The West Side Show Room to present The Chalk Boy

By Anne E. O’KeefeChalkboycastwalking
From Rockford Area Arts Council

The West Side Show Room will be presenting its second Joshua Conkel play, “The Chalk Boy.” Another Conkel play, “Milk Milk Lemonade” was an audience favorite last year. “Joshua Conkel’s plays vacillate wildly between ridiculous cartoon comedy and the tragic truths of the human condition,” said Mike Werckle, Director and Founder of WSSR. “He is particularly adept at laying bare the realities of gender politics and sexual identity, which are currently at the forefront on the national conversation,” Werckle went on to say.

The West Side Show Room has established a reputation for presenting confrontational and thought-provoking plays with high entertainment value, for this reason “The Chalk Boy” is a great choice that will resonate with people who understand the struggles of raising young women in a male dominated society. Beneath its boring facade there is more going on in the tiny town of Clear Creek than the opening of the new Taco Bell. Four of the town’s local girls are here to take you on a tour of their funny, yet brutal reality. They struggle with faith, friendship, sex, the occult, algebra and the disappearance of… The Chalk Boy. This is a deathly black comedy that punches as hard as your high school bully. Conkel is currently turning “The Chalk Boy” into a graphic novel. Audiences can expect additional Conkel work to be brought to stage by the WSSR.

This outstanding cast includes; Maya Hopkins as Penny Lauder, Kiera Bouton as Breanna Stark, Mary Bridgeland as Laren Radley, Stephanie Iverson as Trisha Sorenson. The show is directed by Mike Werckle, who has been blown away by the process and dedication of these fine actors.

The West Side Show Room will have Friday performances on July 31 and August 7 and Saturday performances on August 1 and 8 at 8 p.m. at the Nordlof Center – Basement Theater. Tickets are just $15 online at or $20 at the door. If you would like to get involved or donate you may contact WSSR at For the latest WSSR news and special offers please “like” them on Facebook

The West Side Show Room is also co-producing, with the Rockford Area Arts Council, the Rockford New Play Festival, which will present six original 10-minute plays chosen from 520. Many thanks to the dedicated group of volunteers who did the first read through of 520 plays. Based on scores, the 27 finalists were then read by Nathan Davis who had the daunting task of choosing the six plays to be performed. Davis is Lorraine Hansberry Award recipient and is currently a Lila Acheson Wallace Fellow at Juilliard and a 2050 Fellow at New York Theatre Workshop. Local actors will read the works in the Readers Theater format at CNVR, 317 W. Jefferson, Thursday, August 20 at 7 p.m. Last year this event was standing room only and we hope to have a great crowd again this year!

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