Chicago Premiere: Because They Have No Words

(EVANSTON, ILLINOIS) Piven Theatre proudly announces the Chicago Premiere of Because They Have No Words, written by Tim Maddock and Lotti Louise Pharriss, and directed by Emilie Beck.

  • Production opens on Monday, May 12th
  • Production runs from May 12th – June 15th
  • Tickets: $23-25 / group rates available for groups of 10 or more.
  • At the Piven Theatre, 927 Noyes Street in Evanston.
  • Ticket and show information at (847) 866-8049 or www.piventheatre.org

Because They Have No Words was nominated for the 2007 Ovation Awards in two catagories: World Premiere Play and Ensemble Performance.


This production focuses on the true story of Tim Maddock who, in response to Hurricane Katrina, traveled to New Orleans and threw himself into the chaos of animal rescue efforts in the wake of the storm. In September of 2005, Tim loaded his car with food, water, clothing and rescue gear. He said goodbye to his partner and his dog, and drove straight into the heart of one of the greatest natural disasters in our country’s history.

During his time in New Orleans, Tim witnessed great human tragedy and stupendous bureaucratic blunders. From the stranded animals somehow able to weather the storm, to the frantic, grief-stricken families searching for the pets they were forced to abandon, the flood of emotion was a constant reminder of the failures of a city, a state, and a nation to respond when their citizens needed them most.

The play, written by Tim Maddock and Lotti Louise Pharriss received its world-premiere in L.A. under the direction of Piven Theatre Workshop alum Emilie Beck. Piven Theatre is pleased to reunite the playwrights with their original director, Ms. Beck, for this Midwest Premiere and to announce that the play’s author and inspiration, Tim Maddock, will be starring in the production.

This riveting true story has been called “Raw, moving, and darkly humorous” by the L.A. Weekly and Backstage West proclaims it “Reminds us of what good theatre is capable of achieving.”

About The Piven Theatre:

For 35 years, the Piven Theatre Workshop has remained a nationally respected acting school and professional Equity theatre. Within recent years, Piven Theatre has received an After Dark Award for Outstanding Ensemble, several Joseph Jefferson Recommendations, a Jeff Award for Best New Adaptation, and a Jeff nomination for Best Original Score. Co-Founders Byrne & Joyce Piven have trained countless theatre artists such as John and Joan Cusack, Kate Walsh, Aidan Quinn, Lili Taylor and Jeremy Piven, to name only a few. Stagebill honored the Pivens with the designation “Chicago’s first family of acting.” The Pivens have been awarded the Evanston Arts Council Youth and Education Award, the Evanston Mayors Award for the Arts, Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Chicago Improv Festival, and the University of Chicago’s Glorious Gargoyle Award for lifetime contribution to the theatre. They were named 1996 Artists of the Year by the Chicago Tribune and were recipients of the Chicago Drama League’s 1998 Crystal Award. In 2000, they were awarded a Joseph Jefferson Lifetime Achievement Award. For more information, please visit www.piventheatre.org


Video of memorial for the murdered pets of St. Bernard Parish

Pam Leavy, the guardian angel for the animals of New Orleans since Katrina, made this video of last month's memorial service for the pets that were murdered at three schools in St. Bernard Parish as well as shot on the street murdered by St. Bernard Parish sheriff deputies.

The memorial service was conceived, planned and organized by Kelle Davis, a rescuer from Texas, who wanted to simply lay some flowers outside P.T. Beauregard School.

Because the memorial was planned for the day that the trial against the deputies was set to begin, other Katrina rescuers were in town, and Kelle's plan for a small, personal memorial soon took on a life of it's own as evident from the video.

People from all over the country who couldn't be there but who had been involved with Katrina rescues and reunions sent flowers and wreaths; some, like Kelle's rescue partner Barb, decided to hop on a plane from CA to Louisiana at the last minute. John Bozes drove many hours to be there - his dog Angel Girl was killed along with two of his family's other dogs.

One of the highlights of the video is Barb and Kelle's reunion with Mercedes, the dog belonging to Chris Acosta that they rescued weeks after the massacre. Kelle not only rescued Mercedes, but fostered her and then reunited her with her very grateful owner and was thrilled to see her and Chris again.

(Chris Acosta is featured in the film, An American Opera, for having rescued many elderly residents from St. Rita's Nursing Home; e saved the lives of many people before evacuating himself).


Thank you all for signing petition for Edna

More than 5000 signatures were collected and the petition was delivered to the Mayor of Philadelphia as well as to the Chairman & CEO of Verizon and the President of Verizon-Pennsylvania.

Click above for a complete update.