2 plays by witty Laura Jacqmin set for local premieres
By HEDY WEISS Theater Critic December 22, 2013 6:32PM
Updated: January 24, 2014 6:08AM
Chicago-based playwright Laura Jacqmin makes me laugh.
After seeing her 2010 play “Dental Society Midwinter Meeting” (a work true to its title, first presented at Chicago Dramatists), I cannot pass a certain hotel in Skokie without recalling the antics she described. Her play “Ski Dubai” (staged in the Steppenwolf Garage in 2009) was a zesty absurdist riff on the strange Persian Gulf city of the title.
Two world premieres by Jacqmin are headed to Chicago area stages this winter: “Do-Gooder” (running Jan. 16-Feb. 22 at Berwyn’s 16th Street Theater), and “Ghost Bike” (Feb. 27-March 30 in a Buzz22 Chicago production at Red Tape Theatre, 621 W. Belmont).
“Do-Gooder,” directed by Ann Filmer, is about a couple who buy a Chicago graystone. With the best of intentions they plan to rent its second floor apartment to a low-income black family, in the process displacing a pair of white tenants.
“Ghost Bike,” directed by Sara Sawicki, combines elements of Greek, African, and Chinese mythology as it depicts two best friends navigating “the ultimate challenge to a friendship through an underworld beneath their Chicago home.” (Buzz22 Chicago is best known for its ingenious, high-energy production of “She Kills Monsters” at the Steppenwolf Garage last winter.)
Winner of the 2008 Wasserstein Prize (a $25,000 award given to recognize an emerging female playwright), Jacqmin graduated from Yale University and earned an MFA from Ohio University. She recently was a writer on ABC’s “Lucky 7,” a short-lived “low-key blue collar ensemble drama.” — Hedy Weiss