Vexing Theater Palatine Company Won't Shy Away from Challenging Playwrights

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), April 18, 2008 | Go to article overview

Vexing Theater Palatine Company Won't Shy Away from Challenging Playwrights


Byline: Jack Helbig Contributing writer

Lady Windermere's Fan"

When: tonight through April 27.

Where: Elgin Art Showcase, 164 Division St., eighth floor, Elgin

Tickets: at the door or visit vextheatre.org/windermere.html.

When you ask Rich Geiger, artistic director of Vex Theater, when he began working in theater, the co-founder of Palatine's newest (and only) non-Equity theater company will answer he has been "around the fringes of theater" his whole life.

His older brother, Kevin Geiger, was a prominent lighting designer in the off-Loop theater scene in the 1990s.

"I used to help him a lot," Geiger says, "He worked at Famous Door, Mary-Arrchie Theater Company. We did some Chicago Park District stuff. Then he became facilities manager at Harper College and I would help him set up there."

Geiger's brother died in 2001, but Geiger's interest in theater remained. But by then the native Chicagoan had moved out to Palatine "with the little woman." Eager to continue working in theater he looked around to find one where he could ply his trade.

"There are a lot of amateur theaters out here," Geiger said, "but they tend to do more musicals. Or they tend to do popular comedies. Not many of them do have Chicago-style theaters. Not many have small, intimate theaters. And not a lot of them do the kind of intimate theater, personal theater, we used to do at the Mary- Arrchie or Famous Door."

So Geiger decided to form a little theater group, Chicago style, along with Cathleen Ann and Michael Rios. They called it Vex Theatre because they liked the name. …

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