Performers!

  • Kim Hunt @ Steppenwolf!

    You're Being Ridiculous is super excited to celebrate PRIDE at Steppenwolf as part of their LookOut Series this year!. AND ... we're delighted to welcome Kim Hunt to YBR to share a story with us and help us celebrate ... learn a little about Kim here and get your tickets!

    Kim L. Hunt  loves storytelling and shoes. During the day she is the executive director of the Pride Action Tank (PAT), a project of the AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC), where she also serves as the senior director in the Policy & Advocacy Department. She has engaged in board service and civic activities at the local and state levels blessed to be the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including induction into the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame. On the first Tuesday of the month, you can catch her at Sidetrack in Lakeview, where she co-hosts "OUTSpoken LGBTQ Storytelling." But enough about that . If you want to witness her shoe obsession, follow her on the Gram @khunt62.

    Kim is sharing a story with us at Steppenwolf Saturday, June 22

    Follow this link to purchase tickets

  • Erin Diamond @ Steppenwolf!

    You're Being Ridiculous is super excited to celebrate PRIDE at Steppenwolf as part of their LookOut Series this year!. AND ... we're delighted to welcome Erin Diamond to YBR to share a story with us and help us celebrate ... learn a little about Erin here and get your tickets!


    Erin Diamond writes stories but mostly she plays Melania Trump and Sarah Huckabee Sanders at The Paper Machete.  You can catch her at The Paper Machetr BlowOut at Sleeping Village on July 14th.  

    Who is your favorite queer icon?
    Too many to count.  But a personal icon and first gay crush is Lori Petty’s character Rae the Whale Trainer from the movie Free Willy.  I’m sure other people are going to choose icons that are real or even confirmed queer.  But not me.  My final answer is Rae the Whale Trainer from the movie Free Willy.

    Erin is sharing a story with us at Steppenwolf Saturday, June 22

    Follow this link to purchase tickets

  • Derek Van Barham @ Steppenwolf!

    You're Being Ridiculous is super excited to celebrate PRIDE at Steppenwolf as part of their LookOut Series this year!. AND ... we're delighted to welcome Derek Van Barham to YBR to share a story with us and help us celebrate ... learn a little about Derek here and get your tickets!

    Derek Van Barham is the Producing Artistic Director of Kokandy Productions, and a member of the Red Tape Theatre ensemble. He previously served as Associate Artistic Director of Pride Films & Plays. For PFP, he directed Perfect Arrangement, Angry Fags (Steppenwolf Garage),Songs from an Unmade Bed (Jeff nomination), and (co-directing) PRISCILLA, Queen of the Desert. Choreography credits include The CiviliTy of Albert Cashier and BITE (PFP), all Black Button Eyes productions, and Salonathon. Other directing credits include The View Upstairs (Circle Theatre),Three Days of Rain (Boho) and Miracle! by Dan Savage and Skooby Don't! (Hell in a Handbag). He was named one of Windy City Times 30 Under 30, recognizing Chicago's LGBTQ+ community. 

    Who is your favorite queer icon?
    Current queer icon is Diana Vreeland, famed fashion columnist and editor of Vogue. " “The best time to leave a party is when the party’s just beginning. There’s no drink that kills except the drink that you didn’t want to take, as the saying goes, and there’s no hour that kills except the hour you stayed after you wanted to go home.” God, she was glorious! 

    Derek is sharing a story with us at Steppenwolf Saturday, June 22

    Follow this link to purchase tickets

  • David Bartz @ Steppenwolf!

    You're Being Ridiculous is super excited to celebrate PRIDE at Steppenwolf as part of their LookOut Series this year!. AND ... we're delighted to welcome David Bartz to YBR to share a story with us and help us celebrate ... learn a little about David here and get your tickets!


    2nd time reading at YBR Pride, David Bartz is a hairstylist at Fuss Salon, Andersonville where he specializes in shameless self-promotion...Shout out to all my beloved clients. While living in NYC David studied poetry at NYU and began a writing practice that serves as a therapeutic voice.  David's motivation is always our universal GLBT experiences at work/play, love/loss, and self expression.  

    Who is your favorite queer icon?
    At the moment it's Paris Is Burning's Dorien Corey ("If you shoot an arrow and it goes real high...good for you.")

