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One of the sets featured in Circle Theatre's "Great Endings" play series.
Oak Park Journal photo

"Great Endings" writers, Ms. Jae Kramisen and Forest Park's own Ms. Lisa Rosenthal
Oak Park Journal photo

Circle Theatre has just completed their first New Play's
Festival.  The plays that we saw were all fine productions
and very entertaining on many levels.  Jae Kramisen had come in all the way from New York city to see her play; "Love is Murder" performed.  Ms. Kramisen will be returning to college soon to finish her studies and she already has another play ready to hit the stage.  We hope to see more of her and her work at Circle and other stages.

Forest Park is honored to have an incredible playwright of their own, Ms. Lisa Rosenthal.  Ms. Rosenthal's play; " Under Our Clothes" was a tremendous bit of writing covering almost all things female and performed at Circle with a wonderful cast.
Two of the women we were very impressed with in her play were
Laura Sciortino and Audrey Francis, both talented method actresses.  Ms. Rosenthal should be given free rent to stay in Forest Park (just kidding...).  She has a new book coming out to help writers and will be reviewed soon.  Click here for more info.

Circle Theatre, as part of its Blackbox Series and ongoing commitment to the development of new works, presents GREAT ENDINGS, our first New Plays Festival.

The Festival features short works from playwrights ranging in age from teens to 70's and will include open audience discussions following each performance.

Program A - July 24, July 27, August 2, August 8
                      Act I - directed by Kristin Gehring
                         A Park Play by Mark Young
                         I Am Mame! by Beverly Rosen
                         Ripped by George Brant
                      Act II - directed by Jim Wall
                         War by Ron Riekki

Program B - July 25, July 31, August 3, August 9
                      Act I - directed by Lisa Spierer
                         Different Music by Charies Lippitz
                        The  Leper Valley Condo Association
                          by Greg Owens
                         Cafe Society by John Susman
                      Act II - directed by Michael Matthews
                        Dolores Decides to Die by Andy Byrne

Program C - July 26, August 1, August 7, August 10
                      Act I - directed by Leslie Charipar
                        Tessoro D'Amore by Domenick Danza
                        Love is Murder by Jae Kramisen
                        To Go Boldly by Matthew I. Bennett
                      Act ll - directed by Melissa Meloro
                        Under Our Clothes by Lisa Rosenthal

Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m.

$10 for one program, $8 for each additional program (with coupon)

    FEATURING: Anna Carini Patrice Egleston Peter Esposito Audrey Francis Dan Holahan
Todd Jackson Season Mhoon Ryan Russ Laura Sciortino Michael Stailey Regina Webster
7300 Madison Street, Forest Park  (708) 771-0700


MATTHEW IVAN BENNETT (To Go Boldly) is a graduate of Southern Utah University. His fill! length, The White Light ofTerrence, received awards at the American College Theatre Festival. He's delighted for To Go Boldly to get an audience

GEORGE BRANT (Ripped) has written numerous plays including One Hand Clapping,
Night of the Mime, The Royal Historian ofOz, BORGLUM! The Mount Rushmore
Musical, Tights on a Wire and Lovely Letters, published by Chicago Plays. His scripts
have been produced by zeppo productions, StreetSigns, Factory Theater, SourceWorks
Theatre, Prop Thtr and Boomer Productions.

ANDY BYRNE (Delores Decides To Die) was bom in Chicago, a descendant of Irish
immigrants. Educated in parochial schools, he received his Masters Degrees in English
and Psychology. He has been published in The Chicago Reader. Ovez Review, and After
Hours. Delores Decides To Die is his play performed on stage. He owns a canoe.

DOMENICK DANZA (Tessoro D 'Amore) has been involved in the arts for 20 years as a teacher, choreographer, director and performer. He received his BA in Theater at Fordham University, and studied dance at American Dance Machine, Broadway Dance
Center and Steps Studio. He founded & was Artistic Director for Green Light, and is a Chicago Dramatist Network Playwright

JAE KRAMISEN (Love Is Murder), of New York City, is a recipient of the Helen Hayes Young Playwriting Award along with numerous other honors. She just finished her first fall-length play, America's Gookland about the experiences of Vietnam veterans. She will  study dramatic writing at SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Theatre.

