By Ivan Vega, Co-founder & Executive Director of UrbanTheater Company
On the evening of Sunday, July 7, we loaded up our U-haul with the set, props, costumes, tools, and lumber to get ready for the 66th anniversary of Theater on the Lake: Chicago Summer Theater Festival. Monday morning, we unloaded the truck and moved into the lakefront performance venue off of Fullerton for the week. On July 8, we assembled the set. On July 9, we had a technical rehearsal. We did all this in just 36 hours! On Tuesday, July 10, we rehearsed and opened Marco Antonio Rodriguez’s Ashes of Light, which ran for five performances during the week with an added matinee on Thursday.
Our sensational show closed on Friday, July 13 to a sold-out audience and they loved it. Shortly after, we struck the entire set, packed up everything in bins, loaded the U-haul once again and headed back to Humboldt Park where everything was neatly organized in our sixty-seat storefront theater. Once everything was said and done, we all sat around from one another looking around and it was like nothing ever happened. This was our Theater on the Lake experience. Despite the extreme pressure and short turn around, UTC proudly presented our company and community with purpose, class, laughter, poise, and commitment. We did it! We could not have made this possible without our amazing cast and production team. Everyone single one of them contributed to the success of our show. A big thank you to the following: Sip Cahue, Karla Galvan, Nydia Castillo, Maritza Nazario, Marco Antonio Rodriguez, and most of all the design/production team, Miranda Gonzalez, Andrew Lehmkuhl, Antonio Bruno, Amy Couey, Hillarie Shockley, Jennifer Aparicio, Melony Aponte, Fredy Rocha, and Ivan Vega. A special thanks to Isaac Gomez for inviting us and believing in our work!