Lifeline Theatre -- Big Stories, Up Close
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Fillet of Solo Festival
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2017-18 Performances:
Sylvester
Arnie The Doughnut
Montauciel Takes Flight
Anna Karenina
You Think It's Easy Being The Tooth Fairy?
Neverwhere
Fillet of Solo 2018
Concert Reading Series


Celebrating the breadth of Chicago’s enduring storytelling and live lit scene, Lifeline brings together a dozen storytelling collectives and numerous solo performers for a three-week, multi-venue selection of powerful personal stories.

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The 21st Anniversary Fillet of Solo Festival features solo performances by:

  • Lily Be
  • Ada Cheng
  • Shelby Marie Edwards
  • Julie Ganey
  • Carly Jo Geer
  • R.C. Riley
  • Jameson Wentworth

Plus the work of the following storytelling collectives:


LOCATIONS
Performances are at Lifeline Theatre and Heartland Studio Theatre. Free parking and shuttle available: see Performance Venues below for more details.

DATES & TIMES
Performance times are: Fridays at 7:00 and 8:30pm at both venues, Saturdays at 4:00 and 5:30 p.m. at the Heartland Studio and 7:00 and 8:30 p.m. at both venues, and Sundays at 4:00 and 5:30pm at both venues. See the complete Schedule below.

Unless otherwise noted, each performance runs approximately 60 minutes in length.

TICKETS
Tickets are $10 for each performance, and Festival Passes are available for only $50, which allow admission to any number of performances. Tickets may be purchased from the Lifeline Theatre box office (773.761.4477) or online.

Buy Festival Passes here!


Top | Trailer | Venues | Schedule | Performers | History

TRAILER VIDEO

Top | Trailer | Venues | Schedule | Performers | History

PERFORMANCE VENUES

Lifeline Theatre
6912 N. Glenwood Avenue

Heartland Studio Theatre
7016 N. Glenwood Avenue

Both venues are located in Chicago's Rogers Park neighborhood, in the Glenwood Avenue Arts District, steps from the Morse Red Line CTA stop.

Free parking is available at Sullivan High School (school address is 6631 N Bosworth Ave — the lot is located on Greenview Ave just south of North Shore Ave) with free shuttle service before and after the shows. Street parking is also available.

Click here for more information about our shuttle service.

For all performances, call the Lifeline Theatre box office for tickets (773.761.4477) or click here.

Top | Trailer | Venues | Schedule | Performers | History

PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE

WEEK ONE: January 12-14
Friday, January 12
Lifeline Theatre
7:00pm — Around the World: Immigrant Stories
8:30pm — Lily Be (“No Hay Mal”)
Heartland Studio Theatre
7:00pm — GayCo
8:30pm — Serving The Sentence
Saturday, January 13
Lifeline Theatre
7:00pm — Julie Ganey (“Vacationing in the Moral High Ground”)
8:30pm — the kates
Heartland Studio Theatre
4:00pm — GeNarrations
5:30pm — The Lifeline Storytelling Project
7:00pm — R.C. Riley (“Wrong Way Journey”)
8:30pm — Sappho's Salon
Sunday, January 14
Lifeline Theatre
4:00pm — Tellin' Tales Theatre with Tekki Lomnicki
5:30pm — Sweat Girls
Heartland Studio Theatre
4:00pm — Jameson Wentworth (“[Out of] Context”)
5:30pm — Shelby Marie Edwards (“Holly’s Ivy”)

WEEK TWO: January 19-21
Friday, January 19
Lifeline Theatre
7:00pm — the kates
8:30pm — You're Being Ridiculous
Heartland Studio Theatre
7:00pm — Sappho's Salon
8:30pm — Stir Friday Night
Saturday, January 20
Lifeline Theatre
7:00pm — Lily Be (“No Hay Mal”)
8:30pm — Julie Ganey (“Vacationing in the Moral High Ground”)
Heartland Studio Theatre
4:00pm — Serving The Sentence
5:30pm — Carly Jo Geer (“I Come From Hoarders”)
7:00pm — GayCo
8:30pm — Shelby Marie Edwards (“Holly’s Ivy”)
Sunday, January 21
Lifeline Theatre
4:00pm — Tellin' Tales Theatre with Tekki Lomnicki
5:30pm — The Lifeline Storytelling Project
Heartland Studio Theatre
4:00pm — GeNarrations
5:30pm — Ada Cheng (“Breaking Rules, Broken Hearts: Loving Across Borders”)

