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Neo-Futurists Reveal Details Of New Late-Night Show, With Help From SF & NYC

By Stephen Gossett in Arts & Entertainment on Dec 12, 2016 9:18PM

Photo courtesy of The NeoFuturists.

The Neo-Futurists received a massive wave of support following exiled founder Greg Allen’s shocker decision to pull the company’s signature show, Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind; so we shouldn’t be surprised that the original, Chicago location is getting an awesome show of solidarity from its satellites: The Neo-Futurists announced on Monday that Chicago, New York and San Francisco will each replace TML with a new late-night show created in a partnership between the companies. The performance date and time schedules will remain the same, “while experimenting with Neo-Futurist forms in a three-company joint effort,” according to a press release.

Chicago Neo-Futurists Artistic Director Kurt Chiang sounded a note of optimism and camaraderie with the sister outposts.

“As our three companies continue to exchange ideas and keep a critical eye to our mission and aesthetic, our work becomes more relevant,” Chiang said in the release. “We are a movement of artists that experiment, take risks, and tell true stories—and we couldn’t be more honored to be with New York and San Francisco as we endeavor to keep doing just that.”

Exact details on the new show—including a title—have yet to be revealed. But if we read the tea leaves correctly in a recent post from Chiang, cheekily titled “This Just In: Longest Running Art Form In Chicago, “Improvisation,” Closes Its Doors After Decades Long Run,” we can expect still expect plenty of improv-based and -rooted work. “The Neo-Futurists will continue to add its roster of 9,775 short plays (and 50+ longish ones) since 1988,” that post also stated.

Too Much Light was one of the most iconic, longest-running theatre productions in Chicago history before Allen pulled the plug. Allen claimed that he intends to retool TML into a more diverse, explicitly social-activist production; but Chicagoist spoke to multiple former ensemble members who not only argued that the Neos already fit that politically-minded, diverse bill but also said that Allen had exhibited a pattern of harassment within the company during their time at the theatre.

The final Too Much Light performance in Chicago will be Dec. 30. A New Year’s Eve - Party & Performance takes place Saturday, Dec. 31 at 9:30 p.m.; and an alumni performance/benefit called Time Is Of The Essence: A Neo-Futurist Retrospective is scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 1, at 7 p.m. Next year's new late-night programming will be every Friday and Saturday at 11:30 p.m. and Sunday at 7 p.m. ($10 to $15).