Since 2005, Mudlark Theater Company has raised the bar for professional quality theater for young people—producing nearly 100 productions that are changing the perception of the genre. This year, with a new strategic plan in place and bold vision for the coming mainstage season, the nonprofit organization is poised to reinvent itself and join the likes of Writer’s Theatre, Citadel Theatre, and other professional companies on the North Shore.
“We want to stage new work where kids play kids,” explains Artistic Director Andrew Biliter. “The stories that we choose to tell will be stories about kids, portrayed by kids, with adult characters played by professional adult actors.”
The goal is to produce professional-quality, non-Equity productions for all audiences, not just for Mudlark players and their families.
While Mudlark’s studio productions, summer camps, and afterschool classes will not change, the mainstage productions will include more world premiere works that highlight the stories of young people about issues and struggles that are impacting their lives in these times. This new strategy is in sync with the company’s increased focus on equity and inclusion to ensure racial and economic diversity.
And it is for this reason that its annual fundraiser, Larkabout, is taking a different turn this year. Aiming to create an event that is more relaxed, fun, and affordable, “A Flight of Mudlark” on Saturday, November 17 will be held at Temperance Beer Company, 2000 Dempster Street, in Evanston.
In addition to Temperance beers and food from Evanston’s popular Ten Mile House, Larkabout guests will be treated to a series of sketches, songs, and poems performed by Mudlark actors perched on barrels and boxes at intervals throughout the evening.
Striving to ensure community-wide accessibility for the event, this year’s ticket price is lower than previous Larkabout events. Proceeds will provide crucial support for the theater’s work to serve, teach, and empower thousands of local kids through theater—ensuring that no child is ever denied a Mudlark experience for financial reasons.
For tickets and information, call 847-448-0708 or visit mudlarktheater.org/larkabout2018.