June 13th, 2008 - June 22nd, 2009

Bloody Bess, originally done by Chicago’s own Organic Theatre, is a swashbuckling thriller that tells the story of Elizabeth Presberty, daughter to the governor of the island of Tobago. After being taken prisoner by the pirate vessel The God’s Love, she returns home to face betrayal and the murder of those she loves. Elizabeth sheds her name and societal status to become Bloody Bess, a ruthless pirate captain who seeks to exact her revenge on those who have done her wrong.



“It’s ‘Kill Bill’ on the high seas, and it’s a blast … director Geoff Coates … and his gang of scurvy knaves and knavettes kick up a storm in the Storefront space—and provide an exciting alternative to politer (and pricier) downtown fare . . . for those who prefer their summer action practically in their laps, it’s hard to imagine a more satisfying night of theater.”

- Chicago Tribune

“In BackStage Theatre’s sprightly revival, director Coates’ background as a fight choreographer comes in handy with the nearly nonstop action sequences.”

- Zac Thompson, Time Out Chicago (Read the full review)

“Sometimes playful and sometimes gripping, Bloody Bess combines brains with brawn—it’s exciting enough to make even the most jaded viewer go ‘Arrrr!’ . . . Eva Swan buries herself completely in Bess’s unquenchable rage, hatred, and lust for revenge …”

- Albert Williams, Chicago Reader (Read the full review)

“BackStage has proven itself one of the storefront scene’s more reliably eclectic producers . . . a standard-bearer for quality and innovation on a budget.”

- Kris Vire, Time Out Chicago (Read the full review)

Cast & Crew

Heath Hays

Scenic Designer

Ron Kuzava

Captain Von Anders

Lindsey Miller

Stage Manager

Jay Burkhart - Ensemble

Geoff Coates - Director/Co-Violence Director

Scott Graham - Reynard Eaton

Tom Haigh - Composer

Adam Hinkle - Cullen

Gregory Isaac - Captain Levoisseur

Warren Phynix Johnson - N'Gali

Jonathan Kurtycz - Ensemble

Matthias Malhoff - The Greek

Ed Nishioka - Ensemble

Miles Polaski - Sound Designer

Stephanie Repin - Annie Bailey

Matt Roth - Lighting Designer

David Skvarla - Co-Violence Director/Calico Jack Rackham

Eva Swan - Bloody Bess

Ross Travis - Ensemble

Chris Walsh - Oxenham

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