Girlfriend Construction Set: a computer game review by Ben Vigeant

I've never been good at building things. When I was a kid, I’d pour out the box of Legos onto the ground and just stare them, impotently. Which is why 1989’s Girlfriend Construction Set for MS-DOS didn’t seem like it was for me. A deeply embarrassing game from a time when it was just immediately assumed that if you even glanced at a computer you were a vile person, as opposed to now, when it’s just likely you are.

Read More

The Steamroller's new podcast!

Very exciting news: The Steamroller is podcasting! Chicago-based writer/improviser/golden boy Harrison George has been recording a series of interviews over the last few months with performers from the Chicago comedy scene, and we're going to release these recordings biweekly, starting today!

Our first episode is a chat with Lee and Matt Barats, who recently moved from Chicago to LA and NYC, respectively. We've got a lot of fun things planned for the coming weeks, and I'm excited for you to hear it!

To hear the show, you can subscribe on iTunes or stream over the internet on the show's dedicated page here on The Steamroller!

Two Bunnies Eating Flowers and their director, Mike Klasek talk process

Earlier this week, Chicago-based writer/performer/director Mike Klasek posted some insight into the rehearsal and idea generation practices he uses when directing sketch group Two Bunnies Eating Flowers on a Facebook thread about experimental comedy. Since my life is one of an audience member, I rarely get to engage with the behind-the-scenes practices of groups like Two Bunnies.

I reached out to Mike about fleshing out this post into something a bit more structured. He wrote up a list of some ideas he's tried out since coming on as the groups director, and had each of the three members of Two Bunnies offer annotations on this list, giving their take on the experiences and experiments. I found the glimpse into the processes of one of the most unique sketch groups going super interesting and I hope you do too!

Two Bunnies Eating Flowers are at Sketchfest tomorrow night, Saturday January 17th at 11pm. Tickets are available now!

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More