written by Company Ensemble Member Janey Bell

directed by Ben Kaye



by Janey Bell


I have no idea what I'm doing. Yeah, sure, we all pretend like we know what to do next, what to do with our lives, what to say to who and when to say it. But it's a false truth. None of us knows what we're doing. 

Some people claim to know, telling us that we need to change X, Y, or Z to make our lives into the sitcom perfect realities we're told is the correct way of living. But how do they know for sure? Who told them the right way? No one. They're guessing, same as the rest of us. 

So here's a story about doing things the wrong way. Bree and Ana and Danny and Tim are all mistakes, people who do the wrong thing at the wrong time with the wrong crowd. But despite everything that happens to them, they still try, they still move forward. We all try so hard to control our lives but what would happen if we focused more on reacting positively to adversity instead of getting depressed or anxious or escaping through our vices? What if we laughed instead?

Every fall, every mistake, every error is the opportunity to laugh. Some have a hard time chuckling when things get tough or when people and circumstances show up out of the blue. Like anything, it takes practice. So why not start now? Let's all practice giggling at our anxieties, let's chortle through problems of our friends, and cackle at the thought of starting over again. Let's embrace the chaos because what's funnier than people messing up? 

Director’s Note

by Ben Kaye


Everyone you know is a fuck-up.

I know I am, at least. Every day I worry about the repercussions of my decisions, or if my decisions are the right decisions, or if I should even make decisions in the first place. That feeling you get in your gut when someone tells you you messed up, you hate that feeling, don’t you? It sticks with you and gnaws at your brain and you want to do everything in your power to never get that feeling ever again.

But there’s a better way to handle this. Rather than just not making decisions at all, the real way to deal with this, the human way, is to take what we learn from our screw-ups and move forward and grow and learn how to be better people. Better collaborators. Better friends. And if no one is there to tell you your decision was wrong, then you’ll just keep making wrong decisions unchecked. You’ll think these wrong decisions are, in fact, right ones. Some people make their living by making wrong decisions. Some people run entire countries making wrong decisions. And they’ve been told they’re right for so long that to say otherwise is forever a doomed path. You don’t want to end up like that, do you?

So let’s all celebrate our mutual fuck-up-ery. That’s what Ana and Bree do. And what Danny learns to do. And what Tim ultimately struggles with doing. These characters all make mistakes, they all fuck up, and whether they learn from these mistakes, that’s where the comedy and the heart and the truth of this play comes from. We are all imperfect and we all mess up and we’ve all made terrible, garbage choices along this path of life that has lead to this point where you’re reading this director’s note. But it’s where we admit this mistakes, and how we learn from them, that’s where our true selves can really shine.

Or maybe I just fucked up writing this whole note. And I’ll try to learn from that too.



Ben Kaye (Director)

Ben is a freelance director, performer, composer, and all-around theatre maker based in Chicago. He has previously directed for Nothing Without a Company's Crash Landing 24-Hour Play Festival. Favorite projects include work with The New Colony, The Hypocrites, Mercy Street Theatre Company, Porchlight Music Theatre, and GreatWorks Theatre Company, as well as many past performances at Salonathon. Ben also works as the Audience Services Manager at Emerald City Theatre. See more at Much love to D.

Janey Bell (Playwright)

Janey is a Chicago writer native to Washington state who specializes in speculative fiction and playwriting. She earned her degree in Fiction Writing and Playwriting from Columbia College Chicago in 2016, and is a 2011 California Arts Scholar. She recently placed 3rd in the Writers of the Future Contest. Her work can also be found in the upcoming edition of the literary magazine "Hair Trigger." She has two cats.

Anna Rose Ii-Epstein (Producer)

Anna is a co-founder and the co-artistic Director of Nothing Without a Company. Anna Rose is a native of Houston, Texas but has lived in Chicago for over 14 years. She has performed, directed, assistant directed, assistant taught, and produced over 35 new plays with Nothing Without a Company and various other companies including Steppenwolf Theatre, Victory Gardens Theatre, The Goodman Theatre, Mary Archie Theatre, The Inconvenience, Redmoon Theater, Nothing Special Productions, About Face Theater, Pride Films and Plays, Silent Theatre Company, Windy City Performing Arts, and The Center on Halsted. Her new production company, BearCat Productions, features work written by her wife Hannah. Check out their short queer film, The Box, on their youtube channel. Anna Rose also produced and was featured in Sweet, created for the 48 Hour Film Project Chicago in 2015, and won Best Film Runner Up, Best Directing, and Audience Award Group B Runner Up. She was a featured extra in the queer film Signature Move, which recently had an extended run at The Music Box and is heading to NY. Read more about her at

Ray Goldberg (Production Manager)

Ray is a Chicago-born-and-raised freelance producer and writer. She graduated from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor with a bachelor's degree in Screen Arts and Cultures, sub-concentrating in Screenwriting. She is currently a staff writer for the award-winning podcast "PleasureTown", and a Media Educator at Facets Multimedia. Ray has also worked with the filmmaking nonprofit Full Spectrum Features, where she served as Production Coordinator on their films The Orange Story and Signature Move.

