Performers!

  • 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

  • Rita Balzotti @ Women & Children First!

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

    Rita Balzotti continues to suffer from a low-grade, existential crisis…since birth. In an attempt to figure out how to be here, on this planet, she’s re-invented herself many times over personally and professionally. Her first career was opera-singing, and she’s happy that in this current version of herself, she’s back on stage, telling stories all over Chicago. Her hope is that in exposing her own crap, she just might be able to help someone else heal from theirs.

    Who is your favorite queer icon?
    I love a buy-one-get-one free, so my favorite queer icon is a “2-fer,” Billy Jean King. First, she’s a super-cool activist and a great person and “they” would take away my lesbian, tennis-playing card if I didn’t select her. Second, she had a hit song, “Philadelphia Freedom,” written about her by one of the biggest queer icons of all time, Elton John! #bogo

    Rita 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

  • Josh Friedberg @ Women & Children First!

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

    Josh Friedberg is a writer, scholar, teacher, and music historian who will soon be coauthoring a book about mental health with six other authors. He has written over a dozen articles and personal essays for the websites, PopMatters and Good Men Project. He was also born at least 30 years too late, which explains his love for Billie Holiday, Joni Mitchell, Ella Fitzgerald, and Aretha Franklin as his divas of choice.

    Who is your favorite queer icon?
    Elton John is my favorite queer icon. He was arguably the King of Pop from 1970 to 1976, the era before Michael Jackson's ascent to solo superstardom, and he made at least half a dozen of my favorite records ever. And at least one of his songs relates to the story that I'll be telling at Women & Children First.

    Josh 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

  • R.C. Riley @ Women & Children First!

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

    R.C. Riley is a queer warrior woman, writer, performer, and storyteller who began writing as a means of healing after a sexual assault.  R.C.'s work challenges heteronormative views and seeks to find justice for and liberate those who have felt left out, forgotten, ignored, and unloved by our society.  When she's not performing her solo show, Wrong Way Journey, R.C. can be found leading workshops and telling short stories around the Chicagoland area. Check out her upcoming event dates at www.rcrileyempowers.com.

    Who is your favorite queer icon?
    My favorite queer icon is Audre Lorde of course! The fierce warrior mother's work focused on civil rights, and the identity of same gender loving women and the Black woman. I strive to ensure that my work touches on these same intersections, as there will never be a time when the voice of a Black, Queer, Woman need not be heard, respected and responded to. Audre Lorde is one of my sheros!!!

    R.C. 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

     

  • Owen Keehnen @ 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 Owen Keehnen to YBR to share a story with us and help us celebrate ... learn a little about Owen here and get your tickets!

    Owen Keehnen is a grassroots historian and the author of several fiction and non-fiction titles. His most recent works include, Dugan's Bistro and the Legend of the Bearded Lady, about Chicago's gay downtown glitter scene. He is the co-founder of the Legacy Project, a history/education organization focused on reclaiming and celebrating the LGBT past. He is currently working on the project A Place For Us: LGBTQ Life at the Belmont Rocks and is deeply involved in AIDS Garden Chicago. He was inducted into the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame in 2011.

    Who is your favorite queer icon?
    My queer icon is David Wojnarowicz (1954-1992) queer multimedia artist and activist. I interviewed him a year or so before he died and our conversation changed the way I saw queer art and the obligation of the artist. He was quite ill with AIDS at the time, but that did not dim his intelligence, his compassion, his fire, or his need to create. His book, Close to the Knives, is one of the most powerful works I've ever read.

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

    Follow this link to purchase tickets

  • Simon Tran @ 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 Simon Tran to YBR to share a story with us and help us celebrate ... learn a little about Simon here and get your tickets!

