Meet playwright Rex McGregor, come see his play online

Rex McGregor’s play, The Birds are Feeding Me looks at rising tensions in a condo building as the Covid-19 lockdown goes on. Its characters search for solace in nature, except for one resident who is finding nature a bit too natural for his liking. Here, Rex discusses his play, his writing career and his vision […]

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What are our Pandemic Stories? Watch previews here

The 2nd Act Players will be streaming seven short plays that make up its Pandemic Stories on April 23, 24, 25, 30, and May 1 and May 2. The stories are short plays that address issues we’ve all been dealing with during the Covid-19 pandemic. They are relatable, emotional, sometimes funny, sometimes sad looks at […]

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Meet Manny Schenk, see him in “Pandemic Stories” April 23-May 2

Manny Schenk last appeared with the 2nd Act Players in Moving Boxes, a play about caring for an aging parent while trying to rebuild a broken family. Manny also has a long association with the James Downing Theater in the Edison Park section of Chicago. Here, he discusses the challenges of acting online, the choices […]

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Read about “What Good Did We See Today?” & its playwright

Cathrine Goldstein’s play, What Good Did We See Today?, is a very poignant look at the struggles a father and daughter face during the pandemic as his memory slips away and she strives desperately to help him. Goldstein is an award-winning playwright, and a bestselling author of gritty, real-feeling plays, novels, short stories, and poems. […]

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Read about “to The Zoom and Back” & its playwright

Cindi Sansone-Braff’s play, To the Zoom and Back, looks at a senior couple’s attempt to try to connect through online dating in the age of Covid. Sansone-Braff is a member of the Dramatist Guild, has a B.F.A. in theatre from UCONN, and is a playwright, author, actor, dancer, producer, director, and the co-founder of Tomorrow’s […]

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Meet actor Valerie Gorman, see her in Pandemic Stories

Valerie Gorman last appeared with the 2nd Act Players in its 2019 production of Old Ringers, the last play we did on-stage prior to the pandemic. In Pandemic Stories, she plays a woman trying online dating for the first time in To The Zoom and Back, a West Texas lunch lady in the play Lunch […]

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Read about “Second Act, Second Helpings” & its playwright

John Mabey’s play Second Acts, Second Helpings, looks at a couple’s actions and attitudes toward life after the pandemic has finally subsided. Mabey’s plays have been published and produced across the United States and Europe, and this year his work is included in Smith & Kraus Best 10-Minute Plays and Smith & Kraus Best Women’s Monologues. In […]

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Meet Actor Nick Dorado, Come See Him in Pandemic Stories

Actor Nick Dorado made his 2nd Act Players’ debut online last fall in our 60 is the New 40 Play Festival, playing a variety of characters in several short plays. He’ll be returning to our virtual stage this spring in two plays, [Brackets], in which he plays a curmudgeonly editor dealing with the losses Covid […]

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Read about “Love in the Time of Covid-19” & its playwright

Germaine Shames’ play, Love in the Time of Covid-19, is a humorous look at what happens to a couple cooped up in an efficiency apartment because of the pandemic. Shames is a Kilroys List playwright and recipient of her state’s Literary Fellowship in Fiction, is author of the award-winning novels, Between Two Deserts and You, […]

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Meet playwright Craig Gustafson, read about his play

Craig Gustafson’s play [Brackets] deals with a suburban newspaper editor and his daughter facing some of the worst that the pandemic has to offer, while debating old habits that might not be relevant any longer Graid Gustafson Gustafosn’s plays have been performed locally at Chicago’s Yippiefest, GreenMan Theatre Troupe, Wheaton Drama and Riverfront Playhouse, which […]

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Meet playwright Donna Latham, read about her play

Donna Latham’s play Lunch Lady was written as a monologue for one actor, but with her agreement, we’ve modified it slightly to include three lunch ladies, all dealing with the challenges of working during the Pandemic. Latham is a feminist playwright from Chicago whose plays have been produced coast to coast and around the world. […]

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See our shows, talk with our playwrights, April 23-May 2

Seven award-winning playwrights will chat live with our audiences during the 2nd Act Players’ spring production, Pandemic Stories, 7 short plays about love, life and loss which will stream online from April 23 through May 2. Advance ticket sales have begun, to purchase tickets, simply click here. The playwrights are the winners of the 2nd […]

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2nd Act Players to Showcase Play by Award-winning Black Playwright Idris Goodwin

The Evanston 2nd Act Players is honored to be partnering with award-winning Black Playwright Idris Goodwin this summer to stream Black Flag, a short play that is one of five in Goodwin’s Open Source Scripts for an Antiracist Tomorrow. “TYA/USA [Theatre for Young Audiences USA], New York’s New Victory Theatre and I collaborated to provide […]

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Cast Announced for “Pandemic Stories: 7 plays about love, life and loss”

