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About the Sweat Girls

Sweat Girls in a frame

It all began in a living room, with a bounty of salty snack foods, and eight Chicago actresses, trading salty stories. The combination of high spirits, female camaraderie and theatrical daring led to a lot of soul baring. But if there was a level of "too much information," no one cringed and ran from the room. Instead we brought out our notebooks, knowing that the juiciest stuff had to be committed to paper ... and then to the stage.

The result of that evening was the show I'm Sweating Under My Breasts. Debuting at the Annoyance Theatre in 1993, I'm Sweating... officially launched us as a collective of writer-performers and was so enthusiastically received that it ran for eight months. When a reviewer finally attended a performance late in the run he dubbed us "one of the small gems in Chicago entertainment circles."

Over the next few years as we developed a series of monologue shows in our own unique style, our burgeoning fan base followed us from dank basement venues to art galleries, and eventually to the gorgeous stage of the Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier. For thirteen years, our loyal devotees have kept coming back, bringing friends and parents (and these days their teenagers!) to see our signature shows like The MotherLode, Sweat Dreams, and Cirque du Sweat, as well as our other hits.

Sweat Girls in a frame

At home in Chicago, and on tour in San Francisco and New York, our work has garnered coast-to-coast critical acclaim. Some of our favorite stories from a decade of performance can be heard on our spoken word CD, Sweat Girls: Almost Live!

To speak with honesty, authenticity and humor about the human condition, as we've experienced it — that's our collective Sweat Girls goal. While our work is autobiographical and rooted in the monologue form, we stretch solo performance beyond its traditional structure by collaborating with other artists — filmmakers, musicians, choreographers, and visual artists — in order to give our audiences a multitude of ways to connect with each story. Whatever form each Sweat Girl production takes, we try never to lose what's essential to our style — what Chicago's New City called our "emotional power, heartfelt comedy and strong bonding with the audience."

Production History

Mona Lisa poster

2016: The Sweat Girls: DIY
Fillet of Solo Festival at Lifeline Theatre, Chicago

2015: The Sweat Girls Are: Tribal Elders
Fillet of Solo Festival at Lifeline Theatre, Chicago

2014: The Sweat Girls Are ... 21 and Finally Legal!
Heartland Studio Theatre, Chicago

2014: Sweat Girls Size Up the New Normal
Fillet of Solo Festival at Lifeline Theatre, Chicago

2013: SW(EAT) THIS!
Acorn Theater, Michigan

2013: The Year of the Sweater!
Fillet of Solo Festival at Lifeline Theatre and Heartland Studio, Chicago • Acorn Theater, Michigan

2012: Super Sweat
Acorn Theater, Michigan

2011: Holy Sweat!
Fillet of Solo Festival at Lifeline Theatre, Chicago • Acorn Theater, Michigan

2010: The Sweat Girls Are a Ga Ga! ... agog, aghast, and goin' gray about it.
Fillet of Solo Festival at Lifeline and Live Bait, Chicago • Acorn Theater, Michigan

2010: Grown Up
Fillet of Solo Festival at Lifeline and Live Bait, Chicago

2010: Man Up
Fillet of Solo Festival at Lifeline and Live Bait, Chicago

2009: The Me, Mom, and Dad Show!
16th Street Theater, Berwyn, Illinois (hosted by Goodman Theater Festival "Taking the Stage: A Celebration of Women Making Theater")

2008: Sweatilicious
Fillet of Solo Festival at Live Bait, Chicago • Acorn Theatre, Michigan • G Boutique, Chicago

2007: Sweatily Ever After
Acorn Theatre, Michigan • Raven Theatre, Chicago

2007: Sweat Etiquette
Fillet of Solo Festival at Live Bait, Chicago • Around the Coyote Fall Arts Festival, Chicago

2006:
The Sweat Girls Are: Coiffed & Dangerous

Fillet of Solo Festival at Live Bait, Chicago • Acorn Theatre, Michigan • Around the Coyote Fall Arts Festival, Chicago

2006: The MotherLode
Acorn Theatre, Michigan

2005: Sweat Girls: The Life of the Party
Fillet of Solo Festival at Live Bait, Chicago • Acorn Theatre, Michigan • Around the Coyote Fall Arts Festival, Chicago

2004: Übersweat
Acorn Theatre, Michigan • Around the Coyote Fall Arts Festival, Chicago

2003: Cirque du Sweat
National Pastime Theatre, Chicago • Around the Coyote Fall Arts Festival, Chicago

2002: The MotherLode
PickWick Theatre, Chicago

2001: The MotherLode
The Arts Series, Naperville

2000: The MotherLode
Chicago Shakespeare Studio Theatre on Navy Pier, Chicago • Working Women's Festival, San Francisco

2000: All This and the Sugar Dish Too!
Jackos, Chicago

1999: Sweat Girl Swing
Swedish American Museum, Chicago

Sweat Dreams poster

1999: The MotherLode
Lifeline Theatre, Chicago

1998: Sweats in NYC
The New York International Fringe Festival

1998: Sweat Retro
Magpie Studio, Oak Park

1997: The Sweat Girls Are: Pigs at the Trough of Attention
Cafe Ashie, Chicago

1996: The Sweats Go West
Working Women's Festival, San Francisco

1995: I Just Ooops Until I Wow!
Lifeline Theatre, Chicago

1994: Sweat Dreams
Organic Greenhouse, Chicago

1993: I'm Sweating Under My Breasts
Annoyance Theatre • Chicago Cafe Voltaire Theatre, Chicago

***

Credits: Posters for I'm Sweating Under My Breasts and Sweat Dreams designed by Martie Sanders.



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