INDIE BOOTS

Featuring independent theatre and film with different perspectives on whose stories are worth telling, what's funny, and how the world works.

Indie Boots Theatre Festival 2015

Coming Spring 2015 to Chicago!

More info about the 2015 festival coming soon! In the meantime, check out last year's festival page:




Indie Boots Theatre Festival

2014: The Olivia Plays

Monday, April 28 - Wednesday, April 30, 2014. 7:30pm

Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL

2014 Audience Award Winner:
Olivia Approaching

2014 Audience Award Honorable Mentions:
The Monster Under Olivia's Bed
Olivia and the Third Wheel

The second annual Indie Boots Theatre Festival celebrates new short plays with different perspectives on whose stories are worth telling, what's funny, and how the world works. This year's writing prompt, to use "Olivia" in the title of a short script, resulted in hundreds of diverse submissions, each competing to be a finalist performed in the 2014 festival. On Monday, April 28 - Wednesday, April 30 at 7:30pm at Greenhouse Theater Center (a fully accessible theater at 2257 N. Lincoln Ave in Chicago), teams of Chicago directors and actors bring life to the scripts, having spent the past month turning the written word into fully staged plays. It's up to the savvy audience to experience these lively collaborations and determine the winning play! Tickets are just $10 for this fast-paced 90 minute show. For more information about the plays, players, festival, or Indie Boots Film Festival, which takes place May 8, 2014 at Landmark's Century Centre Cinema, please visit www.indieboots.org, www.facebook.com/indieboots, or www.twitter.com/indieboots.

$10 tickets available through the Greenhouse box office!

More info about ticketing and subscriptions available here!


2014 Performance Venue
Monday, April 28 - Wednesday, April 30

2014 After-Party Location
Wednesday, April 30

http://greenhousetheater.org/

Free 5 hour parking is available at 2316 N. Lincoln.


2014 Finalists

All nine finalists will be performed each night.
Listing does not reflect running order.
Running time is approximately 90 minutes.
2014 Theatre Festival Stage Manager: Amy Hopkins
For more info about the actors, directors, and writers, hover over the photos.


Olivia Names Her Octopus
Written by John Weagly . Directed by Breahan Eve Pautsch
Featuring: Jessica Jane Childs, Cyra K. Polizzi

Olivia excitedly tells her girlfriend Alice about the donation she is about to make to conservation efforts and a very cool perk- naming an octopus! Little does she know how Alice will respond to this symbolic pursuit.

Jessica Jane Childs spent the last eight years as the co-producer/co-performer for the "Letters/X" cabaret, as well work with other theatres in Chicago. She also croons around town as vocalist/washboard-er with local bluegrass outfit, Moonshine & Honeysuckle. Cyra K. Polizzi graduated from UW-Madison in Theatre, Gender, and Environmental Studies. Cyra works full-time in theatre/film, focusing on stage acting while also engaging in directing, writing, and exhibition. Roles in established works range from "Wendla" Spring Awakening to "Corie" Barefoot in the Park to "Frank" Rocky Horror Show. cyrakpolizzi.com Breahan Eve Pautsch (Director) is a director and actor for both stage and screen. She earned her BA in Theatre and English at UW-Madison and is a company member with Mudgeonsoul and Akvavit. She has worked with Raven, Hobo Junction, Full Voice, Stockyards, Hobo Junction, Halcyon, Chicago ScriptWorks, The Side Project, and Butcher's Son Films. John Weagly (Playwright) has had over 50 plays produced by theaters around the world. His short fiction has been nominated for a Derringer Award 5 times, winning one in 2008, and has been nominated for a Spinetingler Award. He is an ensemble member at Raven Theatre Company in Chicago, Illinois. www.johnweagly.com
Jessica Jane Childs Cyra K. Polizzi Breahan Eve Pautsch John Weagly

Olivia Approaching
Written by Anne Towns . Directed by Erika Geller
Featuring: Krista D'Agostino, Kerry Sheridan, Susan Sjodin, Christine Vrem-Ydstie

Three friends ignore warnings to head inland during dangerous weather, and instead carry on with a light-hearted drinking game. Before long, their game is interrupted by the appearance of a strange young woman who doesn't know her own name.