    David is sharing a story with us at Steppenwolf Saturday, June 22

    Follow this link to purchase tickets

  • Eva Friedman @ Steppenwolf!

    You're Being Ridiculous is super excited to celebrate PRIDE at Steppenwolf as part of their LookOut Series this year!. AND ... we're delighted to welcome Eva Friedman to YBR to share a story with us and help us celebrate ... learn a little about Eva here and get your tickets!


    Eva is a Chicago-based playwright, director, actor, educator, poet, and storyteller. Most recently, she made her Chicago debut as a playwright and director at the 2019 Rhinoceros Theatre Festival (produced by Prop Thtr & Curious Theatre Branch) with her play, Perennials. She is a proud alumna of Northeastern University in Boston, MA, where she directed four of her own plays with Silver Masque Theatre Company, as well as assistant directing productions with the Lyric Stage Company of Boston. Eva is also a teaching artist with Lifeline Theatre, the current artistic intern at A Red Orchid Theatre, and a Poetry Ambassador with the Poetry Foundation (because who needs sleep, really). You can catch a reading her newest play, Treif Play, at Strawdog Theatre Company on June 30. All of her plays are available for download on National New Play Network's New Play Exchange. evafriedman.com.

    Who is your favorite queer icon?
    This is going to make me sound like I: 1) am extremely young 2) have questionable taste in TV and 3) am 100% pure unfiltered musical theatre trash but ALL OF THESE THINGS ARE TRUE SO WHO CARES. My favorite queer icon(s) are Santana & Brittany from Glee (remember back in 2009 when Glee was actually good, you guys? Because I DO). These 2 cheerleaders were one of the first examples of bisexual/lesbian/queer love I remember seeing in the mainstream media. And they weren't written as stereotypes - they were two girls whose queerness was just one facet of their rich, complex identities. And they loved each other SO. MUCH. And (spoiler alert) they actually got a HAPPY ENDING! AND they could perform the absolute shit out of the entire Britney Spears songbook, which is just a fun little bonus for viewers like me. It took me about nine years after I saw these kickass ladies make out on my TV to come out, but they (and their itty bitty Cheerios skirts that left absolutely nothing to the imagination) were definitely part of my own Queer Journey (get it? Journey? Because of all the Journey covers on Glee? No? I'll see myself out).

    Eva is sharing a story with us at Steppenwolf Saturday, June 22

    Follow this link to purchase tickets

     

  • Nadine Warner @ Steppenwolf!

    You're Being Ridiculous is super excited to celebrate PRIDE at Steppenwolf as part of their LookOut Series this year!. AND ... we're delighted to welcome Nadine Warner to YBR to share a story with us and help us celebrate ... learn a little about Nadine here and get your tickets!

    Nadine C. Warner is an award-winning writer and storyteller.  She has performed with 2nd Story, You’re Being Ridiculous, This Much Is True, WBEZ’s Vocalo, and OutSpoken.  Her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, MsFit Magazine, and the anthologies,Windy City Queer andListen to Your Mother.  She draws inspiration from her completely exhausting – yet thoroughly delightful – children.

    Who is your favorite queer icon?
    The category is…. Billy Porter! Gay, POC and a Queen (his words). He takes creative risks, lives openly and is who he is, thank you very much.

  • Carin Silkaitis @ Steppenwolf!

    You're Being Ridiculous is super excited to celebrate PRIDE at Steppenwolf as part of their LookOut Series this year!. AND ... we're delighted to welcome Carin Silkaitis to YBR to share a story with us and help us celebrate ... learn a little about Carin here and get your tickets!


    Carin Silkaitis has spent the last 17 years teaching and directing at North Central College, but she'll be heading to Columbia College Chicago this fall to begin a new adventure as the Chair of the Theatre Department. She's a working actor, a pround member of Actors Equity Association, and the founding Artistic Director of Other Theatre Company, a not-for-profit organization committed to telling stories about persons or groups who are othered by systems of oppression

    Who is your favorite queer icon?
    I love Ellen DeGeneres. In 1997 Ellen came out on national television... exactly two months before I married a man (even though I knew I was gay). I watched Ellen go through coming out, having her television show canceled, etc... Ups and Downs. Her courage gave me courage. It took me close to 8 years... but I finally owned who I am and came out of the closet. I was terrified of not being "normal" and watching Ellen on television helped... as corny as it sounds. She made being a lesbian normal for me. She made coming out possible for me. Thanks Ellen...

