16 great reasons to come to our Sept. 10 gala

Mark your calendars today to attend our 2nd Act Players 1960s soiree from 5-7 p.m. Sept. 10 at Creative Coworking in downtown Evanston. In addition to an amazing panel discussion on the turbulent 1960s we plan that evening, we’re having a silent auction that, at the moment, has 16 fabulous items you  can bid on and win.

Here’s the prize list as of today, we expect a few more to be added as well, more reasons to attend! Looking for a quick weekend get-away? How about an evening stay at Evanston’s beautiful Hilton Orrington Hotel? theinstitute_image-ad_3-01 (1)

Interested in acting? Come bid on a free level of classes at Chicago Green Shirt Studio, known for its Meisner technique classes!  Feeling the need for a makeover? We have a package from noted salon Teddie Kossof and a basket full of care products from Red7 Salon.

Want to take in a musical after you see our fall drama? Then come bid on tickets for two different Broadway in Chicago shows this season.

The list goes on, click the link here to see all the items and see you Sept. 10!!!! Continue reading

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Guest speakers announced for 2nd Act ’60s Soiree

The 2nd Act Players has put together an amazing panel for its Sept. 10 look-back to the 1960s and the Vietnam War era. Join us at Creative Coworking on Davis Street in downtown Evanston for this great event. In addition to the panel, there will be a silent auction with fabulous prizes like a one-night stay at the Orrington Hilton, coffee from Starbucks, special treats for your dog, a chance to work with a professional organizer and many, many more.theinstitute_image-ad_3-01 (1)

The speakers will set the scene for our fall productions, The Institute, coming fo age during the Vietnam War. They’ll relate their personal experiences during those turbulent times to those who were not around or may not remember them.

Panelists are:

Michael Gaylord James, a veteran of the Chicago Democratic Convention of 1968 and leader of SDS during those turbulent times. Michael went on to open The Heartland Cafe in Chicago and has done photography, film, publishing and other pursuits. Continue reading

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Hear about the turbulent 1960s, bid on fabulous prizes on Sept. 10!!!!

The 2nd act Players is at it again, scheduling an amazing event that will help you better understand the Vietnam War years while also giving you the chance to bid on fabulous prizes like a stay at Evanston’s posh Hilton Orrington Hotel, a free class at the well-known Green Shirt Studio in Chicago, or a treatment package at Teddie Kossof’s salon!theinstitute_image-ad_3-01 (1)

It’s all happening Saturday, Sept. 10, at Creative Coworking in downtown Evanston from 5-7 p.m. Join us for munchies and wine while you bid on our fundraising silent auction offerings, which in addition to the goodies already mentioned also include tickets to major upcoming plays in Chicago.

Then enjoy our 1960s panel discussion, which will include a noted anti-war activist and a Vietnam veteran. The discussion sets the scene for our fall world premiere of the new play, The Institute, Coming of Age during the Vietnam War.

You can even buy tickets for our fall performances, which will run from Oct. 21 through Nov. 13, while you’re at our fundraiser.

So save the date now and come join us. Admission is free!!! Donate what you like at the door to help bring this important look at a major time in our history to the stage! And bid on our items to buy yourself a great treat at a great bargain!


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2nd Act Players Announce One-Act Script Winners, One-Act Play Festival in March

The 2nd Act Players have selected two one-act play winners from more than 60 submitted for its first-ever one-act script competition. The plays, Falling Into Macy by Richard Lyons Conlon, and The Last Days of Wonder by Tess Light, will be staged by the 2nd Act Players in March and April, 2017, during their one-act play festival at the 2nd Act Players Theater at Northminster Presbyterian in Evanston.contest_logo_2

“Our mission is to showcase emerging talent and focus on second acts in people’s lives and these two winners do just that. We’re very excited to bring them both to the Chicago stage,” says John N. Frank, 2nd Act co-founder and artistic director.

