Leslie Ann Sheppard*
stage managed by Katie Klemme*
scenic design by Joe Schermoly
lighting design by Mike Durst
costume design by Mara Blumenfeld and Mieka van der Ploeg
property design by Jesse Gaffney
sound design by Christopher Kriz
violence design by Geoff Coates
audience design by Barbara Charlene
production management by Majel Cuza
A significant narrative and emotional achievement! A very distinct kind of thrill, the one that kicks in when you have absoutely no idea where a play is going, except that it is not likely to any place you recall being before in a theater.Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune
directed by Jeremy Wechsler
musical direction by Andra Velis Simon
choreography by Brigitte Ditmars
Leslie Ann Sheppard*
A post-apocalyptic tale of survival... passion... and the enduring power of Bart Simpson.
After life as we know it has ended, small bands of survivors band together to keep the pilot light of civilization burning. Their path to redemption is as unexpected as it is inevitable in the most original, vibrant and stunning piece of theater you'll see this year.
Join us before selected Sunday performances for lunch and fascinating guest speakers who will provide new insights (and no spoilers) for
A post-electric play about Bart Simpson Kills in Chicago
"The best work of director Jeremy Wechsler's career."
"Washburn's script has a very distinct kind of thrill, the one that kicks in when you have absolutely no idea where a play is going, except that it is not likely to be any place you recall being before in a theater.
"This thrill is one of expansiveness of vision — an intellectual rush, a sense of unexplored theatrical possibility, a fearlessness of operation, an understanding of the complex relationship of cultural innovation and populist pulp. Oh, and one more thing: the massive pull of shared experience.
"But wherever you land on the "Simpsons" obsession scale, you should know that "Mr. Burns" is very funny. And that's most of what you need to know."
— Chris Jones,
★★★★ Anne Washburn's three-act play is a wonderfully weird paean to pop culture's place in our lives.
"Interspersed with music by composer Michael Friedman that draws as gleefully from pop culture influences as Washburn’s script, and deftly played out by a crack ensemble of young Chicago actors under Jeremy Wechsler’s direction (and with special commendation due to Mara Blumenfeld and Mieka Van Der Ploeg’s brilliant, scavenger-style costumes), in Theater Wit's terrific Chicago premiere,
— Kris Vire,
Both extremely entertaining and illuminating, you'll find it hard to leave the theatre without buzzing with electricity.
The script is certainly a true work of art and it's clear that Wechsler and the team at Theater Wit recognize the worth of this play and are giving it everything they have.
With a top-notch set (that, really, is three different set designs in one show) by Joe Schermoly (along with Jesse Gaffney on props), lit with precision and skill by Mike Durst, and characters clad in often brilliantly creative costumes by Mara Blumenfeld, the physical look of the show is one of the most stunning and impressive I have ever seen in Chicago storefront theatre.
The cast is uniformly strong. The balance found between all of the actors in this ensemble piece is spot on, and it is a joy to watch.
The choreography couldn't be funnier or more effective.
Though the script is chock-full of intellectual stimulation, Theatre Wit's production of "Mr. Burns" is also, quite simply, really damn entertaining. It's funny, it's witty, it's interesting, and those three acts fly by.
— Elee Schrock,
"Under the deliberate yet freewheeling direction of Jeremy Wechsler, Theater Wit’s production of
— Alex Huntsberger,
Mind-bending, terrifying, hilarious, and moving!
"Each act opens on a different time and place, and things just get weirder each time the curtain rises. And by weird, I mean wonderful. I’m not going to spoil the story for you, but let it be known that the third act has to be seen to be believed."
"Seriously, this show has it all, and it’s using all of the tools of modern theatre to do it – not big technical splashes, but clever designs, good acting, the right mixture of stillness and explosions. Go have your mind blown with some damn fine theatre."
— Jackie Davies,
Jenny / Marge / Nelson
Recent Chicago credits include
Kelley Abell is thrilled to be making her Theater Wit debut with
Matt / Homer / Scratchy
Daniel Desmarais is making his Theater Wit debut. Some of his Chicago credits include:
Colleen / 1st FBI Agent / Lisa
Some of Hannah's Chicago credits include: Gaby in 16th Street Theater’s
Maria / 2nd FBI Agent / Itchy
Christina is making her Theater Wit debut. Other Chicago credits include
Sam / Mr. Burns
Andrew Jessop is returning to Theater Wit after last performing as Don/Franklin in
Quincy / Bart
Leslie Ann Sheppard is excited to join Team Burns! Chicago Theatre Credits: Northlight Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, Classical Kids Live!, Chicago Children’s Theatre, Victory Gardens Biograph, TimeLine Theatre. Regional Credits: Theatre Squared (Fayettville, AR), Illinois Shakespeare Theatre, Chicago Fringe Festival, Bristol Renaissance Faire (Kenosha, WI). International Credits: Classical Kids Live! (Singapore). TV/Film: THE MOB DOCTOR (Fox/FX), POWERS (Pilot ep.) She’s also a musician, playwright and stage combatant, with a BA degree from Illinois State University and is the Artistic Director and a founding company member of the Suitcase Shakespeare Co.
Gibson / Sideshow Bob / Homer
Jeff is the co-creator (along with Lacy Katherine Campbell) of Gashlycrumb Orphanage and they recently performed in the Chicago Humanities Festival. Other acting credits include
* indicates a member of Actors Equity, the association of professional actors and stage managers