Friday, August 31, 2007

Aaron Carter is a Chicago playwright, originally from Ohio. He is currently Literary Manager at the Tony Award winning Victory Gardens Theater. His paternal grandfather was a black Baptist preacher, his maternal grandparents were white vaudeville performers. The influence of his ancestors is seen Carter’s focus on race, faith, and obscure performance skills.

Carter’s play PANTHER BURN was produced in October 2006 by MPAACT at Victory Gardens Greenhouse. His short play KEGGER was part of Collaboraction’s Sketchbook 2006. FIRST WORDS was presented at Around the Coyote reading series. SWAMP BABY was read in the Side Project’s Harvest Series in Chicago, as well as the Soho Think Tank Sixth Floor Reading Series in New York. His play IF CONDITION was produced as part of Manhattan Rep’s Winterfest, also in New York.

Carter’s work has also been read at Victory Garden’s Theater and Chicago Dramatists, where he is a resident playwright. His latest play, IOWA AKHBAR, was read at Chicago Dramatists, and further developed at Grinnell College.

Carter was a Minority Scholar in Residence / Playwright in Residence at Grinnell College in the Spring of 2007.

Carter’s teaching work includes theater and writing courses at Grinnell College, Indiana University NW, Northwestern Business College, as well as outreach work with Steppenwolf Theater, Congo Square, American Theater Company and After School Matters.

Call For Writers - September 2007

It's that time again! Resident and Network writers can mail Aaron at adCarter [at] if you want to participate in the next installation of Instant Theatre. Other writers can email Aaron with the subject "Guest Writer."

The next Instant Theater is happening Monday September 24th. Please note the different the day of the week. As always, you'll need to be available from 7pm to 9pm.

We're back to first come first serve. So if you've participated before, come on back again!

Instant Theatre
Maximum Impact, Minimum Prep
Monday September 24th
Participating Writers @ 7pm
Audience @ 8pm
Applause @ 9pm

Chicago Dramatists
1105 W Chicago Ave

How do I Participate? - Other Artists

Instant Theatre is purposely low-tech. Still, we're open to contributions of visual artists, musicians, and more. If you've got an idea about how your work might fit into Instant Theatre, contact Chris or Aaron at

How Do I Participate? - Actors

Interested in bringing these micro-plays to life? We are always looking for Equity and non-Equity actors to add to our roster. Interested actors can email us at for more information.

How Do I Participate? - Playwrights

Most slots are reserved for Resident and Network Playwrights at Chicago Dramatists. However, we do have a guest slot every month. Interested playwrights can email Aaron at for more information.

What is Instant Theatre?

Instant Theatre is hosted by Christopher De Paola and Aaron Carter, and is a project of Chicago Dramatists.

Selected playwrights have one week to experiment with a theme. They show up the night of performance with a five-minute script in hand, cast from a pool of actors, rehearse in just a few minutes... and the pieces are performed that very night!

That's why we say: Maximum Impact, Minimum Prep.

Christopher De Paola is an Emmy Award nominated actor, as well as a playwright. As a writer, Christopher is a Resident Playwright at Chicago Dramatists, where he also co-produces and co-hosts Instant Theatre, a monthly evening of new work. Most recently, his play THE IMAGINE MAN was presented in the Victory Gardens’ festival Ignition: Emerging Playwrights of Color. He spent all of 2007 as head writer on a television series produced and taped in Chicago. His two plays MORNING TRAFFIC and DREAM WATER were commissioned and published by Pearson Education/Scott Foresman. His plays STREETS COME KNOCKING and RECOVERED were in Chicago Dramatists 2006 & 2007 Many Voices Project. Productions include: WHAT I KNEW THEN (Doppelgang Productions, NYC); THE DIALOGUE BETWEEN MEN & WOMEN (Intar Theater & The Theater Studio, NYC).

Acting Credits include: JON (Collaboraction); EYE OF THE STORM (Vittum Theater); AUTOBIOGRAPHY (Collaboraction: Sketchbook 7); CYNICAL WEATHERS (Victory Gardens); HORTENSIA AND THE MUSEUM OF DREAMS (Victory Gardens); NYC premiere of A.R. Gurney’s THE GUEST LECTURER; BUTTERFLIES ARE FREE; KING JOHN; DON JUAN IN HELL; A CHORUS LINE; CHARLEY’S AUNT; A FEW GOOD MEN; TEN LITTLE INDIANS with Gordon Jump; ONCE UPON A MATRESS; WAIT UNTIL DARK; HARVEY; ROMEO AND JULIET; and the world premiere of Kia Corthron’s CATNAP ALLEGIANCE. On television, you can see Christopher in repeat episodes of his one year stint on a children’s show taped here in Chicago. You can also catch him as a murdering boyfriend on an episode of ANIMAL WITNESS on Animal Planet!

Christopher’s teaching credits include classes at Ohio University, Marietta College, Steppenwolf Theater, After School Matters, John Casablancas and through Chicago Dramatists’ Playwright Residency Program.

Christopher holds a BFA in Acting from Otterbein College, and an MFA in Playwriting from Ohio University.

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