• Select the category
// Visit our Blog Category
2015… Engage.

We’re heading into the new year. That’s right. We know how calendars work. And as we get ready for 2015, we’re talking about doubling down, gearing up, and getting back to the roots of what makes our company such a fun place to work: Alcohol.

PSYCHE. Well, no, we do drink a lot, but what we also do is develop new, original comedies for the Chicago stage. And that’s what we’re about to start doing again.

Over the past few years, we’ve created really funny shows that we’re incredibly proud of, like the commercial smash Bad Guys in Suits, the Fringe hit The Temp, the horror rom-com Horrible, the scifi deportation farce In Pursuit, and the rock musical The Regulars, which involved a whole cast of waiters… the first show that probably ever thought that was a good idea. We look back, we smile, and we want to do more of that.

2014 was the Year of Figuring Stuff Out. 2015 will be the Year of Getting Stuff Done.

On the horizon? A variety show that features heavy substance abuse, not one but two Hobo Robo Festivals, a MainStage adaptation of one of our ridiculous one-acts, a remount of all three Awful Nights of Crap, a holiday showcase in the Summer, and a slew of staged readings of brand new full-length comedies that we’re primping and prepping for the next year or so. Oh, and did we mention we’ll be announcing new Ensemble members!

Keep checking back here as we grab this year by the hair and tell it to “shut up and learn!” We promise we’ll make you laugh at least twice this year, even at the risk of our own reputations.

The Winner of Hobo Robo 7 is…

After three nights of watching hosts Dan Krall and Kevin Alves chug beers, slur words and butcher the names of the 50+ artists we had work on this year’s Hobo Robo 7: Hobos Nipping at Your Nose, the votes were tallied and the winners declared. The top three plays this year were….

“Misanthrope Under the Mistletoe” by Laura Arwood, directed by Wm Bullion
“You Better Watch Out” by Mark Harvey Levine, directed by Benjamin Brownson

“Tofurkey Day” by Allie Costa, directed by Breahan Pautsch

“It’s a Wonderful Holiday Play” by Kevin Lambert, directed by Richard Paro

Congrats to everyone who got tricked into doing this stupid little thing with us, and congrats to the audience for being subjected to it. Better luck next time, People Who Enjoy Substantial Theatre!

Submit to Hobo Robo 7

After the success of last year’s Christmas-themed festival, we’ve decided to milk this baby for all it’s worth and return with some Yuletide yucking – submissions are NOW OPEN for HOBO ROBO 7: HOBOS NIPPING AT YOUR NOSE (another distastefully-titled festival just in the time for the holidays).

We are currently seeking new, original ten-minute comedic plays that focus on the themes, traditions, and festivities associated with everyone’s favorite winter holiday. Whether it’s a biting satire about the Black Friday shopping mayhem, a dark comedy about Santa’s crumbling marriage, or a farcical take on the birth of Jesus, the play’s main objective is this: it has to make us laugh!

There will be a total of eight plays selected by our festival directors that will be featured in a three-night event in December. Every night, audience members vote for their favorite play, and at festival’s end, the winning playwright receives ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS! Holy Jeebus!

So send us your scripts! We want them smelling like pine trees by the time they land in our Inbox. (Electronic submissions only, please. PDF format required.) Submissions are due by October 18, 2013 at midnight. Selected plays will be announced no later than November 9th, with the festival itself taking place in December. Last year’s festival SOLD OUT its three performances, so if you have hilarious holiday-themed short plays, this is a great opportunity for them to be seen.

We encourage playwrights from all across the world to submit their work. Past submissions have come from countries as far-reaching as France, Russia, and Czechoslovakia … we hope we’re spelling that right. Please submit all materials to: Spenser Davis, Artistic Director at


  • Scripts should be between 7 – 10 pages, not including the cover page and character list.
  • The playwright’s personal information should not appear anywhere on the script, including the cover pages; directors will be asked to read the scripts “blind.”
  • Each playwright can send up to two scripts. Sending more than two will immediately disqualify that particular writer.
  • The plays must be original, not yet produced, and fit the festival’s themes of winter holidays and/or the festivities, traditions, and themes associated with them.
  • ENTRY FEE: Or should we say “ENTRY FREE”– It costs nothing to submit!
  • CASH PRIZE: $100 to the playwright whose play receives the most audience votes! Due to the high volume of submissions we receive each year, we will be unable to comment on individual scripts.

Thank you, and we look forward to reading your work!

What’s New? Jews.

Oh, hey! You been here the whole time?

Sorry. We were napping. Hobo Robo 6 really tuckered us out. And by Hobo Robo 6, we mean lots of inappropriate activities involving mayonnaise … aaaaand it’s awkward.

Here’s the deal: We’re up and running again with Abbie Fest 26, where we plan to conclude our An Awful Night of Crap trilogy with the company-created one-act An Awful Night of Crap Part III: Jew Tycoons. It’s a Western. Jewish tycoons are trying to build an amusement park in the middle of an Indian preserve. That’s really all you need to know right now.

Trust us, it’ll be offensive. But in that way that makes you chuckle, point at the person who said the thing and go, “Yoooooou.”

Keep checking back for details on this and future stuff we’ve got planned!