    Simon Tran is an actor, writer, and producer originally from Olympia, WA. A graduate of the University of Washington, Simon performed and produced shows in college that centered on deepening the representation of Asian Americans and LGBTQIA+ people. As a comedian, he’s opened for groups like Stir Friday Night, Club Asia, Ratas de Dos Patas, Baby Wine and The Kiki. As a storyteller, he’s performed for StoryClub Northside, Pour One Out, Am I Man Enough?, and Talk Stories.  He’s also a producer of community engagement and events at WBEZ Chicago and a member of the Obama Foundation Community Leadership Corps. More at simontran.net 

    Who is your favorite queer icon?
    Lena Waithe is my queer icon. She doesn't give a fuck what you think, and she exemplifies how it is possible for someone to be both queer and a person of color. She is the queen of innovation, creativity, and honoring our history with class, respect, and slayage.

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

    Follow this link to purchase tickets

  • Nancy Burkholder @ 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 Nancy Burkholder to YBR to share a story with us and help us celebrate ... learn a little about Nancy here and get your tickets!

    For years Nancy Burkholder has had one foot in the arts and one foot in marketing research. Part of the creative team behind the long-running show Late Nite Catechism, and a marketing research consultant, Nancy understands the importance of both following your artistic dreams and having a sensible fallback career. She’s recently performed at a Moth GrandSLAM, as well as First Person Live, This Much is True, and Outspoken. A stint in the record business made good use of Nancy’s pop music fixation in a pre-Google world.  Ask her about seeing the Beatles live as a kid, and she just might pull out the $2.50 ticket-stub to prove it.

    Who is your favorite queer icon?
    Gay icon is Edith Windsor- Often called "the Rosa Parks of the modern gay rights, movement" she had the fight and tenacity to take on the Defense of Marriage Act all the way to the Supreme Court and win! Plus, she did it with tremendous charm and humor.  Check out the great documentary Edie & Thea if you want background.

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

    Follow this link to purchase tickets

  • Emma Kowalenko & Anthony Bilotti @ 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 Emma Kowalenko and Anthony Bilotti at this special performance ... learn a little about Emma and Tony here and get your tickets!

    There came a sunny day in July, July 4th, the year,1976.
    When,
    One lass, in Chicago she lived, 26 years old then.
    Fifteen years she had been, in the U.S.A. that is.
    and,
    A lad, in Philadelphia he lived, 25 years old then.
    All his life he had been, in the U.S.A. that is.
    Converged, at noon, under William Penn’s City Hall statue.

    Why, the bi-centennial celebration convergence, of friends, and friends of friends?
    A pact Anthony known as Tony had made with high school
    friends, back in 1968, brought them there then.
    They had pledged that eight years later, at noon, on July 4th 1976,
    they would meet no matter where life would take them.
    And they did.
    The men, catholic school buddies, made their way,
    to meet, greet, hug, peace signs, all around, real men hugged then.
    Hugged at noon, under William Penn’s statue.
    Star Spangled Banner sung, difficult melody tackled,
    tears flowing.

    Emma there with mutual friends, Rick and Diane,
    Rick one of Tony’s pals going back to grammar school,
    and, a couple other friends of friends, entered the circle,
    the camaraderie, the meet, greet, peace signs all around.

    The dozen friends and friends of friends, re-united, united
    walked with the crowds, toward the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
    Fourth of July Parade, floats, balloons, high school bands,
    Samosa sandwiches delicious on the tongue, they marched
    toward the museum steps where, as sun gave way to mellow darkness,
    they sat to watch the fireworks display. And,
    and,
    an errant unsuspected flash of color display, sped toward
    star filled sky, an aahhh from the crowd, gave way to feet shuffling
    away, and Emma and Tony together, their friends lost in the melee,
    waited. No friends to be seen, had a pizza, pepperoni, extra cheese, and…
    the rest is history, as they say.

    What is your favorite thing about Kol Hadash?

    Tony: Kol Hadash members are always friendly, open and welcoming, regardless of the time or place we get together, be it at a service or social gathering. Of course, the Rabbi's words are always thought-provoking and meaningful, not ritualistic.

