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BoHo Theatre has announced the appointment of Elizabeth Swanson (they/she) as the new Artistic Director, succeeding Stephen Schellhardt, who announced his intentions of leaving in September 2021 after six years with the company.
Swanson is a freelance director and graduate of the Lir National Academy of Dramatic Arts at Trinity College, Dublin where they earned an MFA in Theatre Directing. Some of Swanson’s recent Chicago directing projects include the Jeff Award-winning HEAD OVER HEELS for Kokandy Productions, which also earned Swanson a nomination for direction; the Jeff-nominated I KNOW MY OWN HEART for PrideArts, and WHERE ALL THE WHITE SNEAKERS AT? for Second City. Swanson has also worked with About Face Theatre, Underscore Theatre, American Theater Company, Victory Gardens Theater, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts.
The company, board members, and Stephen are thrilled to welcome Elizabeth into the BoHo family!Swanson is excited to see BoHo continuing to tell compelling stories in line with the legacy Stephen Schellhardt has left with producing shows like BRIGHT STAR and BIG FISH.
Swanson says, “I was first introduced to BoHo through Eli Katz, an outgoing BoHo member. She and I worked together on a PrideArts play in 2018/2019, and Eli spent half of the rehearsal process trying to set me up with BoHo. Eli was absolutely determined that the company and I should meet each other. Stephen Schellhardt then attended a performance of that show and we met for the first time. He just had this wonderfully warm energy that enveloped you in a hug, and that warm welcome was my first impression of BoHo.”
Speaking about their experience of becoming part of the BoHo family, Swanson said, “Everyone in the company since I started applying for this position has been so excited to tell me what a strong family this is. And, that has held true with all of the company and board members I have had the pleasure of meeting and beginning to work with. I am excited to continue the company’s ingrained mission of working together as a family: of spreading love, kindness, and thoughtfulness through every production and story we take on.”
“Once you meet Elizabeth, you are sure to fall in love with their welcoming demeanor, insightfulness, and mission to make BoHo's work accessible for everyone,” says BoHo’s Executive Director Sana Selemon. “While producing theater looks different these days, I am reassured knowing we have Elizabeth as our new Artistic Director to help further Stephen Schellhardt’s vision of inclusivity, while bringing their own ideas of how we can continue to grow and hold onto what makes us special.”
Swanson’s first production for BoHo as Artistic Director will be its first commissioned production: NATIONAL MERIT, by Valen-Marie Santos, to be produced later this year at a venue to be announced. The company produced a virtual reading of the play in May 2021 and is thrilled that Santos will be continuing to develop her work in partnership with BoHo and with mentorship from BoHo’s Literary Manager, Dillion Chitto.
“It’s very exciting to me that we have commissioned our first playwright, the extremely talented Valen-Marie Santos,” said Swanson. “NATIONAL MERIT is a story of the moment. Santos has perfectly captured the later high school experience of applying to college in terms of the pressure placed on this generation, and she has spoken truth about the anguish we create for students throughout the grueling college admission process. To see a playwright reflecting and refracting the current moment with her voice, and telling this story alongside BoHo, is really wonderful. I want to see the company continuing to herald new voices in the future.”
Elizabeth is eager to start the process of choosing the second show for BoHo’s 2022 season with a selection committee of BoHo company members. Elizabeth is dedicated to growing and prioritizing accessibility in the company’s performance venues. “I want to expand our accessibility mission and better communicate what we can offer to guests who come into our space as patrons, season subscribers, and as artists: technicians, performers, and designers,” said Elizabeth Swanson. “We will be offering at least two ASL interpreted performances of each production and incorporating touch tours, as well as thinking more expansively about how we can improve accessibility in every possible way. We are excited to make The Edge Theater our new artistic home with our second production (following NATIONAL MERIT) and to start broadening to more multidisciplinary performance, such as clowning, physical theatre, music, and improvisation. I am also excited to continue the anti-racist work the company has already been approaching thoughtfully: working alongside Sana Selemon to examine pay equity in our budgeting, our casting practices, and how we determine which stories we choose to tell.”