CHUCK  LIPPITZ (Different Music) was inspired by his Chicago law firm's work  financing major movies to become a film producer. His later association with Northlight  Theatre's Open Door Ensemble moved him from movie scripts into playwriting. His works
have appeared at each of the Northlight Theatre's annual ODE Showcases.

GREG OWENS (The Leper Valley Condo Association) lives in Montana with his wife
and daughter. His play The Life and Times ofTulsa Lovechild will be published this fall  by Broadway Play Publishing in New York.

RON RIEKKI (War) was nominated by National Book Award winner John Casey for his  novel, U.P.. which won this year's Sewanee Prize. This fall Overlook Press publishes and The Penguin Group distributes it. Reasonable Facsimile Theater will perform Riekki's Coffeehouse Philosophy and the Pain It Causes in August for the Abbie Hoffinan
Festival, (I love you, Julie!)

BEVERLY WILENS ROSEN (I Am Mame!), a member of the Open Door Ensemble  has had four plays selected for their Ten Minute Showcase. Her prize-winning play I'm Near Niagara was performed at the Colorado Mountain College and the Snowmass
Repertory Theatre, and / Owe You a Lullaby received staged readings at Boxer Rebellion Theatre in Chicago and in Aspen, Colorado.

LISA ROSENTHAL (Under Our Clothes) developed this play with the help of the Downstage Left play development program at Stage Left Theatre (Chicago), American Theatre Company (Chicago), Venus Theatre Company (Washington, D.C.), The
Playwrights Collective (Chicago), and Heartland Stage (Indiana). Thanks to the beautiful Melissa and cast for their dedication. Peace.

JOHN SUSMAN  (Cafe Society) was a Heideman Award Finalist at Actors Theatre of Louisville. Other plays include: Nelson & Simone (Live Bait Theater, Midwest New Plays Festival) and Tiger Treadwell Takes Tinseltown (Uprising Playwright's Award, Los
Angeles Theatre Unit.) Most recently, his screenplay, Game Day, was selected into the 2002 IFP Film Market.

MARK YOUNG (A Park Play) has had his plays appear in Chicago, New York and Washington D.C. In 2002 he received the Source Theatre's H.D. Lewis New Play Award, was a finalist for the Heideman Award, the Arts & Letters Prize, and the Maxim
Mazumdar Award. He is a member of Chicago Dramatists Network (where A Park Play was in part developed) and the Playwrights Collective..


LESLIE CHARIPAR (Tessoro D'Amore, Love Is Murder, To Go Boldly) is enjoying her second Chicago directing project. She directed The Bug for New Theater Collective last summer. Also an actress, Leslie last appeared in Organic Theater's The Lady From Dubuque.

KRISTIN GEHRING (A Park Play, I Am Mame!. Ripped) directed DAYSTAR: A Medieval Christmas Play at Circle last year and is scheduled to direct Sam Shepard's Fool for Love for Circle in early 2004.

MICHAEL MATTHEWS (Delores Decides To Die) directed the Jeff-Recommended In
The Blood for Circle, Being 11 for Serendipity, Porcelain for Trap Door Theatre (Jeff Nomination for Best Director/Jeff Award for Ensemble) and the Jeff-Nominated For Colored Girls... (BTA and After Dark Awards for ensemble).

MELISSA MELORO (Under Our Clothes), an Associate Company Member of Circle, is thrilled to be working with Lisa on this wonderful project. Previously with Circle, she has also directed Eleemosynary and the dreamer examines his pillow.

