News & Events

Concordia-Chicago production of "The Benefit Committee" opens Feb. 15


The Collective at Concordia University Chicago presents “The Benefit Committee,” a play by Aline Lathrop. The production, directed by Stephanie Stroud, will run Feb. 15, 16, 22 and 23 at 7:30 p.m., and Feb. 17 and 24 at 3 p.m. at the Madison Street Theatre, 1010 Madison St., Oak Park, IL.

Monday morning in the cafeteria of an elite private school, seven places are set for six women to fold 1,000 origami butterflies, and to plan how they will meet their $250,000 goal for an organic kitchen garden and butterfly conservatory. Driven by fierce maternal love, the competition is as cut-throat as in the board rooms most of them have left behind. The absence of their seventh member, and her tale of despair, hangs heavily in this story of love, loss and the dark side of the culture of achievement.

Playwright Aline Lathrop recently enjoyed the critically acclaimed and Jeff-nominated world premiere of her play, “The Hero’s Wife,” at 16th Street Theater. Lathrop’s plays have been produced or developed at numerous theaters in Chicago and across the country. Her Jeff-recommended play, “Merchild,” was produced by 16th Street Theater, where she was also the Playwright in Residence in 2015. “Christmas at the Staples Center” was commissioned and produced by Step Up Productions. “Bordello” (a Susan Smith Blackburn Prize nominee) received its world premiere at Chicago Dramatists, as did “Feast” (one of the "Top 5 Best New Plays," New City Magazine; First Prize, New Plays Festival, Centre Stage - South Carolina). “Toyota Tercel” and “Purity Ball” received workshop productions with Artistic Home’s Cut to the Chase Series.

Director Stephanie Stroud is an assistant professor of theater at Concordia University Chicago and the artistic director of The Collective. Stroud has worked as a director and actor with Chicago companies including Lookingglass, Profiles, Victory Gardens, Pegasus Players, Mortar Theatre, Second City, Chicago Dramatists and Erasing the Distance. She holds a B.A. in Theatre from the University of Washington and an MFA in Theatre from Penn State University.

General admission tickets to “The Benefit Committee” are $15, with discounts available for students, seniors and CUC alumni. Purchase tickets online at or with cash at the box office an hour before show time.