  • Michael Williams @ Steppenwolf!

    You're Being Ridiculous is super excited to celebrate PRIDE at Steppenwolf as part of their LookOut Series this year!. AND ... we're delighted to welcome Michael Williams to YBR to share a story with us and help us celebrate ... learn a little about Michael here and get your tickets!

    Michael Williams is as gay as the day is long and excited to tell you a Pride story.  Some of his favorite things are ladies figure skating routines of the 90's, internet cooking shows, talking about starting a garden, and arts and crafts.  He is an avid eater of cakes and pies.  One day he would like to climb a mountain.

    Who is your favorite queer icon?
    My favorite queer icon is Armistead Maupin.  His books found me at just the right time and have been life long friends.  He helped to shape my understanding of gay culture and friendship and has done similarly for countless others.  I am grateful for the joy the Tales of the City series has brought me and the way Maupin celebrates queer love.

    Michael is sharing a story with us at Steppenwolf Friday, June 21.

    Follow this link to purchase tickets

  • Jackie Mantey @ Steppenwolf!

    You're Being Ridiculous is super excited to celebrate PRIDE at Steppenwolf as part of their LookOut Series this year!. AND ... we're delighted to welcome Jackie Mantey to YBR to share a story with us and help us celebrate ... learn a little about Jackie here and get your tickets!

    Jackie Mantey is a freelance writer, multimedia artist, podcast co-host, and aspiring cat herder. An exhibition of her embroidery artwork and writing was on view at Chicago’s Slate Arts + Performance Gallery in 2018. Follow her on Instagram @jackiemantey!

    Who is your favorite queer icon?

    Marlene Dietrich always tops my list. I love her fearlessness. She was so courageous in her androgyny, her bisexuality, her political opinions, her mouthiness, her performances, and her wartime heroics. (She used her salary from a 1937 movie to help refugees escape Germany.) Plus, to this day, no one can pull off a tux, top hat, lipstick, and cigarette quite like my girl Marlene.

    Jackie is sharing a story with us at Steppenwolf Thursday, June 20.

    Follow this link to purchase tickets

  • Archy Jamjun @ Steppenwolf!

    You're Being Ridiculous is super excited to celebrate PRIDE at Steppenwolf as part of their LookOut Series this year!. AND ... we're delighted to welcome Archy Jamjun to YBR to share a story with us and help us celebrate ... learn a little about Archy here and get your tickets!

    Archy Jamjun is the curator for OUTspoken! LGBTQ Stories at Sidetrack which takes place the first Tuesday of each month. He is also a storyteller, writer, teacher, server, servant to a cat, tennis player and figure skating fan. His piece "Pretty" will be published by Barrelhouse this summer. 

    Who is your favorite queer icon?
    Margaret Cho! She taught how to handle the world with laughter and when to give it the middle finger.

    Archy is sharing a story with us at Steppenwolf Friday, June 21.

    Follow this link to purchase tickets

  • Elizabeth Gomez @ Steppenwolf!

    You're Being Ridiculous is super excited to celebrate PRIDE at Steppenwolf as part of their LookOut Series this year!. AND ... we're delighted to welcome Elizabeth Gomez to YBR to share a story with us and help us celebrate ... learn a little about Elizabeth here and get your tickets!

    Elizabeth Gomez is a Chicago based comedian, writer, and storyteller. She established the city's first all female roller derby league, The Windy City Rollers, in 2004. She is the founding writer of a writing collective called Drinkers with Writing Problems and editor at Heauxs Magazine (a magazine where smart people talk about dumb things), spends her days working for an Alderman on Chicago's city council, and spends her nights trying to learn all the dance moves from Magic Mike. You can learn more about her ridiculousness at thatelizabethgomez.com.

    Elizabeth Gomez is sharing a story with us at Steppenwolf Thursday, June 20.

    Follow this link to purchase tickets

  • C. Russell Price @ Steppenwolf!

