Salonathon @ UChicago: Chicago Performance Lab

Salonathon curates summer residencies for genre-defying performers through the University of Chicago’s Chicago Performance Lab.  In partnership with CPL and thanks to its generosity, Salonathon is able to offer resources and development of new work to selected artists.  Each summer culminates in a showcase of residents’ projects.

2018 Residents CAROLINE RAU, ISHI METKAR, and MICHELLE J. RODRIGUEZ will be sharing their hugely exciting works-in-progress in a showcase at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Performing Arts in September 2018.

Showcase Dates & Times:
FRIDAY, Sept 14 @ 7PM
SATURDAY, Sept 15 @ 7PM


Tickets are free, but RSVPs are highly encouraged as space is limited.

These projects are outgrowths of works and collaborations that formed at Salonathon, and we couldn’t be more excited to share them with you:

Caroline Kingsley A.K.A. Winnifred Coombe:
Project Name – The Violet Hour with Winnifred Coombe

Project Description – Spiritualist Suffragette Winnifred Coombe has transcended space and time to host The Violet Hour. While she has ministered to the souls of those who are able to find her through prayer and conjuring, she knows that America needs her now — and what better way to reach the people than through the boob-toob? Winnifred and her gaggle of sparkling Coombian correspondents will keep you grounded, centered, and glittering with hilarious Astro-forecasts, “Being-on-the-Street” interviews, guided VisionQuests, magical guests, and Spells for Success.

Artist Bio – Caroline Kingsley is an actor, writer, and comedienne named one of six “Best Queer Performance Artists in Chicago” by the REVIVAL residency.  She created the original character Winnifred Coombe at Salonathon, and her full-length interactive show La Lune De Femme: a Punk-Pagan Ritual For the Goddess with the Good Night Ladies  had a sold out run in Chicago and was selected for festivals around the country. She has worked with many wonderful establishments including Lookingglass Theater, Northlight Theater, Victory Gardens, 16th Street theater, and Collaboraction, Dog and Pony Theater Company, and Backroom Shakespeare. She wrote and performed the role of Hillary Clinton in Hill n’ Bill: A Billary Broadway Karaoke Spectacular with Alex Moffat (SNL cast member).  She is currently working with her sister on a full-length documentary and mini-series about Victoria Woodhull – the first woman to run for president in 1872:


Michelle J. Rodriguez A.K.A. MICHA:

Project Description – VISIONS/VISIONES is the latest exploration of Michelle J. Rodriguez’s music project MICHA. Michelle hopes to expand the reach of the music by creating and collaborating on visual and choreographic worlds that will culminate in visual content and choreography for the MICHA live stage show. The work will center on creating content for Latinx women and women of color, portraying them as part of the canon and as creating their own canon, in a context informed both by art history and by contemporary popular culture. In the realm of VISIONS, we envision our futures, we envision our current possible realities, we envision the greatest loves we have ever experienced, with others and within ourselves.

Artist Bio – MICHA is the project of vocalist, songwriter, musical theater composer and actor Michelle J. Rodriguez. Born in Orlando, Florida to Puerto Rican parents and raised in Kirkland, Washington and Lexington, Kentucky, Rodriguez sings and writes songs that move your heart and remind you of home in all its forms. With a voice that is “clear and compelling” and a sound that features “flourishes of bolero, bossa nova and even jazz” (Chicago Tribune), MICHA has captivated audiences at Joe’s Pub (NYC), the Hideout, Steppenwolf and Salonathon in Chicago with her stunning vulnerability onstage. Rodriguez starred in her original bluegrass/folk musical, East o’, West o’! at ANTFest at Ars Nova in New York City this past June, which earned her a mention in The New Yorker. MICHA will take you on a visionary journey through her musings on life, love, and homeland, all with powerful femme-centered vibes.


Ishi Metkar:
Project Name – See Us (Working Title)

Project Description – Salonathon has undoubtedly touched every person that has walked through the doors of Beauty Bar on Monday nights. Each person gets something completely different from the experience, yet the space fosters a sense of community, belonging, and safety that is seldom found in other places. Through the eyes of a newer member of the community, this documentary aims to find the essence of Salonathon and the thing that makes it a Mecca for everyone from the most marginalized to the mainstream. Through interviews, organized recordings of the event in its last few months, and iPhone videos from members of the community this documentary tries to capture the community, content, and cause behind Salonathon.

Artist Bio – As a recent college grad with an Economics degree who moved to Chicago with a romanticized view of the “real” world, the reality of working in Corporate America soon wore me down. Being an immigrant who moved from Mumbai to New York at the age of 7, I was used to finding my own way but it wasn’t until that first night, when I walked through those doors, let Dan-O stamp my wrist and heard the roar of “underground, emerging, art” that I felt at home. I was inspired to capture this feeling on film. I have worked on short music videos, short films for film classes at WashU and another feature length documentary that is currently in the later stages of post-production. In the future, I want to work in film strategy and eventually own my own film studio that produces documentary films.


2017 Salonathon Summer Residents at Chicago Performance Lab:

AJ Ware: UNTITLED (Image not found)
Ivan Resendiz: The Undocumented Art
Maggie Kubley & Matthew Sherbach: Maggie Kubley and Matthew Sherbach in Rep

2016 Salonathon Summer Residents at Chicago Performance Lab:

Aasia Bullock + Dewayne Perkins: The Starving Artist
Bea Cordelia: The Cosmic Body
Matt Leyes, aka Judy Rosenblatt: TimeLife Video Presents a Limited Edition Performance of “Pretty Lady; The Life and Times of Judy Rosenblatt”

2015 Salonathon Summer Residents at Chicago Performance Lab:

Alexa GRÆ: The Diva in Seven Experiments
Alex Grelle: Shelley Duvall’s Women Under the Influence Theatre
Fee Lion + Kendra Miller: Carbon Copy

2014 Salonathon Summer Residents at Chicago Performance Lab:

Erin Kilmurray +The Salts
Dav Yendler