Season 34

Symposium Series

Immediately following each Sunday matinee, we will invite the audience to stay for a discussion centered on questions raised by the performance. Discussions will feature community guests who offer distinct perspectives or artists from the production team.

October 23 – Counseling Youth through Trauma and Grief

Alexandra Fleiss, Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Stage Left Theatre Board President,

October 30 – Behind the Scenes

Amy Szerlong (director), Beth Kander (playwright), and The Cast of The Bottle Tree

November 6 – Addressing Mass Violence through Art

Beth Kander, playwright. Beth is a writer, performer and consultant with one foot in the South and the other in the Midwest. Selected playwriting honors and awards: Ashland New Plays Festival Winner 2015; The Kilroys List (Honorable Mention) 2015; Downstage Left Playwright Residency, 2014-2015; Charles M. Getchell New Play Award (2012); Eudora Welty New Play Awards (2013, 2010, 2008); Theatre Oxford 10 Minute Plays Audience Award (2012); Mississippi Theatre Association New Play Award (2009). Kander was named Best Writer by the Jackson Free Press three times. She has scripts represented by Steele Spring Stage Rights and Chicago Dramaworks.  In addition to playwriting, Kander has authored several works of fiction.

Erica Weiss, director. Erica is a Jeff-nominated theatre director and filmmaker. She was the recipient of The Goodman Theatre’s prestigious Michael Maggio Directing Fellowship, is an ensemble member of The Gift Theatre Company, and was the Associate Artistic Director of Route 66 Theatre Company for four years. She is a frequent collaborator with writer Caitlin Parrish, most recently directing The Burials at Steppenwolf Theatre.Her favorite projects include the World Premiere The Downpour (Route 66 Theatre, Joseph Jefferson Nominee for Best Production, Best Director, and Best New Work), Making Noise Quietly (Steep Theatre Company), Vigils (The Gift Theatre), and the World Premiere of Mahal (Bailiwick Chicago). Erica was the founding Artistic Director of Hypatia Theatre Company and she has also worked with Victory Gardens Theatre, Northlight Theatre, American Theater Company, Chicago Dramatists, Stage Left Theatre, MPAACT, and more.

Sarah Iliatovitch-Goldman, playwright. Sarah is a playwright, actor and director. Sarah’s plays have been produced across Canada as well as in Chicago where she has worked for Collaboraction Theatre Company, Sideshow Theatre Company, Strawdog Theatre Company, Broken Nose Theatre Company, and Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Her work includes: The Guilty Party (New Voices Festival/Cue6 Theatre), The Apartment Trilogy (Sound It Out), Mirror Me (Project: Humanity), Pieces (Cue6 Theatre – finalist for RBC Tarragon Emerging Playwright’s Award), Crime Scene Chicago: Let Hope Rise (Collaboraction Theatre Company), Hospital (Edmonton International Fringe Festival), This Is NOT A Cure For Cancer (Collaboraction Theatre Company), and We Three (upcoming Cue6 Theatre). In 2015 Sarah was a semi-finalist for the National Playwright’s Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Center with her play The War Photographer.

November 13 – Gun Control Advocacy in our Backyard

Colleen Daley, Executive Director of Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence. Colleen has 20 years of experience in political strategy, public policy, legislative affairs, media relations and resource management among large-scale government and nonprofit organizations. Since joining ICHV in April of 2011 she has grown the statewide outreach campaign, successfully passed common sense gun control legislation, and continues to advance ICHV’s Student Voices Program. Prior to coming to ICHV, Colleen served as the Director of Legislative Affairs to former State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias.  Before that, she served as the Campaign Director of Illinois for Health Care, the Strategic Sourcing Manger for the State of Illinois Department of Central Management Services and the Chief of Staff to former State Representative John Fritchey.

Anna Astalas has been the Co-president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence Chicagoland Chapter since 2014. Anna has been a gun violence prevention (GVP) activist for 16 years starting as the Texas State Coordinator of the Million Mom March (MMM- now joined with the Brady Campaign) where she organized approximately 6000 participants for events in 4 Texas cities and helped charter 4 chapters in Texas. Her passion started after having lived in Canada and Sweden where there were negligible deaths due to guns. The Chicagoland chapter of the Brady Campaign works very closely with other GVP groups in a regional coalition to reduce gun violence in Illinois. Anna’s day job is as a Clinical Quality Manager at Health Care Services corporation.