Sideshow Theatre Company presents "Tyrant"


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In a Nutshell

Drama takes an incisive look at economic disparity by positing a future where homeless people are forced to work in wealthy people's homes

The Fine Print

Expiration varies. Limit 8 per person. Valid only for option purchased. Redeem day of show for a ticket at venue box office. Must show valid ID matching name on Groupon at Theater Wit. Refundable only on day of purchase. Discount reflects Sideshow Theatre Company's current ticket prices-price may differ on day of the event. Doors open 30 minutes before showtime. For ADA seating, call box office promptly upon receipt of voucher - availability is limited. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.

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The Deal

  • $20 for two tickets to see Sideshow Theatre Company presents Tyrant (up to $40 value)
  • When: select dates, June 21–29
  • Where: Theater Wit
  • Section: general admission
  • Door time: 30 minutes before showtime
  • Ticket values include all fees.


Tyrant opens in the not-too-distant future, after Congress passes the Rectification Act, which solves the "homeless problem"—at least in some eyes. The act requires all disenfranchised citizens to learn one specific domestic task before going to work indefinitely as servants for the wealthy. There they're rewarded for performing menial tasks by receiving basic room and board, uniforms, and relative security, but they aren't allowed to ever pick another pursuit. Leon and Regina are two such workers, employed as massage therapists for the oft-naked philanthropist Martin, whose good intentions may actually dehumanize those he means to help. Thrown into the mix is Nicole, another rectified citizen who works as Martin's psychological counselor, until her service displeases him and he takes advantage of the act's provision for "recycling" the workers back to the government. What follows is Martin's growing lust of power, which cuts to the heart of concepts such as possession and servitude.

A member of the playwriting collective Lizard Claw, Kathleen Akerley is a DC-based writer-director responsible for such works as The Oogatz Man and an adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle. Her latest, Tyrant, has drawn plenty of accolades—the Chicago Reader called the production "sharp and revelatory," whereas Chicago Theatre Review said "the premise is fascinating and involving . . . [and] will spark many long, post-production discussions and probably a few nightmares."

Sideshow Theatre Company

From its name, you might guess that Sideshow Theatre Company specializes in off-kilter productions. Looking at the title of their first production, 2008's Dante Dies!! (and then things get weird), further solidifies that impression. Fortunately, it's all well deserved. Besides oddly thoughtful comedies and challenging dramatic productions, the Sideshow stage was the home to the Chicago League of Lady Arm-Wrestlers for their first seven tournaments and has seen the reinvention of familiar stories with decidedly unorthodox methods.

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