Krista D'Agostino is an actor and director who hails from Boston. Recent acting credits include ASSISTANCE by Leslye Headland and I LOVE YOU, I THINK by Bekah Brunstetter with LiveWire Chicago Theatre for which she is the Literary Manager. Upcoming directing credits include LITTLE WOMEN for Mudlark Theater in Evanston. Kerry Sheridan was born and raised in Texas and trained at University of Evansville. She has been working on The Hamlet Project and trying out film for the first time. By day, she wait tables at a bourbon bar in Andersonville and is teaching herself how to play the guitar. Susan Sjodin is excited to be part of the Indie Boots Theater Festival. She loves old plays and new plays and thinks Chicago is one of the best cities for both! Previously she's worked with New Millennium Theatre Company, The Ruckus, Alphabet Soup, and the Chicago cast of Tony n' Tina's Wedding. Christine Vrem-Ydstie is a film and TV actress represented by Grossman & Jack Talent. Since arriving in Chicago in 2011, Christine has worked with Profiles Theatre, Theater Wit, and Red Tape Theatre, among others. Erika Geller (Director) hails from Massachusetts and is an actress/director who holds a BA from Brandeis University. She can currently be found playing with Shattered Globe Theatre as part of their Protege Program. Chicago Credits: The Chicago Mammals, Hobo Junction, LiveWire Theatre, Pride Films and Plays, WNEP Theatre, and Donny's Skybox. Anne Towns (Playwright) is an Assistant Professor of Theatre at Young Harris College in the beautiful north Georgia mountains. She is also a commons producer for Howlround.com documenting Pearl Cleage's residency at The Alliance Theatre in Atlanta. Anne has an MFA in directing from Florida State University. Visit her at www.onthetowns.com.
Krista D'Agostino Kerry Sheridan Susan Sjodin Christine Vrem-Ydstie Erika Geller Anne Towns

Olivia is the Bread
Written by Michael Yichao . Directed by Patrice Foster
Featuring: Jacquelyne Jones, Michael Leon

In this contemporary queer relationship comedy, Olivia and Dan are such close friends that they seem to speak their own language of banter and poetry. But when the topic of boys pushes their conversation into the complexities of sexuality and love, it turns out a lot has gone unsaid for a long time and they are both in for some surprises.

Jacquelyne Jones, originally from Arkansas, is brand new to the Chicago theater scene and is thrilled that Indie Boots Festival marks her first show! Some of her favorite roles include Luisa in the National premier of "Zorro the Musical" and Evelyn in "The Shape of Things". Michael Leon is thrilled to be a part of this festival. Michael is an actor, director, and a teaching artist. Some of his recent acting credits include: The Night of the Iguana (The Artistic Home), Junie B. Jones (Emerald City), Tip of the Iceberg (Halcyon Theatre), and EL Stories (Waltzing Mechanics). Patrice Foster (Director) recently returned to Chicago after completing a 15 month contract at Barter Theatre in Abingdon, VA. Patrice received her MFA in Acting from the University of Arkansas and while in Chicago has become a proud member of the Waltzing Mechanics. She has also worked with Knife & Fork, Theater Unspeakable, Prologue Theatre Company, and The Arc Theatre. Michael Yichao (Playwright) is a writer and actor in LA. He is a staff writer on a Chinese sitcom, a creative writer for theme parks, and runs improv troupe Tall Grande Venti. Yichao's plays have received recognition from the Kennedy Center, National Playwright's Conference, Last Frontier Theatre Conference, Great Plains Theatre Conference, Edinburgh Fringe, Bath Fringe, and Boston College's Arts Festival. Yichao is a CalArts, National Theater Institute and ASU alum.
Jacquelyne Jones Michael Leon Patrice Foster Michael Yichao

Olivia Tries Bloodmatch.com
Written by Maximillian Gill . Directed by Brittany Westfall
Featuring: Ani Cohen, Phil Zimmermann

Olivia's expectations for a blind date with a vampire are quickly crushed when it turns out the vampire has just as much trouble being himself as anyone else.