Both plays look at human relationships and the drama, comedy and tragedy that they can produce. “These are stories audiences will readily relate to,” explains Frank. “Falling Into Macy looks at the eternal struggles of the male-female relationship while The Last Days of Wonder looks at the vexing challenges of the mother-daughter relationship.” Continue reading

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The Institute — the start of a discussion on veteran issues

The 2nd Act Players fall production will be the world premiere of a new two-act play, The Institute, coming of age during the Vietnam War. Journey back to the turbulent 1960s with us and, in addition to the play itself, we will be cosponsoring a number of events that will look at key issues of the time and also address issues American veterans still face today.The first play in our new home will be the drama, The Institute.

Save the dates now!

Sept 10: the 2nd Act Players look back on the 1960s, a fund-raising event
What: A panel discussion on the Vietnam era featuring noted 1960s peace activists and Vietnam vets.
Where: Creative Coworking, 922 Davis St., Evanston
When: 5-7 p.m.
Cost: Admission is free, a fund-raising silent auction will take place and attendees are encouraged to donate $20 each to the 2nd Act Players.

Oct: 21-Nov. 13: Performances of The Institute
What: A world premiere play looks at the moral choices four high school boys face during the height of Vietnam.
Where: The 2nd Act Players Theater at Northminster, 2515 Central Park Ave., Evanston
When: Friday, Saturday evening shows start at 7:30; Sunday matinees start at 3:30
Cost: Ticket information available at brownpapertickets.com Continue reading

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2nd Act Players invite 1960s activist to Sept. 10 event

Noted 1960s activist Michael Gordon James has agreed to take part in a panel discussion on the 1960s being hosted by the 2nd Act Players as part of its first-ever silent auction-fundraiser evening Sept. 10.

The event will take place from 5-7 p.m. at 2nd act Players’ sponsor Creative Coworking in downtown Evanston.

“We want to give our donors something more than wine and cheese,” explains 2nd Act Creative Director and Cofounder John N. Frank. “Our fall play, The Institute, focuses on four young men attending military school during the height of the Vietnam War and the choices they faced.

“This panel discussion will set the scene for what those times were like for our audience members too young to have lived through them and bring those of us who were there back in time to remember those days.”

Frank will moderate the panel which also is reaching out to secure a Vietnam veteran member and a historian of the era.

James has taught classes on activism  at DePaul University and a course entitled Organizing for Social Change at Columbia College.

He was a national officer of the Students for a Democratic Society, which vigorously opposed the Vietnam War. James was amidst the many protesters at the infamous 1968 Democratic Party convention in Chicago.

Cofounder of Chicago’s Heartland Cafe,  James also is a noted photographer and blogger.

“We’ve  reached out to other potential guests and hope to be announcing acceptances shortly,” says Frank.

The  evening will feature a range of silent auction items from 2nd Act sponsors along with wine, cheese and other munchies for guests. Posters for The Institute also will be available for a minimum $50 donation.

To support the 2nd Act Players today, simply click here.

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Audition for The Institute June 25

Auditions will be held for The Institute June 25 at the 2nd Act Players theater in Northminster Church, Evanston.

The first play in our new home will be the drama, The Institute.

The first play in our new home will be the drama, The Institute.

We are seeking older actors, 50-68, male and female, to play men and their wives at a 45-year high school reunion.

Each actor will play three roles in the play, which sees them flashing back to their younger days attending a Catholic military school on the edge of Greenwich Village during the Vietnam War. We’ll also be casting for a male and female understudy.

Auditions will likely take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Prepare a  monologue and there will be sides available from the play.

Actors selected for the cast will receive a $50 stipend.

We’re looking for versatile, experienced actors who have worked on-stage in the past. To audition, fill out the form below, or respond to our listing on Actors Access or Theater in Chicago.

Must be available for rehearsals three nights a week Sept. 12-Oct. 21 plus performances Friday and Saturday night as well as Sunday matinees, Oct. 21-Nov. 13. Must have own transportation to reach Evanston for rehearsals and shows.



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