    Emma: My favorite thing about Kol Hadash is the sense of identity that it has given me through the openness of the Kol Hadash Community, Rabbi Adam Chalom’s thoughtful, and importantly, thought-provoking “sermons” – all  without the heaviness of religiosity.

    What are you most looking forward to this summer?

    T: We have been going to Morocco and Italy for the past several years to meet family and friends, this summer again!  We enjoy exploring new cities/towns on our own, not part of any organized tour.


    E: I have finally finished my book on organizational health (three years in the making - now on Amazon) Puliziotta’s Organizational Health and Fitness – Lessons Learned and Strategies for Zapping the DYSfunctional Virus,  and am looking forward to enlarging my “language” skills in the realms of www.puliziotta.com website enhancement, teaching the topics in the book, e-learning modules, etc. And, of course as Tony mentioned in his email, our traveling in this summer to continue our re-discovery in the last four years of Morocco after 40 years away, and the continuous pleasure of being in Italy. Never enough Italia!

    Do you have a favorite memory about Kol Hadash?

    T: We knew we had found a home after years of checking out other congregations, none of which felt right for us. When Emma first heard about Kol Hadash and we met with Rabbi Dan Friedman in 2005, we became Kol Hadashers! 

    E: Many favorite memories -- our first meeting Rabbi Dan Friedman, singing in the choir, the 5k run/walks for A Safe Place, the community service work  with PADS, Feed My Starving Children, and St. James Church, the Winers get togethers, and of course the Adult Bnai Mitzvah in 2009, which I had the great pleasure and opportunity to study for and take part in. That for me was life changing!

  • Robin Kacyn @ 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 Robin Kacyn at this special performance ... learn a little about Robin here and get your tickets!


    Robin Kacyn has done a thing or two in her 37 years: acting, singing, dancing, arts camping, daycare teaching, restaurant serving, concierging, yes really, at a very exclusive NYC gourmet grocery store, PR-ing - NEVER AGAIN! - and a whole lot of eating and drinking. Seriously, she's really good at it. Currently she's an Employment Support Specialist at Aspiritech, a Highland Park and Chicago-based organization that hires autistic adults for quality assurance and software testing - including the Kol Hadash website! - and nope, she still doesn't know what she wants to be when she grows up. She loves New Orleans beyond measure but hails from Cambridge, Mass, where she spent the early part of her babyhood before moving to Chicago and becoming firmly entrenched in the north shore community theatre scene. After graduating from Deerfield High School, she had a short stint at Emerson College before transferring to Washington University in St. Louis and earning a BA in Theatre. Then she moved back home, went to culinary school at Kendall College, spent several glorious years making plays with her best friends in the sorely-missed Theatre Seven of Chicago, and moved to New York before moving BACK to Chicago, where she resides with her lovely husband Matt and her perfect maniac of a dog Bowie, and where she'll probably stay, for now.

    What are you looking forward to this summer?
    This summer I am looking forward to tomatoes, to spending days with my dudes, to cocktails and chilled wine, to the very well cast His Dark Materials tv series, and to the hopeful and long-awaited appearance of a little bear of my, and our, own.

  • Suzie Garfield @ 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 Suzie Garfield at this special performance ... learn a little about Suzie here and get your tickets!

    Suzie Garfield grew up first on fairy tales and story books and later on biographies and histories and novels as well. Also on memories retold by parents and aunts and uncles and cousins and family friends. At some point, Suzie started talking instead of just listening. Now she's just as pleased to hear you tell your stories as I am to tell you mine.

    What is your favorite thing about Kol Hadash?
    I’m a founding member of Kol Hadash. I love most all the people I don’t know and get to meet—it means that we’re finding more people who want what we offer and we’re growing.

    What are you most looking forward to this summer?
    Getting closer and closer to the IISHJ trip to Israel!

    Do you have a favorite memory about Kol Hadash?
    My sons’ Bar Mitzvahs. Come to the show to hear me tell all about it.