Ani Cohen is thrilled to be a part of the Indie Boots Fesitval. A graduate from the theatre program at Indiana State University, she lives in Chicago where she continues to work in theatre and film. Her credits include American Theatre Company, Redmoon Theatre, Crossroads Repertory Theatre, and Commedia Beauregard. She would like to thank her friends and family for their constant love and support. Phil Zimmermann has also been seen in "A Klingon Christmas Carol", "Bard Fiction", "Corleone", "The Bad Art Plays" and "The History of King Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2" in addition to new play readings at Chicago Dramatists. He is a company member with Commedia Beauregard Theatre. Brittany Westfall (Director) has had the time of her life enjoying the Chicago theatre scene for the last 6 years both as a participant and spectator (or rather, theatre junkie/nerd). Brittany has been involved in endeavors at Commedia Beauregard, Remy Bumppo, and other Chicago theatres. By day she works for Rocket Fuel, helping design and plant new offices. Brittany holds a BA in Communications-Theatre from Malone University in Ohio. Maximillian Gill (Playwright) received his master's in creative writing in California and is now based in New York City. His work has been staged in New York, Toronto, Chicago, London, and other locations.
Ani Cohen Philip Zimmerman Brittany Westfall Maximillian Gill

The Monster Under Olivia's Bed
Written by Rory Leahy . Directed by Ashely Bagot
Featuring: Cristiana Barbatelli, Michael Baylon, Bryan Campbell, Elizabeth Elston, Devon Ford, Rory Leahy, Jennifer Kaesheimer, Reilly J. Nelson, and Ashely Bagot

In this campy political comedy, young Olivia is frightened of a monster in her room. Upon hearing about the monster, Olivia's parents lose themselves, spreading their fear of the unknown throughout town.

Cristiana Barbatelli is thrilled to work with the awesome folks in the Indie Boots Theatre Festival! This Milwaukee-born performer loves exploring new works on stage and film and has found great opportunities for both in Chicago. Michael Baylon is excited to be part of the Indie Boots Festival! A graduate from the University of Illinois, he can sing his way into your hearts? Thanks to his family and friends and this festival for an awesome time! Bryan Campbell is excited to be a part of the Indie Boots Theater Festival for a second straight year. A member of the Waltzing Mechanics theater company, Bryan recently directed the fourteenth edition of the long-running series, EL Stories. Look out for monsters! Elizabeth Elston is an actor and writer in Chicago, IL. Locally, she has performed with Theatre-Hikes and Emerald City. Elizabeth now serves as the Literary Manager for Hobo Junction, and studies improvisation at the Conservatory of Second City. Devon Ford is originally from Upupupstate NY. To him, theatre is more than an art. Theatre is an obligation. As in, Ashely made him do it. Jennifer Kaesheimer recently finished the fall/winter Genesis League at ComedySportz with the team, HEY-O as well as a run in Mass St. Production's sketch show, To Kill An Angry Bird. In addition to studying improv and writing at iO and Second City, Jennifer has worked with Chicago companies such as Under The Gun, One Group Mind, Beast Women, Abraham Werewolf and Collaboraction. Reilly J Nelson is friends with 4 of this year's Indie Boot directors so she was like, 'I'd better be cast in a show' - I mean, don't get me wrong, she's super talented, but at that point it's basically a numbers' game - and then she was! And she's so excited! Enjoy the show and then vote for her's immediately. Ashely Bagot (Director) has pretty long hair and proudly observes the Oxford comma. She directed the second-place short "Snow White Who Is Also Called Becky, No, Rebecca, and the Frog Prince" in last year's Indie Boots Festival and is pumped to be back at the helm of another killer script and awesome cast. Rory Leahy (Playwright) is thrilled to be back at Indie Boots for a second time as an actor and the first time as a playwright. His plays have been performed and published all over the damn place and he's off to get his MFA in Playwriting this Fall at Southern Illinois University. He thinks you're cute but is too shy to say so outside of a program bio.
Cristiana Barbatelli Michael Baylon Bryan Campbell Elizabeth Elston Devon Ford Jennifer Kaesheimer Reilly J. Nelson Ashely Bagot Rory Leahy