LISA SPIERER (Different Music. The Leper Valley Condo Assn, Cafe Society), a Circle Company Member and the Theatre's web designer, is making her Illinois directorial debut. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

JIM WALL (War), Fest Coordinator and Circle's Literary Manager, is a teacher and an award winning, published, produced playwright. His plays Parlor Games and Auschwitz Lullaby (world premiere at Circle in 1998) are both available through Dramatic
Publishing, me. Woodstock, IL.


ANNE MARIE BEAULIEU (Stage Manager) has stage managed several productions at
Circle Theatre. Her most recent production was Murder Americana.

JEFFREY CASS (Lighting Designers thrilled to be designing lights once again. He has designed lights for Wing and Groove Theater, Bailiwick Loft and such shows as Frankenstein, Dancing at Lughnasa, and Quest of the Nomads to mention a few.

CATHERINE FERRARO (Costume Designer) is excited to be working on such a diverse project as the Fest. This summer she is also stage managing and costume designing CTEYA's production of Music Man. Thanks to the cast, crew and company.


Circle Theatre, throughout its 18 year history, has always been strongly  committed to the development of new works, whether they be dramas, comedies, or musicals. Circle has presented World Premieres by British playwright Stephen Dark and New York playwrights Harry McEwan and  John McMahon, 
but our deepest commitment has been to local
playwrights, including Rebecca Oilman, Douglas Post, Aline Lathrop, and  Circle's own Jim Wall, Jon Steinhagen, and Mark Stopek. Three of these  have received Jeff Citations: Stephen dark's STRIPPED and Rebecca Oilman's The Glory Of Living for New Work, and Rebecca Oilman's The Crime Of The Century for New Adaptation.

 For several seasons. Circle has hosted a monthly reading series, where  unproduced scripts are read in front of an audience and discussed, providing the playwright with valuable feedback. The New Plays Festival,  focusing on the often overlooked art form of the One Act, takes that process one step further, putting the script "on its feet", with limited rehearsal, giving the playwright an even greater opportunity to fme tune the writing. These 12 scripts were chosen from the 40 submitted. We  invite you to join in the discussions that conclude each program.
Circle's New Play Festival II will take place in March of 2004.

Submissions will be accepted beginning soon.


Circle Theatre's Black Box Program (formerly the underground circle) allows emerging talent the opportunity to work in Circle's environment under the guidance of the theatre's more experienced staff. Several of Circle's award-winning directors, past and present, began in the Black Box program. Working with a limited budget and limited technical aspects, the focus is on the script, directing, and acting. The talent developed in the Black Box Program ensures the future of not only Circle   Theatre, but theatre in general. The artists whose work you are seeing today may well provide award-winning work in the future.


Samuel Beckett Award Winner
               NEVER IN MY LIFETIME
               By Shirley Gee Directed by Creg Kolack

                A Romantic Comedy everyone will enjoy!
                      SHE LOVES ME
   Book by Joe Masteroff; Music by Jerry Bock; Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick
                     Directed by Robert Knuth
                        11/S-12/14 2003

                    Morality in the American West
                    FOOL FOR LOVE
         Written by Sam Shepard Directed by 
Kristin Gehring

                       An All-Circle production
                  STEEL MAGNOLIAS
         Written by Robert Marling Directed by 
Brett Kashanitz

                    Five-time Tony Award Winner
  Book, music and lyrics by Rupert Holmes, based on the unfinished novel
             by Charles Dickens Directed by Kevin Bellie
                         5/19-6/27/ 2004 

                          Tragic love story 
                    THE JUDAS KISS 
         Written by David Hare Directed by 
Michael Matthews

"This book's cheer is Write on! Read it
  and you will." Rita Mae Brown
  The Writing Group Book
      Creating and Sustaining a
      Successful Writing Group
       Edited by Lisa Rosenthal
 Featuring more than 30 essays by writers
     from across the United States and
           around the world.
    Available in September 2003
         $14.95 (CAN $24.95)
Ask for it at your local bookstore or
order by calling 800.888.4741.
Distributed by Independent Publishers Group