  • Rick Bolnick @ 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 Rick Bolnick at this special performance ... learn a little about Rick here and get your tickets!

    I’m a Clinical Psychologist who in his 60s decided to take risks for the first time in my life and try some new things: I joined a Humanistic Jewish Congregation (Kol Hadash), signed up for a Current Events class, went on a Men’s Group Weekend and joined a Men’s Group, reconnected with kids from my elementary school class (many of whom I barely talked to back then and now decided that I really like the people they’ve become), took an Improv class and joined an Improv Troup that has performed at numerous places including Second City, taught 4th/5th grade Sunday School for the 1st time ever, took a Story Telling class and after one class spontaneously got up in front of 100 strangers and told my 1st story... and now I’ve agreed to tell the same story in front of people I know (which likely will be much more anxiety producing).

    What is your favorite thing about Kol Hadash?
    Favorite Thing about Kol Hadash has been watching my 4th/5th grade class lead a very different kind of Shabbat Service this past March… and watching the kids enjoy it and each other.

  • Delia Kropp @ 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 Delia Kropp to YBR to share a story with us and help us celebrate ... learn a little about Delia here and get your tickets!


    Delia Kropp has been acting-for-fun-and-profit since 1976, in various establishments and genders. She recently made theatrical history as the first transgender actor featured in Doug Wright's Pulitzer/Tony Award-winning "I Am My Own Wife" for About Face Theatre. Post-transition work also includes "Raggedy And" at Pride Films and Plays and a musical "The Civility of Albert Cashier" by Jay Paul Deratany. She recently staged a reading of Paul Lucas' "Trans Scripts" as part of Transgender Awareness Week.

    This January, Delia undertook her first film lead, down in Atlanta for the indy movie "Landlocked": appearing in 2020 at various film festivals and, fingers crossed, streaming soon to a computer near you.

    In real life, Delia is an advocate-speaker for her transgender community, speechifying and providing outreach services to corporate, non-profit, and other groups wanting to get their T thing together. She received the Leppen Leadership Award for services rendered to the LGBT community, and was recently made an Artistic Associate of About Face Theatre Company.  Read all about her at www.TheRealDelia.com

    Who is your favorite queer icon?
    There are so many, really, but my foremost queer icon is Alexandra Billings, that Chicago legend who rose from humble showgirl ranks at The Baton to knocking 'em dead on Steppenwolf stages, and is now an internationally famous actress-activist who's literally gone Hollywood. She is an extraordinary human occupying a special place in my heart, because her performances and stunningly penetrating insights (Google "Stillettos and Sneakers blog Billings") got me performing again after I'd given up hope, post-transition, and inspired me to speak up about the needs of our fragile community. Alex is a force of nature, a divine spirit, and the funniest broad anywhere. I just love her to pieces.

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

    Follow this link to purchase tickets

  • Eva Friedman @ 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 Eva Friedman at this special performance ... learn a little about Eva here and get your tickets!

    Eva Friedman grew up at Kol Hadash, so her mother probably already told you about everything that's listed in her bio, but in case she didn't, here it is: 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 latest 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). All of her plays are available for download on National New Play Network's New Play Exchange. evafriedman.com.

    What's your favorite memory about Kol Hadash?
    My favorite memory from Kol Hadash is a memory within a memory (INCEPTION MEMORY). I reunited with my old friends from Sunday School at the High Holidays this year after we had all been away at college the past several years. We were the last ones to leave that night because we were laughing so hard about all our memories from Sunday School, including (here comes Memory #2) making "immigrant dolls" in my dad's 4th-5th grade Sunday School class during our unit on Ellis Island. I named mine Hannah because I had zero imagination, and my friends, Cassidy and Alexa, named theirs Zack and Cody (after the hit Disney Channel show, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody starring Dylan and Cole Sprouse) and I, being the rigid, uptight child I was, got LEGITIMATELY ANGRY with them because I thought, and I quote, "those weren't Jewish immigrant names."

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

    Follow this link for tickets and more info