Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2017-11-22
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



SCOTTISH PLAY SCOTT 'Look'-ing at Laura Jacqmin's production
by Scott C. Morgan, Windy City Times

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

When Chicago playwright Laura Jacqmin got word that Rivendell Theatre Ensemble would produce the world premiere of her drama Look, we are breathing, there was only one person she wanted to helm the production—lesbian director Megan Shuchman.

"I just love working with [Shuchman]," Jacqmin said. "I think she's one of the smartest directors in Chicago."

Shuchman previously directed Jacqmin's plays Dead Pile, Pluto Was a Planet and Dental Society Midwinter Meeting—the latter to such acclaim that it was given a quick revival by Berwyn's 16th Street Theater in 2011 just a year after its world premiere at Chicago Dramatists. Shuchman had also directed two previous readings of Look, we are breathing in 2009 for Chicago Dramatists and in 2010 for Theatre Seven, so it was only natural for Jacqmin to return to her frequent collaborator.

"We've really become deep collaborators over the past seven years, and I'm always hopeful that I can direct Laura's work," Shuchman said. "I think that it's really unique to find an artist that you mesh so well with and you really kind of speak a similar language and it makes the whole process feel really collaborative and that you have a teammate."

With 11 years in arts education working primarily with teenagers and her current day job as an associate education director for Steppenwolf for Young Adults, Shuchman hopes that her experiences prove particularly helpful to Jacqmin's Look, we are breathing, since it focuses on how three women react to the death of Mike ( Brendan Meyer ), a teenager killed in a drunken-driving accident.

"There's a 17-year-old boy who is in the play, but you learn from the very beginning that he has died and it's flashbacks and a series of memories that have to do with the women in his life dealing with his death and kind of grappling with what it means because he's not particularly a nice kid," said Shuchman, noting that there are scenes with his mother Alice ( Rivendell Theatre founder and artistic director Tara Mallen ), his English teacher Leticia ( Lily Mojekwu ), and his "girlfriend" Caylee ( Brenann Stacker ), that all show Mike in a very unflattering light.

"This play is sort of looking at the very private nature of grief, and sort of what you go through when the person really was a mixed bag," Jacqmin said. "How do you mourn someone who maybe you didn't like all that much?"

"How do you still memorialize this person and think about them?" Shuchman said. "It's really more about the potential that he had rather than the person that he was."

Shuchman feels her working relationship with Jacqmin is unique since they spend so much time in rehearsals together. It's very different from some directors who prefer to banish the playwright practically from the entire rehearsal process.

"I'm just so used to working that way with her that it feels comforting rather than, 'Oh my gosh, what is the playwright going to come in and say?'" Shuchman said. "Laura did a ton of rewriting on this play, almost every day that she was in she would be tweaking something. And even going into the process, we knew that there would be things that we still wanted to work on in the script, so it was really important that she be there frequently to make those changes."

With Look, we are breathing, both Jacqmin and Shuchman are happy to be working for the first time with Rivendell Theatre Ensemble in large part for what the company represents. Now in its 20th season, Rivendell is the only Equity theater company in Chicago dedicated to producing original plays created by and about women.

"I'm a longtime fan," Shuchman said. "It's a theater that promotes women who are often underrepresented still in the theater. That could be with a feminist agenda, or one could just look at it as we need spaces that make sure they dedicate work to women—playwrights, actors, directors, designers and it's been a very purposeful part of the conversation with the company from the beginning when I said who I wanted to work with as designers, they said let's make sure we have women represented."

As for Jacqmin, she's glad to be collaborating with Shuchman again and specifically at Rivendell.

"To make the commitment and say, 'I want to work with playwrights and world premieres, I want to do stuff that hasn't been done before'—I just think that's tremendous and that's one of the reasons that Megan and I continue to work with each other," Jacqmin said. "It's just been a dream from beginning to end of being able to do the play in the right city, with the right people and the right company."

The world premiere of Look, we are breathing continues through Saturday, May 16, at Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, 5779 N. Ridge Ave. Performances are at 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays and at 4 and 8 p.m. Saturdays. Tickets are $32-$35 and $22-$25 for students and seniors; call 773-334-7728 or visit .

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

Spotlight on Irving Berlin's White Christmas 2017-11-22 - Get in a Broadway holiday mood by taking in the touring return of Irving Berlin's White Christmas. The popular screen-to-stage show not only ...

Gay News

Critics' Picks 2017-11-22 - Becky Shaw, Windy City Playhouse, through Dec. 17. "Love is a by-product of Use" says a cynical cad in Gina Gionfriddo's slyly Machiavellian ...

Gay News

'Tis the Seasonal Depression 2017-11-22 - Authors: Sarah Collier, Katie Cutler, Evan M. Duggan, Julie Fishbach, Clay Goodpasture, Christopher "Tito" Thies Lotito, Greg Phelps and Laurel Posakony. At: Pride ...

Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Escape to Margaritaville 2017-11-22 - Score: Jimmy Buffett; Book: Greg Garcia & Mike O'Malley At: Oriental Theatre, 24 W. Randolph St. Tickets: 800-775-2000 or; $35-$115. Runs through: ...

Gay News

THEATER REVIEW The Importance of Being Earnest 2017-11-22 - Playwright: Oscar Wilde At: Writers Theatre, 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe. Tickets:; $35-80. Runs through: Dec. 23 On the evening of ...

Gay News

OUT FRONT seeks play submissions 2017-11-21 - About Face Theatre is seeking play submissions for its OUT FRONT Series, an annual line-up of workshops and readings of new and developmental ...

Gay News

Gift Gala on Dec. 1 at Copernicus 2017-11-21 - The Gift Theatre will present its 16th annual benefit, Gift Gala 2017: Revolutions on Friday, Dec. 1, 6-10 p.m., at the Copernicus Center, ...

Gay News

Magic Cabaret closing Dec. 27 2017-11-19 - After a decade-long run, The Magic Cabaret is ending. David Parr and Joe Diamond are wrapping up the run with four more ...

Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Fade 2017-11-19 - Playwright: Tanya Saracho At: Victory Gardens Theater at the Biograph, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave. Tickets: $15-$56. Runs through: Dec. 23 During ...

Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Breath, Boom 2017-11-19 - Playwright: Kia Corthron At: Eclipse Theatre Company at the Athenaeum, 2936 N. Southport Ave. Tickets: $30 Runs through: Dec. 17. ...


Copyright © 2017 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.