Olivia and the Third Wheel
Written by Erin Hug . Directed by Crystal Hartford
Featuring: Naomi Finkelstein, Gary Henderson, Breahan Eve Pautsch

After Olivia arrives for dinner at Steven's house, she is shocked to find a rather non-traditional situation- the ghost of Molly Malone is living with Steven in his home!

Naomi Finkelstein once spent a week doing nothing but perfecting her Irish accent in preparation for a Broadway audition for the understudy of Josie in Moon for the Misbegotten. Unfortunately, they didn't let her in the room. She is delighted to finally be using the accent and hopes you are, too. Gary Henderson is excited for his Indie Boots debut. He has worked with Theatre-Hikes, Waltzing Mechanics, Accidental Shakespeare, Muse of Fire, and Polarity Ensemble Theatre. He's originally from Nebraska. *laugh track* Enjoy the show! Breahan Eve Pautsch (Director) is a director and actor for both stage and screen. She earned her BA in Theatre and English at UW-Madison and is a company member with Mudgeonsoul and Akvavit. She has worked with Raven, Hobo Junction, Full Voice, Stockyards, Hobo Junction, Halcyon, Chicago ScriptWorks, The Side Project, and Butcher's Son Films. Crystal Hartford (Director) studied Theatre and History at Avila University. Some of her favorite roles include Brooke in Noises off, Helena in The Rover, and Cinderella in Into The Woods. She is a Mudgensoul Productions Ensemble member, and is last year's Indie Boots Theatre Fest's reigning champion. She'd like to thank her friends and family for all of their support. Especially Matt! Erin Hug (Playwright) is a Toronto-based playwright originally from Vermont, who recently completed a year-long playwriting mentorship with Fishamble in Dublin, Ireland. Her full-length theatre-circus fusion play, "The Big Top" is currently in development for production in Belfast (2015) with Accidental Theatre.
Naomi Finkelstein Gary Henderson Breahan Eve Pautsch Crystal Hartford Erin Hug

And Olivia Said...
Written by Joan Broadman . Directed by Laura Elleseg
Featuring: Cristiana Barbatelli, Jennifer Kaesheimer, and Bryan Campbell, Richard Paro

Honeybee sisters Olivia and Rose devise a new text to propagate ideas ranking females above males, and honeybees above all other species. Their plan doesn't go quite as they had hoped.

