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A staged reading series that showcases new, full-length work by Chicago area playwrights.

Each script is brought to life through collaboration with a director and cast of talented actors.

INDIAN RIVER by Kate Tucker Fahlsing

Directed by Christopher Sylvie

Featuring Christopher Donaldson, Laura Dromerick, Eric Duhon, Pernell Myers, Victoria Olivier, Ben Page, Rafael Hernandez Roulet IV, and  Jamie Shriner.

Monday, November 13

at 7:30pm

Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago, IL

$5 suggested donation


Set in small town Northern Michigan with nothing around but old pine woods, the whispers of Native American lore, and the world's largest crucifix, Indian River chronicles a group of summer camp counselors as they congregate around a campfire. When the night goes dangerously wrong, these six young adults will be confronted for the first time in their lives by the imperfect laws of their country and the imperfect people who enforce them. In this collective coming of age story, these young adults must face the injustices of their country head on, and in doing so, are forced to come to terms with their identity as individuals and as a generation.

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KATE TUCKER FAHLSING is a Chicago-based playwright, screenwriter, and educator. She is the founder of WhizBang Writers Workshop, and is the Educational Program Manager for Youtheatre at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie. She holds an MFA in Writing for the Screen + Stage from Northwestern University. Kate is compelled to write about the things we cannot discuss at the dinner table, like invisible illnesses, nontraditional relationships, and 21st century femininity. Her plays include, Across the Park, Ducks Unlimited, Herpes, Indian River, Plan B, and Sleep Number. Kate apprenticed with Oscar-nominated screenwriter, Hawk Ostby, where she wrote and developed projects for both TV and film. She’s a top ten finalist for the Playwrights’ Center Core Apprentice Program 2016-17. Kate’s play Across the Park, premiered as an equity showcase production Off-Broadway at The American Theatre of Actors via The Araca Project in October 2016. She is a semi-finalist for the Eugene O’Neill National Playwright’s Conference 2017. For more info:

We interviewed Kate about Indian River, playwriting, and more! Read on below to find out what she had to say:

Hometown: Ann Arbor, Michigan 

Q. What brought you to Chicago?

I first came to Chicago in the fall of 2014 for graduate school. I earned my MFA in Writing for the Screen + Stage from Northwestern University. After grad school, I liked Chicago and its theatre scene so much I decided to stay. 


Q. What brought you to playwriting?

I studied poetry and creative non-fiction in college. I wasn't very good at either form, but I took an intro to playwriting course with Elana Greenfield (former Artistic Director of New Dramatists) and fell in love with dramatic writing. I found I was able to incorporate storytelling principals and stylistic elements from poetry into playwriting, and I happened to be much better at writing dialogue than I was at writing poetry and prose. But really, I've been writing scripts and imagining make believe worlds since I was a little kid. I had three very-detailed imaginary friends (Urmop, Dinnen, and Jodah), and I used to write scripts during my 8th grade math class and pass them around for my friends to read. 


Q. What’s a piece of advice, playwriting related or not, that has stuck with you?

 "There are no rules in playwriting." - Thomas Bradshaw, "You want to know what's not funny? Trying to be funny." - Thomas Bradshaw, "Dance like you mean it." - My Dad, "Write with your fist in the air!" - My AP US History Teacher, Claire Dahl. 


Q. How did you come to write Indian River?

Toward the end of graduate school I was tasked with writing a thesis play. I was completely tapped out for ideas, and so I wracked my brain for something I knew a lot about. I had recently finished my last summer as a sleep away camp counselor, and had worked and attended the camp since 1999. I never wanted to write a "campy" play, but instead found myself writing a dark play about a group of camp counselors on their last day off of the summer. I had shared many days off with young adults in their formative years for over a decade, and realized I had a ton of untapped material waiting to be explored. At the same time, I had been wrestling with how to wrap my mind around current events: the many instances of police brutality against people of color, the anger coming out of small town America, the misogyny and harassment of women by men in leadership positions across industries, and the hatred for the millennial generation by older generations. 


Q. What kind of theatre are you most excited about/passionate about?

The theatre is the perfect place to start difficult conversations. I like theatre that makes me feel uncomfortable and challenges me to think critically and imagine new perspectives. Mostly, I'm a sucker for a well-told story. Anything character driven, authentic, and meandering. I like theater that doesn't cater to white, suburban audiences. I like theater that doesn't worry about the bottom line. I like theatre that holds up a mirror to its audience instead of always tip-toeing around the taboo. 


CHRISTOPHER SYLVIE is thrilled to be working on Indian River for Dandelion Theatre’s RESERVOIR series. A passionate lover of theatre and the arts, Sylvie graduated from Northwestern State University of Louisiana where he earned his B.S. in Theatre Performance/Directing.  Previously, Christopher has directed The Complete Works of William Shakespeare [abridged] (Scioto Society, Inc.) and Someone Who'll Watch Over Me (Northwestern State). He has also worked as a Stage Manager for Ohio State Murders (Dandelion Theatre), The Complete History of America [abridged] (Theatre-Hikes), and the staged readings of Agreed Upon Fictions and Menorca for 16th Street Theatre's Pop Up Series for their 10th Anniversary Season; as well as, Assistant Stage Manager for Photograph 51 and The Diary of Anne Frank (Jewish Ensemble Theatre). Sylvie would like thank Kate and the cast for all of their work to develop this play. Christopher is a proud member of the Equity Member Candidate program.

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