WEEK THREE: January 26-28
Friday, January 26
Lifeline Theatre
7:00pm — Julie Ganey (“Vacationing in the Moral High Ground”)
8:30pm — the kates
Heartland Studio Theatre
7:00pm — Carly Jo Geer (“I Come From Hoarders”)
8:30pm — Stir Friday Night
Saturday, January 27
Lifeline Theatre
4:00pm — The Lifeline Storytelling Project
7:00pm — Around the World: Immigrant Stories
8:30pm — You're Being Ridiculous
Heartland Studio Theatre
5:30pm — The Stoop
7:00pm — Ada Cheng (“Breaking Rules, Broken Hearts: Loving Across Borders”)
8:30pm — Jameson Wentworth (“[Out of] Context”)
Sunday, January 28
Lifeline Theatre
4:00pm — Tellin' Tales Theatre with Tekki Lomnicki
5:30pm — Sweat Girls
Heartland Studio Theatre
4:00pm — Serving The Sentence
5:30pm — R.C. Riley (“Wrong Way Journey”)

Top | Trailer | Venues | Schedule | Performers | History

PERFORMERS

Around the World: Immigrant Stories
Curated and produced by Nestor Gomez

Celebrated storyteller and 25-time Moth Slam winner Nestor Gomez has assembled a group of local performers to help illuminate the voices of immigrants in our city.

Performances
Friday, Jan. 12 at 7:00 p.m. (Lifeline)
Saturday, Jan. 27 at 7:00 p.m. (Lifeline)
Lily Be
No Hay Mal
Written and performed by Lily Be

Lily Be’s mom has this saying: no hay mal que por bien no venga? (“there’s no bad from which good cannot come”). Lily would add, “you just have to be patient.” Lily Be is a Mexican-American Chicago native, the creator of the storytelling show The Stoop, a member of The Hoodoisie, a former artist in residence at Free Street Theater, and instructor at The Second City.

Performances
Friday, Jan. 12 at 8:30 p.m. (Lifeline)
Saturday, Jan. 20 at 7:00 p.m. (Lifeline)
Ada Cheng
Breaking Rules, Broken Hearts: Loving Across Borders
Written and performed by Ada Cheng
Directed by Jonald Reyes

This show tackles issues about gender, culture, and feminism. Ada Cheng explores how one learns about womanhood, love, and abuse in different sociopolitical and cultural contexts through personal stories. An intense personal journey, this solo weaves tales of breaking rules and broken hearts across borders. This performance is relevant to current debates about gender equality and women's status in American society.

Performances
Sunday, Jan. 21 at 5:30 p.m. (Heartland)
Saturday, Jan. 27 at 7:00 p.m. (Heartland)
Shelby Marie Edwards
Holly's Ivy
Written and performed by Shelby Marie Edwards
Directed by Earliana McLaurin

A journey of love, bereavement, and all the wonderful shades that lay in between. Reflecting on her past through stories about her family, Shelby remembers where she's been to better understand who she is and where she's going. The aim is not Resolution but Revelation.

Performances
Sunday, Jan. 14 at 5:30 p.m. (Heartland)
Saturday, Jan. 20 at 8:30 p.m. (Heartland)
Julie Ganey
Vacationing in the Moral High Ground
Written and performed by Julie Ganey
Curated and directed by Megan Shuchman
Presented by 2nd Story

Julie Ganey, Chicago theatre and storytelling veteran, explores why when it comes to high ideals, it’s not the climb that gets you, it’s the fall. A new solo play that takes a spirited look at the question: if you can’t get over the high bar of your own convictions, can you still claim them as your convictions?

Performances
Saturday, Jan. 13 at 7:00 p.m. (Lifeline)
Saturday, Jan. 20 at 8:30 p.m. (Lifeline)
Friday, Jan. 26 at 7:00 p.m. (Lifeline)
GayCo
An ensemble that specializes in creating sketch-comedy revues based on gay/lesbian themes. Since starting as a lesbigay focused workshop at the Second City Training Center in 1996, they’ve performed for massive, enthusiastic, sexy gay audiences in Chicago and across the country.