Cristiana Barbatelli is thrilled to work with the awesome folks in the Indie Boots Theatre Festival! This Milwaukee-born performer loves exploring new works on stage and film and has found great opportunities for both in Chicago. Jennifer Kaesheimer recently finished the fall/winter Genesis League at ComedySportz with the team, HEY-O as well as a run in Mass St. Production's sketch show, To Kill An Angry Bird. In addition to studying improv and writing at iO and Second City, Jennifer has worked with Chicago companies such as Under The Gun, One Group Mind, Beast Women, Abraham Werewolf and Collaboraction. Bryan Campbell is excited to be a part of the Indie Boots Theater Festival for a second straight year. A member of the Waltzing Mechanics theater company, Bryan recently directed the fourteenth edition of the long-running series, EL Stories. Richard Paro is an award-winning director based in Chicago, where he's also found acting and writing. He's the artistic director of Mudgeonsoul Productions and has worked with various companies including Full Voice, Hobo Junction, Stockyards Theatre, Commedia Beauregard, and Theatre-Hikes. In addition, his films screen at festivals around the world. Laura Elleseg (Director) is a Milwaukee-born, Chicago-based theater maker. She has worked with companies including Redmoon, mudgeounsoul, Full Voice, Spartan Theatre, Suffigance Shakespeare, First Stage, & Abraham Werewolf. When not making theater she brews beer and dotes on her puppy. Lauraellesegactor.com Joan Broadman (Playwright) has written fifteen plays and three screenplays. Her plays have been performed in twelve states, Australia, India, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Her many playwriting awards include "Excellence in Playwriting" from the Theatre Association of New York State. In June 2013, Broadman completed UCLA's Professional Program in Screenwriting.
Cristiana Barbatelli Jennifer Kaesheimer Bryan Campbell Richard Paro Laura Elleseg Joan Broadman

Olivia's Norwegian Wood
Written by Sara Saenz . Directed by Juan Castañeda
Featuring: Mike Cherry, Jessica Jane Childs, Holly McCauley, Carolyn Reynolds, and Ashely Bagot

In this short experimental drama, Olivia is bombarded with well-intentioned but disrespectful advice from those around her as she tries to manage chronic illness.

Mike Cherry is originally from Seattle, WA. He has been working as an actor in Chicago for the past 8 years. He is a company member with Urban Theatre Company and was most recently in the UTC production of "Devil Land". Cherry has worked with The Goodman Theatre, Teatro Vista, Mary-Arrchie, Pegasus Players, Sankofa, Chicago Fusion and Oracle Productions. Jessica Jane Childs spent the last eight years as the co-producer/co-performer for the "Letters/X" cabaret, as well work with other theatres in Chicago. She also croons around town as vocalist/washboard-er with local bluegrass outfit, Moonshine & Honeysuckle. Holly McCauley moved to Chicago three years ago after studying theatre in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. She has enjoyed working with many local companies in various technical theatre positions. Holly is now pursuing acting again, and is a proud member of Tympanic Theatre. Carolyn Reynolds studied at the Royal Shakespeare Company before finishing degrees in Psychology and Theatre at the UC-San Diego. She is new to Chicago and has recently worked with Jubilee Theatre Collective, Urban Theater Company, and Colectivo el Pozo. Past credits include Much Ado About Nothing, All My Sons, The Tempest, Time Flies, Charley's Aunt, Lumping in Fargo, John Lennon and Me, Bye Bye Birdie, and Arabian Nights. Ashely Bagot Juan Castañeda (Director) is the Literary Manager at UrbanTheater Company. His Chicago credits as director, assistant director, and stage manager include companies such as Steep, Teatro Vista, Strange Loop, Broken Nose, American Theatre Company, Pride Film and Plays, Halcyon, The People's Theatre Company of Chicago, Chicago Dramatists, EX-Pats, The Mammals, Hobo Junction, Chicago Fusion, Splitpillow, Fine Print, Clockwise, La Molecula Artistica and Colectivo el Pozo. Sara Saenz (Playwright) is a playwright, essayist, and dramaturg. She currently resides in Chicago, although her hometown is in Orange County, California. Sara has a B.A. in Creative Nonfiction from the University of Arizona and is a member of the ACCESS Project Artist Development Workshop at Victory Gardens Theater. www.sarasaenz.com
Mike Cherry Jessica Jane Childs Holly McCauley Carolyn Reynolds Ashely Bagot Juan Castañeda Sara Saenz

Lights Up Olivia
Written by Spenser Davis . Directed by Richard Paro
Featuring: Cyra K. Polizzi, Michele Stine, and Jessica Dexter, Kate Gerston, Crystal Hartford, Reilly J. Nelson

When two roommates discover that they're characters in a play written by a self-important hipster, they attempt to stave off the inevitability of the play's end, in this clever critique of how stories are created and their impact on self-determination.