Devonte Washingon (Stage Manager/Sound Designer)

Devonte is grateful to join Nothing Without A Company for the first time. He has worked with Shattered Globe Theater, MPAACT, Teatro Vista, Congo Square, Neapolitans (in association with the Greenhouse), See Every Monster Inc.,Theater Wit, Otherworld Theater, Idle Muse Theater, Pegasus Theater, The Runaways Lab with Pop Magic Productions. and Aurora Theater Works, and stands as Resident Stage Manager at Otherworld Theater. He also has worked many events and festivals around the city.

Christina Casano (Assistant Director)

Christina is a theatre artist based in Chicago, where she has stage managed, acted, and directed. She earned a BA in Theatre from Miami University (Ohio) and completed the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey's Summer Professional Training Program. Selected works include Circle House, The Epic of Gilgamesh, etc., and Belladonna Luna Sonata (The Plagiarists), Milk Like Sugar (The Yard+Raven Theatre), Twelfth Night (Crowded Bookshelf Dramatics), Falling and Owners (Interrobang Theatre Project), Macbeth and Angels in America (Miami University). She is a company member with The Plagiarists where she serves as the Resident Stage Manager.

Jaq Seifert (Fight Choreographer)

Jaq is excited to be working with Nothing Without a Company again, this time as Fight Director. Previous Nothing Without a Company shows include [Trans]formation where they were a part of the pre-show series. Previous Chicago fight directing credits include work at Porchlight Music Theatre, Kokandy Productions, Theater Wit, Teatro Vista, Victory Gardens, and Milwaukee Repertory Theatre. Jaq is a Certified Teacher and Certified Theatrical Firearms Instructor with The Society of American Fight Directors, a Certified Movement Analyst in Laban Movement Analysis and Bartenieff Fundamentals, and is the producer of The Buttcracker: A Nutcracker Burlesque. More at

Marissa Rutledge (Production Designer)

Marissa has been working with nonprofit Chicago theatre for a little over a decade since graduating from the University of Rhode Island with her BFA in Scenic Design in 2005. She specializes in props design, scenic dressing and gory special effects for live theatre. She is thrilled to be included as a company ensemble member! You have seen Marissa's work in past Nothing Without a Company productions such as: Zombies Attack Chicago!, Futurepast, The Big Bad Spooktacular, Punk Punk, and The Kid Thing.

Andy Lynn (Lighting Designer)

Andy is a freeform creative; pushing for the exhumation of personal stories that deconstruct walls in order to forge worlds of understanding and discovery. Working with a diverse constellation of artists, creators, makers, doers and be-ers is pertinent to his work, constantly pushing him to expand his thinking and become a better human. Mr. Lynn's recent theatrical credits include Production Manager for Nothing Without a Company's The Kid Thing, Underscore Theatre's The Rage: Carrie 2 (An Unauthorized Musical Parody), as well as the immersive solo performances of Meghan Gogerty's Housebroken, Nicole Gurgel-Seefeldt's 900 Gallons, and Dominique.C.Hill's Rupturing Silence. He is currently Production Manager of Onye Ozuzu's Project Tool. 

Connor Sale (Assistant Lighting Designer)

Connor is an Arizona native and a freshman at Columbia College Chicago where he is studying Theatre Design with a concentration in Lighting Design. He is incredibly interested in the way that light interacts with our everyday lives and especially how it affects performance-based art. Recent credits span from designing A Midsummer Night's Dream at his previous school, working as the L2 for an EDM Music Festival in Phoenix, and working as the Production Assistant on Carrie 2: The Rage (An Unauthorized Musical Parody). He would like to thank Nothing Without a Company and Andy Lynn for helping him find his footing in the Chicago theatre scene.

Olivia Nicole (Costume Designer)

Olivia is a costume designer and stylist. They've worked as a designer and model at Nothing Without a Company's Express Yourself Gala & Fashion Show as well as as a costume designer for productions of Ragtime, The Big Bad Musical, and Coffee House Theater, among others. A dedicated activist and creative, Olivia is passionate about using theatre to connect to communities and give a platform to marginalized voice and narratives.

Charlotte Drover (Choreographer) 

Charlotte is from New Hampshire, but has directed and choreographed in Chicago since 2013 after graduating from Drew University with a BA in Theatre Arts. Directing credits include: Deathscribe X (WildClaw Theatre), Venus in Fur (Circle Theatre), Van Gogh: After Dark (Art Institute Chicago), Associate Director on Octagon (Jackalope Theatre), and choreography for The After (Collaboraction), Jerusalem (Profiles Theatre), and the Chicago Home Theatre Festival - Garfield Park.




Modaff, SuperKnova, Menacero, Mother Nature, The Cell Phones



Justin Ostergaard, Karen Ami, Oona D'mello, Lydia Shepard, Mina Gaber



The Chicago Mosaic School,
The Theatre School at DePaul University, Berger Park Cultural Center



She100, Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, Greater Houston Arts, Hawaii Community Foundation, Richard H. Driehaus Foundation

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