Refracted Theatre Company is pleased to announce its 2023 season, featuring Dave Harris’s dark comedy (and rap concert) Tambo & Bones, directed by Mikael Burke; a workshop production of Mathilde Dratwa’s cerebral dark comedy A Play about David Mamet Writing a Play about Harvey Weinstein, directed by Co-Artistic Director Tova Wolff; and “Role Call,” a free, community-centered, monthly reading and discussion series
Co-Artistic Director Graham Miller comments, “In our fourth season, Refracted is looking to the unabashed, unafraid, unmatched voices of thrilling American playwrights who use comedy and pathos to illuminate what it means to be an individual inside a system, particularly when that system edits and silences the voices it uses to meet its own definition of capitalistic success. By centering the playwright’s experience with respect to the relationship to the institution of theatre, we examine both sides of what it means to be any marginalized identity working within the larger system that is America. What’s working and what isn’t? When is it easy for us to take shots at what’s broken, and when are we actually the ones contributing to making holes in what would serve everyone? The shows are wild as hell. We can guarantee that nowhere else in Chicago will you see anything quite as next-level, ‘oh my god is this happening’-vibes as what we are putting on stage this year. And we are so restless to get into the nuanced throughline of challenging, riveting discourse that this season of projects is bound to inspire with our audiences and collaborators, discourse that we think sharpens and heals us all.”
Refracted Theatre Company’s 2023 Season playwrights and directors include (left to right) Dave Harris, Mikael Burke, Mathilde Dratwa and Tova Wolff.
Refracted Theatre Company’s 2023 Season includes:
Third Space Chicago, 716 W. Addison, Chicago
Presented the last Tuesday of every month beginning March 28, 2023
In partnership with Third Space Chicago, Refracted is proud to launch Role Call, a monthly, free program that casts the community in deeply Refracted plays. Members of the community are welcome to BYOB and enjoy some light snacks as they take part in the reading of known, unknown and classic plays. Following the communal reading of these plays, Refracted will facilitate guided discourse about the work, asking questions of the participants which will allow them to gain a deeper understanding of some of the thematic underpinnings of the play.
Third Space Chicago is a community hub in the heart of Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood where people can gather, learn, grow and form meaningful relationships. There is a theory in sociology that everyone needs three places to live a full and fulfilled life: a home, a workplace, and a third space. Third Space aims to become a much needed third space in order to enhance the physical, emotional, and social well-being of its community.
A Play about David Mamet Writing a Play about Harvey Weinstein – Workshop Production!
By Mathilde Dratwa
Directed by Co-Artistic Director Tova Wolff
Location to be announced (limited performances)
Francesca is writing a play about David Mamet. Who actually wrote a play about Harvey Weinstein. And she wants to burn it all down. In this cerebral dark comedy, dauntlessly hilarious playwright Mathilde Dratwa confronts THEATRE, Inc.’s institutionalized misogyny, its predators and her own complicity as a white woman in the world of storytelling. When it comes to processing motherhood, generations of rage and sexism, nothing is too satirical, too violent,or too taboo in the safety of Francesca’s mind.
Tambo & Bones
By Dave Harris
Directed by Mikael Burke
Location to be announced
Tambo and Bones find themselves in a tricky situation: they are trapped in a minstrel show. How do you get out of that? Might have to attack the playwright who put you there. Might need to become a famous rap legend. Might need to start something. Def need to let them know you’re a real person. You’re a real person. You’re a real person? From the fearlessly defiant, fresh American voice of playwright Dave Harris, Tambo & Bones is a dark comedy (and a rap concert) that pulls back the curtain on every theater experience the audience has had before.
For upcoming announcements and ticket information, visit refractedco.com or follow @refractedco.
About the Artists:
Mathilde Dratwa’s (Playwright, A Play about David Mamet Writing a Play about Harvey Weinstein) plays include Milk and Gall (Theatre503, London, 2021), A Play about David Mamet Writing a Play about Harvey Weinstein and Dirty Laundry, an Audible commission (released this March). Her work has been developed and presented by the Ground Floor at Berkeley Rep, Rattlestick, LAByrinth Theater Company, the Great Plains Theater Conference, the Playwrights' Center, and in London at the Young Vic. Mathilde is a 2021-2024 Core Writer at the Playwrights’ Center, a member of Dorset Theater Festival’s Women Artists Writing Group and a two-time Pulitzer center grant recipient. Recently, she was a member of the Orchard Project's Greenhouse, a Dramatist Guild Foundation Playwriting Fellow and a member of New York Foundation for the Arts' Immigrant Artist Program. On the film and TV side, Mathilde has written for Picture Start, Endeavor, LuckyChap, Dirty Films, FX, Red Wagon, Sony/TriStar, Chernin Entertainment and wiip.