Performances
Friday, Jan. 12 at 7:00 p.m. (Heartland)
Saturday, Jan. 20 at 7:00 p.m. (Heartland)
Carly Jo Geer
I Come From Hoarders
Written and performed by Carly Jo Geer
Directed by Bec Willett
Presented by The LIVINGroom

Compulsive hoarding is a mental disorder marked by an obsessive need to acquire and keep things, even if the items are worthless, hazardous, or unsanitary. More than three million people are compulsive hoarders. Carly Jo Geer shares the real story of what it’s like to grow up in a family who are hoarders but also – just like any other family – fight and love, grow and get sick, live and pass away.

Performances
Saturday, Jan. 20 at 5:30 p.m. (Heartland)
Friday, Jan. 26 at 7:00 p.m. (Heartland)
GeNarrations
Unrest and Rebellion: Stories from the 60’s (January 13)
Featuring Laurie Barretto, Kucha Brownlee, Patrick Curtain, Janie Isackson, and Terry Veras
Directed by Sharon Evans

Stories of Wonder and Mystery (January 21)
Featuring Dominic Bialecki, Robert Garcia, Larry Krucoff, Sandra McCollum, and Belinda Silber
Directed by Deb Lewis

A personal narrative story performance workshop hosted at the Goodman Theatre and in senior centers around Chicago.

Performances
Saturday, Jan. 13 at 4:00 p.m. (Heartland)
Sunday, Jan. 21 at 4:00 p.m. (Heartland)
the kates
An all-female comedy showcase that provides an intimate night of comedy dedicated to showcasing talented and hilarious female-identified performers by creating inclusive and positive environments. Artists are encouraged to express their comic point of view in unique and non-apologetic ways - proving that women are equal in the eyes of comedy.

Performances
Saturday, Jan. 13 at 8:30 p.m. (Lifeline)
Friday, Jan. 19 at 7:00 p.m. (Lifeline)
Friday, Jan. 26 at 8:30 p.m. (Lifeline)
The Lifeline Storytelling Project
Uncharted Territory
Written and performed by Allison Cain (Lifeline Managing Director), Mark Greenberg (Lifeline board member and Treasurer), Jay Lenn (Lifeline board member), Donna Mavros (Lifeline board member and past chair), Ligia Sandoval (Lifeline artist and former intern), Betsy Vandercook (Lifeline subscriber), and Emily Wills (Lifeline artist, front-of-house staffer and former intern)
Directed by Dorothy Milne
Music by Paul Gilvary and Dorothy Milne

The Lifeline Storytelling Project produces live music and storytelling events designed to develop and showcase artists affiliated with Lifeline Theatre.

Performances
Saturday, Jan. 13 at 5:30 p.m. (Heartland)
Sunday, Jan. 21 at 5:30 p.m. (Lifeline)
Saturday, Jan. 27 at 4:00 p.m. (Lifeline)
R.C. Riley
Wrong Way Journey
Written and performed by R.C. Riley
Directed by Emmi Hilger

A story about a young woman who as a result of a traumatic experience is forced out of naiveté into a journey towards healing, wholeness, and liberation. Along the way she grapples with her spirituality and sexuality as she learns how to adjust to, accept, and reject the world’s ideas and expectations of women’s sexual behavior. This is one queer woman’s story.

Performances
Saturday, Jan. 13 at 7:00 p.m. (Heartland)
Sunday, Jan. 28 at 5:30 p.m. (Heartland)
Sappho's Salon
A semi-monthly performance series at Chicago's Women and Children First bookstore featuring expressions of queerness, gender, and feminism.

Performances
Saturday, Jan. 13 at 8:30 p.m. (Heartland)
Friday, Jan. 19 at 7:00 p.m. (Heartland)
Serving the Sentence
Different storytellers take the same first sentence -- each in their own direction. At the end of the show, a new sentence is drawn that the next show's storytellers will embark from!

Performances
Friday, Jan. 12 at 8:30 p.m. (Heartland)
Saturday, Jan. 20 at 4:00 p.m. (Heartland)
Sunday, Jan. 28 at 4:00 p.m. (Heartland)
Stir Friday Night
A 22-year-old Asian-American theater company, specializing in sketch comedy and improv. Alumni include Danny Pudi from Community, and Steven Yeun from The Walking Dead.

