Everything was going just fine before the shapeshifter showed up. Grandma Ruthie’s three tolerably dysfunctional daughters were throwing her a birthday party (including unbalanced Sylvia, with her terrifying hook hands). The kids were coming, too, and nobody planned on mentioning the family’s horrific secrets. But now there’s soda and cheese puffs spilled everywhere and a mysterious pink letter is circulating around the kitchen. What happens when it’s opened is just the tip of the iceberg in the Chicago premiere of Jason Grote’s dark comedy, as supernatural forces conspire to bring everyone to the brink of confronting the pasts they’ve kept so carefully buried.
Jason Grote is a playwright and television writer based in Brooklyn. His plays include 1001, Civilization (all you can eat), Maria/Stuart, Hamilton Township, Darwin’s Challenge, Safe in Heaven Dead, Box Americana, and This Storm Is What We Call Progress. He is a staff writer for the NBC/Dreamworks show "Smash", produced by Steven Spielberg, Theresa Rebeck, Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. Current projects include a a commission from ACT/Seattle about Stalin and Shostakovich and a musical adaptation of 1001 with composer Marisa Michelson. His work has been produced and developed at The Museum of Modern Art, The Sundance Theater Lab, Playwrights Horizons, The O’Neill, The Denver Center, New York Theater Workshop, Portland Center Stage, Woolly Mammoth, Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center, Page 73, Ensemble Studio Theater, Voices of Change – Festival for New American Plays (Theater Bielefeld, Germany), Clubbed Thumb, The Civilians, The Foundry, Mass MoCA, The Luminato Festival, Soho Rep, The Lark, The Glej Theater (Slovenia), Salvage Vanguard, HERE, The Contemporary American Theater Festival, Baltimore Centerstage, Collaboraction, Theater @ Boston Court, and elsewhere. He is a resident playwright at New Dramatists and was the 2006 P73 Playwriting Fellow. His plays have been published by Samuel French and Playscripts Inc., and in The Back Stage Book of New American Short Plays 2005 (edited by Craig Lucas), and his comics debut will take place in the upcoming Significant Objects anthology from Fantagraphics, edited by Joshua Glenn and Rob Walker.
This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.