Following their Jeff Award Recommended run of They’re Playing Our Song, Brown Paper Box Co. concludes their 2017/2018 season with the non-Equity Chicago debut of Tony Award winner Stephen Karam’s Speech & Debate. BPBCo. Board President David Lipschutz helms the timely dark comedy at The Edge Theater (5451 N. Broadway, Chicago, IL 60660) in Chicago's Edgewater neighborhood.
Three teenage misfits in Salem, Oregon discover they are linked by a sex scandal that's rocked their town. When one of them sets out to expose the truth, secrets become currency, the stakes get higher, and the trio's connection grows deeper in this fiercely funny dark comedy with music. More information - including ticketing, groups sales, and behind-the-scenes insights - can be found at www.BrownPaperBox.org.
“I am excited to stage Speech & Debate with BPBCo. because I’ve been performing, coaching, and judging at forensics competitions for over twenty years,” says Lipschutz. “The play holds a special spot in my heart since these high school misfits form an unforeseen friendship after starting their speech and debate team. This is reminiscent of my own high school experience as many of my closest and longest friendships began on the very same teams.”
Speech & Debate stars Trevor Bates (Howie), Austin Book (Howie u/s), Michael Brigance (Solomon u/s), Molly Coleman (Diwata u/s), Elise Marie Davis (Teacher/Reporter), Lauren S. Deaton (Teacher/Reporter u/s), Darren Patin (Solomon), and Deanalís Resto (Diwata).
The production staff and design team includes David Lipschutz* (Director), Sally Baker (Casting Assistant), Zach Dries* (Photographer/Videographer), Jeanine Fry (Costume Designer), Sara Heymann* (Properties Designer). Becca Holloway (Ass’t Director/Choreographer), Torrey Meyer (Scenis Designer), M. William Panek* (Box Office Manager), Erin Pleake (Lighting/Projection Designer), Deanna Satin (Stage Manager), Anna Schutz* (Production Manager), Charlie Sheets* (Graphic Designer), Daniel Spagnuolo* (Casting Associate), Gin To (Production Intern), and Becca Venable (Sound Designer).
Stephen Karam (Playwright) plays include The Humans (Tony Award, Obie Award for Playwriting and Pulitzer Prize finalist), Sons of the Prophet (Pulitzer Prize finalist), and Speech & Debate. His adaptation of Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard premiered on Broadway as part of Roundabout’s 2016 season; his film adaptation of The Seagull starring Annette Bening will premiere in 2017. Recent honors include two Drama Critics Circle, Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk Awards; a Lucille Lortel Award, Drama League Award and Hull-Warriner Award. Stephen is a graduate of Brown University and grew up in Scranton, PA.
David Lipschutz* (Director) BPBCo. company member. David has directed with Hell in a Handbag (company member), Underscore Theatre, Generic Theatre Company, and several high schools throughout Chicagoland (where he ironically also coached and judged at speech and debate competitions). He recently assistant directed The Clockwork of the Lonely Soul with Runaways Lab Theatre's DDADIS Festival, and understudied/performed in At the Table (Non-Equity Jeff Award, Best Play) with Broken Nose Theatre. Next up, David is directing The Golden Girls: The Lost Episodes, Holiday Edition with Handbag. Thanks to BPBCo. for this incredible opportunity and to BC/KJOC.
*Denotes Brown Paper Box Co. members
Brown Paper Blog
Making theatre. Writing about it. Maybe some hilarious Youtube cat videos in between.