    You're Being Ridiculous is super excited to celebrate PRIDE at Steppenwolf as part of their LookOut Series this year!. AND ... we're delighted to welcome C. Russell Price to YBR to share a story with us and help us celebrate ... learn a little about C. Russell Price here and get your tickets!

    C. Russell Price is a genderqueer Appalachian punk writer originally from Virginia but now lives in Chicago. They are a Lambda Fellow in Poetry, Ragdale Fellow, Windy City Times 30 Under 30 honoree, essayist, and poet. Their chapbook Tonight, We Fuck the Trailer Park Out of Each Other was released by Sibling Rivalry Press. Their full-length poetry collection oh, you thought this was a date?!: APOCALYPSE POEMS explores sexual assault survivorship and queer liberation. They are currently at work on a collection of essays, Everyone’s Doing It; They Just Aren’t Telling You.

    Who is your favorite queer icon?
    Tennessee Williams, a fellow drunk depressive Southern bish whose darkness parallels his unwavering search for beauty in an unwelcoming world. "What is straight? A line can be straight, or a street, but the human heart, oh, no, it's curved like a road through mountains." Queen named a character Big Daddy for Christ's sake--MESS.


    C. Russell Price is sharing a story with us at Steppenwolf Friday, June 21.

    Follow this link to purchase tickets

  • Patrick Allen Carberry @ Steppenwolf!

    You're Being Ridiculous is super excited to celebrate PRIDE at Steppenwolf as part of their LookOut Series this year!. AND ... we're delighted to welcome Patrick Allen Carberry to YBR to share a story with us and help us celebrate ... learn a little about Patrick here and get your tickets!

    Patrick Allen Carberry teaches English Composition and Creative Writing at Harper College. In addition to writing fiction, he overeats and has feelings and thinks too frequently about what color lightsaber he would wield if he were a Jedi. It would be pale gold. His first novel, which predominately features queer nerds, is almost finished.

    Patrick is sharing a story with us at Steppenwolf Thursday, June 20.

    Follow this link to purchase tickets

  • Sonal Aggarwal @ Steppenwolf!

    You're Being Ridiculous is super excited to celebrate PRIDE at Steppenwolf as part of their LookOut Series this year!. AND ... we're delighted to welcome Sonal Aggarwal to YBR to share a story with us and help us celebrate ... learn a little about Sonal here and get your tickets!

    Sonal Aggarwal is a world traveling performer. Raised in the southwest suburbs of Chicago, she left the country after college to travel the world. In March of 2015 while living in India as an artist and emcee, her life took a dramatic turn with a motorcycle accident that led her back to Chicago. During her rehabilitation, she realized that she was meant to do stand up comedy. Now, her infectious energy is on stage all over Chicago and soon, the world.

    Who is your favorite queer icon?
    Yoko ono who allegedly had an affair with Hillary Clinton. ICON!

    Sonal is sharing a story with us at Steppenwolf Friday, June 21

    Follow this link to purchase tickets

  • Angie McMahon @ Steppenwolf!

    You're Being Ridiculous is super excited to celebrate PRIDE at Steppenwolf as part of their LookOut Series this year!. AND ... we're delighted to welcome Angie McMahon to YBR to share a story with us and help us celebrate ... learn a little about Angie here and get your tickets!

    Angie McMahon is best known as the lady who made the upside down Santa cake on "Nailed It" on Netflix and basically nothing else. Yes the fireman was hot. No, she didn't fake being that bad, she really is that bad. 

    who is your favorite queer icon and why?
    My daughter Jordan. She is teaching me so much and the only person in the world I love as much as her is her little sister. My husbands ok too.

  • Jess White @ Women & Children First!

    You're Being Ridiculous is super excited to celebrate PRIDE at Women & Children First Bookstore! AND ... we're delighted to welcome Jess White to YBR to share a story with us and help us celebrate ... learn a little about Jess here and get ready to celebrate with us in your FAVORITE Feminist Bookstore!

    Jess White got an MFA in Laramie, Wyoming, before moving to Chicago to become an underemployed content writer. Now they work in an immigration law firm as a paralegal and write grants, essays, and plays in their spare time. Jess has performed locally at Misspoken and Speaking Truths. This is their first time at You're Being Ridiculous and to be honest they were kind of hoping they could perform at the You're Being Ridiculous Steppenwolf show next week so that they could mislead people about how their work was performed onstage at the Steppenwolf. But this is fine.

