Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Artemisia's American Premiere of Belfast Girls Opens May 16th

To purchase tickets  - CLICK HERE  or call Artemisia's Box Office at 832-819-4336.

Jaki McCarrick's play, Belfast Girls, about five young women who travel to Australia by ship in 1850 to escape the Irish Famine, will run as Artemisia’s American premiere from May 16, 2015 to June 14, 2015, in Chicago at The Den Theatre in Wicker Park.  Performances are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 pm, Sunday at 6:00 pm, with an additional matinee on Saturdays at 3:00 pm.

Preceding its American premiere are non-stop accolades for Belfast Girls from overseas.  McCarrick has been long listed for the Irish Laureate Award and shortlisted for the 2014 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. Belfast Girls also received a well-regarded staged reading by Artemisia in Chicago last year, which set the tone for this highly-anticipated premiere.  

The Committee for the National Commemoration for the Irish Famine invited the play to be read as part of their events in Drogheda in 2012 and, currently, McCarrick is in talks with a U.S. based production company to develop Belfast Girls into a feature film.

“This event, this premiere, is so important,” says Julie Proudfoot, Artemisia’s Artistic Director and Founder, “Not just to Artemisia in advancing its mission, but it’s a great story—one I want Chicago audiences to see and to talk about. Our cast is amazing, and we have more support than we’ve ever had. Belfast Girls is an extraordinary event – one not to be missed.”   

To purchase tickets  - CLICK HERE  or call Artemisia's Box Office at 832-819-4336.  To become a sponsor, follow the company’s progress, or receive more information about Artemisia Theatre, please visit http://www.artemisiatheatre.org/

For the latest reaction to Belfast Girls, read "It Must Be the Way the World Works I'm Angry At: Belfast Girls by Regina Buccola, Associate Professor in the Department of Literature and Languages at Roosevelt University in Chicago.

Artemisia, A Chicago Theatre is a not-for-profit theatre founded in 2011 by Artistic Director Julie Proudfoot with the mission of producing world and American premiere plays that empower women and challenge the audience with an unconventional view of the feminine experience.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Artemisia's American Premiere of Belfast Girls by Jaki McCarrick

Artemisia's American Premiere of Belfast Girls, May 16 to June 14 at the Den Theatre in Chicago

Regina Buccola
"It Must Be the Way the World Works I'm Angry At":  Belfast Girls by Regina Buccola

Jaki McCarrick's Belfast Girls is a materialist feminist play in the tradition of Caryl Churchill's Fen: an unflinching exploration of the lethal combination of colonialist class hierarchy, patriarchal oppression, and the female misogyny generated in women trapped between the two. Like the women working the East Anglian potato fields of Churchill's Fen, McCarrick's mid-nineteenth century refugees, fleeing the "famine" of Ireland for the promised land of upward mobility in Australia aboard the Inchinnan, fall to snarling and snapping at one another like starved, caged animals after initially forming an uneasy sisterhood born of perceived common cause. Age, education, marital status and employment history ultimately stratify McCarrick's Belfast "orphans," causing them to destroy the quasi-familial bonds they have initially forged on shipboard.

Materialist feminist analysis explores the matrix of class, race, and gender oppressions. With a Jamaican-born woman of mixed-race descent onboard the Inchinnan, along with former prostitutes and a degraded member of the bourgeoisie, McCarrick covers all of these bases with deft characterization and subtle exploration of the social systems that work to circumscribe everyone escaping the famine on the Inchinnan's ark.  Molly Durcan - a maid from Sligo who longs to be an actor, and who turns out to be turning in a stellar performance on shipboard - introduces the contemporaneously-published class analysis of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels to her traveling companions, along with the first-wave feminism of the suffragettes. A little knowledge proves a dangerous thing for the group, as several of the women have their consciousness raised just enough to turn on one another. Molly longs to play Puck; in a bit of meta-theater evocative of the meta-theatricality of A Midsummer Night's Dream, Molly instructionally performs the role of maid for the other women, teaching them how to raise their class positions in service to those far above them in the social hierarchy.

