CHICAGO – Fresh off its Jeff Award nomination for Little Women the Musical, Brown Paper Box Co. is excited to begin the 2019/2020 season with a new cabaret event.
For two nights only, Holding On is a community-focused cabaret at Under the Gun Theater, 956 W Newport Ave, Chicago, coordinated by Artistic Director Kristi Szczepanek, produced by Managing Director Anna Schutz, and hosted by Artistic Associate Samm Gatwood.
Art, like life, is “a solo sport… with partners.” Inspired by the first play of our season, the Midwest premiere of Grace, or the Art of Climbing by L M Feldman, Brown Paper Box Co. invites you to enjoy a night of songs, stories, and laughter performed by company members and friends. Join our community of artists side-by-side as they perform in duos and groups as we continue to hold on & support one another when times feel tough. Admission $15 presale and $20 at the door. Additional information & ticket can be found by visiting www.BrownPaperBox.org.
Holding On: A Community Cabaret features performances by comedy duo Evan & Mary Jane (Evan Mills and Brittany Flynn), Leah Brock, Brad Brubaker, Samantha Beth (Host), Rachel Hoovler, Matthew Fayfer (BPBCo.’s Little Women the Musical), Sarah Ford (BPBCo.’s Little Women the Musical), Amanda Raquel Martinez, Elissa Newcorn (BPBCo.’s They’re Playing Our Song), Audrey Ney, Ron Popp, & BPBCo. executive members Anna Schutz and Kristi Szczepanek. With special guests Abigail Cline, Sam Fain, Jenni Hadley, Antoine McKay, Julia Merchant, and Matthew Muñiz.
“We’ve been reflecting on the power and support of community here at BPBCo., so we’re leaning into and celebrating community’s ins and outs this season,” says Artistic Director Kristi Szczepanek. “Whether it’s in Lakeview, Andersonville, or any neighborhood in between, our ninth season focuses on telling stories about the many ways one can lean on – and be lifted up by – individual communities.”
Holding On STAFF & CREATIVE BIOS
Evan & Mary-Jane (Special Guests) A Chicago based music comedy duo made up by Evan Mills @awkvanmills and Brittany Flynn @britflynn. Formed a little over two years ago, Evan & Mary-Jane can be seen performing all over the city. Together they have written three musical revues including Almost Holding Hands at the Second City and Hey Peter, Bye Peter at the Annoyance Theater. They have performed in the Breakout Comedy Festival, the LA Comedy Fest, and just filmed their first live comedy special Sleeping Together (In Separate Beds).
Samm Gatwood* (Host) is a freelance actor, director and choreographer who can be found throughout the Chicagoland area with her beloved bulldog Elphaba. She graduated with her degree in Musical Theatre from Drake University where she developed a passion for teaching and choreography. She spends the vast majority time as a teaching artist, but also loves to spend time on and around stage; some of her favorite credits include The Wild Party (Queenie), Rock of Ages (Waitress #1/Assistant Choreographer/Fight Captain) and Jesus Christ Superstar (Choreographer). samanthagatwood.com.
Anna Schutz* (Producer) is a proud founding member of Brown Paper Box Co. She holds a BFA in Acting from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is currently working towards her Masters in Nonprofit Management at DePaul University. She has worked in Chicago as an actor, singer, & arts administrator for the last decade. Backstage, she has work with Brown Paper Box Co. as a producer, production manager, and stage manager. Onstage, she has performed in their plays, musicals, and cabarets. As a playwright, Anna’s first script, Prodigy, was selected for the League of Chicago Theatres’ Bright Angel Creative Retreat in 2017 and then received a staged reading co-sponsored by DePaul University’s Women’s & Gender Studies Department. Prodigy was most recently selected for Dandelion Theater’s Reservoir Series in May 2019. More information can be found here: www.annaschutz.com.
Kristi Szczepanek* (Holding On Coordinator) joined Brown Paper Box Co. after performing as the understudy in Now. Here. This. She has since been seen with BPBCo. in “The Broad-Way: A Ladies Cabaret,” created and coordinated “Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret,” and recently served as dramaturg for Little Women the Musical. She served as the Management and Development Assistant at Off-Off-Broadway’s Ensemble Studio Theatre, helping coordinate events like the Sloan Project and their annual Marathon of One Act Plays. Chicago companies she’s had the pleasure of working with both onstage and off include Quest Theatre Ensemble, Tympanic Theatre Company, Chicago Dramatists, and the Something Marvelous Festival. kristisz.com.
* denotes Brown Paper Box Co. members.
Who: Brown Paper Box Co.
What: Holding On: A Community Cabaret
When: Sunday, May 5 and Monday, May 6, 2019 @ 7:30pm
Where: Under the Gun Theater, 956 W Newport Ave, Chicago, IL 60657
Tickets: $15 presale / $20 at the door. On sale now at www.BrownPaperBox.org