The Evanston 2nd Act Players will feature an all-star cast of actors who have appeared in past 2nd Act Players productions for its spring 2021 show, Pandemic Stories: 7 plays about love, life and loss.” The cast includes: Nick Dorado – Nick was most recently seen in the 2nd Act Players fall, 2020 online production, […]

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Meet the authors of 2nd Act Players’ Spring Festival 10-minute Plays

The winners of the 2nd Act Players spring new script competition, 2021 isn’t 2020, or is it? include award-winning playwrights, returning 2nd Act Players’ competition winners, and the first winner of a 2nd Act Players’ new script competition who resides outside the United States. Both Craig Gustafson and John Mabey had scripts performed by the […]

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2nd Act Players plan March online Fundraiser — Blingo for everyone

The Evanston 2nd Act Players plans a March online fundraiser entitled Broadway Blingo. Participants will play online bingo for jewelry prizes and hear about jewelry they can purchase, with a portion of proceeds being donated to the 2nd Act Players. “We’re adapting to life online during the pandemic,” says 2nd Act Players’ cofounder John N. […]

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2nd Act Players receive more than 100 entries for 2021 script competition

More than 100 entries have poured in for the 2nd Act Players’ 2021 Script Competition with two weeks to go until the final entry deadline. This makrs the fifth year the 2nd Act Players have put out a call for new scripts and will likely be the year that sets a record for most entries. […]

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2nd Act Players’ Cofounder named to Marquis’ Who’s Who

2nd Act Players Cofounder John N. Frank has been named a 2020 top executive by Marquis’ Who’s Who in recognition of his work in starting the 2nd Act Players, and in keeping the theater alive in these times of Covid-19 which has devastated the theater business. Frank’s long-time first career as a journalist also is […]

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The Evanston 2nd Act Players stand with Northminster Presbyterian Church

The Evanston 2nd Act Players has been blessed with a theater home at Northminster Presbyterian Church in Northwest Evanston for the past four years. We have always found the members of the church to be open, inviting and progressive, showing concern for all those around them and throughout the area. So we were saddened in […]

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watch “60 is the New 40′ Plays on-demand

Audience reaction to our recent 60 is the New 40 Play Festival was so positive we’ve decided to make the plays available for on-demand viewing through Jan. 31, 2021. So if you missed our shows in November, you can still see thier brillant short plays about poeple redefining themselves in their Golden Years. Audiences raved […]

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Can I buy tickets for friends? Not exactly. E-mail me to do it.

The 2nd Act Players is using an online platform called Crowdcast to stream its 60 is the new 40 Play Festival. Crowdcast was created for business meetings, so registration is fairly straight-forward, a person goes to an event page and registers, paying the fee specified. Some of our ticket buyers last week wanted to buy […]

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Here’s what you’ll see this Friday or Saturday

Four short plays about characters redefining themselves in their Golden Years. The Sensational SistersBy John MabeyTwo superhero sisters face the challenges of early retirement. Spot the CamelCraig GustafsonA husband and wife fret about Alzheimer’s and aging with a surprise twist. In Her Golden YearsSteven KorbarA daughter learns a long-held secret of her mother’s and sees […]

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meet bev Coscarelli, come enjoy her on our virtual stage

Bev Coscarelli joins the 2nd Act Players ensemble for the first time in our 60 is the New 40 Play Festival, acting in two plays that present quite the acting challenges for her. Come see Bev along with five other cast members, online Nov. 13, 14, 20, 21 at 7 p.m. For details, check out […]

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Meet Sheena laird, come see her act in two plays

Sheena Laird joins the 2nd Act Players for our 60 is the New 40 Play Festival, playing two characters in two different short plays. Come see Sheena along with five other cast members, online Nov. 13, 14, 20, 21 at 7 p.m. For details, check out our 60 is the New 40 Festival page. For tickets, click here. […]

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meet nick dorado, come see him act online

Nick Dorado is new to the 2nd Act Players’ virtual stage and will be taking on the challenge of playing characters in four different plays over two weekends. Come see Nick along with five other cast members, online Nov. 13, 14, 20, 21 at 7 p.m. For details, check out our 60 is the New 40 […]

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Hear about our “60 is the New 40” plays on WCGO’s Playtime, Sunday, 1:45 pm

2nd Act Players Cofounders John Frank and Carolyn Calzavara will be discussing their 60 is the New 40 Play Festival this Sunday, Nov. 8 on Playtime with Bill Turck and Kerri Kendall on WCGO radio. You can hear the show on WCGO 1590 AM, 95.9 FM and online athttp://www.wcgoradio.com The 2nd Act Players are scheduled […]

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Meet Matt Schufrieder, come see him act online

