The Crusader Newspaper Group

Revival of popular “anti social media” “At The Table” opens at Den Theatre

By Elaine Hegwood Bowen, M.S.J., Chicago Crusader

Following its critically acclaimed, completely sold-out run at the Berger Park Coach House this winter, Broken Nose Theatre’s hit production of Michael Perlman’s “At The Table,” directed by Spenser Davis, will receive a five-week remount this summer featuring the full original cast. The Jeff Award-nominated Best Play will return June 29 – July 28, 2017, at The Den Theatre (Upstairs Main Stage), 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago. Tickets are currently available at Tickets for all Broken Nose Theatre productions are available on a “pay-what-you-can” basis, allowing patrons to set their own price and ensuring theatre remains economically accessible for all audiences.

I think the concept of “pay what you can” is a great idea, as it gives those theatre lovers a chance to see a play of substance while paying what they can afford. Theatre prices can be high in some cases, although there are matinees and promotions that make performances throughout the Chicagoland area easier to attend.

DAVID WEISS AND Echaka Agba in Broken Nose Theatre’s production of “At the Table” by Michael Perlman, directed by Spenser Davis. (Photos by Matthew Freer)

“At The Table” will feature the full original cast: Echaka Agba, Benjamin Brownson, Jennifer Cheung, Evan Linder, Adam Soule, Elise Spoerlein, Johnard Washington and David Weiss.

A group of friends head out of the city on their annual weekend retreat. With no social media, no cell phones and no internet allowed, they are left with one thing to do… look up from their screens and talk to each other. And when the liquor starts flowing and the tongues start to loosen, no conversation is uneventful and no topic is off-limits. “At The Table” is a bold and timely new comedy that explores what happens when a marginalized minority finally speaks up and those with privilege find themselves challenged for the first time. Who is invited to the table for what discussions, and what are we refusing to discuss at all?

“At The Table” is nominated for four 2016-17 non-Equity Joseph Jefferson Awards including Best Play, Best Ensemble, Best Director (Spenser Davis) and Best Supporting Actress (Echaka Agba). The production was also hailed by Chicago critics during its original run:

“…one of the most riveting shows of the theater season and so juicy and apropos of life as currently lived that nobody in the house… was anything other than rapt…”– Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune.

“Some of the finest storefront ensemble acting in recent memory. Pull up a seat.”– Kris Vire, Time Out Chicago.

Highly Recommended! “One of the best shows you’re likely to see in 2017…”– Alex Huntsberger, Newcity Stage.

“Such an ensemble, they irresistibly suggested to me the early days of Steppenwolf… Broken Nose Theatre evokes that venerable troupe’s early days – the same attack, the same ease within the ensemble, the same take-no-prisoners aesthetic in choosing material.”– Kelly Kleiman, The Dueling Critics.

The production team for “At The Table” includes: Taylor Horst (costume design), William Allen (lighting design), Devon Green (props design), JD Caudill (assistant director) and Rose Hamill (stage manager).

The Den Theatre (Upstairs Main Stage) is located at 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago, and performance dates are Thursday, June 29 – Friday, July 28, 2017. Curtain Times: Wednesdays, Thurs- days, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.; Sundays at 3 p.m. Tickets: Pay-what-you-can. Tickets are currently available at

About the Artists:

Michael Perlman (Playwright) is a New York-based writer and director. His directing credits include Goodspeed Opera House, Cleveland Play House, Trinity Repertory Company, Boise Contemporary Theater and Creede Repertory Theater. As Associate Director, notable credits include Fiasco Theater’s “Into the Woods” (McCarter Theater, The Old Globe, Menier Chocolate Factory and Roundabout Theater Company) and “Noises Off” (Roundabout Theater Company). Michael’s plays include “From White Plains” (GLAAD Media Award) and “Flying on the Wing” (NYFringe Outstanding Solo Show). Michael is an Associate Artist with both Fiasco Theater and Fault Line Theatre, proud to be a member of SDC, a Drama League Directing Fellow, and holds a BA from Brown University and an MFA from Brown/Trinity MFA Programs, where he has also served on faculty.

Spenser Davis (Director) is the Director of Programming for Broken Nose Theatre (BNT), where he has previously directed the world premiere of “A Phase,” several entries in the annual Bechdel Fest, and the Midwest Premiere of From White Plains, Michael Perlman’s first full length play. His other credits include Strawdog Theatre, Otherworld Theatre, Mary-Arrchie, Tympanic, Pride Films and Plays, and First Floor Theatre, among others. He has assistant directed Shade Murray on three productions — “The Divine Sister” (Hell in a Handbag), “Pilgrim’s Progress” and the currently playing “3C” (A Red Orchid Theatre). A recent addition to The Factory Theater’s ensemble, he also works around town as an actor and playwright.

Broken Nose Theatre is a Pay-What-You-Can company that cultivates empathy and engages diverse audiences through new works and Chicago premieres that spark conversation, connect communities and amplify underrepresented voices.

For more information, visit


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