The Upstairs Gallery's Alex Honnet on 2014

Hi!

This is Alex Honnet. Myself and my friends Caitlin Stephan and Walt Delaney (and some other great people at various times) ran a place called the Upstairs Gallery from 2011-2014. If you are a regular Steamroller reader you have probably heard of it, but maybe not! It was a performance space that gained a lot of traction really quickly and got a lot of people in the Chicago sketch and improv community excited. Ultimately though it wasn’t a sustainable thing and instead of trying to make tough choices and change it we made the also tough choice to close at the end of last summer.

I wanted to write something down about the way I feel right now as 2014 comes to a close and I have had a few months to reflect. It feels like things have sort of blown up here in Chicago. Lots of people are leaving, new spots for old theatres, so much potential but also so much change. The below is mostly personal stuff, I’m sorry for that, but maybe you read this and see some or your own experiences in it and you can get down on that.

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Harrison George and Laurel Krabacher talk about The Mission Theater's Trap

One of the most exciting things that came from the opening of the new iO Theater was the creation of The Mission Theater, a space curated by TJ Jagodowski and Dave PasquesiWith The Mission Theater came the creation of a new ongoing sketch revue directed by the duo, two of the most respected improvisers in the city, who have brought together an amazing cast of talented performers to craft a sketch show birthed from improvisation.

I emailed with cast member Laurel Krabacher about her experience creating and performing in the show week after week at iO.

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Interview: Blair Beeken and Adam Hitchell of Peekin With Beeken

The final episode of one of my favorite new documentary webseries Peekin With Beeken was just released. The series follows writer and improviser Blair Beeken around to some of Chicago's most recognizable cultural institutions, like Navy Pier, Wrigley Field, and The Field Museum.

Her curious and endearing perspective on such iconic places makes this a one-of-a-kind travel show, like if a really friendly fourth grader hosted No Reservations. In celebration of the series finale, I spoke with the PWB team, Blair Beeken and Adam Hitchell about the show's development and production.

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TRUE DOLPHIN FACTS FOR BIGTIME DOLPHIN FANS!!!!!!! AND ALSO SOME LIES TO SPICE THINGS UP!!!!!! by Kristina Felske

This Wednesday, December 3rd is the first preview for the brand new Annoyance musical, Penny, the F*ckable Dolphin: A Love Story. To celebrate its opening, writer/producer Kristina Felske wanted to share some true and not-so-true facts about her favorite marine mammal.

Try to guess which facts are FACT and which facts are FICTION!

  1. The dolphin is the only mammal that gives birth tail first!
  2. The average lifespan of dolphins is 17 years, but they can live up to 50! Dolphins be Golden Girls too, y’all!
  3. Dolphins have retractable penises that they sometimes use like hands!
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