Theater Wit announces a new entry in Chicago’s fall theater season: the world premiere of Household Spirits, a new dark comedy by acclaimed Chicago playwright Mia McCullough. Previews start October 6. Opening Night is Monday, October 16 at 7 p.m. Performances run through November 11. Tickets, $15-$55, are on sale now at theaterwit.org, by calling (773) 975.8150, or in person at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood.
Household Spirits, the newest play by Chicago playwright Mia McCullough (credit: Joe Mazza - BraveLux)
In addition, Theater Wit plans two more productions in 2023-24: the third annual outing of its seasonal hit Who’s Holiday? Christopher Pazdernik directs, and Veronica Garza is back in her Jeff-nominated role as a 40-something Cindy Lou Who welcoming audiences inside her holiday bedazzled mobile home in a snow drift on Mount Crumpit. Performances are November 24-December 30. Press opening is Monday, November 27 at 7 p.m.
Next spring, watch a comic exploration of objectum sexuality, Wit’s Chicago premiere of Inanimate, Nick Robideau’s New York Times Critic’s Pick about a woman in love with a Dairy Queen sign. Dates are March 22-May 4, 2024. Press opening is Monday, April 1 at 7 p.m.
Previews Household Spirits are Friday, October 6 through Sunday, October 15: Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m.; Sunday at 2 p.m. Press opening is Monday, October 16 at 7 p.m. Performances run through November 11: Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m.; Sunday at 2 p.m., with an added industry/Halloween Eve performance on Monday, October 30 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $18-$55. Run time is two hours with intermission. Purchase tickets at theaterwit.org, by calling (773) 975-8150, or in person at the Theater Wit box office.
Better yet, show your support of Chicago storefront theater, purchase a Theater Wit Membership, and guarantee great seats to all three of Wit’s 2023-24 season productions. For a low monthly fee of $35 – often less than the price of a single ticket – Theater Wit's members see as many shows as they want on the company's three stages, including productions by resident and guest companies, year round. Visit theaterwit.org/boxoffice/membership to sign up.
Theater Wit is located at 1229 W. Belmont Ave., in the Belmont Theatre District in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. Convenient parking is available for $8 across the street from the theater in the lot behind Kubo restaurant (pay at the Theater Wit box office.) Neighborhood street parking is available, as are private paid lots (tip: book ahead and at a discount with Spothero). Theater Wit is also accessible via the CTA 77 Belmont bus, and is three blocks west of the CTA Belmont Red/Brown/Purple line stop.
Two holidays. One haunting: More about Household Spirits
Erik is hoping he can get into the army—before he goes crazy. His step mother is totally self absorbed, his father is trying to save his new marriage in 12 steps, and his stepsister has left school but she won’t tell why. It's all going to make for a thrilling holiday party—particularly with a sentient doll on the guest list. And why is the ghost of Erik's mom haunting the housekeeper and popping up in his subconscious?
Find out when Theater Wit uncorks Household Spirits, directed by Eileen Tull in her Theater Wit debut. The cast features Nathan Hile (Erik), Ilyssa Fradin (Clara), Téa Baum (Rox), Doug MacKechnie (Philip), Jennifer Jelsema (Evelyn), Cindy Gold (Angela) and Joe Zarrow (Leo). Designers are Manuel Ortiz (set), Rachel Sypniewski (costumes), Brandon Wardell (lights), Adam Halliwell (props), Christopher Kriz (composer and sound designer), Lana Elaine Whittington (violence and intimacy), Jennifer Aparicio (stage manager) and Matthew R. Chase (production manager).
Mia McCullough is a playwright, screenwriter/filmmaker, educator, performer and visual artist. Household Spirits, her tale of a family haunted by mental illness, alcoholism, and…household spirits…was previously presented at Steppenwolf’s First Look reading series and the Goodman Theatre’s New Stages Festival. Her solo show Milkshakes and Morphine premiered at Lifeline Theatre’s Fillet of Solo in January 2023, and all three of McCullough’s The Squirrel Plays were performed together at Mirror Stage in Seattle last spring. Her work has been seen at theaters around the country including Steppenwolf, Goodman, Stage Left, Chicago Dramatists, The Old Globe, Local Theater Company, and Red Fern Theater, as well as in London and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She taught playwriting and screenwriting at Northwestern University for 10 years, playwriting at University of Illinois-Chicago, Carthage College and Chicago Dramatists, and workshops in Chicago Public Schools. For more, visit miamccullough.com.
Eileen Tull (director) is a storyteller, performance artist, poet, comedian, and one-woman-show person. She has performed throughout the country, including in the United Solo Festival, Dallas Solo Festival, as well as Fringe Festivals in Cincinnati, Minnesota, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and Chicago. Her work has been seen all over Chicago in theaters, bookstores, art galleries, bars, and other non-traditional spaces. Tull co-curates Sappho’s Salon at Women and Children First bookstore, a recurring performance series for female, trans, and non-binary artists exploring gender, sexuality, and feminism. She is a full-time drama instructor with the Chicago Park District, and her work as a creative activist was recognized by The White House in June of 2016.
Theater Wit's 2023-24 season also includes the return of (left) Who's Holiday? featuring Veronica Garza as a 40-something Cindy Lou Who, November 24-December 30, and the Chicago premiere of Inanimate by Nick Robideau (right), his New York Times Critic’s Pick about a woman in love with a Dairy Queen sign, March 22-May 4, 2024.
About Theater Wit
Theater Wit, Chicago’s “smart art” theater, is a major hub of Chicago’s neighborhood theater scene, where audiences enjoy a smorgasbord of excellent productions in its three, 99-seat spaces, see a parade of talented artists and mingle with audiences from all over Chicago.
In addition to Theater Wit’s Household Spirits, other productions playing this fall at Theater Wit include Pearl Cleage’s Blues for an Alabama Sky, presented by Remy Bumppo Theatre Company, now through October 15, and Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge, presented by Shattered Globe Theatre, now through October 21.
Note: Theater Wit follows the community masking guidelines recommended by the Chicago Department of Public Health and CDC. At press time, the community risk level is low, and mask use is optional. For updates, visit theaterwit.org/about/covid.