we’re ever thankful to Steppenwolf for their wonderful GARAGE REP program. We’re looking forward to seeing three new companies take over the Garage in February 2012!
Our robots didn’t stop there! They attended quite a few events this year, including robotics conventions in the Chicago suburbs, and two events with the Chicago Humanities Festival! The robots are getting too fancy for their Public Storage space, if you ask me.
Also, as I gloss over my google calendar, I am reminded of our FOUR CLLAW matches. Moving venues from Joe’s Bar to Club 162, our matches continue to grow, and so do our ladies’ biceps. We’ve partnered with such great companies like ArtReach, CLAW USA and About Face Theater – we’re blessed with such a supportive community who wants to drink heavily for three hours and throw money at ladies arm wrestling. God bless America.
Sideshow ventured into the culmination of our first company devised work, Strangerland, and our first fringe festival experience with the Chicago Fringe Festival. The trips down to Pilsen were a delight, and it was wonderful to be part of a theatrical experience introducing other Chicago artists and folks all across the U.S. Sideshow was also introduced to the spoils of Simone’s Bar, a wonderful Pilsen establishment whose brazilian hanger cocktail is on special on Thursdays.
Launching from one project to another, we opened The Ugly One on the heels of Strangerland and got to work with new artists, past artists, and produce a short, silly, poignant little play that makes Nip/Tuck look like child’s play. Now that it’s closed, I think it’s safe for me to mention my favorite part of the show – the dude on dude kissing. Duh.
Sideshow’s family has grown tremendously in 2011. We brought on Ben Dawson as our Production Manager, who makes sure our shows uh, actually happen. And within budget too. It’s pretty magical. We have a new board member, Daniel Reid, whose business savvy brain makes us look oh-so-good. We also have five new Artistic Associates, from actors to dramaturgs to playwrights, who will mix it up with our current Artistic Associates and certainly challenge and grow our work in the near future.
Man oh man. What a lovely trip down memory lane. My favorite part? You. You came to see our shows. You drank your face off at CLLAW. You donated to our Center Ring. You loved us in town, or from afar. You volunteered your time when we needed help, and partied with us when we needed to cut loose. You sent us postcards that made us smile, or gave us expert advice when we found ourselves in a mental pickle. You know who you are. You know that you are awesome. But I’m telling you anyway, because who doesn’t like a compliment?
Here’s to 2012. May it kick as many if not more asses than 2011.
PS – If you were trying to figure out what to get me for Christmas, I’d love one of these:
The hat please. Not the adorable Korean child.