Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The New Colony earns $25k Grant and Announces World Premiere at The Victory Gardens Biograph Studio Theater



“This is a turning point for The New Colony,” Associate Artistic Director Evan Linder told the company at last night’s meeting. “Not only can we pay for the rest of our season, but our design budgets can finally be fully funded.” Everything changed for The New Colony this previous Tuesday, December 16th, when they received a call from Chase Bank.

The New Colony had spent the last ten days competing in the social media grant program Chasegiving. Campaigning for votes over Facebook, the top 100 charities with the most votes would be awarded $25,000 from Chase and entry into Round 2. Just hours before the call came, Artistic Director Andrew Hobgood and Executive Director Gary Tiedemann had been making even further cuts to the company’s budget. “This couldn’t have happened at a better time,” said Hobgood. “All of our production budgets have suffered from the financial constraints inherent in a company’s start-up years. Finally, our designers get to really show us what they can do. And there’s no better show for which we should amp up our production budgets than 11:11.”

At the same time that the company was cutting budgets and running a campaign for Chasegiving, The New Colony was also in the final leg of talks to produce 11:11, written by Tara Sissom and FRAT’s Evan Linder, at the new Victory Gardens Biograph Studio Theater. “Victory Gardens is the Godfather of theatrical world premieres in Chicago,” commented Hobgood. “I had always hoped for a New Colony show to open at The Biograph, but to have this opportunity arrive in only our second season is mind-blowing.”

11:11 tells the story of the first day at Camp Methuselah Pines and the team of young, Christian camp counselors who unknowingly drug themselves. As the evening unravels, secrets are shared, temptations explored, and a group of friends realize they don't have the same understanding of the same God. Inspired by the experiences of the playwrights and ensemble, 11:11 asks an age-old question of a new generation: why are we willing to fight for something we cannot see or define? Eat s'mores, make 'God's Eyes' and feel the infectious joy of summer camp during February in Chicago.

“Honestly, Chasegiving and 11:11 at the Biograph are the perfect way to end an already incredible year for The New Colony,” Linder pointed out at the company meeting.

11:11 is directed by Meg Johns, Written by Evan Linder and Tara Sissom, Produced by Samuel Snowden and Sponsored in part by Victory Gardens’ Fresh Squeezed. Featuring Caitlin Chuckta, Tim Cunningham, Sarah Gitenstein, Evan Linder, Wes Needham, Whit Nelson, Tara Sissom, Kevin Stangler and Maari Suorsa.

11:11 premieres on Monday, February 8 with an additional Press Opening Thursday, February 11th at 8:00PM. 11:11 will run Thursdays through Saturdays at 8:00PM at The Victory Gardens Biograph Studio Theater through March 13.

For more information visit The New Colony at www.thenewcolony.org or call (773) 413-0862.

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