UBU II Electric BOOG-UBU, OR FREE UBU Adapted from Alfred Jarry's UBU ENCHAÎNÉ
August 31 - September 30
Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 7:30 pm
Berger Park Coach House, 6205 N Sheridan Rd
WARNING: THIS PROFANE HISSY FIT CONTAINS CONTENT THAT IS LIKELY TO OFFEND ANYONE OF GOOD CHARACTER OR WHO ENJOYS LIFE.
PLEASE NOTE: IT IS NOT ONLY UNNECESSARY FOR YOU TO HAVE SEEN THE FIRST ONE, IT IS PREFERABLE.
Photo by Joe Mazza of BraveLux
This even nastier and dumber sequel to our nasty and dumb adaptation of Alfred Jarry’s Ubu Roi sees the horrible Ubus visit a place even more depraved and corrupt than the 19th-century Poland they were chased out of in the first play: America. There, trapped in a sequel they never asked for (and are actively trying to destroy), they’ll discover freedom is slavery, knowledge is dumb, and doom looms large on the horizon. Featuring a farting corpse, unnecessary blasphemy, relentless stupidity, and bad jokes, Ubu II (based on Jarry’s Ubu Enchaîné, the third play in the series, just to make things more confusing) is the perfect play to warm your hands by as the world burns.
Photo by Joe Mazza of BraveLux
Featuring: Clara Byczkowski Allison Grischow Jyreika J. Evelyn Guest* Raymond Jacquet Derik Marcussen* Stephen McClure* Gregory Peters* Jessica Saxvik* Julia Stemper* Nick Strauss
Production Team: Director: Nick Freed* Assistant Director: Paul Kastner* Stage Manager: Christina Casano* Production Managers: James Snyder*, Jack Dugan Carpenter* Costume Designer: Emma Cullimore* Sound Designer: Brendan Monte Set/Props Designer: Noël Dominique Straley Lighting Designer: John Jacobsen Playwright: Gregory Peters*
* = the mark of a Plagiarist
Plagiarists Jessica Saxvik* and Gregory Peters* return as Mr. and Mrs. Ubu. Photo by Joe Mazza of BraveLux
If a Bard were to place not a curse upon you, but a satire, then that could destroy you. If it was a clever satire, it might not just destroy you in the eyes of your associates; it would destroy you in the eyes of your family. It would destroy you in your own eyes. And if it was a finely worded and clever satire that might survive and be remembered for decades, even centuries. Then years after you were dead people still might be reading it and laughing at you and your wretchedness and your absurdity. – Alan Moore
From the playwright and Artistic Director
A few years ago, I had the pleasure of working on King Ubu, our foul and funny adaptation of Alfred Jarry’s Ubu Roi. We had fun running around doing and saying the grossest things we could think of while satirizing history, human nature, and theatre itself. Afterwards, there was discussion of adapting one of the other Ubu plays in the same way, and Ubu Enchaîné (Ubu In Chains) seemed like the obvious choice. This third Ubu play is Jarry bringing the Ubus to his home country, and then using them to ridicule and tear down everything that he thought was hypocritical, evil, or just dumb. So we decided to bring them to America… and then events overtook us and all of a sudden it seemed terribly relevant. We had tried to think of the worst things that could happen, and now reality keeps closing in on what we’ve imagined.
I believe comedy is one of the highest and most distinctively human art forms. I believe the best way to combat bad ideas is with words and laughter. We have seen how internet trolls have embraced hatred and conspiracy despite the cultural taboo against them. They want our hate – like the Emperor, it empowers them. But what they (and their leaders) truly can’t stand is being made fun of – of appearing weak and stupid, of being made into something beneath contempt. Joining a rebellion can seem cool, even if it’s a rebellion against empathy and rationality. But nobody wants to be a joke. So, we made this play. It’s filthy, gross, and sometimes mean. It mercilessly dismantles the worst aspects of our current climate. It’s not for everyone, but those who it is for will be delighted and perhaps leave feeling slightly unburdened and a little less alone. - Gregory Peters
Photo by Joe Mazza of BraveLux
ABOUT THE UBU II TEAM:
CLARA BYCZKOWSKI(Spokesperson 1) is ecstatic to make her debut with The Plagiarists. Chicago credits include Born Ready(The Factory Theatre), Later-Day Lucy(Going Dutch Festival), Mynx & Savage(American Blues Theater[a reading]), The Princess, the Minstrel, and the Rabid Bat(RBT), Sherlock Holmes & the Mystery of Portage Park(Filament Theatre), & Converting to Bangladesh(Artemisia). Clara received her B.F.A. from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Check out more clarabyczkowski.com
ALLISON GRISCHOW(Liberty) is a Chicago based actor, aerialist, improviser, and musician. She received her Bachelor of Arts degrees in Theatre and Music from Valparaiso University and continued her training with the Moscow Art Theatre School. Chicago credits include: Daisy in Rhinoceros (Public House Theatre), Ensemble in Herculaneum (Blue Goose Theatre Ensemble), Mary and Deer in American Stage Sessions (The Plagiarists), Megyn Kelly in Election 2016: The Musical (MCL Chicago), among others. Regional credits include Bird in Peter and the Wolf (Northbrook Theatre) and Octavius and the Soothsayer in Julius Caesar (Three Brothers Theatre). She is currently studying with Second City’s Music Improv Conservatory. In her spare time you may find Allison meeting animals or learning new musical instruments.
