THEATRE IN THE DARK’S INAUGURAL PRODUCTION WILL BE THE CHICAGO PREMIERE OF NOIR THRILLER THREE STORIES UP, PERFORMED ENTIRELY IN TOTAL DARKNESS

THREE STORIES UP // THEATRE IN THE DARK

WRITTEN BY MACKENZIE GORDON
DIRECTED BY COREY BRADBERRY

PERFORMANCES OCT 24 - NOV 9, 2019

“THE CHURCH @ THORNDALE” (1244 W THORNDALE AVE—less than two minute walk from Thorndale Red Line)

After her husband is killed, a transit cop finds herself mixed up in Vancouver’s criminal underground. A fast-paced twister of a play that keeps you guessing until the end. Come with us into the dark and let your imagination run wild…

An 80-minute noir mystery set completely in the dark, the actors play nearly a dozen characters including cops, priests, journalists, and grifters in a theatre experience critics have called “innovative,” “elaborate,” and “viscerally compelling”!

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SYNOPSIS

Beatrice, a Vancouver transit cop, discovers both her husband’s dead body and his history as an undercover police officer working deep within Vancouver's criminal underground. In search of the killer, she recruits her late husband’s last known informant, a drug runner who carries secrets of his own. The two embark on a hair-raising investigation through the city's colorful characters in search of justice… and revenge.

 

SPECIAL ONE-NIGHT EVENT from theatre in the dark and uncharted books: “GIMlets and goons”

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Three Stories Up // Theatre in the Dark is partnering with UNCHARTED BOOKS for an evening of drinking gin and hearing noir fiction.

Leading to the October premiere of our show, members of our cast and crew will be curating an evening of radio drama, hard-boiled literature, and other shadowy surprises.

The playwright himself will be acting as bartender for the evening, mixing a complimentary gimlet for each member of the audience Uncharted’s back-room Adventurers Club.

Admission is $5 on October 10th from 7–9 pm at UNCHARTED BOOKS, 5140 N. Clark Street.


why the dark?

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One of the oldest traditions in noir storytelling…

 

…is the use of setting as a main character. No set designer could outdo the descriptive language of Raymond Chandler or Dashiell Hammett. Three Stories Up leans so hard into the words, we decided to turn out the lights altogether.

Our story uses compelling characters and tough-guy poetry to pierce through the dark. Three Stories Up: Theatre in the Dark is experiential theatre intended for audience members seeking a thrill in the pitch black.

Inspired by hard-boiled paperback novels and the radio mystery plays of the 30s and 40s, Three Stories Up invites audience members to tune out the visual barrage and explore the case of Beatrice Dulaurier. We’ve combined recorded sound, live foley, and the human voice -- in front, beside, and behind you -- to create a three dimensional soundscape, and an evening audiences will never forget.

Exceptional in engaging the audience; unique in offering low-vis audience members the same experience as the rest of the theatre, Three Stories Up: Theatre in the Dark was already a smash in Canada, don’t be left in the dark when it comes to Chicago.

 
In a line that Raymond Chandler would have been proud of writing, Gunnar admits: “I’ve been running from the truth so long I’ve almost got it lapped.”
— Colin Thomas, Vancouver Greenroom
 

Inspired by hard-boiled paperback novels and the radio mystery plays of the 30s and 40s, Three Stories Up invites audience members to tune out the visual barrage and explore the case of Beatrice Dulaurier. We’ve combined recorded sound, live foley, and the human voice -- in front, beside, and behind you -- to create a three dimensional soundscape, and an evening audiences will never forget.

Exceptional in engaging the audience; unique in offering low-vis audience members the same experience as the rest of the theatre, Three Stories Up: Theatre in the Dark was already a smash in Canada, don’t be left in the dark when it comes to Chicago.

 

Five Reasons to see:

Three Stories Up

reason 1

Three Stories Up is an INCREDIBLE MYSTERY filled with compelling characters, whip-smart dialogue and gut-wrenching action.

 

reason 2

Three Stories Up is LIVE and IN THE DARK, with a story that’s a perfect match for Chicago’s Halloween season. Our actors perform the story in front of, beside, and behind your seat; and no, you don't have to worry about anyone reaching out and scaring you--this is a detective story and not a haunted house!

 

reason 3

Three Stories Up can be experienced BY YOURSELF or WITH OTHERS! A perfect solo outing or date night must-see. Plus, if you order a drink before the show a friendly usher will deliver beer or wine to your seat just before the play begins!

 

Reason 4

Three Stories Up features a STRONG FEMALE PROTAGONIST. Beatrice is a cop on the hunt, and she’s run out of reasons to go along quietly, no matter who that pits her against.

 

Reason 5

Three Stories Up may be FULL OF SECRETS, but its location is a breeze to find! Only a two-minute walk from the Thorndale Red Line, our producing partners at “THE CHURCH” AT THORNDALE (1244 W THORNDALE AVE) are honored to host Three Stories Up // Theatre in the Dark as its inaugural public performance!

