Lifeline Theatre -- Big Stories, Up Close
COMING SOON: FILLET OF SOLO and WE FOUND A HAT
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2018-19 Performances:
Frankenstein
Bunnicula
We Found A Hat
The Man Who Was Thursday
The Time Warp Trio
Emma
Fillet of Solo 2019
Concert Reading Series


Celebrating the breadth of Chicago’s enduring storytelling and live lit scene, Lifeline brings together a dozen storytelling collectives and numerous solo performers for a three-week, multi-venue selection of powerful personal stories.

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The 22nd Anniversary Fillet of Solo Festival features solo performances by:

  • Laura Biagi
  • Archy Jamjun
  • Kristina Lebedeva
  • Earliana McLaurin
  • Roberta Miles
  • Janki Mody
  • Anne Purky

Plus the work of the following storytelling collectives:

Over 95 performers will share their stories with audiences over the course of the festival!


LOCATIONS
Performances are at Lifeline Theatre and the Heartland Event Space (Formerly Red Line Tap — a new location this year!). Free parking and shuttle available: see Performance Venues below for more details.

DATES & TIMES
Performance times are: Fridays at 7:00 and 8:30pm at both venues, Saturdays at 4:00, 5:30, 7:00, and 8:30 p.m. at both venues, and Sundays at 4:00pm at Lifeline Theatre only. See the complete Schedule below.

Unless otherwise noted, each performance runs approximately 60 minutes in length.

TICKETS
Tickets are $10 for each performance, and Festival Passes are available for only $50, which allow admission to any number of performances. Tickets may be purchased from the Lifeline Theatre box office (773.761.4477) or online.

Buy Festival Passes here!


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FREE KICK-OFF EVENT: DISCOUNTED PASSES FOR SALE!

Wednesday, January 16, 2019
7:00 p.m
The Heartland Event Space

7006 N. Glenwood Ave

Live Lit (n): A fast-growing genre of live performance that involves a microphone, a story and an audience, typically performed in a bar or bookstore.

Chicago’s Live Lit scene is a rapidly-growing community of people who gather to tell and listen to stories. While storytelling as an art form dates back to ancient times, the current evolution of the form has recently exploded in popularity. On any given night in Chicago, you can find a place to listen to stories as an audience member or to test out your work as a writer-performer.

At the Fillet of Solo Kick-Off Night, join Dorothy Milne from Lifeline Theatre for an evening of performance and conversation with Fillet of Solo storytellers. Learn about the form, the history of the festival, and details on Chicago's many storytelling nights from the people who make them happen — all while hearing stories of different styles interspersed throughout.

Discounted Passes: Fillet of Solo Festival Passes will be offered at a special discounted rate of only $25 at the event (regularly $50).

Admission is free, no reservations required. Contact the Lifeline Theatre Box Office, 773.761.4477 for more information.


TRAILER VIDEO

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PERFORMANCE VENUES

Lifeline Theatre
6912 N. Glenwood Avenue

Heartland Event Space (Formerly Red Line Tap — a new location this year!)
7006 N. Glenwood Avenue

Both venues are located in Chicago's Rogers Park neighborhood, in the Glenwood Avenue Arts District, steps from the Morse Red Line CTA stop.

Free parking is available at Sullivan High School (school address is 6631 N Bosworth Ave — the lot is located on the corner of Bosworth Ave and Albion Ave, with the entrance on Albion) with free shuttle service before and after the shows. Street parking is also available.

Click here for more information about our shuttle service.

For all performances, call the Lifeline Theatre box office for tickets (773.761.4477) or click here.

