Go See a Play! What’s Happening Aug. 29 – Sept. 4

By Lynn Venhaus
Managing Editor
“Shakespeare in Love” is a play? Who knew? The St. Louis premiere of the play adaptation of the Oscar-winning movie “Shakespeare in Love” begins its three-week run this Thursday, and there are several other shows opening too.

Not to be confused with Insight Theatre Company’s “Shakespeare in Love,” St. Louis Shakespeare is presenting “The 39 Steps,” the parody of the Alfred Hitchcock movie for two weekends,

TLT Productions opens its original “Karmatic” while Next Generation Theatre Company performs “Tuck Everslasting” over two weekends.

To see new works for free, check out Stray Dog Theatre’s new works lab’s evening of short plays this Thursday through Saturday at the Tower Grove Abbey.

Continuing is “Antigone: Requiem per Patriarhus,” presented by SATE and ERA, with an all-female cast, and “God of Carnage” at O’Fallon Theater Works.

Before you say goodbye to the summer, GO SEE A PLAY.

Photo by Joey Rumpell

“Antigone: Requiem per Patriarchus”
Aug. 14 – 31 (Wednesday – Saturday) at 8 p.m.
The Chapel
6238 Alexander Drive, St Louis
Tickets: Brown Paper or box office

What It’s About: For the third production of its Season of Ritual, SATE is collaborating with ERA to co-produce Antigone: requiem per Patriarchus; a fresh perspective on the Sophocles classic workshopped in a collaboration between Saint Louis University Theatre and Prison Performing Arts. Antigone explores themes of fidelity, citizenship, civil disobedience, and the struggles and consequences the characters within the world of the play encounter as a result of their choices.

Director: Lucy Cashion

Starring: Alicen Moser, Ellie Schwetye, Laura Hulsey, Miranda Jagels Félix, Natasha Toro, Taleesha Caturah and Victoria Thomas, with Marcy Ann Wiegert providing live percussion accompaniment.

In 2017, Prison Performing Arts began a collaboration with St. Louis University Department of Fine and Performing Arts. Lucy Cashion, Assistant Professor of Theatre and ERA Artistic Director, and PPA Director of Youth Programs and SATE Artistic Director Rachel Tibbetts, taught weekly poetry, playwriting, and development workshops with PPA participants at Women’s Eastern Reception, Diagnostic, and Correctional Center in Vandalia, Mo.

The group studied, explored, and wrote about the Ancient Greek Princess Antigone. Antigone’s story of fighting civic law to obey divine law became famous in the Classical Greek tragedy “Antigone,” which premiered in Athens in 441 B.C. Since then, scholars, poets, and playwrights have written their own translations, adaptations, and critiques of the Antigone story, each from a different point of view. The continuation of this tradition resulted in a new version of “Antigone,” which was performed in October 2017 by SLU theatre majors in St. Louis and then with a performance by PPA participants at WERDCC in March 2018. The collaboration now continues with this ERA/SATE co-production in St. Louis.

 photography by Joey Rumpell

Please call (314) 827-5760, email rachel@slightlyoff.org

Laura Deveney and Dana Wachel. Photo by Katy Gilda-Fry

“God of Carnage”
O’Fallon Theatre Works
Aug. 23-25, Aug. 30-Sept. 1
Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday at 2 p.m.
O’Fallon Municipal Centre
O’Fallon, MO 63366

What It’s About: Winner of the Tony Award for Best Play in 2009, Yasmina Reza’s play is about two sets of parents, who agree to meet after one child has hurt the other one in a public park. The meeting starts out civilized but then goes downhill. Christopher Hampton translated the play from French to English.

Director: Katy Gilda-Fry

Starring: Andrew Woodard, Harry Menner, Dana Wachtel, Laura Deveney

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TLT Productions
Aug. 30 – Sept. 8
Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday at 3 p.m.
The Marcelle
Box Office: MetroTix, 314-534-1111.

What It’s About: Karmic follows Sasha, a beautifully vibrant and charming young woman on the road to a career in marketing. A turbulent cycle of karma begins when four people cross paths freshman year of college. They soon find out that what lies behind and before them are small matters compared to what lies within. As the past comes back to haunt them, we watch what happens when we take fate into our own hands.

“I’m so excited about sharing the work of our very own Artistic Director. This powerful show helps us see ourselves through new lenses. The workshop of this show over 10 years ago, birthed the creative partnership of Lauron and I. We are excited to breathe new life and present the official premiere” states Producing Director, TreG.

Director: TreG (Tre’von Griffith)

Starring: Lauron Thompson-Cosby, Zachary Scott Clark, Mel McCray, Tameika Thomas, and Effrem Thomas Grettenberger.

Of Note: TLT Productions specializes in original content and continues its third season with the premiere production of Lauron Thompson-Cosby’s trilling piece on the complicated cycle of karma — “Karmatic.”

