In 2008 a bunch of college friends left the warm, well-funded bosom of American educational theatre and moved to Chicago, to “start something.” Their timing was exceptional– no sooner had the last box been unloaded from the last U-Haul than the housing market collapsed and they found themselves facing a future rife with unpredictability. Unfazed by reality and with the energy that only a group of young twenty-somethings can muster, this bevy of friends gathered in a freshly unpacked living room and decided that what the world needed in the wake of financial devastation was another small, storefront theatre company. That winter, they scraped and scrapped and put up their first production, a run of ‘Maybe, Baby It’s You’ in a proper theatre. Optimism won the day and Wishbone Theatre Collective was born.
Since 2008, Wishbone has taken on a number of ambitious projects – from a ten-minute play series/variety show entitled The Merrythoughts Masquerade, to numerous sketch shows and plays produced everywhere from tents to former funeral homes (“just put the lamps back there on the cadaver table”) to an adaptation of the popular children’s book Pete and Pickles which was an experience so unforgettable it inspired a web series (Tech Week). Together we have explored the stories of well-intentioned arsonists, the political leanings of superheroes, and what’s on the other side of the looking glass…just to name a few.
As Wishbone Theatre Collective evolved, it became apparent that while nothing gave (and gives!) us more pleasure than finding witty, magical plays by exciting new writers, our real superpower is unlocked by devising new work with a decidedly comedic bent. Are all stories funny? No. But just as with life, Wishbone revels in the harmonic intersection of tragedy and pee-your-pants hilarity. This crossover creates a poignancy which we believe is crucial to our brand of storytelling. This realization was brought to life with Wishbone’s 2011 original play, SPANDEX which enjoyed successful runs at the Chicago and Edinburgh Fringe Festivals, an encore performance in Chicago and a sold out run at Clemson University.