JYREIKA GUEST (Spokesperson 2) boldly made Chicago home performing her one-woman show 'Arn't I Still: Lessons of Her for the Solo Chicago Festival four years ago along with her debut role in Chicago as Sara Fleetwood in The Plagiarist's War Song. She's an active performer in the Chicago area, former ensemble member of Chicago Slam Works where she starred in three of their debut season of original shows, Redlined and Have a Great Summer and Incendium. She's featured for several festivals in the Chicago-land area including Ravenswood Art Walk and was a RAW Artist in Spoken Word in Cincinnati, OH. She’s obtained her Master’s in Public History and a BFA in Musical Theatre. Other theater credits include: The Wiz (Addeperle U/S, Dance Captain), The Adventures of Robin Hood (Robin Hood), Piece of My Heart (Steele) Strong Women (Woman Two), Rhinoceros (Boss of Cafe/ Fireman), 2009 YES Festival World Premiere of Shock and Awe (Captain Martinez), Once on This Island (Peasant/Storyteller),Children of Eden (Storyteller), Freedom Speaks (Rosetta), and for colored girls (Lady in Blue). She is proudly represented by Shirley Hamilton Talent!
RAYMOND JACQUET(Freeman 2) is honored to be apart of such a wonderful, and hysterical cast. Recent past credits include Prelude to a Kiss (The Comrades), and Robin Hood (Strawdog). Educational credits include being a graduate of University of Maryland-College Park, Also a graduate of the Act One Conservatory in Chicago. Raymond would like to thank the cast for confronting all topics concerning our current climate with no fear or reservation. Raymond would like to dedicate each performance in the loving memory of his mother, Jacqueline.
DERIK MARCUSSEN(Uncle) is a graduate of Rockford University where he received his BFA in Musical Theatre Performance. Alongside performing, he is an automated lighting technician at Frost Lighting in Chicago. For The Plagiarists, he was Lincoln in War Song, built a Martian jet pack for Season Pass, and served as Master Electrician/ One Man Run Crew on these saints will burn. Most recently, Derik was seen in belladonna luna sonata as Kog, designed sets and props for The Plagiarists’ production of Ulysses, and co-designed Circle House with his partner Emma Cullimore. Derik would like to thank his fellow Plagiarists for their continued excellence both on and off the stage.
STEPHEN MCCLURE(Captain) is thrilled to be at it again with The Plagiarists after previously appearing as Matthewson in The Epic of Gilgamesh. Heis truly grateful to be a part of this company of wonderfully creative and hardworking weirdos. After receiving his BFA from Texas Tech, Stephen moved to Chicago to continue his work in theatre. Chicago credits include Orlando (As You Like It) with Cave Painting Theatre, Timms (The History Boys) with Eclectic Full Contact Theatre and Tate in trip.'s Midwest premiere of finding grafenberg. He would like to thank both his genetic and experience-acquired families for their continual love and support. Most of all his he wants to thank his wonderful wife, Aubrey, who is undoubtedly the most loving and patient person in the world.
GREGORY PETERS(Ubu) is a founding member and the Artistic Director of The Plagiarists. He's excited to be returning as Mr. Ubu, and feels immense gratitude to the cast, crew, and company for their support and amazing work. Special thanks to both his onstage and real life Mrs. Ubus.
JESSICA SAXVIK(Mrs. Ubu) earned her B.A. in theatre performance from Illinois State University, where she was a RAS and Jean Scharfenberg scholarship recipient. A proud member of The Plagiarists since 2012, credits with the company include The Epic of Gilgamesh, belladonna luna sonata, these saints will burn, Season Pass, King Ubu, Matryoshka, American Stage Sessions, and I Am Saying This Right Now. Jessica has also worked with Joyce Piven in What Dreams May Come, American Visions Through Jewish Eyes at The Piven Workshop Theatre and appeared in two films, Concrete and Ravenswood, with Eye Sprocket Productions.
