March , 2019

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EVANSTON – Piccolo Theatre presents Private Eyes, a relationship comedy thriller by Steven Dietz, open Saturday, February 18 at 8p at The Piven Theatre Workshop.  In the wake of January’s inauguration, the entertainment industry is experiencing a decrease in revenue due in large part to the fear and confusion generated from the 2016 presidential election.  Sports, performing arts, and escapism organizations are struggling to meet cash flow because patrons are changing their spending habits.  Piccolo Theatre continues to provide affordable, shared experiences in comedy in the hope that its mission can serve as more than an outlet for escapism during the Election Year Effect.


Artistic Director Michael D. Graham explains, “Everyone was having the same problem. It was an election year. People like to hold onto their money and they like to be safe during times of uncertainty. Getting donations was more difficult and individual ticket sales were really down.  We are reaching out to our patrons, and not going to bombard them with politics.  There is a place for that in the theater and I want other companies to continue to do that.  But Piccolo is a place where people can have a bit of refuge from the world…something they can enjoy and set aside their day-to-day lives for awhile.”


Joshua D. Allard, Managing Director of Piccolo Theatre, Inc. shares the sentiment, “Entertainment allows us to seek to become the best parts of ourselves regardless of our fears; reminds us that we are human, and more capable than our fears would have us believe.  It is integral that we do not give up on anything that can bring joy, perspective or unity simply because it requires spending.  We launched our own version of half-priced tickets called Piccolo Cheap Tix, available through our Square Marketplace online store.  We would rather maximize our revenue with lower processing fees and reinvest the profit in our company and community.  We are doing our part to fight fear with laughter.  It’s all connected.”


Private Eyes fit the company’s interest in a contemporary script that was mysterious and funny, in which humor came out of a sense of surprise. “There’s a lot of misdirection. You think you’re watching one thing, but it turns out its something else,” Graham explained. “I’m also trying to move our focus back to the actors and the story. That’s always been the main goal of Piccolo – to really explore the characters and their relationships.”


Private Eyes previews February 16 & 17 at 8:00p; opens Saturday, February 18 at 8:00p; and runs through March 19, Fridays & Saturdays at 8:00p, and Sundays at 3p.  All Performances at Piven Theatre Workshop, 927 Noyes St, Evanston, IL 60201.  Tickets are only available through the Piccolo Theatre Box Office, (847) 424-0089, Tuesday-Friday 10a-5p.


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