About Boho Theatre
BoHo Theatre tells stories examining and celebrating human relationships — focusing on the Bohemian pillars of Truth, Beauty, Freedom, and Love — using bold, intimate theatrical stagings. Our vision is to create a shared community of artists and patrons in which all members are moved through art to make thoughtful, well-examined, caring relationships the highest priority in their lives.
As Valentine's Day approaches and you may feel like getting carried away about the person who makes your heart flip over, there's a simple test that tells if they are worth the emotional investment.
Remember back in Junior High, when you had a “crush” on some hot guy or girl? How you could barely breathe when they were close to you? You couldn’t stop thinking of them. These “summer romances” weren’t expected to last for long. Indeed, they couldn’t, because they weren’t based in reality. You idealized this person and made them into something they were not. This is why it probably was so shocking when they fell off their pedestal and you saw them as who they really were: flawed, human and trying to survive, just like you.
As we get older, it’s not always easy to tell love from infatuation..
Infatuation can grow into love, but don’t count on it. Usually, infatuation turns into anger and disappointment when the glitter wears off and we see our idealized love object as he/she really is. Ugh, are we disappointed!
Sometimes we wonder what we ever saw in this person. Many affairs are based on infatuation: your partner seems so boring after all these years, and this new person is so interested in you and interesting to you. If you consider leaving your partner for this person, however, often reality whomps you hard upside the head. You realize: I don’t really know this person, I have projected all my fantasies and unmet needs onto them instead of bringing them to my partner and talking about them.
This is when most affairs end…and then I see the (un)happy couple in my office for couple’s counseling. But, let’s back up a bit. What is infatuation anyway?
Infatuation is based in fantasy. Hollywood movies with their happy endings are good examples of this kind of romantic fantasy. Swedish, French and Italian movies: not so much. They show the mess, the ambiguity and paradox of real love.
Carl Jung believed that the first six months of most “love” affairs are largely infatuation: we project our need for an idealized lover onto someone else and work hard to “ignore” the reality of how flawed and human they actually are. If your relationships rarely make it past six months, you’re stuck in infatuation mode.
Freud defined infatuation as “the overvaluation of the (love) object”: everything about your new lover is great, and yet those red flags keep going off. Science has found that the brain scans of infatuated lovers look remarkable like the brain scans of cocaine addicts. Infatuation is an addiction, with measurable chemical effects on your brain.
Infatuated lovers will work very hard to keep their addiction (and the good feelings it generates) going. You feel so good you have a hard time focusing on anything else: you are “love sick.” A perfect description.
“Love Sickness” is more common the more unsettled and unbalanced we feel: we need it, we want it, our life is pretty crappy and this new woman/man lifts us up out of depression into a kind of heaven. Who wouldn’t want this? Unfortunately, like any addiction, it has its dark side: it’s not based on reality, so, eventually, your new love (and your idealized vision of them) will crash and burn.
Some people — miracle workers of sorts — can transition from infatuation to real love. They do that by a slow process of replacing fantasy with reality. They get to know their new lover and stick around past the first argument, misunderstanding and disappointment.
They keep going through the snoring and the bad morning breath and their lovers’ awful best friend. They begin tip-toeing into real love and its three musketeers of affection, respect and reality.
The more you release your infatuation, the more clearly you see your loved one as they really are. No more delusions. You are willing to work on a relationship with this person, warts and all. We’re all terribly flawed, but whose flaws can you accept and — someday — even find amusing?
In conclusion, consider this:
Love is hard work; infatuation is easy.
Love takes time; infatuation can happen quickly.
Love helps you find yourself; infatuation encourages you to lose yourself.
Love is based on reality; infatuation on fantasy.
Love can last; infatuation — by its very nature — cannot.
As we live in the modern world, inclusiveness has become one of the most important aspects of our lives. We all should strive to give a chance to every individual, no matter where they come from. That is how we create an inclusive workplace where everyone can feel safe. However, not the same can be said for most workplaces.
Even though inclusiveness is prescribed by law, many companies find various ways of discriminating against different people. Don’t be one of them! If you want to check if your workplace is truly inclusive, check out these 5 signs that will help you determine where you stand and, perhaps, improve your status!
