As of January 1, 2016, Gapers Block has ceased publication. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions over the past 12-plus years. 

TODAY

Thursday, December 14

Gapers Block
Search

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr


A/C
« Overheard Illustrated: "Skirts" The red, black and GREEN Movement »

Theater Tue Apr 10 2012

Step Up Productions' The Sweetest Swing In Baseball

In The Sweetest Swing in Baseball, the latest work by Chicago-based playwright Rebecca Gilman and directed by Audrey Francis, life can be full of strikes and curveballs; read on as Elizabeth Antonucci, artistic director for Step Up Productions, talks about the play, its message and how she hopes to hit a home run as a rookie in the Chicago theater scene.

BASEBALL.JPG

Cast: The Sweetest Swing in Baseball. Photo: Rich Hein
.

You've stated that you are "committed to bringing truthful, powerful, and relevant theater to Chicago"--relevant in what way(s)?

"Relevant" in meaning that there's so much going on in the world and in everybody's lives--everybody feels hurt, mistrust and all these different emotions. I feel like there are so many great theatrical scripts out there that speak to this time in our lives and who we are in society and bringing those to light is what we're really interested in doing. I think that's what's important to us as a theater company--evoking that emotion out of people and really having them come along on the ride with us. That's something I've always wanted to do so I figured through this company is the best way to do it.

Is that why you chose The Sweetest Swing in Baseball to open the season?

Yes. The Sweetest Swing in Baseball was kind of a no-brainer for our first production; it speaks on so many levels about trust, mistrust and success and what that really means. It also speaks to what makes you successful and why and how you deal with that success. After reading the script, I kind of felt connected to every single one of these characters and that was when I knew I had found my first production.

This play deals with several issues: fear, fear of failure, mental illness--and even the sociology of sports. Talk about these issues and how you think they might resonate with audiences.

We have found some great responses from audiences and reviewers who have absolutely loved our show. I think what is so great about it and why audiences have loved it so much is that there's an element of relatability--that they can see themselves in every one of these characters. One of the other great things about it is that it does leave some room for audiences to make their final decision which I think is kind of nice because they're left to their own interpretation and it fits where their lives fit at the moment--it doesn't exactly tell you one answer. Now I know some people do not like that in theater, but we've had some great responses from people who really do love that.

The play has been running now for two weeks, how has it been going so far? What has the reaction been like?

I am so thankful for the Chicago theater community to embrace such a new, young company; it allows us to try ourselves out on such a great stage like Chicago where there's [already] so much great theater and so many other great companies out there. It's been so nice and welcoming and I feel so warm and accepted here. I'm so happy to be able to express myself and let our company do what we want to do and carry out our mission in such a great community like Chicago.

What message(s) do you want the audience to take away from this play?

There's so many in the show but for me, the big one right now is that you kind of make your own success; success to somebody might not be the same as it is to you, so whatever you feel success is and whatever you feel is successful for you, go with it. We have gotten some "not-so-great" reviews but we've [also] gotten a ton of great reviews. I think what I'm dealing with and what I'm taking away from this show and what's really helped me is that success is measured by what I feel it is and not all the time what other people say it is. That's one of the main messages I hope everybody can take away from the show.

What else can the Chicago theater community expect from Step Up Productions?

We have gotten that question many times. We have been so busy with this show and getting this one up that I haven't really thought about the next one yet; however I am in the process of reading scripts and hopefully, within the next couple of months, we'll be announcing our next show. We're hoping to develop a full season, next year or the year after, with 2 or 3 shows, and we will continue as long as the Chicago theater community will have us here. That's my goal and that's my next step.

The Sweetest Swing in Baseball runs through Sunday, Apr. 22 at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport; show times are Thursdays through Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 3pm. Tickets are $25.50-$32.50; for more information, call 773-935-6875.

 
GB store
GB store

Architecture Tue Nov 03 2015

Paul Goldberger Describes the "Pragmatism and Poetry" of Frank Gehry's Architecture in His New Book

By Nancy Bishop

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Jan 01 2016

Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »

Blogroll

ACRE
An Angry White Guy
Antena
AREA Chicago
ArchitectureChicago Plus
Arts Engagement Exchange
The Art Letter
Art or Idiocy?
Art Slant Chicago
Art Talk Chicago
Bad at Sports
Bite and Smile
Brian Dickie of COT
Bridgeport International
Carrie Secrist Gallery
Chainsaw Calligraphy
Chicago Art Blog
Chicago Art Department
Chicago Art Examiner
Chicago Art Journal
Chicago Artists Resource
Chicago Art Map
Chicago Art Review
Chicago Classical Music
Chicago Comedy Examiner
Chicago Cultural Center
Chicago Daily Views
Chicago Film Examiner
Chicago Film Archives
Chicago Gallery News
Chicago Uncommon
Collaboraction
Contemporary Art Space
Co-op Image Group
Co-Prosperity Sphere
Chicago Urban Art Society
Creative Control
Defibrillator
Devening Projects
Digressions
DIY Film
ebersmoore
The Exhibition Agency
The Flatiron Project
F newsmagazine
The Gallery Crawl...
Galerie F
The Gaudy God
Happy Dog Gallery
HollywoodChicago
Homeroom Chicago
I, Homunculus
Hyde Park Artcenter Blog
InCUBATE
Joyce Owens: Artist on Art
J-Pointe
Julius Caesar
Kasia Kay Gallery
Kavi Gupta Gallery
Rob Kozlowski
Lookingglass Theatre Blog
Lumpen Blog
Marquee
Mess Hall
N'DIGO
Neoteric Art
NewcityArt
NewcityFilm
NewcityStage
Not If But When
Noun and Verb
On Film
On the Make
Onstage
Peanut Gallery
Peregrine Program
Performink
The Poor Choices Show
Pop Up Art Loop
The Post Family
The Recycled Film
Reversible Eye
Rhona Hoffman Gallery
Roots & Culture Gallery
SAIC Blog
The Seen
Sharkforum
Sisterman Vintage
Site of Big Shoulders
Sixty Inches From Center
Soleil's To-Do's
Sometimes Store
Steppenwolf.blog
Stop Go Stop
Storefront Rebellion
TOC Blog
Theater for the Future
Theatre in Chicago
The Franklin
The Mission
The Theater Loop
Thomas Robertello Gallery
threewalls
Time Tells Tony Wight Gallery
Uncommon Photographers
The Unscene Chicago
The Visualist
Vocalo
Western Exhibitions
What's Going On?
What to Wear During an Orange Alert?
You, Me, Them, Everybody
Zg Gallery

GB store

 

Events


A/C on Flickr

Join the A/C Flickr Pool.



About A/C

A/C is the arts and culture section of Gapers Block, covering the many forms of expression on display in Chicago. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Nancy Bishop, nancy@gapersblock.com
A/C staff inbox: ac@gapersblock.com

Archives

 

A/C Flickr Pool
 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15