Cyra K. Polizzi graduated from UW-Madison in Theatre, Gender, and Environmental Studies. Cyra works full-time in theatre/film, focusing on stage acting while also engaging in directing, writing, and exhibition. Roles in established works range from "Wendla" Spring Awakening to "Corie" Barefoot in the Park to "Frank" Rocky Horror Show. cyrakpolizzi.com Michele Stine is thrilled to be a part of the Indie Boots Theatre Festival! She's an Illinois native but recently moved to Chicago. She has worked with trip., Collaboraction, Manhattan Rep, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, American Theatre Company, and Emerald City Theatre. She is a reader, a runner, a writer, a lover, a do-gooder, a creator, an adventure seeker, and a secret keeper. Jessica Dexter may be best described as a freelance first responder for performance-related emergencies, a title she earned through her years in a traveling trash-to-art performance and puppetry troupe. Additionally, she acts, she sings, she dances, she walks on stilts, she spins fire. Kate Gerston is an Arizona native, fresh out of Columbia College. Favorite roles include Sally in YAGMCB, and Mae in LaChiusa's The Wild Party. She is so excited to be working with Mudgeonsoul again! Crystal Hartford hails from Omaha, NE and attended Avila University in Kansas City, MO where she received her B.F.A in Theatre. Crystal participates in both theatre and film with Mudgeonsoul Productions, where she is an ensemble member. Crystal can also be found performing with the Chicago-based band The Dust Bunnies. Reilly J Nelson is friends with 4 of this year's Indie Boot directors so she was like, 'I'd better be cast in a show' - I mean, don't get me wrong, she's super talented, but at that point it's basically a numbers' game - and then she was! And she's so excited! Enjoy the show and then vote for her's immediately. Richard Paro (Director) is an award-winning director based in Chicago, where he's also found acting and writing. He's the artistic director of Mudgeonsoul Productions and has worked with various companies including Full Voice, Hobo Junction, Stockyards Theatre, Commedia Beauregard, and Theatre-Hikes. In addition, his films screen at festivals around the world. Spenser Davis (Playwright) is a Chicago-based playwright/actor/director whose plays have been featured at American Theater Company, Chicago Dramatists, Appetite, Mary-Arrchie, Theatre Wit, Collaboraction, Second City, Commedia Beauregard, and in cities across the country. Recently, he directed "From White Plains" for Broken Nose, where he is a founding company member. He is also the Artistic Director of Hobo Junction, a collective dedicated to the development and production of new, original comedies.
Cyra K. Polizzi Michele Stine Jessica Dexter Kate Gerston Crystal Hartford Reilly J. Nelson Richard Paro Spenser Davis


2014 Semi-Finalists

Congratulations to the Indie Boots Theatre Festival 2014 Semi-Finalists! Although only finalists are performed in the festival, these wonderful plays were selected from hundreds of submissions as the semi-finalists.

* And Olivia Said... by Joan Broadman
Breathing Olivia by Patrick Hume
Cocktails with Olivia de Haviland by Olivia Travis
Disconnect Olivia by Alison Lowenstein
* Lights Up Olivia by Spenser Davis
* The Monster Under Olivia's Bed by Rory Leahy
* Olivia and the Third Wheel by Erin Hug
* Olivia Approaching by Anne Towns
Olivia Goes Back to College and Gets Schooled by Francesca Peppiatt
* Olivia is the Bread by Michael Yichao
* Olivia Names Her Octopus by John Weagly
Olivia on the Tightrope by Emma Goldman-Sherman
Olivia's out of Control by Helen Valenta
Olivia Saves the Day by David Vazdauskas
* Olivia Tries Bloodmatch.com by Maximillian Gill
Olivia is a Punk Rocker by Maury Zeff
* Olivia's Norwegian Wood by Sara Saenz
Someone's in the Kitchen with Olivia by Tanise Robnett

* Finalists