Top | Kick-Off Event | Trailer | Venues | Schedule | Performers | History

PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE

WEEK ONE: January 18-20
Friday, January 18
Lifeline Theatre
7:00pm — the kates
8:30pm — Archy Jamjun ("A Boy and a Diva")
Heartland Studio Theatre
7:00pm — Stir-Friday Night!
8:30pm — Serving The Sentence
Saturday, January 19
Lifeline Theatre
4:00pm — The Lifeline Storytelling Project
5:30pm — Tellin' Tales Theatre with Tekki Lomnicki
7:00pm — Sweat Girls
8:30pm — Earliana McLaurin ("The Malt Liquor Diaries")
Heartland Studio Theatre
4:00pm — GeNarrations
5:30pm — Laura Biagi ("Self-Love") & Anne Purky ("My Michelin Guide to Psych Wards")
7:00pm — Janki Mody ("The MTHFR Gene: Evidence of a Uterus in Crisis")
8:30pm — Roberta Miles ("I Want a Banana and Other Desperate Love Stories")
Sunday, January 20
Lifeline Theatre
4:00pm — Kristina Lebedeva ("Of Magical Thinking: The Hinges of the World")

WEEK TWO: January 25-27
Friday, January 25
Lifeline Theatre
7:00pm — 80 Minutes Around the World
8:30pm — Archy Jamjun ("A Boy and a Diva")
Heartland Studio Theatre
7:00pm — Stir-Friday Night!
8:30pm — Janki Mody ("The MTHFR Gene: Evidence of a Uterus in Crisis")
Saturday, January 26
Lifeline Theatre
4:00pm — Sweat Girls
5:30pm — Tellin' Tales Theatre with Tekki Lomnicki
7:00pm — Earliana McLaurin ("The Malt Liquor Diaries")
8:30pm — The Lifeline Storytelling Project
Heartland Studio Theatre
4:00pm — GeNarrations
5:30pm — Loose Chicks
7:00pm — The Stoop
8:30pm — OUTSpoken!
Sunday, January 27
Lifeline Theatre
4:00pm — Kristina Lebedeva ("Of Magical Thinking: The Hinges of the World")

WEEK THREE: February 1-2
Friday, February 1
Lifeline Theatre
7:00pm — 80 Minutes Around the World
8:30pm — the kates
Heartland Studio Theatre
7:00pm — OUTSpoken!
8:30pm — Serving The Sentence
Saturday, February 2
Lifeline Theatre
4:00pm — Sullivan High School
5:30pm — Tellin' Tales Theatre with Tekki Lomnicki
7:00pm — Sweat Girls
8:30pm — The Lifeline Storytelling Project
Heartland Studio Theatre
4:00pm — GeNarrations
5:30pm — Laura Biagi ("Self-Love") & Anne Purky ("My Michelin Guide to Psych Wards")
7:00pm — Janki Mody ("The MTHFR Gene: Evidence of a Uterus in Crisis")
8:30pm — The Stoop

Top | Kick-Off Event | Trailer | Venues | Schedule | Performers | History

PERFORMERS

80 Minutes Around the World: Immigration Stories
Curated and produced by Nestor Gomez

Celebrated storyteller and 25-time Moth Slam winner Nestor Gomez has assembled a group of local performers to help illuminate the voices of immigrants in our city.

Performances
Friday, Jan. 25 at 7:00 p.m. (Lifeline)
Friday, Feb. 1 at 7:00 p.m. (Lifeline)
Laura Biagi & Anne Purky
Self-Love
Written and performed by Laura Biagi

Self-Love is an autobiographical piece about loneliness and belonging. Weaving text, movement and music, Self-Love is a journey from hurt to healing.