Performances
Friday, Jan. 19 at 8:30 p.m. (Heartland)
Friday, Jan. 26 at 8:30 p.m. (Heartland)
The Stoop
The Stoop is hosted by Moth GrandSLAM champion Lily Be and Badass Clarence Browley. Featured storytellers are given a theme and each share a short story related to that theme. The Stoop is a platform to bring Chicagoans to a better understanding of each other and to inspire change. Performing regularly at Rosa's Lounge in Humboldt Park, it is as much about community and survival as it is about entertainment.

Performance
Saturday, Jan. 27 at 5:30 p.m. (Heartland)
Sweat Girls
Total Eclipse of the Sweat
Written and performed by Cindy Hanson, Dorothy Milne, Clare Nolan, Martie Sanders, and Pamela Webster

With 24 years of shared history, the Sweat Girls represent the greying edge of Chicago's Live Lit community. Known for their "contagious gusto" the Sweat Girls have been called "the undisputed tribal elders" of the solo performance scene (Chicago Reader, 2014).

Performances
Sunday, Jan. 14 at 5:30 p.m. (Lifeline)
Sunday, Jan. 28 at 5:30 p.m. (Lifeline)
Tellin' Tales Theatre
Apocalyptic Be Bop
Featuring Tekki Lomnicki, Tammy Rozofsky, and Di Reed

Three performers share their stories of disillusionment, hope and redemption. Is there light at the edge of darkness?

Tellin' Tales Theatre shatters the barriers between the disabled and non-disabled worlds through personal story — adult solo performances as well as "Six Stories Up,” a mentoring program and show featuring kids and adults, with and without disabilities.

Tekki Lomnicki is a solo performer, playwright, director, and educator. She is a recipient of an Illinois Arts Council Artists Fellowship in New Performance Forms, the 2008 3Arts Artists Award in Theater and the 2010 Grigsby Award for Excellence in Solo Performance.

Performances
Sunday, Jan. 14 at 4:00 p.m. (Lifeline)
Sunday, Jan. 21 at 4:00 p.m. (Lifeline)
Sunday, Jan. 28 at 4:00 p.m. (Lifeline)
Jameson Wentworth
[Out of] Context
Written and performed by Jameson Wentworth
Directed and accompanied by Micky York

Jameson has a special knack: he can recall what he was wearing, what he was drinking, and what was playing on the radio for every life experience. And if there was no radio, there was a soundtrack in his head. Whether appropriate or inappropriate, this soundtrack is forever embedded with his memory. Enjoy an evening of story and song, sometimes completely [Out of] Context.

Performances
Sunday, Jan. 14 at 4:00 p.m. (Heartland)
Saturday, Jan. 27 at 8:30 p.m. (Heartland)
You're Being Ridiculous
Featuring:
Theo Allyn, Monica Gonzalez, Nicola Margolis, Lyssa Menard, and Lydia Otey (January 19)

Carly Ballerini, Blair Chavis, Benjamin Larose, Jacqueline Mantey, and Bradshaw Wish (January 27)

“Good stories are better than good times!” A group of real people telling real funny stories about their lives with a theme as their guide. They laugh at themselves and with each other.

Performances
Friday, Jan. 19 at 8:30 p.m. (Lifeline)
Saturday, Jan. 27 at 8:30 p.m. (Lifeline)

FESTIVAL HISTORY

Live Bait Theater developed more than 200 world premieres over its 20-year history and was nominated for over 50 Non-Equity Jeff Awards, predominately in the category of New Work. Sharon Evans was the Artistic Director from 1987-2008, and in 1995 she created the Fillet of Solo Festival, which featured over 200 solo artists in its first 13 years.

In 2009, Live Bait closed its doors, but Evans’ enthusiasm for new work and for the Festival remained undiminished. When searching for a new producer of the Festival, it was important to her that it be a theater dedicated to new work and she was delighted to find a perfect fit with Lifeline Theatre. In 2010, Lifeline and Live Bait co-produced the 14th Annual festival, and Lifeline has been carrying on the tradition ever since.


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6912 N Glenwood Ave, Chicago, IL, 60626
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