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Upton Sinclair's Hell

The Accidental Shakespeare Theatre Company presents Hell, a Verse Drama and PhotoPlay (1924), a fiery, humorous staged reading directed by Chris Aruffo. This rarely seen verse play by Upton Sinclair will be performed Saturday at 2 p.m. at the McKaw Theater, 1439 W. Jarvis Avenue.

After exposing the evils of the meat-packing industry in his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Jungle, Sinclair set his sights on militarism, jingoism, and capitalism itself.


In Hell, mischievous devils and fanciful angels battle for the souls on Earth. Mammon, Satan's business manager, sends his efficiency demons, behaving as rich businessmen, leading statesmen, diplomats, and generals to perpetuate the evils of capitalism. While the forces of Hell are taking over the Earth, the angels, in the guise of pacifists, socialists and the Wobblies (Industrial Workers of the World) resolve to take over Hell!

Nine actors will play multiple roles in this surprisingly, whimsical performance, complete with video projection, sound and lighting design.

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at or Hot Tix.


Chris Aruffo has performed in and directed more than 60 plays in the U.S., the UK and Canada. Currently based in Chicago, Chris has taught acting classes and workshops for more than 13 years, and is the author of A Rational Guide to Verse: Scansion Made Simple, a guide to Shakespearean language.

He is a dialect coach and voiceover artist, and has recorded thirteen volumes of the Edgar Allan Poe Audiobook Collection.

He earned his Master of Fine Arts in Acting Performance from the University of Florida and his Ph.D. from McMaster University.

Chris's TED talk explains why people talk with an accent:


Cast members include Kaelea Rovinsky. Taylor Galloway, Tay Barton, Jake Degler, Christopher Sylvie, Heather Branham Green, Jared McDaris, Linsey Summers and Julia Kessler.


The creative team members are Benjamin Dionysus (lighting and projections), Sherry Legare (producer) and Angeli Primlani (artistic director).


Comments welcome.


Posted on October 4, 2016

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BOOKS - Foxconned.


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