The Freshness Initiative

date range
Jul 13, 2016
Jul 13, 2016


1. newly created, newly made
2. not previously known, used, faded or impaired
3. clean or pure
4. very good/“fly”
5. (of water) not salt

All readings are free, but we strongly suggest RSVPing to secure your seat.
For tickets, please RSVP to tickets [at] sideshowtheatre [dot] org.

This year Sideshow Theater Company invites three of Chicago's hottest playwrights to develop brand new, full-length, totally fresh works inside the laboratory of the Freshness Initiative. During the year long program, Sideshow artists and staff will work with each resident writer to develop plays that intersect, explore and explode Sideshow’s aesthetic and mission. The result will be three bold, fresh works for the stage that push audiences expectations of what a Sideshow play might be.

Come see each new work showcased in public readings at Victory Gardens coinciding with the conclusion of each Sideshow mainstage show.

The 2015/16 Freshness Initiative is supported by Tate Geborkoff & Jason Stipp and the Dramatists Guild Fund.

by Philip Dawkins
directed by Jonathan L. Green
Saturday, December 19, 2015

Once upon a time in Anaheim, California in an orange grove, a magical kingdom was built and dedicated to America's history, dreams, and wildest hopes. Eight years later, an American prince died on live television while delivering the Albuquerque sports scores, leaving four daughters and their mother behind. Left reeling from the loss of their patriarch, the family underwent a quest to reach the magical kingdom, and seek solace and recovery. Now, more than fifty years after their journey, acclaimed playwright and storyteller Philip Dawkins retraces and illustrates the true story of the women in his family, exploring their history and asking if there really is a place where the dream that we wish can come true.

by Bonnie Metzgar
directed by Jonathan L. Green
Saturday, April 9, 2016

Amy grew up under a big tree near Boston. 200 years earlier, Mum Bett cleaned a big house near Boston. Amy went to Harvard, had kids, and worked at a university. Mum Bett was a slave. Amy had a bad day and pulled out a gun. Mum Bett used the new constitution to free all the slaves in Massachusetts. From the dawn of the war for independence to the modern day gun violence pandemic, playwright Bonnie Metzgar investigates the pathology of the American patriot, the violent roots of the American family tree, and asks the question: if everybody's so equal, who's going to clean up the blood?


by Kristiana Rae Colón
directed by Marti Lyons and Dawn Renee Jones
Wednesday, July 13, 2016

On the wet crags of a marine theme park pool, a sprightly orca trainer dangles a treat for her captive killer whale. The dark shadows of his wives, calves, and grandcalves float past the back glass of the stadium pool. Above, in a cramped control booth, the park owner considers the dangerous weight of his investment. Tilikum, inspired by the CNN documentary Blackfish featuring the shocking story of the eponymous whale, is a lyrical investigation of captivity, rebellion, and the savagery of enclosure.



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at Richard Christiansen Theatre at Victory Gardens
2433 N Lincoln Ave