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2006 Dionysos Cup for New Plays

The 2006 Dionysos Cup was won by Bill Rumbler for his play, This Woman Is Alone. For details on the event, see below.

When Greeks gathered from across the country to witness the ancient City Dionysia, they were audience to the dawn of theatre, the birth of dramatic creativity. In honor of this, and in order to more fully explore the ritual of theatre, Polarity Ensemble Theatre presented the Dionysos Cup. A six day festival of new full-length plays, the Cup featured staged readings of five plays from Chicago-based playwrights. Each play was presented and discussed at post-show salons twice.
Zack pours wine for Richard as Ann enjoys a cup. The Dionysos Cup ran May 26th, 27th, 28th, and June 2nd, 3rd and 4th, 2006. The staged readings were presented at Marrakech Expresso, the luxurious Turkish café of Ravenswood. A rich atmosphere of texture, comfort, and hookahs, this charismatic eatery features an assortment of Turkish and Mediterranean coffees, teas, as well as traditional meals. (Zack Brenner recommends the Shank and the Chicken Tagine). Marrakech Expresso is located at 4747 N. Damen Ave, Chicago (see map), 1.5 blocks north of the Damen Brown line. (If driving, allow extra time for parking).
Continuing the tradition that crowned Sophocles, Euripides, and Aeschylus, the Dionysos Cup was awarded to the play considered favorite by recurring audience members.
The competition for the Cup was fantastic. From absurdism to period drama, from tense realism to heightened ultraviolence, and even a dark musical comedy. Chicago theatre veterans, journalists, television writers, and novices competed for the Cup. The participating playwrights' previous works have been featured on the BBC, in the Sun-Times, and at various Chicago and national venues. Audiences participated in the shaping of these creative works in our post-show salons. Come, drink to new theatre!
The Schedule

RETREAT by Lisa Rosenthal. Directed by Alyson Roux. 8 pm, Friday, May 26th and 2 pm, Sunday, June 4th.
Maya is looking for some peace and perspective to inform her commemorative sculpture for the city of New York. Alfred is prepared to do whatever it takes to get a new novel out of Nick. Nick will do anything to get out of his suddenly claustrophobic relationship with Maya. Hillary will do anything with anyone as long as she can be naked. And Charlie is in the middle of everything but isn't all there. How do people survive tragic events when these events expose the lies of their lives? Retreat explores making love, making money, and making art in a post-9/11 world.

BEAUTIFUL VIOLENCE by Zack Brenner. Directed by Abigail Trabue. 2 pm, Saturday, May 27th and 2 pm, Saturday, June 3rd.
In a life of sex, drugs, and brutality, a love triangle leads to the destruction of many lives. When a few kids with a mob mentality choose the wrong person to make their decisions, how severe can the consequences get? This ultraviolent piece is simple yet brutal in its story and unforgettable characters.

THIS WOMAN IS ALONE by Bill Rumbler. Directed by Amanda Monfrooe. 8 pm, Saturday, May 27th and 7 pm, Sunday, June 4th.
Faced with impossible choices in the depravity of the Soviet Gulag, a woman is shocked into accepting the ageless Russian remedy for one's sins: redemption through suffering. A powerful tale of oppression, love, loss and reunion.

SINGING IN THE GRAVE: The Musical Comedy of Death. Book and lyrics by Richard Engling. Music by Greg Silva. Directed by Tina Salamone. 2 pm, Sunday, May 28th and 8 pm, Friday, June 2nd.
A black comedy with song and dance, Singing in the Grave follows two passionate performance artists who attempt to convince a terminally ill friend to make his death part of the "ultimate theatrical experience." Complicated by visitations from science, romance, the supernatural, a freelance mercy killer and a hit man in hiding, Singing in the Grave ends in the ultimate sacrifice, but not the one expected.

THE WHITE AIRPLANE by Darren Callahan. Directed by Marc Friedman. 7 pm, Sunday, May 28th and 8 pm, Saturday, June 3rd.
A Pittsburgh man finds himself in the body of a Japanese typist, whose wife has been reported missing. What are the links between this strange occurrence and the crash of a white airplane on the English countryside? A dream-like story of life and circumstance, told as human drama, mixed with absurd comedy and jabs of sex and violence.
Polarity Ensemble Theatre is a member of the League of Chicago Theatres.