Stages

Preview: Theater Wit to Livestream Video of Teenage Dick, as Richard III Goes to High School

Top row, playwright Mike Lew and director Brian Balcom. Below (from left), MacGregor Arney (Richard), Liz Cloud (Elizabeth), Ty Fanning (Eddie), Courtney Rikki Green (Anne), Sarah Price (Clarissa) and Tamara Rozofsky (Buck).

Theater Wit in the Belmont theater district is keeping theater alive during the coronavirus shutdown. Live via a livestreamed video that you can view at home on Vimeo.

The play is Teenage Dick, a new comedy inspired by “theater’s most famous disabled character.” Playwright Mike Lew reimagines Shakespeare’s Richard III in the brutal world of high school. He’s picked on because of his cerebral palsy but he’s determined to become class president.m

Here’s how you can watch Teenage Dick at home. You buy a ticket for the performance date and time of your choice, as always. Ten minutes before the show begins, all ticket buyers will receive an email with a private URL and password to watch the performance on Vimeo. The performance will be shot on two cameras, using mixed video to provide close-ups and full coverage of the staging. At the end of every performance, the video stream will conclude and no longer be accessible.

Director Brian Balcom “is a young, disabled, Asian-American director who will bring a highly nuanced take to this new work by one of today’s most important young Asian-American playwrights [Mike Lew]. Brian will collaborate with a cast of disabled and non-disabled theater artists to create a raw, hilarious, vitally important live theater experience that portrays disability issues in a radically new way,” according to Theater Wit artistic director Jeremy Wechsler.

Theater Wit commented today that with minimal promotion they are selling remote view tickets to a variety of performance dates/times. The first two purchasers were from New York, so this may become a novel way for anyone anywhere in the world with an internet connection to enjoy Chicago theater.

The first livestream performance will be at 7pm this Wednesday, March 18, which would have been opening night. Regular performances via streaming video will begin Friday, March 20, and continue thru April 19. Show times will be Thursday-Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 2:30pm. Teenage Dick will run 100 minutes with no intermission. Tickets are $28 for remote viewing. For tickets and more information, see the Theater Wit website or call 773-975-8150 during box office hours.

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