JULIA STEMPER(Freeman 3) is excited to tackle the next installment of Ubu-ness with The Plagiarists where she is a proud company member; she was previous Plagiarist shows include The Epic of Gilgamesh, belladonna luna sonata, these saints will burn, King Ubu and Matryoshka. Other Chicago credits include Lydie Breeze (Ka-Tet Theatre), Commedia King John (Chicago dell’Arte), Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed (Lifeline), Romeo and Juliet (First Folio) and in Spring of 2016, she played Prospera outside the city at Hope College in The Tempest where she was a Visiting Guest Artist. Julia also serves as the Artistic Director of Stone Soup Shakespeare where she was most recently seen in their touring five-person Julius Caesar. Prior to arriving in Chicago she performed extensively in DC. She holds an MFA from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
NICK STRAUSS(Freeman 1) A graduate of the University of Michigan where he studied theatre, his Chicago credits include Starkid's Holy Musical B@tman!, A Very Potter Senior Year, and Airport for Birds, Redmoon Theatre's Bellboys, Bears, and Baggage, Rough House's Ubu the King, and Dear Stone Theater's production of Art. Nick is the co-founder of Death & Pretzels and his performance credits include The Dybbuk, Gruoch, or Lady Macbeth, Anatomy of Gray and very still & hard to see. Ubu II is his first show with The Plagiarists (yaaasss) and he is very happy to be a part of this raunch fest. He wishes to express his gratitude for every person that still believes in the power and beauty of the live stage.
CHRISTINA CASANO (Stage Manager)is a theatre artist based in Chicago, where she has stage managed, acted, and directed for the past few years. She earned a BA in Theatre from Miami University and completed the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey's Summer Professional Training Program. Selected works include Circle House, The Epic of Gilgamesh, etc., and Belladonna Luna Sonata (The Plagiarists), Milk Like Sugar (The Yard+Raven Theatre), Twelfth Night (Crowded Bookshelf Dramatics), Falling and Owners (Interrobang Theatre Project), Macbeth and Angels in America (Miami University). She is a company member with The Plagiarists where she serves as the Resident Stage Manager.
EMMA CULLIMORE (Costume Designer) Emma is the costume designer for The Plagiarists and Chicago Tap Theatre, while also freelancing with other Chicago storefront companies. Outside of Chicago, her designs have been seen at the Alabama Repertory Dance Theatre, the Okoboji Summer Theatre, and internationally in Havana, Cuba. Emma holds an MFA from the University of Alabama–Tuscaloosa, and a BFA from Stephens College.
NICK FREED (Director) grew up in the lead flats of southeast Missouri in a modest home built by his father with his own bare hands (his fathers hands...not his own hands....his dad built the house...Nick didn't cut off his dad's hands and then use them as lumber for the home.). The youngest of three sons, Nick learned to fight and psychologically barter with the best of them for survival. He attended college at a small liberal arts university in northern Missouri, as young wannabe revolutionaries are want to do. Upon graduation, he traveled to the city of millionaires, Newport, Rhode Island, before settling in Chicago in 2008. Since then he has acted in plays as Christian leaders, town ruffians, fey German ringmasters, crusty seamen, brain dead man children, and Jewish men, among others. He gives me word that the 30 winters he has survived should be explanation enough for what kind of man he is, and to keep the coffee hot and the whiskey straight.
JOHN JACOBSEN (Lighting Designer)is a graduate of The Pennsylvania State University’s BFA Theatre Design & Technology program. Prior to Penn State, John spent two years at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. Credits in Chicago include the lighting designs for Fugitive Songs, Scotland Road (BoHo Theatre), Ulysses, belladonna luna sonata, these saints will burn, Season Pass, War Song, Matryoshka, The Feast of St. McGonagall, I Am Saying This Right Now, Caesura: A Butchery (The Plagiarists), Figments (St. Sebastian Players), The Alchemist, The Armageddon Dance Party (Nothing Special Productions), and Living Canvas RX. Awards include USITT’s 2007 Lighting Design Award for Young Designers & Technicians. John is an Artistic Associate and Resident Lighting Designer with The Plagiarists. He is also an architectural lighting designer with the Chicago office of Schuler Shook, where his recent projects include the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, CA and the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center in New York, NY.
PAUL KASTNER(Assistant Director) grew up in St. Louis, Missouri where they say things like, "take highway farty-far," and, "eat your carn with a fark." He has been laughed at by many people for the way he says things like "war" and "Laura." As a carpenter and stagehand he has worked for Steppenwolf, Chicago Shakespeare, and dozens of other theaters in Chicago. He served as technical director of the Drury Lane Water Tower Theater for two years and did a stint with the first national tour of Xanadu which is arguably the finest musical based on a film starring Olivia Newton John. In addition to writing, directing and technical directing with the Plagiarists, Paul currently works as the deck chief for Million Dollar Quartet.
BRENDAN MONTE (Sound Designer) Brendan Monte is estatic to be working with the Plagarists on Ubu II. Previously, Brendan sound designed The Library and The Irish Curse with Level 11 Theatre, which he co-founded. Aside from the stage, Brendan engineers voiceovers and podcasts for artists around Chicago. He is currently pursing a Master's in Sound Arts and Industries at Northwestern University.
NOËL DOMINIQUE STRALEY (Set and Props Designer) is honored to be working on her first show with The Plagarists. She has previously designed sets and costumes for Chicago Fusion, Wayward Productions, Urban Theatre Company, Right Brain Project and Arrow & Key Productions. She thanks Nick Freed for shaking up her routine and giving her room to play. She sends love to her incredibly supportive hubby and daughter.