Originally from Siena, Italy, Laura Biagi is a performance artist and educator whose focus is on storytelling as a healing art. She earned an M.A. and a Ph.D. at New York University, with a dissertation on the Southern Italian healing ritual of tarantismo. While in New York, Dr. Biagi performed at LaMama Theatre, Judson Church, New York University, and the Gallery at Deep Listening Space. In Chicago, Dr. Biagi launched the course Healing Narratives, in collaboration with Chicago’s Cook Country Jail and the Inside/Out Prison Exchange Program, and has performed her piece The High Priestess as part of Collaboraction's PEACEBOOK Festival and Chicago Ideas Week. Her 2018 TEDx Talk, Reimagine Failure: Breathe, Belong, Believe, addresses the importance of personal narratives for one’s definition of success, a theme that she also explores in Self-Love.
My Michelin Guide to Psych Wards
Written and performed by Anne Purky
Directed by Jimmy Carrane

A woman's journey from Northwestern to the best and worst psych wards. Anne meets overmedicated zombies who will never go home (in the filthy dark wards) and rich north shore housewives placed there by husbands for crying too much (in the bright and cheery ones). Anne describes giving up everything to finally be taken care of -- and also for an unlimited supply of Ativan to silence the demons in her head.

Anne Purky is a renegade mom of an astonishing differently abled daughter now in college! She is active in politics, disability rights, and advocates for the homeless with PADS in Waukegan & Zion. She studied film & writing at Northwestern and the School of the Art Institute and has jumped into the storytelling scene performing at Story Jam, Chicago Dramatists, Truth be Told, Beast Women, Ragdale, Story Lab and others.
  Performances
Saturday, Jan. 19 at 5:30 p.m. (Heartland)
Saturday, Feb. 2 at 5:30 p.m. (Heartland)
GeNarrations
A personal narrative story performance workshop hosted at the Goodman Theatre and in senior centers around Chicago.

Performances
Saturday, Jan. 19 at 4:00 p.m. (Heartland)
Saturday, Jan. 26 at 4:00 p.m. (Heartland)
Saturday, Feb. 2 at 4:00 p.m. (Heartland)
Archy Jamjun
A Boy and a Diva
Written and performed by Archy Jamjun
Directed by Stephanie Rogers
Singer: Shannon Wright

A boy gets through the dramas of growing up with the help of his favorite divas.

Archy Jamjun started writing and storytelling when he moved back to Chicago in 2002 after graduating from the University of Illinois. As part of the gay writing group Newtown Fiction Writers, he came up under the wings of his storytelling mother, Cookie Crumbles. In 2014 he won the 47th Annual Chicago's Biggest Liar Contest, and in 2015 and 2018 he won the Moth Grand Slam. His writing has appeared in The Rumpus and his story "Pretty" will be published by Barrel House in 2019.

Performances
Friday, Jan. 18 at 8:30 p.m. (Lifeline)
Friday, Jan. 25 at 8:30 p.m. (Lifeline)
the kates
An all-female comedy showcase that provides an intimate night of comedy dedicated to showcasing talented and hilarious female-identified performers by creating inclusive and positive environments. Artists are encouraged to express their comic point of view in unique and non-apologetic ways - proving that women are equal in the eyes of comedy.

Performances
Friday, Jan. 18 at 7:00 p.m. (Lifeline)
Friday, Feb. 1 at 8:30 p.m. (Lifeline)
Kristina Lebedeva
Of Magical Thinking: The Hinges of the World
Written and performed by Kristina Lebedeva
Produced by Josh Zagoren
Music by Angelo Badalamenti and Ramin Djawadi

Struggling for years to come to terms with her disability, physical and emotional suffering, and isolation, Kristina's world goes dark in an instant when her fiancé is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Of Magical Thinking: The Hinges of the World addresses the mind’s desire to undo the catastrophic and its price.

Kristina Lebedeva moved to The United States from Russia in 2000 to earn a doctorate in philosophy. As her academic work continues to explore the intersections of ethics, trauma, social justice, and disability, Kristina’s fiction and autobiographical essays address such themes as mourning, violence, suffering, survival, and memory. Kristina is currently working as a language instructor, splitting her free time between writing, theater, and digital art.

