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THE ALMOST EMPEROR OF THE UNOFFICIAL DEESTRICK OF LAKE MICHIGAN

Written by Leah Roth Barsanti

*Winner of the 2020 Judith Barlow Award*

*Nominated for 2023 Best New Play by Broadway World, Chicago*

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Streeterville won't never have a chamber of commerce until it has a cabaret. This is a frontier town and it's got to go through its red-blooded youth. A church and a WCTU branch never growed a town yet. Yuh gotta start with entertainment.
- Captain George Wellington Streeter

Black and white photo of “Cap” Streeter and his dog

It is the 1920s in Chicago, and The District of Lake Michigan is thriving. Led by Cap and Ma Streeter, the lakefront plot of land that houses The District is occupied by a ragtag group of Chicagoans living outside the law. They have been allowed to live there, pretty much undisturbed, for decades, but now they are in the way of millionaire Potter Palmer's master plan to expand his holdings onto Lake Shore Drive. Not one to do his own dirty work, Palmer sends his puppets (The Judge, Sargeant O'Malley, and N.A. Warpbank) to remove Streeter and his followers from the land once and for all in this DaDa adaptation of a Chicago legend.

After our wildly successful run at Rhinofest in 2023, we need your help to bring Streeter’s story back to the stage!

Your donation or paid sponsorship helps us to offer a fair wage to our artists, secure rehearsal and performance facilities, and obtain the various supplies needed for this gag-filled, sorta true history.

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GIVING TIERS

Our fundraising goal for this production is $30,000.

The “Millyonaire” Club ($1000+)

  • All benefits below, and also:

  • Premium Reserved Seats at a show of your choosing

  • Name drop at all productions

Deestrick Diehard ($500)

  • Chicago Welcome Pack presented at performance of your choosing

  • Monologue/Audition workshop with the director, OR Playwright workshop with Leah Barsanti

  • Name drop at one production

True Blue Deestrick Citizen ($250)

  • Social Media Shoutout up to 5 posts

  • Sponsor-provided logo in program & feature on Cats Cradle website

  • Sponsor-provided logo in venue lobby

  • Backstage pass for one performance

Poppy’s Pals ($100)

  • Social Media Shoutout with sponsor-provided logo OR actor-performed shoutout video (one-time)

  • Selection of Official Show Merch (Logo Shirt, Logo tote bag, OR Lori Lightfoot boxers)

  • Attend a rehearsal and meet the actors

Streeter’s Army ($25)

  • General admission tickets to a show of your choosing (repeatable)

  • Production sticker pack

Hand drawn artwork of N.A. Warpbank sock puppet with mustache, monocle, bow tie, and top hat

THE ALMOST EMPEROR OF THE UNOFFICIAL DEESTRICK OF LAKE MICHIGAN is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the charitable purposes of ALMOST EMPEROR must be made payable to “Fractured Atlas” only, and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

Meet our team

Leah Roth Barsanti
KRISTIN L. SCHOENBACK

Leah Roth Barsanti

Kristen L. Schoenback

Playwright & Grants Manager

Creative Producer & Production Director

David Gillaspie
Rachael Nuckles

David Gillaspie

Rachael Nuckles

Director of Development

Creative Producer & Production Designer

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CAST

Ky Anderson

Ky Anderson
-Poppy-

KELSEY BUSBOOM

Kelsey Busboom
-Ma Streeter-

Vivian Delgadillo

Vivian Delgadillo
-Niles West-

Keenan Odenkirk
Ryan Tang

Keenan Odenkirk
Potter
-Motherfucking- Palmer

RYAN Tang
-Cap Streeter-

 

While Cats Cradle Theatre is proud to operate in the Chicago for this production, we also recognize that the land we work on is land stolen from Indigenous peoples. The City of Chicago is the traditional homeland of The Council of the Three Fires: the Ojibwe, Odawa, and Bodéwadmi Nations. It is also home to more than a dozen other Nations.

The history of the City of Chicago has often benefited those with privilege while causing harm to a number of racial and ethnic groups. It is our duty to recognize this and investigate in our creative practices. No matter where we work, Cats Cradle Theatre acknowledges that we benefit from the colonization and genocide which stole the lives and stories of countless Indigenous people in this country. Yet, acknowledgement is only the first step in making reparations.

For more information on the history of inequity in Chicago, see this document published by the City of Chicago in February of 2023.

Additionally, see this interactive map to learn more about the land on which you reside.

Stay tuned for more information on how we will be supporting our local Indigenous communities through our upcoming production.

Land Acknowledgement

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While you wait for Fall 2024…. . .

Check out our OFFICIAL show playlist!

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Prepare to sing along with a SNEAK PEEK!

Give us your VOTE!

Our production of
THE ALMOST EMPEROR OF THE UNOFFICIAL DEESTRICK OF LAKE MICHIGAN
at Chicago's 2023 RhinoFest was nominated for

BEST NEW PLAY!
Take a quick moment of your time and visit
BROADWAY WORLD, THEATRE IN CHICAGO AWARDS
to cast your vote!

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