 

praise for

‘three stories up’

 
 
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from the press:

“Viscerally compelling, Three Stories Up makes you pay attention—and it pays off. The plot is satisfyingly complex, and phrase by phrase Gordon’s writing is gorgeous… Stroke of genius to set it in the dark… very, very rewarding.” -- Colin Thomas, Vancouver Greenroom

 Three Stories Up finds innovative ways to entertain in a pitch-black theatre. An elaborate murder mystery… it’s a trip worth taking. Three Stories Up puts the noir in noir.” -- Kathleen Oliver, Georgia Straight

 “Gordon’s words, helped immensely by the performances, paint vivid pictures that transcend gimmick.” -- Mark Robins, Vancouver Presents

 “Immediately, this show is a fun experience… [bringing] the ever-adaptive noir genre to the stage, the region and this decade. Three Stories Up is a unique experience that will keep audiences guessing all the way through.” -- SadMag

from the low-vision community:

From the low-vision community:

I would happily attend another production where the audience members are all on an even playing field. The entire experience created some interesting discussion for the ride home.”

“I felt like I was on a level playing field with all the members of the audience who were sighted. The acting was quite well done and I was impressed that they did not bump into the audience or chairs as they moved so adeptly around the room. Personally, we should have more of this type of play.”

Audiences are led in blindfolded before the lights go out and the blindfolds come off…

Audiences are led in blindfolded before the lights go out and the blindfolds come off…


Audience members enjoy refreshments as the show begins…

Audience members enjoy refreshments as the show begins…

from general audiences:

“It was like listening to the old BBC radio plays that I grew up with—though my childhood radio wasn’t playing in three dimensions!”

“Noirish, eerie, moving… is a must-see! Do not miss.” 

“I highly recommend it. Uniquely immersive. Intimate and aurally spatial.”

our team

 

Some of how we do what we do is a secret, but here’s more information on our major players:

 

BETHANY ARRINGTON (Beatrice DeLaurier & others) is an actor, model, and voice over talent originally from Carmel, Indiana. She is a proud member of the Artistic Council and ensemble of NoMads Art Collective. Bethany is very pleased to be working with Theatre in the Dark for the very first time. She is represented by Lily’s Talent. Hear and see more of Bethany at bethanyarrington.com.

COREY BRADBERRY (Director, Sound Design) is a stage director committed to clear, efficient, and compelling storytelling. A Chicago newcomer, he most recently returned to his native Atlanta to direct Murder! at The Strand II: Dark Matters, an immersive sci-fi murder mystery which puts the audience in the central role of Investigator. Chicago: THE LAKES, The Man That Corrupted Christmas (Inertia Theatre Project); 24-Hour-Playfests (iO, Eclectic Full-Contact); Simpler Days (Woof Pack Comedy). Atlanta: Murder! at The Strand (Earl and Rachel Smith Strand); The Devil Tree, The Theory of Everything (The Collective Project Inc.); The Autobiography of Sir Wm McGonagall (Atlanta Fringe). Education: Master of Fine Arts in Directing (Theatre), University of Southern Mississippi; Bachelor of Arts in Theatre & Performance Studies (Performance Concentration) from Kennesaw State University; additional training from Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre, Kennedy Center MFA Playwright’s Workshop + Directing Intensive, Second City Training Center. Corey was a 2015 National Directing Fellow through the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival and was awarded the 2013 Emerging Artist Award for Theatre from the City of Atlanta’s Office of Cultural Affairs. coreybradberry.com

MACKENZIE GORDON (Gunnar Bjornsen & others; Playwright) has been writing plays for ten years. His work has been published in Discorder Magazine, Carte Blanche, and Speakeasy Theatre’s Pull Anthology. His plays have been performed by ITSAZOO Productions (Debts, Five Red Balloons), Western Canada Theatre (The Ballad of the Burning Lady), Upintheair Theatre (Visitors) and Level-Headed Friends Productions (Six Fine Lines; Shake the Sheets!; Dead Celebrities). He is a threetime writing contributor to Sum Theatre's Pull Festival and a four time Jessie Richardson Theatre Award nominee. Three Stories Up was workshopped during the 2014 Playwrights Theatre Centre Colony, dramaturged by author Michael Springate.

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performance DATES

Due to the intimate nature of the event, seating is limited.

DATE

Th 10/24

Fr 10/25

Sat 10/26

Sat 10/26

Sun 10/27

Wed 10/30

Th 10/31

Fri 11/1

Sat 11/2

Sun 11/3

Wed 11/6

Th 11/7

Fri 11/8

Sat 11/9

TIME

8pm

8pm

3pm

8pm

7pm

8pm

8pm

8pm

8pm

7pm

8pm

8pm

8pm

8pm

Tickets start at just $10 and range from $10-35 depending on when you join us at the show.

25 years old or under? Then you can purchase a $20 ticket for ANY performance (subject to availability). Don’t forget to look for the PROMO CODE listed when purchasing your ticket! Remember to bring your ID the night of the show.

OUR HOME: “THe church @ Thorndale”

(1244 W. THORNDALE AVE)

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Once upon a time in Chicago, a pair of adventurous property owners met a pair of ambitious theatre producers…

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Located at 1244 W. Thorndale Ave, your Three Stories Up // Theatre in the Dark experience takes place inside a SECRET LOCATION within the building formerly known as the Bethany Lutheran Evangelical Church, literally less than a minute’s walk from the Thorndale Red Line station in Edgewater.

After gathering with the rest of the audience in our lobby, you’ll be (willingly) blindfolded and led as a group into our SECRET performance space. After you’re seated and drinks are served, you’ll be invited to remove your blindfold, remain in the darkness, and let your imagination run wild as our actors bring the mystery to life in front, behind, and around you…

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PARKING: neighborhood, street parking available

TRAIN: Red Line—Thorndale station

DIVVY BIKES: station located 1 block west at Thorndale/Broadway

BUS ROUTES: 36 (Broadway), 22 (Clark)