New Beginnings, Risk-Taking and What’s in Store for TesserAct in 2019 and beyond

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“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” ― Seneca 

“New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.” ― Lao Tzu

 They say new beginnings can feel like endings.

 They aren't wrong.

For the past couple years, TATE (TesserAct Theatre Ensemble) has been going through major transitions and experiencing exponential growth! We are different than we were, stronger and happier, most of the time. Only I find myself a little blue right now, after undergoing a similar transformation myself. Don’t get me wrong, we are proud of the new TATE. It’s the letting go of the old me, and the old TATE that has me just a little reflective, even though I am very excited by both of our futures. The old TATE isn’t gone completely, as everything that has come before will inform our future. The energy we are consciously creating has changed and transformed us into something bigger, kinder, and yes, better.

As part of our new beginning, in 2017 we partnered with Forest View for our Third Friday Storytelling Series:

  • October 2017 held a thrilling presentation of War of the Worlds: The 1938 Radio Script double-billed with the hilarious Baby Snooks and Daddy Halloween episode.
  • November 2017 we told stories of families and gratitude with a moving presentation of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, adapted by Tamara Kist.
  • December 2017 brought The Christmas Letters and a holiday sing-a-long. 
  • January 2018 we had a snowstorm.
  • February 2018 we moved you to tears with Thornton Wilder’s Our Town. (In case you haven't heard me say it, Our Town was nominated for a Broadway World Award for Best Ensemble.)
  • March 2018 was audience participation night, and everyone who attended got a sneak peek at the radio plays we had chosen for our Old Time Radio Plays presentation at the Mount Prospect Library’s 75th Jubilee Anniversary Celebration later that year.

The Storytelling Series was a great experiment, as we learned a great deal about how people react to the word “storytelling”. (What reaction do you have when you hear the word, “storytelling”?)

Some see librarians reading a picture book to squirmy toddlers.

Some view it as an archaic art, on it’s way out, with the printed word right behind it, good riddance!

Many have no idea what "storytelling" is. The dictionary definition seems pretty straightforward: the activity of telling or writing stories. The arts, theater included, are at their core, a way of telling stories. We all love a good story.

And some, like me, believe our lives, the society we live in, and the reality we believe in, are all powered by stories. What is the story of your life? Who are the main characters? What stories do you tell yourself about pivotal moments, or trivial bits you wonder why you remember? We are all storytellers, and all of us have the power to tell ours in our own way. We are constantly editing and revising our stories. We can stick to the formula, take the safe road, or we can veer off the page.

 “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” ― Helen Keller, The Open Door

 “If you dare nothing, then when the day is over, nothing is all you will have gained.” ― Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book

We veered off our page when we produced the Storytelling Series. And I'm glad we did it. But it cost us. We lost money on the project. The audience engagement just wasn't there, (see how people react to the word “Storytelling” above).

Why would I tell you this? Because I want you to know that everyone makes mistakes. And sometimes it costs you. But there is no shame in that. It was a learning experience, and the more positive spin you can put on any of these so-called negative experiences, the happier the chapter of your life will be.

We learned how important clear branding can be.


Our Town was also a bit of an experiment- we toured in four different locations, one night each. It was the first time I had produced anything like that, and it was loads of fun. We were able to reach different communities and improve our visibility.

September 2018 the Old Time Radio Plays presentation for the Mount Prospect Library’s 75th Jubilee Anniversary Celebration were next up. We were honored to be the entertainment for this jubilant celebration. Our feedback was overwhelmingly positive, not one negative comment, which we were told was pretty unusual. We are looking forward to working with them again soon.

Then, late 2018, we began pre-production for our current show, Marc Ross’ The Sedgwick Stories. We have truly created something wonderful with this play. We are so proud of it and hope you will come see it!


  • Friday, March 15th, 7:30pm
  • Saturday, March 16th, 7:30pm
  • Sunday, March 17th, 2:00pm


Palatine Presbyterian Church
800 E. Palatine Road
Palatine, IL 

You can purchase tickets either through our Facebook Event, or from our website (links below).

Community Theater is nothing without you, the community. Thank you for supporting us as we continue to venture into uncharted territory!

If you can't come see the show, maybe you will consider making a small donation to support our mission - to continue to present new and innovative theater experiences for the community, by the community.

We’ve taken a lot of risks this year, and we are not done yet!

On the deck for this year are three more unique original projects.

Don’t Call me Jimbo, a musical play penned by T.R. Frye about bullying. We are deep in pre-production, and have started conversations with local school districts who are very interested in what we have presented so far.

Romance is Such a Funny Thing, a musical composed by Terry Breen about, well, romance! Light-hearted and fun, watch for the premiere of this exciting new experience in February 2020.

A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream, Flipped!, an adaptation of Shakespeare's classic comedy by Kristin Casner, will be our premiere “Shakespeare in the Park” in Barrington this August.

We also continue our adventures with the TesserAct Theatre Radio Plays Ensemble this summer when Old-Time Radio Plays will bring the Lone Ranger, Sherlock Holmes, Jack Benny and Fibber McGee & Molly back to life at the Barrington White House in June.

To top it all off, TesserAct has added two new “members” to our family: 

Academy of the Heart: a Hub for Education in the Arts, Radiance, and Theater


Spinning Tales Collective: a group of musical, visual and performing artists committed to raising the global vibe, one story at a time.

Check out our website for more details.

Please drop us a line! We love to hear from our TesserAct friends!

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