The lone setting is the Inchinnan, a ship slicing through the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, passing by the African colonies of England on its way to Australia, another site of English colonialism and enforced servitude. Bodies of water are liminal zones: sites of passage from one place, one state of being, to another. McCarrick is preoccupied by liminality throughout, with a cast of characters who are supposed to be nineteen year-old orphans (or younger) in order to secure their place onboard, but who are, in reality, far wiser in lived experience of the casual cruelties of life. They are prostitutes, mothers guilty of infanticide - all, ultimately, are actors within the play, shifting between their "real" identities to the identities they have needed to assume in order to earn a place on the ship, all the while dreaming of new identities for themselves in Australia.

Shortly before they dock, a rude awakening: the realization that the "system" in Australia will not be liberatory for them, but a different version of what they have left behind. Having realized on the Inchinnan that it is "the way the world works" that they must fight against, they discover, before docking, that this time out of time, this life out of life on the ship has been the greatest freedom and self-actualization that they have yet known, or, perhaps, ever will. Their eyes wide open, McCarrick's Belfast Girls are not defeated: "If it's not us who will have those freedoms you talked of . . . then maybe our daughters will. That's the important thing."

Regina Buccola is an Associate Professor in the Department of Literature and Languages at Roosevelt University in Chicago, where she also serves as core faculty in Women's and Gender Studies and in Creative Writing. She has published several books on early modern British drama and culture, most recently as editor of 

A Midsummer Night's Dream: A Critical Guide and co-editor, with Peter Kanelos, of Chicago Shakespeare Theater: Suiting the Action to the WordShe serves as the scholar in residence at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and is one of the Midwest American reviewers for the online journal Reviewing Shakespeare. Buccola's creative work can be seen with the Chicago political sketch comedy show Democracy Burlesque; she is also a published poet, the author of the chapbook,

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Script Analysis Workshop - November 15, 2014

Artemisia, A Chicago Theatre will host a Script Analysis Workshop on November 15, 2014, from 1:00 to 4:00 PM at Unity Lutheran Church, located at 1212 W. Balmoral in Chicago.  Taught by Founding Artistic Director, Julie Proudfoot, this workshop focuses on creating a direct emotional connection between the theatre artist and the play.  A system of analysis will be taught and discussed and exciting exercises used to identify the play’s core elements, action, themes, environment, genre and style.  This workshop is geared for actors, writers, directors and designers.  Equally effective for recent college graduates and seasoned theatre professionals, this workshop inspires any theatre artist to make bold, creative choices that will enhance their success.  A long time story analyst with HBO Films, instructor Julie Proudfoot creates a positive, supportive and exciting atmosphere that puts a whole new spin on story.

“This is an inspiring way for theatre artists to make a great creative connection with the play’s action.  I promise you will never read a play the same again,” said Artemisia’s Founding Artistic Director Julie Proudfoot.

For more information and to register visit artemisiatheatre.org

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Sponsor Artemisia's American Premiere of Belfast Girls!

Support Artemisia's American premiere of Belfast Girls set to open May 16, 2015, at the Den Theatre in Chicago.  All sponsorship levels include naming opportunities for you and your business in all event marketing and collateral, which can include onsite signage, presence on website, social media and email marketing and possible live event presentation. For more information email Julie Proudfoot, Artemisia's Founding Artistic Director at artemisiatheatre@gmail.com. 

Belfast Girls, by Jaki McCarrick, tells the amazing story of five young women, who, at the height of the Irish Famine in 1850, seek passage on a ship to Australia hopeful they will find a fresh start in a new land.  None of these women are quite who they seem to be at first – all have secrets of one kind or another – and when the greatest of these is uncovered, all hell breaks loose on the ship. En route to Australia, the women develop close and combative relationships and through the adventures, secrets and dark history they share, they discover that their beloved homeland of Ireland deported them as “undesirables.”  The “Belfast Girls” prevail and land in Australia bound by their shared passion to create a new life together. 