Performances
Sunday, Jan. 20 at 4:00 p.m. (Lifeline)
Sunday, Jan. 27 at 4:00 p.m. (Lifeline)
The Lifeline Storytelling Project
Written and performed by Katie Cassidy (Lifeline Development Manager), Jay Lenn (Lifeline board member), Lisbeth Maxwell (Lifeline board member), Darren Meyers (Lifeline artist), Kyle Mundil-Dye (Lifeline artist and former intern), Betsy Vandercook (Lifeline subscriber), and Emily Wills (Lifeline artist, front-of-house staffer, and former intern)
Directed by Dorothy Milne

The Lifeline Storytelling Project produces live music and storytelling events designed to develop and showcase artists affiliated with Lifeline Theatre.

Performances
Saturday, Jan. 19 at 4:00 p.m. (Lifeline)
Saturday, Jan. 26 at 8:30 p.m. (Lifeline)
Saturday, Feb. 2 at 8:30 p.m. (Lifeline)
Loose Chicks
Before #MeToo began empowering women, there was Loose Chicks. Loose Chicks is a collection of courageous women who share experiences that most women keep to themselves. Each show features six exceptional writers and performers who allow themselves to be vulnerable as they share with uncommon honesty.

Performance
Saturday, Jan. 26 at 5:30 p.m. (Heartland)
Earliana McLaurin
The Malt Liquor Diaries
Written and performed by Earliana McLaurin
Directed by Shelby Marie Edwards
Stories developed in collaboration with 2nd Story

So many choices, so many beers to help make those choices. The Malt Liquor Diaries stands as a collection of short stories chronicling how love, alcohol, and family play a role in one woman’s relationship with her father and herself. Beers will be drunk, laughs will be had, and maybe a tear or two will be shed.

After writing short stories for over 10 years, Earliana is beyond grateful to finally bring this world premiere to Fillet of Solo! Earliana (Earl) is a Chicago-based actor, writer, director, and teaching artist, and a company member with 2nd Story Chicago. Earliana is a graduate of Truman State University and the University of Missouri.

Performances
Saturday, Jan. 19 at 8:30 p.m. (Lifeline)
Saturday, Jan. 26 at 7:00 p.m. (Lifeline)
Roberta Miles
I Want a Banana and Other Desperate Love Stories
Written and performed by Roberta Miles
Directed by Richard Norby

Roberta Miles takes us through some of her most far-out romantic escapades. As Scott Hill, from Chicago Stage Review put it, "Roberta Miles is not some trampy broad bragging about her many exploits; she is an articulate libido and a beguiling conscience. I laughed, I winced, I shook my head, and I laughed again."

Roberta Miles is a jazz singer, poet, writer, and visual artist. She's known for her edgy, no-holds-barred autobiographical monologues. When she is not ranting obsessively about her romantic escapades or worrying about her hair, she delves into her quest for mental and physical health. And she does it all with brutally hilarious candor. In addition to her own performing, she is co-creator and co-producer of the long-running show Loose Chicks, and is producer of the popular, off-beat, variety show Cafe Cabaret.

Performance
Saturday, Jan. 19 at 8:30 p.m. (Heartland)
Janki Mody
The MTHFR Gene: Evidence of a Uterus in Crisis
Written and performed by Janki Mody
Directed by Marissa McKown

Infertility. Miscarriage. The well-meaning comments of friends and family. Janki illuminates the hurdles and isolation that many women experience in pursuit of the dream to grow a family.

Janki Mody is a teacher, writer, performer, and the mother of two very energetic boys with long eyelashes. She is a women's health, infertility, and pregnancy loss advocate.

Performances
Saturday, Jan. 19 at 7:00 p.m. (Heartland)
Friday, Jan. 25 at 8:30 p.m. (Heartland)
Saturday, Feb. 2 at 7:00 p.m. (Heartland)
OUTSpoken!
OUTspoken! is comprised of storytellers who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer recalling true personal events. Stories are often funny, heartfelt, and sometimes historically significant. The audience will get a window into the lives of a variety of human experiences that will connect on an emotional level regardless of sexual identity.

