Ben Byer was born in Chicago in 1971. He was diagnosed with ALS in 2002. He studied film theory at The University of Paris, worked in Los Angeles for a producer of B-movies then returned to Chicago where he performed on many of that city's notable stages including Steppenwolf Theatre, Organic Theatre, Trap Door Theatre, European Repertory Company, Circle Theatre, Cafe Voltaire and the Staddschowburg Theatre in Amsterdam. Like many struggling actors he left for Los Angeles and found himself selling beef out of the back of a truck. This unsavory experience inspired him to write his first play, Take it Deep, which was produced with much success shortly before being diagnosed with this fatal neurodegenerative disease. Unable to write or perform, Ben turned his attention towards film directing, a vocation more suited to the disabled. In 2003 he co-founded ALS Film Fund with his sister Rebeccah Rush to produce original works of art, whether film, theatre, sculpture or other intended to create positive change for ALS sufferers around the world.
She's been called one of the most influential 18-year-olds in America. Don't know Tavi Gevinson? You're about to. The fashion blogger and editor-in-chief of the online magazine Rookie is now opening on Broadway, in the Steppenwolf production of "This Is Our Youth." Anthony Mason reports.
Eight times a week, heavyweights at the Steppenwolf Theatre clash over the question: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? On the Art Beat, Chicago Tonight looks at the art of war, as engaged by a husband and wife named George and Martha.
Sparks fly at Steppenwolf Theater. Hedy Weiss reviews Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and three more shows on the Chicago stage.
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