Aaron Dodd, Gwen Wotowa and Michelle Hand. Photo by John Lamb

“Shakespeare in Love”
Aug. 29-Sept. 1, Sept. 5-8, Sept. 12-15
Thursday – Saturday performances at 8 p.m.; Sundays at 2 p.m.
The Grandel Theatre
3610 Grandel Square in Grand Center
Box Office: MetroTix

What It’s About: A funny and genuinely moving comedy by Tom Stoppard and Marc Norman, adapted for the stage by Lee Hall.

Young Will Shakespeare has writer’s block… the deadline for his new play is fast approaching but he’s in desperate need of inspiration. That is, until he finds his muse – Viola. This beautiful young woman is Will’s greatest admirer and will stop at nothing (including breaking the law) to appear in his next play. Against a bustling background of mistaken identity, ruthless scheming and backstage theatrics, Will’s love for Viola quickly blossoms and inspires him to write his greatest masterpiece.

Director: Suki Peters, with musical direction by Catherine Kopff

Starring: Aaron Dodd as William Shakespeare, Gwen Wotawa as Viola DeLesseps, Joneal Joplin as Mister Fennyman, Whit Reichert as Mister Henslowe, Spencer Sickmann as Kit Marlowe, Carl Overly as Burbage, Michelle Hand as Nurse, Wendy Greenwood as Queen Elizabeth, Shane Signorino as Ned Alleyn, Ted Drury as Wessex, Robert Ashton as Tilney, Ryan Lawson-Maeske as Sam, Ruth Ezell as Mistress Quickly, Rachel Bailey as Kate, Mara Bollini as Molly, Anthony Winniger as Robin/Frees, Tyler Woods as Lambert, Chuck Brinkley as Ralph, Abraham Shaw as Nol, Joseph Garner as Peter/Barman, Riley James as Webster, John Foughty as Wabash, Kurt Knoedelseder as Sir Robert De Lesseps, Tommy Nolan as Lady DeLesseps and Herman Schermer as The Dog Trainer. Introduing Annie as Spot the Dog.

Of Note: Insight’s Dramaturg will join the cast and director for Talk Backs after Sunday matinees.

Shakespeare in Love is Insight Theatre Company’s 50th professional production and they are celebrating this momentous occasion by giving back to the community through their “Love is Love” campaign. Insight feels that love is love – whether that be romantic love, love of the arts, love for all humans or love for your community. They plan to share the love by supporting non-profit organizations who do good works for our city that allow St. Louis, and its people, to thrive. Fifty percent of ticket sales from every Thursday night performance will be donated to an outstanding organization that supports our community and promotes love, respect and equity for all. As an additional bonus, these organizations will give a brief presentation before the show to share more about their mission and how to get involved. Insight is honored to celebrate this occasion with the following outstanding non-profits on the upcoming Thursday evenings:


Missouri Immigrant and Refugee Advocates (MIRA) is dedicated to working for, and with, immigrants and refugees to protect their human rights, build capacity, and advocate for a welcoming and inclusive Missouri.

9/5 – APA (Animal Protective Association)

Founded in 1922 The Animal Protective Association of Missouri is a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing people and pets together, advancing humane education and creating programs beneficial to the human/animal bond.

9/12 – PROMO Missouri’s Statewide LGBTQ+ Advocacy Organization

PROMO is Missouri’s statewide organization advocating for LGBTQ+ equality through legislative action, electoral politics, grassroots organizing, and community education.

Photo by Donna Northcott

 “The 39 Steps”
St. Louis Shakespeare
Aug 30 – Sept. 7
Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.; Sunday at 2 p.m.; Thursday, Sept. 5 at 7:30 p.m.
Tower Grove Baptist Church
4257  Magnolia Ave., St. Louis 63110

What It’s About: A madcap tour-de-force situational comedy hi-jink!” Four actors play over 100 characters in this hilarious parody of Hitchcock’s 1935 thriller. From the novel by John Buchan, the movie by Alfred Hitchcock, licensed by ITV Global Entertainment Ltd., and an original concept by Simon Corble and Nobby Dimon.

Director: Dustin Massie

Cast:  Phil Leveling, Kelly Schnider, Rebecca Loughridge, and Brian Kappler

Of Note: Pre-Show Discussion at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 31

Carmen Garcia, John Reidy

Short Play Festival
Stray Dog Theatre’s New Works Lab
Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m., Aug. 29-31.
Tower Grove Abbey
2336 Tennessee
Free Admission

The Program: Plays are “50 States That Are United and In America” by Christopher Wiley, “Florida” by Steven Doloff, “Open House’ by Jennifer Bennett and “Play” by Laurence Klavan.

“Tuck Everlasting”
Next Generation Theatre Company
Aug. 30 – Sept. 8
Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.
Florissant Civic Center Theatre
Parker and Waterford

 What It’s About: 11-year old Winnie Foster yearns for a life of adventure beyond her white picket fence, but when she meets the Tuck Family, she gets more adventure than she could have ever imagined, including an extraordinary choice: Will Winnie return to her life, or leave her family behind and join Jesse on a journey of everlasting life.

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