    Who is your favorite queer icon?
    My favorite queer icon is your mom. Ha, no, seriously, this is the kind of question I love to overthink? Did anyone else do that? Like, you couldn't just choose your queer icon? You had to choose the perfect queer icon? Anyway, my favorite queer icon is my mom. Ha, still kidding, my mom is straight and occasionally pretty homophobic. Stay tuned for more on that. She's not here tonight. My actual favorite queer icon is...all of you. No, Jeremy told me that was not an acceptable response, so, okay, my favorite queer icon is Larissa Lai. Larissa Lai is a queer Canadian poet and novelist who writes gorgeously hallucinogenic books about lesbians that include some pretty lurid depictions of sex. Her most recent book, Tiger Flu, is described on her website as "Bold, beautiful, and wildly imaginative...a saga of two women heroes, a cyberpunk thriller, and a convention-breaking cautionary tale -- a striking metaphor for our complicated times." And one day about twenty years ago, little thirteen-year-old Jess, who had way too much unsupervised reading time, found her masterwork When Fox Is A Thousand on the shelf at the local women's bookstore and through a particularly graphic passage was introduced to the concept of fisting. So my favorite queer icon is Larissa Lai, who taught me that lesbianism sounded pretty fucking awesome. Sorry, Mom.

    Jess is sharing a story on Saturday, June 15 at Women & Children First!
    Tickets are $10 (cash at the door), which will go to our
    performers and Women & Children First's Women's Voices Fund

  • Jeremy Owens @ The Kol Hadash FUNdraiser!

    Join You're Being Ridiculous on Sunday, June 23 at Bella Via Ristorante in Highland Park to benefit Kol Hadash Humanistic Congregation! The evening will feature stories from a mix of talented (and BRAVE) members of Kol Hadash AND a few storytelling super talents from Chicago. You're Being Ridiculous is excited to feature Jeremy Owens at this special performance ... learn a little about Jeremy here and get your tickets!

    Jeremy Owens is the Administrator of Kol Hadash Humanistic Congregation. When he's not sitting at his desk in Lincolnshire he is the creator, producer and host of You're Being Ridiculous, a long running live-lit show most recently featured at Steppenwolf Theatre as part of their LookOut Series. Jeremy is also the co-editor for Heauxs Chicago, and a writer for Oy!Chicago. His writing has appeared in The Daily Dot, Story Club Magazine,Role Reboot, The JUF News, and Thread, and his work has also been featured in the live-lit shows Essay Fiesta, Fillet of Solo Theatre Festival, Guts & Glory, Story Club Chicago, Story Sessions, The Paper Machete, This Much Is True, That's All She Wrote and others. He has taught live-lit/storytelling at Story Studio Chicago, Northwestern Summer Writers Conference, FOCUS (Highland Park High School's Focus on the Arts program), and this summer he will teach writing and performance at Write On, Door County. In his spare time he reads everything he can get his hands on, watches Real Housewives of New York City, The Bachelorette, and runs marathons.

    What is your favorite thing about Kol Hadash?

    My favorite thing about Kol Hadash? I have more than one!

    First?
    I have to say Rabbi Adam Chalom. Nobody has taught me more about Judaism than Rabbi Chalom. He also happens to be the most patient, kind, caring, thoughtful person on planet Earth. AND NOBODY WORKS HARDER THAN HE DOES. NOBODY. I can't believe he lets me come to work everyday! I'm not always the most patient or kind or easy to deal with. He teaches me patience everyday, and I'm so grateful I get to work with him and have him as an example.

    Second?
    I really love all the people at Kol Hadash. I love and support your mission AND you're so kind and to me ... a person most of you have never seen face to face. It's an honor to serve the community and to work with you in person when I get the chance.

    Third?
    If You're Being Ridiculous is successful at all, it's because of Kol Hadash. I created YBR just before I began working at Kol Hadash and it really only exists because of Kol Hadash. Adam is SUPER flexible with my time in the office, and I work at home a lot so I can run the show and all the little gifts that come along with producing a storytelling show. Because of Kol Hadash I'm able to brag to my friends about my art/work life balance. It's such a gift and I'm beyond grateful. THANK YOU. 

