By Mark Wachtler
September 29, 2014. Chicago. (ONN) Chicago’s north side theater scene has been growing by leaps and bounds over the past few years. With world class stage performers, writers and directors, the Windy City has become a destination for some of the best names in stage comedy and theater. Joining the ensemble is Under The Gun Theater, opening in Wrigleyville on October 9th. And to give Chicago’s comedy and theater lovers added incentive to stop by and see the new facility, ticket prices for all shows during the month of October are reduced to a suggested donation.
Under The Gun Theater opens Oct 9 in Chicago’s Wrigleyville.
Under The Gun Theater founders Angie McMahon and Kevin Mullaney are literally putting the finishing touch on their new theater space as we write this. In fact, the group is technically calling their October 9th grand opening a ‘soft opening’ due to the settling dust and fresh paint. “We are almost there!” said Under The Gun Artistic Director Kevin Mullaney in an announcement to loyal fans and supporters.
New theater space
Mullaney, a 17-year veteran of the theater biz and a transplant from New York, went on to tell eager theater lovers, “So much is going on at Under The Gun Theater. We are really excited to show you our new space. It's on the 2nd floor of Links Hall at the corner of Clark, Sheffield and Newport in Wrigleyville. We have had a crew working on the new stage and bar all week. We have a new front door right next to Underground Lounge. And we have been painting our new rehearsal space and show lounge all day.”
The theater’s website says, ‘Under the Gun Theater’s mission is to create original theatre combining the mediums of Improvisation, Storytelling, Music and Physical Theater with a bent toward comedy.’ Angie McMahon, Under The Gun’s Executive Director, is the founding Director of Chemically Imbalanced Comedy and former Network Committee Chair of the Chicago Comedy Association. Kevin Mullaney has taught improv for 17 years, first at iO Theater and then at UCB Theater in New York.
New shows, new classes, new cast
In addition to an ensemble of nearly 40 new performers, Under The Gun Theater has a host of upcoming shows and theater classes. Showing on opening night, October 9th, will be ‘Halloween Hell House’. The program describes the performance as, ‘An Evangelical Christian version of a Haunted House. Tackling huge sins through amateur Theatricals.’
The following evening, the theater will perform ‘NaSkeWriMoChi’. That stands for National Sketch Writing Month Chicago. As Director Angie McMahon explains, “September was National Sketch Writing Month. We took the challenge to write 30 scenes in 30 days. We celebrate everyone who took the challenge by showcasing work written during the month of Sept.”
Running on Fridays, ‘#trending’ is an improv performance based on the weird and crazy stuff many of us post online to social media sites. ‘There’s a lot of weird stuff online,’ the program describes, ‘And we’re here to make fun of it all.’ Other shows are titled, ‘Comedy Against Humanity’, ‘Based on a True Story’ and the self-titled ‘Comedy Under The Gun,’ a weekly Saturday evening presentation of always-new sketch comedy.
Under The Gun Theater also offers classes to those wishing to perfect their talents or simply get started in the theater, comedy or improve business. Two different writing classes begin October 4th, while additional classes in improv and storytelling start later in the month.
Under The Gun Theater is located at 956 W. Newport on Chicago's north side. For more information on the theater, opening shows or classes, visit UnderTheGunTheater.com.
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