About the playwright:  Jaki McCarrick is a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin and Middlesex University, London. Her first play, The Mushroom Pickers, won the 2005 Scottish Drama Association's National Playwriting Competition and premiered at the Southwark Playhouse in London in May 2006 and in New York in February 2009. Her play, Leopoldville, won the 2010 Papatango New Writing Award and was staged in April 2010 at the Tristan Bates Theatre in London to critical acclaim. Her most recent play, Belfast Girls was developed at the National Theatre Studio (London) in 2012 and received a staged reading by Artemisia, A Chicago Theatre in September 2013.  Belfast Girls was shortlisted for the 2012 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and will be published to worldwide release in the spring of 2015, simultaneously with Artemisia’s American premiere of the play.

To learn more about Jaki McCarrick and her incredible work visit:

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

2014 Fall Festival Panels

Gender Parity & Our Role as Artists
5-6:00 pm
Sept 20 & 27
Free Admission
Holy Covenant UMC, 925 W. Diversey

Two panel discussions have been added to Artemisia's 4th Annual Fall Festival.  On Sept 20th a distinguished panel will address Gender Parity in Chicago Theatre.  Fueled by this year's Tony awards, the topic of opportunities for women as leading and creative artists will focus the discussion. On Sept 27th theatre professionals and scholars will discuss the Role of Artists in the Characterization of Women.  Lend your voice to these energizing conversations, which will be moderated by Julie Proudfoot, Artemisia's Artistic Director.

RSVP today to artemisiatheatre@gmail.com
Space Limited!
Join the Dialogue!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Fall Festival 2015 Play Submissions

Artemisia’s annual Fall Festival began in 2011 and remains the core event of our season. From open submissions from international playwrights, six plays are selected to be staged as readings.  From those six plays, the fall festival audience will choose by vote which play will be fully produced during Artemisia’s next theatre season.  We consider all submissions based on the following guidelines – please read the information below carefully before submitting.
Submission Guidelines  
Plays must be full length and be carried by a woman. We require a leading, female protagonist. Artemisia produces plays that empower women.  Due to the number of submissions we receive, submission is limited to ONE play per writer.  If you submit more than one play, your submissions will NOT be considered.  Full-length is defined by a playing time of 90 minutes or more.  The submission window for Artemisia’s 2015 Fall Festival opens August 15, 2014, and and closes January 15, 2015, at midnight. Artemisia limits submissions to the first five hundred plays received and reserves the right to close the submission window PRIOR TO JANUARY 15TH if FIVE HUNDRED submissions have been received.  Published plays and one-acts DO NOT meet Artemisia’s guidelines and will NOT be accepted.  We are unable to accept snail mail submissions.  Please submit your play as a single file PDF attachment (no other format will be accepted) to  submissionsartemisia@yahoo.com.  We have recently changed our submission guidelines.  The email given above is the only email where submissions will be accepted.  The volume of scripts submitted hampers our ability to comment individually on each work, so we do not offer criticism or feedback on the plays we receive.
Please note:  A one-time $10.00 administrative fee per submission is now required.  If you meet ALL of the above guidelines - submit your play as follows:
  1. Pay the $10 fee by using the above link on this page.
  2. Email submissionsartemisia@yahoo.com with 2015 Fall Festival Submission in the subject line, your Paypal receipt number in the body of the email and your play attached as a single-file PDF.  

Friday, August 1, 2014

2014 Fall Festival Fundraiser!

Join all of Artemisia's special guests Friday, August 22nd from 7:00 to 9:00 PM at Ebenezer Lutheran Church, 1650 W. Foster, Chicago, to raise a glass and raise the funds to support Artemisia's 4th Annual Fall Festival.

RSVP NOW at artemisiatheatre@gmail.com and if you're unable to attend, make your generous donation by clicking HERE or sending a check to Artemisia, A Chicago Theatre, 27 N. Wacker, Suite 435, Chicago, IL  60606.

This year's festival puts six women writers and six women directors at the helm to create female-centered theatre that will thrill, challenge, enlighten and entertain.  

So if you have been waiting to make a donation, come to our August 22nd Fundraiser and celebrate with us!  
RSVP today to artemisiatheatre@gmail.com
Space Limited!

$25 Minimum Donation at the Door
Beer, Wine, & Great Fun!