BAC Black Box Theatre Series Debuts with ‘Dying City’

The Black Box Theatre Series at the Beverly Arts Center (BAC) debuts with a five-performance run of “Dying City,” Christopher Shinn’s play that eloquently explores a world in which loss, grief and violence profoundly affect people’s lives. Performances are Fri., Oct. 5, Sun., Oct. 7, Fri., Oct. 12 and Sat., Oct. 13, 7:30p.m., and Sun., Oct. 14, 2 p.m. at the BAC, 2407 W. 111th St.  

“Dying City” is set in an urban apartment and revolves around a young woman, Kelly, who has lost her husband, Craig, in the Iraq War. A year after Craig’s death, his twin brother Peter shows up unannounced looking to Kelly for closure. Instead, the reunion reopens old wounds and brings back painful memories.  

“Dying City is an impactful and relevant piece that tackles some serious issues,” said show director Tim Stompanato. “The show is gritty and unapologetic, and it highlights very real elements of humanity that are best expressed in an intimate setting like our Black Box for maximum effect.” 

The BAC’s Black Box theatre is a small and intimate space, offering flexibility in staging innovative shows for audiences of 75 or less. The Black Box series season will feature three more productions, scheduled for February, May and August 2019. 

In “Dying City,” Stompanato will be directing Becca Brazel in the role of Kelly and Chris Galvan in the roles of twin brothers, Peter and Craig.   

Born and raised in Chicago’s Canaryville neighborhood, Becca Brazel traveled to St. Ambrose University (Iowa) for college and began her acting career in the Quad City area. Recently returned to Chicago, Brazel performed in the BAC’s “It’s A Wonderful Life” last year and looks forward to her dramatic role in “Dying City.”  

Chris Galvan, a native of Beverly/Morgan Park, earned his early theater credits in BAC productions that include “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” and “The Producers.” While studying theatre at St. Ambrose University (Iowa), Galvan acted professionally on stage and in film.  

Actor, musician and teaching artist, “Dying City” director Tim Stompanato currently serves as Company Manager for Chicago Kids Company.  For three years, he served as theater coordinator for the BAC School of the Arts and was involved in many theater productions at the BAC, both as performer and director.  

“In directing this show, I am putting a lot of focus not only in the words, but in the actions and the silence as well,” Stompanato said.  “The characters are flawed and real, and the show does a great job of analyzing the different ways we process grief, how violence affects our lives and how understanding actions doesn’t necessarily excuse them.” 

Time has been set aside following each performance to discuss the content, themes and ideas brought up throughout the show.  

Tickets for “Dying City” are $22 or $20 BAC or members and available at the BAC, 773-445-3838 or www.beverlyartcenter.org