Performances
Saturday, Jan. 26 at 8:30 p.m. (Heartland)
Friday, Feb. 1 at 8:30 p.m. (Heartland)
Serving the Sentence
Different storytellers take the same first sentence -- each in their own direction. At the end of the show, a new sentence is drawn that the next show's storytellers will embark from!

Performances
Friday, Jan. 18 at 8:30 p.m. (Heartland)
Friday, Feb. 1 at 8:30 p.m. (Heartland)
Stir-Friday Night!
A 23-year-old Asian-American comedy group, based in Chicago and performing at Second City, iO, Annoyance, Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theatre, and at festivals all over the country. Stir-Friday Night! alumni include Danny Pudi from Community, and Steven Yeun from The Walking Dead. Stir-Friday Night! is a nonprofit theater company, specializing in sketch comedy and improvisation, and offers touring shows and workshops for schools, companies, and organizations.

Performances
Friday, Jan. 18 at 7:00 p.m. (Heartland)
Friday, Jan. 25 at 7:00 p.m. (Heartland)
The Stoop
The Stoop is hosted by Moth GrandSLAM champion Lily Be. Featured storytellers are given a theme and each share a short story related to that theme. The Stoop is a platform to bring Chicagoans to a better understanding of each other and to inspire change. Performing regularly at Rosa's Lounge in Humboldt Park, it is as much about community and survival as it is about entertainment.

Performances
Saturday, Jan. 26 at 7:00 p.m. (Heartland)
Saturday, Feb. 2 at 8:30 p.m. (Heartland)
Sullivan High School
Stories of life in Rogers Park, written and performed (and musically underscored) by students from Sullivan High School. With the support of Rogers Park Builders Group, Lifeline Theatre has been teaching drama and storytelling at our closest neighborhood high school for the past two years.

Performance
Saturday, Feb. 2 at 4:00 p.m. (Lifeline)
Sweat Girls
With 24 years of shared history, the Sweat Girls represent the greying edge of Chicago's Live Lit community. Known for their "contagious gusto" the Sweat Girls have been called "the undisputed tribal elders" of the solo performance scene (Chicago Reader, 2014).

Performances
Saturday, Jan. 19 at 7:00 p.m. (Lifeline)
Saturday, Jan. 26 at 4:00 p.m. (Lifeline)
Saturday, Feb. 2 at 7:00 p.m. (Lifeline)
Tellin' Tales Theatre
Tellin' Tales Theatre shatters the barriers between the disabled and non-disabled worlds through personal story — adult solo performances as well as "Six Stories Up,” a mentoring program and show featuring kids and adults, with and without disabilities.

Tekki Lomnicki is a solo performer, playwright, director, and educator. She is a recipient of an Illinois Arts Council Artists Fellowship in New Performance Forms, the 2008 3Arts Artists Award in Theater and the 2010 Grigsby Award for Excellence in Solo Performance.

Performances
Saturday, Jan. 19 at 5:30 p.m. (Lifeline)
Saturday, Jan. 26 at 5:30 p.m. (Lifeline)
Saturday, Feb. 2 at 5:30 p.m. (Lifeline)

FESTIVAL HISTORY

Live Bait Theater developed more than 200 world premieres over its 20-year history and was nominated for over 50 Non-Equity Jeff Awards, predominately in the category of New Work. Sharon Evans was the Artistic Director from 1987-2008, and in 1995 she created the Fillet of Solo Festival, which featured over 200 solo artists in its first 13 years.

In 2009, Live Bait closed its doors, but Evans’ enthusiasm for new work and for the Festival remained undiminished. When searching for a new producer of the Festival, it was important to her that it be a theater dedicated to new work and she was delighted to find a perfect fit with Lifeline Theatre. In 2010, Lifeline and Live Bait co-produced the 14th Annual festival, and Lifeline has been carrying on the tradition ever since.


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6912 N Glenwood Ave, Chicago, IL, 60626
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