Focused on producing work that challenges the norms of American Theatre,
Cloudgate begins its life tackling a major cultural talking point
CHICAGO – February 23, 2018 – Cloudgate Theatre Company enters the Chicago arts ecosystem with the world premiere of Kristin Idaszak’s Another Jungle in a co-production with ensemble-based company, The Syndicate. Tara Branham directs this 90-minute dark comedy inspired by Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, opening April 13 at the Pride Arts Center’s Buena stage in Uptown.
Developed with support from the Playwrights' Center’s Jerome Fellowship, Another Jungle begins when the audience arrives at the theatre to see a show about Chicago’s famed slaughterhouses – only to find that the play has been canceled. Instead, the writer is there to give a slideshow presentation about the history of the stockyards. In trying to explore her family’s Polish identity and the exploitation of stockyard workers, the writer unintentionally exposes a trauma from her own past.
Opening amidst the backdrop of a worldwide #MeToo reckoning, Another Jungle explores the misuse of power, the way narratives get co-opted, and how identity can grow and change over the course of generations. The cast includes Ellenor Riley-Condit, Gregory Geffrard, Paula Ramirez, and Rich Holton.
Kristin Idaszak’s Another Jungle, 2017 Honorable Mention recipient of the American Playwriting Foundation’s Relentless Award, represents the playwright’s mainstage return to Chicago theatre. Idaszak previously received the Paula Vogel and Jean Kennedy Smith playwriting awards from the Kennedy Center and is currently a member of the Goodman Theatre’s Playwrights Unit and a resident playwright at Chicago Dramatists.
"I couldn't be more thrilled to launch Cloudgate Theatre with Another Jungle,” said Idaszak. “When I started writing this play, I had no idea it would be staged in the midst of a national conversation around consent, harassment, and abuse. On the other side of that conversation is women taking back their power. Another Jungle is a very personal grappling with these questions. Cloudgate was founded to tell these kinds of urgent, vulnerable stories.”
Led by Executive Director, Shane Kelly, with Idaszak serving as Artistic Director, Cloudgate Theatre aims to challenge the norms of American theatre by showcasing new works that tell stories from a queer, feminist lens. Cloudgate will follow a project-based model, allowing the company’s creatives to develop work that can foster community, question authority, and offer meaning. In this spirit, every performance of Another Jungle will be followed by a post-show discussion facilitated by members of the cast and production team.