September 7, 2009

Dylan & the Coffeehouse Tradition

While Under Milk Wood lives inside the Storefront Theater, a whole other world--or rather, series of worlds-- is coming to life in the mezzanine lobby. After sifting through submissions from Chicago, Wales, Ireland, Virginia, Massachusetts, Indiana, Minnesota, and Lithuania--to name just some of the sources, we're putting together The Dylan Thomas Coffeehouse Cabaret for its one night of glory on Wednesday September 9.

Along with the winners of the Rev. Eli Jenkins' Five & Country Senses poetry competition (named for a Milk Wood poet and a Thomas poem), the Coffeehouse will bring together local and international works inspired by Thomas.

Since our first Coffeehouse in 2005 (The Acorn Forum, companion to the world premiere of Silva and co-funded by the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas), Caffeine has brought together artists from across organizations and disciplines. In 2008 the Antigone Coffeehouse expanded that notion into a mini-performance festival, played to packed houses and made friends around the globe. The Dylan Thomas Coffeehouse Cabaret continues that tradition.

We're pleased as punch to include new music and dance from locals like The Summer is for Fireflies, Robert Steel, Catherine Glynn, and Chicago Opera Vanguard. We're also thrilled to hear the luminous Nick Rudall read from Dylan's "Prologue." And Pat Hofmann (of past Caffeine shows Sailing to Byzantium and Silva) voice Dylan's wife Caitlin (at an AA meeting, no less!), and Artistic Associate Jeremy van Meter portray the Welsh composer Daniel Jones. Other performers include Artistic Associates Carey Burton and Erik Schnitger, Chuck Filipov and Kaitlin Byrd of Under Milk Wood, and Ian Randall of The Cocktail Party, Many Loves, and The Changeling. The theatre pieces, meanwhile, come to us from Jerome Fellow Monica Raymond, David McCall of County Cork Ireland, Richard Ballon of Amherst, Massachusetts, and many others.

Tickets are free, but eventually we'll run out of chairs, so to take advantage of this one-night event, you'll want to reserve a ticket in advance!

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