A Red Orchid Theatre
A Red Orchid Theatre is an ensemble based theatre company located in the Old Town district of Chicago and was founded in 1993 by Michael Shannon, Guy Van Swearingen III, and Lawrence Grimm. Kirsten Fitzgerald, a long-time ensemble member, has helmed the company as Artistic Director since 2008.
"A Red Orchid Theatre is an ensemble of artists dedicated to the proliferation of live theatre in the modern world. We believe that theatre is the greatest sustenance for the human spirit and approach our work with a palpable sense of social compassion, aesthetic rigor, and honesty. By presenting new plays from all over the world and by reviving insightful works from the past that bear new relevance today, we aim to seek out and build new audiences for the modern stage."
Notable productions include a revival of Sam Shepard's Simpatico, Eugène Ionesco's The Killer, and John Ford's 'Tis Pity She's a Whore. Notable world premieres include Tracy Letts' Bug and Craig Wright's Mistakes Were Made. A Red Orchid is also known for an experimental 1996 production of Arthur Kopit's The Questioning of Nick starring Nick Offerman, Michael Shannon, and Guy Van Swearingen that was performed three times in succession with the actors switching roles each time.
In the summer of 2014, the company took its premiere production of The Opponent by ensemble member Brett Neveu to New York's 59E59 Theaters with the original cast (ensemble members Guy Van Swearingen and Kamal Angelo Bolden), director (ensemble member Karen Kessler) and designers (Joey Wade, Myron Elliott, Joe Court, John Tovar and ensemble member Mike Durst).
A Red Orchid Theatre's artistic ensemble is composed of actors, designers, directors, and playwrights.
Awards and nominations
MacArthur Award for Creative & Effective Institutions
In 2016, A Red Orchid Theatre became the recipient of the MacArthur Foundation's MacArthur Award for Creative & Effective Institutions. This MacArthur Award included a $200,000 grant to be used to "establish a cash reserve and implement its audience development plan that includes new marketing and audience engagement strategies."
|1997||Canus Lunis Baloonis||Ensemble||Nominated|
|New Work||Christian Stolte||Won|
|1999||The Cut||Scenic Design||Stephanie Nelson||Won|
|Sound Design||Joseph Fosco||Nominated|
|2000||Mr. Bundy||Actress in a Supporting Role||Kirsten Fitzgerald||Nominated|
|2002||Bug||Actor in a Principal Role||Michael Shannon||Nominated|
|Actress in a Principal Role||Kate Buddeke||Nominated|
|Sound Design||Joseph Fosco||Nominated|
|2006||The Sea Horse||Actor in a Principal Role - Play||Guy Van Swearingen III||Nominated|
|Actress in a Principal Role - Play||Kirsten Fitzgerald||Won|
|Scenic Design||Grant Sabin||Nominated|
|Kimberly Akimbo||Actor in a Supporting Role - Play||Steve Haggard||Nominated|
|2008||Fatboy||Costume Design - Midsize||Karen Kawa||Nominated|
|2009||Pumpgirl||Actress in a Principal Role - Play||Kirsten Fitzgerald||Nominated|
|The Unseen||Lighting Design - Midsize||Matthew Gawryk||Nominated|
|Sound Design - Midsize||Joe Court||Nominated|
|2010||Abigail's Party||Production Play - Midsize||Nominated|
|Director - Play||Shade Murray||Nominated|
|Actress in a Principal Role - Play||Kirsten Fitzgerald||Nominated|
|Actress in a Supporting Role - Play||Natalie West||Won|
|Mistakes Were Made||New Work||Craig Wright||Nominated|
|Actor in a Principal Role||Michael Shannon||Nominated|
|2011||The New Electric Ballroom||Sound Design - Midsize||Joseph Fosco||Nominated|
|2012||The Butcher of Baraboo||Actress in a Supporting Role - Play||Natalie West||Won|
|Megacosm||Projections/ Media Design||Seth Henrikson & Oddmachine||Nominated|
|2013||In A Garden||Actor in a Principal Role - Play||Rom Barkhordar||Nominated|
|Simpatico||Production Play - Midsize||Nominated|
|Actor in a Principal Role - Play||Michael Shannon||Won|
|Actor in a Principal Role - Play||Guy Van Swearingen III||Nominated|
|The Opponent||Actor in a Principal Role - Play||Kamal Angelo Bolden||Nominated|
|Fight / Movement Direction||John Tovar||Won|
|2014||Trevor||Actor in a Principal Role - Play||Lawrence Grimm||Nominated|
|2015||Accidentally Like A Martyr||Scenic Design - Midsize||John Holt||Won|
|2016||Pilgrim's Progress||Production Play - Midsize||Nominated|
|The Mutilated||Production Play - Midsize||Nominated|
|Actress in a Principal Role - Play||Jennifer Engstrom||Nominated|
|Original Music in a Play||Brando Triantafillou||Nominated|
- "History". A Red Orchid Theatre. 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-10.
- Zacher, Scotty. "A Red Orchid Theatre's new Artistic Director: Kirsten Fitzgerald". Chicago Theater Beat. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
- "AROT's Mission". A Red Orchid Theatre. A Red Orchid Theatre. Retrieved 4 May 2016.
- "Simpatico at A Red Orchid Theatre". Theatre in Chicago. Theatre in Chicago. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
- Green, Nick (February 26, 1998). "Perfectly Puzzling". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
- Barnidge, Mary Shen (February 29, 1996). "The Questioning of Nick, The Questioning of Nick, & The Questioning of Nick (Again)". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
- Ruby, Jeff. "The Delicious Life of Nick Offerman". Chicago. Chicago Magazine. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
- TOILING IN THE TRENCHES RED ORCHID THEATRE STRIVES TO BLOOM THROUGH ADVERSITY
- "MACARTHUR AWARD FOR CREATIVE & EFFECTIVE INSTITUTIONS / MEET THE 2016 RECIPIENTS A Red Orchid Theatre". MacArthur Foundation. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
- "The Joseph Jefferson Awards". Retrieved 4 May 2016.