Matt Schufrieder is making his 2nd Act Players debut with our 60 is the new 40 Play Festival, Matt has roles in teo of our short plays and will definitely show his acting range. In one, he plays an aspiring Broadway composer while in the other, he plays a high school senior anxious to conquer […]

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meet deb rodkin, come see her act online

Deb Rodkin is a veteran of the 2nd Act Players stage, having acted in two of our previous productions, including our 2019 hit Old Ringers.. She’ll be playing multiple characters in three of the eight short plays that make up our 60 is the New 40 Play Festival this month. Come see Deb along with […]

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Meet Liz Lauren, Come sEE Her act online

Liz Lauren is a veteran of the 2nd Act Players stage, having acted in two of our previous productions. She’ll be playing multiple characters in four of the eight short plays that make up our 60 is the New 40 Play Festival this month. Come see Liz along with five other cast members, online Nov. […]

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meet ian Patrick Williams & normal schnormal

Ian Patrick Williams won the Chicago Emmy award for acting in and co-authoring the teleplay Bleacher Bums for PBS-TV; the script was later produced as a TV movie by Showtime. His one-act play Provenance was produced last year at Ensemble Studio Theater in L.A. Here, he talks about his 2nd Act Players’ festival award-winning play, Normal Shnormal, and his expectations […]

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meet mark contorno and read about Egil Foss

Mark Contorno (playwright, composer and lyricist) is a native of Chicago, who has also lived in New York and Los Angeles. He has written numerous plays and musicals some of which were produced in Chicago as well as New York and Charleston, South Carolina. Come see us perform Mark’s play, Egil Foss and His Left Hand, […]

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meet craig gustafson & read about ‘spot the camel’

Craig Gustafson has been writing 10-minute plays for the past two years. His Lending a Hand has been published in Best Ten Minute Plays of 2019 and Save Me, Myron Glick! will be published in The Best Ten-Minute Plays 2021. Here. Craig shares with us his thoughts on his festival play, Spot the Camel, and on the future of theater during and after […]

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meet steven korbar and read about his play, in her golden years

Steven Korbar’s full-length and one-act plays have been produced throughout the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia. His short plays, Table for Four, Mrs. Jansen Isn’t Here Now and What are You Going to Be? have all been published in Smith and Kraus’ Best Short Plays series. Come see us perform Steven’s play, In […]

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meet ken preuss and read about his play

Ken Preuss is a Florida-based playwright, performer and teacher. His one-acts for teens and assorted short plays have been produced in Australia, Canada, England, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, and 48 of 50 States. Come see us perform Ken’s play, The Elusive Pursuit of Maximum Bliss, along with seven other […]

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meet Elizabeth DeSchryver and read about her play Symphony

Elizabeth DeSchryver is a published poet and short story writer as well as a playwright. Her short plays have been performed at Chicago Dramatists, Cold Basement Dramatics, and 2nd Act Players. Now that she is retired, she is looking forward to writing more. Come see us perform Beth’s play, Symphony, along with seven other short […]

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Meet robin baron, author of “About Time”

Robin Baron’s produced plays include: Mother’s Day, Seoul Players, Seoul, Korea (2019); Gus, Otherworld Theatre, Chicago, IL (2019); About Time, 4th Street Theater, Chesterton, IN (2019); Bruce, Funhouse IV, Seattle, WA (2018); and Downsizing, Stage Left, Spokane, WA (2018). Robin’s plays have been part of Page to Stage at The Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C. (2014-2019). […]

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Meet John Mabey, author of “the Sensational Sisters”

John Mabey started his career as a mental health counselor and infuses everything he’s learned about relationships and emotions into his characters. His work has been produced in Los Angeles and New York as well as overseas in Amsterdam. Here, he gives an overview of his play and looks ahead to theater in the post-covid […]

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Meet the Cast of “60 is the New 40”

Two returning 2nd Act Players are joined by four newcomers to our virtual stage in the 2nd Act Players November online 60 is the New 40 Short-Play Festival. Deb Rodkin acted with the 2nd Act Players in 2019 in Old Ringers and also was in the cast for its 2019 Women’s Empowerment One-Act Play Festival. […]

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2nd Act Players to stream socially relevant plays by Southside Chicago author

The 2nd Act Players will present its first online production the evenings of July 24th and 25th entitled More Rivers Will I to Cross — A look at twin pandemics – Racism & Covid-19. The streaming presentation will feature two short plays by Chicago playwright Andre Richardson Hogan II, Raisin Puffs and Line of Duties. […]

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Preview our ‘Pandemic Stories’ here, then buy tickets for April 23-May 2

Wondering if you want to see the 2nd Act Players spring production, Pandemic Stories — seven short plays about life, love and loss in the age of Covid? Let us help you decide. Here are clips from the three dramas included in the Pandemic Stories. We’ve also posted previews from our four comedies, you can […]

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