Skip to main content
John Ferrick and Sarah Goeden in Red Noses.

Red Noses

Photo credit: Chris Ocken




Season 23

Jul 14, 2010–Aug 5, 2010

3829 N. Broadway

Think the world’s got problems now? In the mid-1300’s, the Black Plague wiped out half the population of Europe. HALF. More conservative estimates say one quarter. But we find HALF gets the point across better. People were dropping like flies, and the living had trouble deciding what to do with themselves. Uncontrollable weeping? Self-flagellation?

For one priest, the answer is clear: make em laugh. Turning a band of desperate misfits into a troupe of deeply untalented circus performers, he sets out to prove that the best defense against a cruel world is a bad joke beautifully told.

Director Matt Hawkins is working at the top of his game with a show that easily melds top 40 tunes, real emotion and laughter at the lip’s edge of a grave.”

— Chicago Tribune

“★★★★★ … Barnes’s work feels utterly, surprisingly relevant in this inventive and kinetic staging … Red Noses is a major achievement …”

— Time Out Chicago

RECOMMENDED … an exhilarating, hilariously unsettling meditation on the orgiastic response to mass human die-off.”

— Chicago Reader

What a treat to watch this tight 23-person cast at complete ease with their challenging material, riffing off each other even as the tone constantly shifts from silly to dark to inspirational … It’s rare indeed to find a show packed with gallows humor that doesn’t trivialize death, yet leaves everyone smiling.”

— Chicago Free Press


Will Allan

as Frapper

Mikala Bierma

as Flagellant

Nicole Bloomsmith.

Nicole Bloomsmith*

as Player

Michael Dailey.

Michael Dailey*

as Grez

Paul Fagen.

Paul Fagen*

as Toulon

John Ferrick.

John Ferrick*

as Flote

Jessie Fisher

as Flagellant

Kyle Gibson*

as Player

Sarah Goeden.

Sarah Goeden*

as Bells

Kyle Hamman.

Kyle Hamman*

as Brodin

Shannon Hoag.

Shannon Hoag*

as Margarite

Anderson Lawfer*

as Le Grue

Chelsea Paice

as Clown

Michael Peters

as Rochfort

Michaela Petro.

Michaela Petro*

as Raven

Eric Pogrelis

as Boutros Brother

Michael E. Smith

as Pope

Niccole Thurman

as Player

Jeff Trainor

as Player

Andrew Trygstad

as Bembo

Rebekah Ward-Hays

as Raven

Creative Team

Peter Barnes

Matt Hawkins

Nic Dimond
Set Design

Mike Mroch
Ass't Set Design

Heather Gilbert
Light Design

Aly Renee Amidei*
Costume Design

Mike Przygoda
Music Director

Mikhail Fiksel
Sound Design

Clare Roche
Stage Manager

Cortney Hurley
Production Manager

* Strawdog Theatre ensemble member