Our first review is in, and it's a 4 out 4 Star RAVE review from John Glines over at ChicagoStageStandard.com!
Click the link above, or read the full text of the review below!
**One correction to the article - Jeremy is the only founding member of Dream Theatre who is currently active with DTC. Anna, Madelaine, and myself are all company members, but not founding members......considering I was 10 years old in 1998, that would have been quite the accomplishment ;)
THE DEVILISH CHILDREN @ DREAM THEATRE COMPANY
Theater Review by John Glines, May 3, 2015
4 out of 4 stars
Walking past the Dream Laboratory you may be forgiven for thinking it’s just some other little toy shop on Lincoln Avenue. While dolls and knick knacks litter the store front, the outside belies little of what’s inside. Walking into it, the set up is very quaint, but the Dream Theatre Company has certainly not skipped on the amenities. The 40ish seats they have were taken straight out of an actual theatre, and are incredibly spacious, and while the room itself is quite small, they have done a lot with the small space to make it very welcoming—and each of their plays is created with this small space in mind.
Their current production, The Devilish Children, stars Madelaine Schmitt as Little Karl, the three year old protagonist sent to an extremely Hellish version of time-out, and is based off fables by a 19th century German psychiatrist Heinrich Hoffman. Originally written for his three-year old son, each story is a cautionary tale which humorously depicts the disastrous consequences of bad behavior. While the original tales were meant for children aged three to six, The Devilish Children is certainly not a play for kids. It features a good amount of gore and can be quite loud at times.
The tale starts as Little Karl is sent away from home and locked in a room with other misbehaving children. The stories unfold as each child tells their tale to Little Karl, recounting what’s wrong with being a cry-baby, or a whiner, or too willful. Each story, and each character, is unique and humorous, and the Devilish Children whom Little Karl encounters rhyme throughout. Each actor’s German accent was spot on, and their characters all had their own mannerisms and dispositions which really brought them to life. The sound design was especially beautiful; there was a lot of word painting going on with the music, as the music reflected the current mood of the play. As with all their plays, The Devilish Children was designed for this stage, and despite its small size, they accomplish a lot with it, involving the audience as they climb through the seats.
Dream Theatre was founded by Jeremy and Anna Menekseoglu, Madelaine Schmitt and Amanda Meyer as they were studying at the Moscow Art Theatre in 1998, and they’ve been producing plays since returning to Chicago. Their mission is to tell original stories which focus on the human condition and which linger with their audience long after the story is told. And they certainly deliver on their promise; the production value was great, the play unique, and the ending really left a lasting impression. The pacing of the story felt balanced, and not once did an actor miss a line.
Tickets are $20 ($18 student/senior/industry) and can be purchased at dreamtheatrecompany.com. (Seating is limited, so advanced reservations are recommended.) To reserve and pay at the door, please send name, date & quantity by text or email to: 773-552-8616 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dream Theatre Company is Best Off-Loop Theatre Company (2014, 2012, 2010) in the Chicago Reader Poll. Other awards include Best 15-Minute Horror Play (Audience Annihilated Part Two: Gold Star Sticker, Chicago Reader Poll 2014), Best New Play (Chicago Reader, Peter Pan’s Shadow trilogy 2012 and The Agon Trilogy2010), a Top 5 Show of 2010 (New City, Electra, part two of The Agon Trilogy) and of 2007 (New City, The Baby Killers), and a Jeff Award for The Black Ducking (2009).
Dream Theatre Company • 5026 N. Lincoln Ave. Chicago IL 60625 • 773-552-8616
www.dreamtheatrecompany.com. Find more information at www.theaterinchicago.com.
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