AN INCLUSIVE WORKPLACE DON’T JUDGE BY LOOKS
Did you know that many employers judge their future employees based on their looks? Even though looks can tell you a lot about the person, it's yet another generalization that should be avoided. However, a certain evaluation is necessary before you decide to hire employees, but it mustn't be based on looks, sexual orientation, fashion style, disability or any other.
So, how can you judge your employees? You can use their skills, knowledge and previous experience to determine who is most likely to become a worthy employee. You don’t have to agree with their lifestyle as long as they are doing their tasks productively and timely.
DIVERSITY IS YOUR MIDDLE NAME
Productive conflict is good for your company. It offers growth opportunities. On top of that, diversity provides you with plus points on the market. If you're not afraid of hiring different people, hard work will definitely pay off. But this doesn't mean that every one different will fit in.
YOU OFFER SUPPORT
One of the crucial things about inclusiveness is support. Since diversity includes sensitive groups and individuals who have been to a lot, you need to offer them adequate support in the workplace. This may include handicap entrances and loos, signs for the visually impaired, extensive healthcare and many more.
This is essential due to the COVID-19 as well. A lot of people have lost their jobs. However, LGBTQ+ youth was influenced the most as they were among the first ones to get fired. Therefore, offering your support in tough moments really contributes to creating an inclusive environment.
AN INCLUSIVE WORKPLACE MAKES EVERYONE FEEL WELCOME
Have you ever stepped into a space where you don't feel welcome? It can even be one of your past workplaces. However, if you care about having an inclusive workplace, you need to make sure everyone feels pleasant and valued. To achieve that, try to communicate with your colleagues and give them timely feedback.
To create a more inclusive workplace, think about using the Blink website that contributes to better engagement and connectivity among your employees. Such a platform provides you with a great place to safely chat with employees, share files and even secrets. So, don't forget to give each new employee a warm welcome and heartfelt introduction on the Blink website.
YOU’VE CREATED A COMMUNITY
You've probably heard those cliché sentences where employers claim they've created a family in the workplace. Even though that may sound sweet at first, it can be a true nightmare to some. For abused and neglected individuals, the last thing they want is another family. On top of that, you don't have to respect everyone in your family, which may create an unpleasant atmosphere.
Instead of that, try to create a community. A community is a place where people support each other, help one another out and work as a team. It's natural to have conflict from time to time, but if you resolve conflict like a community, you're more likely to create an inclusive and pleasant atmosphere.
Even though many employers like to say for themselves that they've created an inclusive workplace, until they display all of the above, they don’t truly care about inclusiveness and their workers. So, be ahead of the game and create a workplace where everyone will feel welcomed, no matter the orientation, preferences, race or background.
The legendary synthpop British music duo were headed to the US, including a stop in Chicago!
ERASURE (Andy Bell and Vince Clarke) announced details of a surprise EP celebrating the kickoff of their UK tour...and they were to be headed stateside, too.
The UK tour kicked off in Glasgow before a series of dates that included a long awaited show at The O2 in London on October 17 with additional special guest Blancmange.
Erasure’s North American tour was to launch on January 14 in Miami before wrapping up in late February at The Venetian in Las Vegas. However, the band has since announced the tour has been postponed.
But while we wait for new tour dates to be announced, give the new record a listen.
Out on CD, limited edition purple cassette(!), and digital platforms, Ne:EP is a five-track companion piece to their latest album, The Neon, with four new tracks sitting alongside “Secrets,” which originally appeared on The Neon Remixed.
The duo, whose first big US hit was "A Little Respect," recently released their eighteenth studio album, The Neon, which went into the UK Official Albums Chart at #4, their highest chart position since I Say I Say I Say, which in turn gets a deluxe 2CD expanded hardback book release on November 5.Out of the pair, keyboardist Vince Clarke is the straight dude, but Andy Bell, the group's upbeat frontman has been openly gay since Erasure began. "We were playing Pride (events) in the late '80s, '86 and '87, and before that I was going to Pride on my own in London," he told press.
That and their enduring electropop sound, following in the footsteps of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark and Depeche Mode (of which Clarke was a founding member), have made them a solid favorite with the LGBTQ community for decades.
See the touring itinerary updates at Erasure’s website.