The Dream Engine


Tennessee Williams One Acts

Les dangers ou soi plaisir

Tennessee Williams One Acts

four short plays by Tennessee Williams
directed by John Zajac

The Dream Engine & Indefinite Theatre present a series of four shorts written by one of America’s favorite playwrights in the 30’s and 40’s, and left unpublished until 2005: “Summer at the Lake” (Chicago premiere), “The Pink Bedroom” (World Premiere), “Why do you smoke so much, Lily?” (Chicago Premiere) and “Mr. Paradise” (Chicago Premiere). Produced by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.

Fridays and Saturdays 19 January - 10 February at 8 p.m., with a special matinee performance Sunday 21 January at 2 p.m.

Tickets are now on sale at just $12 for all four plays. Tickets are available through the venue, Gorilla Tango Theatre.

1919 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago, IL 60647 (773) 598-4549

About the plays

Each play traces the consequences of the loss of faith in dreams, and different ways of reacting to and coping with that loss. A young man struggles to break free of his needy mother and her overwhelming expectations; a man and his mistress bicker over who said what and who needs whom; a New Woman finds her only escape from a world of rigid vanity is to drown herself in cigarettes; an unacclaimed poet, awaiting death, is interrupted by the obsession of a young woman. These are classic Williams characters in situations which archetypically inform his later work.

About the ensemble

Rob Biesenbach (Man, Mr. Paradise) is an actor and writer. He has performed with Silk Road Theatre, the Side Project, Rogue Theatre, Steep Theatre, at the Bailiwick Directors Festival and in many other theatrical, commercial and film productions. Rob’s one act plays were finalists in competitions this year at Chicago Dramatists and Speaking Ring Theatre. He has also produced and acted in two shows of his own works.
Leslie Frame (Lily) is pleased to be making her debut with the Dream Engine, particularly with the work of her favorite playwright. She graduated in 2004 from Southwest Missouri State University with a B.F.A. in Theatre Performance. Leslie can also be seen as Unnoticeable Girl in Rogue Theatre’s Rogue 8: Episode 3.
Maura Kidwell (Girl) is a 2003 graduate of Beloit College in Wisconsin and a newcomer to Chicago. Her favorite past roles include Shelly in Buried Child, Kate in She Stoops to Conquer, Constanze in Amadeus and Alice in Closer (MOB Productions). Maura is delighted to be working with the Dream Engine in her Tennessee Williams debut.
Mary Mikva (Mrs. Fenway, Mrs. Yorke) is thrilled to be part of resurrecting these early Williams works. Other recent projects include several Collaboraction Sketchbooks, Starting Monday with Dark Night Theatre and traveling performances of the lead role in Henrietta Szold: Woman of Valor. Mary has performed at numerous local theatres, including About Face, Bailiwick and Chicago Dramatists.
Rebecca Prescott (Anna, Woman) made her Tennessee Williams debut as Claire in Bailiwick’s production of Something Cloudy, Something Clear and is excited to be tackling these new roles. She has performed Desdemona in Othello and Ariel in The Tempest with Idaho Shakespeare, Low Dive Jenny with American Opera Group, the Governess in The Turn of the Screw and Laurie in Oklahoma! with Sierra Repertory Theatre, and Yum Yum in The Mikado with CCPA.
Troy Slavens (Donald Fenway, Young Man) couldn't be happier to be making his Chicago theatrical debut. Troy has previously appeared on stage in his hometown of Austin, Texas and in student productions at North Carolina’s School of the Arts.

Nazan Kayalı (stage manager) is excited to be working on her first show with the Dream Engine. Her involvement in the performing arts began in her hometown of Istanbul, Turkey, and continued at Northwestern University, where she graduated with a B.S. in Radio/TV/Film. Nazan is also currently producing videos for academic institutions in Chicago.

Doug Valenta (production manager, designer) has been a production designer and first assistant director on short films. He studied media production and writing at Northwestern University, and is currently writing an opera with John Zajac and an adaptation of The Satyricon. Doug is the resident production manager for the Dream Engine.

John Zajac (director) has directed and performed with many companies in the Chicago area, including American Opera Group, Chamber Opera Chicago, Light Opera Works, and the Dream Engine. Most recently, he performed the role of Ronald Wilson Reagan in the world premiere of the oratorio Reagan’s Children by Eric Reda. John is a graduate of Oberlin College and Oberlin Conservatory of Music. This is the second show he has directed with the Dream Engine.

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