    I'm so excited about this year's FUNdraiser and I'm so honored that you get to see You're Being Ridiculous and hear all the fabulous and brave stories everyone has worked so hard to create! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE come see the show! I promise there's something for everyone. It's not all silly, there's some real HEART and bravery. You'll enjoy it, I PROMISE. And if nothing else, you'll get to meet me and who doesn't want to do that???

    Jeremy sharing a story at the Kol Hadash FUNdraiser on Sunday, June 23

    Follow this link for tickets and more info

  • Linda Bubon @ Steppenwolf!

    You're Being Ridiculous is super excited to celebrate PRIDE at Steppenwolf as part of their LookOut Series this year!. AND ... we're delighted to welcome Linda Bubon to YBR to share a story with us and help us celebrate ... learn a little about Linda here and get your tickets!

    Linda Bubon is a lifelong feminist activist and bookseller. In 1979, she and Ann Christophersen created Women & Children First, still going strong in its 40th year under new feminist ownership. She has always loved performing other people's stories, and regularly performs children's stories (every Wed 10:30-11 at Women & Children First), but YBR marks the beginning of telling her own stories. She thanks Jeremy Owens for this really terrifying opportunity.

    Who is your favorite queer icon?
    My favorite gay icon is Lily Tomlin because she's a comic genius who I fell in love with as a teen-ager, watching Laugh-in. In 1994, I got to meet and introduce her to nearly a thousand people, and she was wonderful, on and offstage. Now in her 70's, she's still doing fresh, funny, relevant work.

  • H. Melt @ Steppenwolf!

    You're Being Ridiculous is super excited to celebrate PRIDE at Steppenwolf as part of their LookOut Series this year!. AND ... we're delighted to welcome H. Melt to YBR to share a story with us and help us celebrate ... learn a little about H. Melt here and get your tickets!

    H. Melt is a poet, artist, and educator who lives in Chicago. They are the author of The Plural, The Blurring and On My Way to Liberation. They edited the anthology Subject to Change: Trans Poetry & Conversation. Lambda Literary awarded them the Judith A. Markowitz Award for Emerging LGBTQ Writers. They've also been named to Newcity's Lit 50 list and Windy City Times' 30 Under 30. H. Melt helped organize Queeriosity at Young Chicago Authors and works at Women & Children First, Chicago’s feminist bookstore.

    Who is your favorite queer icon?
    I love Lorraine Hansberry. She’s one of my favorite queer icons because she was a writer, an activist, and from Chicago.

    H. Melt is sharing a story with us at Steppenwolf Saturday, June 22.

    Follow this link to purchase tickets

  • David Cerda @ Steppenwolf!

    You're Being Ridiculous is super excited to celebrate PRIDE at Steppenwolf as part of their LookOut Series this year!. AND ... we're delighted to welcome David Cerda to YBR to share a story with us and help us celebrate ... learn a little about David here and get your tickets!

    Who is David Cerda? Part lover, part dreamer, and gay as hell- he can be as soft as kitten and as ferocious as an irritable dachshund. Ms. Cerda is the co-founder and Artistic Director of Hell in a Handbag Productions (handbagproductions.org) theater company, Chicago’s leading camp and ridiculous theater company. He is also a playwright, actor and accomplished laundress. Fans still remember the day Cerda was inducted into the Chicago LGBTQ Hall of Fame in 2016 and sat in stunned silence when he received a Lifetime Achievement award from the Joseph Jefferson committee in 2017. Miss Cerda is a star in every sense of the word; and everyone knows he is a star. You do not have to make empty gestures to prove to Miss Cerda or anybody else that he is a star of the first magnitude.

    Who is your favorite queer icon?
    There are so many- but John Waters just stands out for so many reasons. His films shook me to my core, and introduced me to a campy, punk rock, outsider world that I didn’t know existed in the late 70’s. His movies, Female Trouble and Pink Flamingos almost connected me with so many close friends, and worthwhile choice I’ve ever made in life. Mr. Waters along with Divine led me down the road to enlightenment where I met, Joan Crawford, Andy Warhol, Debbie Harry and so many others. I feel lucky to have experienced that entire scene in real time.

    David is sharing a story with us at Steppenwolf Thursday, June 20.

    Follow this link to purchase tickets