Tova Wolff (Director, A Play about David Mamet Writing a Play about Harvey Weinstein) is a director and producer based in Chicago. Her recent directing credits include I Couldn’t Tell You Why (Refracted Theatre Company), Clearing House (The Swell), Contrition: A Long Voicemail (The Swell), The King’s Speech (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre & National Tour, Associate Director), Monica: This Play Is Not About Monica Lewinsky (59E59 Theaters & Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2019), Security (Secret Theatre), A Bad Night (The Frontier), Fade (Victory Gardens, Associate Director), For the Loyal (Interrobang Theatre Project, Associate Director), Still Rising (The Tank), Pam’s Key (Gallery Players) and Bachelorette (Walkerspace at Soho Rep.). In 2016 ,Tova won Best Director for her production of Between Men at the Midtown International Theatre Festival. She was a 2017/2018 Directing Fellow at Victory Gardens Theater and a 2017 participant in the Director’s Lab Chicago. She is a co-founder and Artistic Director of Refracted Theatre Company. Tova received her BA from Northwestern University. www.tovawolff.com.
Dave Harris (Playwright, Tambo & Bones) is a poet and playwright from West Philly. Selected plays include Tambo & Bones (LA Drama Critics Award "Best New Play", Playwrights Horizons, Center Theatre Group, 2022), Exception to the Rule (Roundabout Theatre Company, 2022) and Everybody Black (Humana Festival 2019). His first feature film, Summertime, premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and was released in 2021. Selected honors include: the 2019 Ollie Award, The Lorraine Hansberry Award and Mark Twain Award from The Kennedy Center, The International Commendation for The Bruntwood Prize, the Venturous Fellowship from The Lark and a Cave Canem poetry fellowship amongst others. Dave is currently writing the feature adaptation of The Fortress of Solitude amongst several other feature and television projects for AMC (Interview with the Vampire), ABC Signature, Goddard Textiles and Amazon. His first full-length collection of poetry, “Patricide,” was published by Button Poetry. Upcoming: Incendiary (Woolly Mammoth, 2023), Tambo & Bones (Royal Stratford East, London Premiere, 2023).
Mikael Burke (Director, Tambo & Bones) is a Chicago-based director, deviser and educator. A Princess Grace Award-winner in Theatre and Jeff Award-nominated director, Mikael’s worked with Goodman Theatre, About Face Theatre, Victory Gardens Theater, Northlight Theatre, Raven Theatre, Jackalope Theatre Company, First Floor Theater, American Theater Company, Chicago Dramatists, The Story Theatre and Windy City Playhouse in Chicago, and regionally with Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Geva Theatre Center and Phoenix Theatre Indianapolis. Recent credits include Two Mile Hollow by Leah Nanako Winkler; the American premiere of Routes by Rachel De-Lahay, The Wanderers by Anna Ziegler, Shakespeare’s Richard III, The Magnolia Ballet by Terry Guest (2022 Jeff Award Winner – Production, Short Run); Fireflies by Donna R. Love (Black Theatre Alliance Award – Best Direction of an Ensemble). mklburke.com
About Refracted Theatre Company
Refracted’s mission is to disrupt socially accepted narratives by telling the “other side of the story.” By upending audience expectations through innovation and adaptation, Refracted inspires meaningful discourse centered on empathy and humanity.
Refracted is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that was founded in 2019 in New York City by Graham Miller and Tova Wolff. As a four-year old company, Refracted is proud to have been one of the only theaters in the country that produced two full seasons of live theatre during the pandemic, harnessing its powers of creativity and innovation. Now in its fourth season in its new home of Chicago, Refracted invites you to get involved as it redefines what theatre can be in order to build a world fueled by curiosity and compassion. Please visit www.refractedco.com for more information and follow Refracted on social media @refractedco.