An origin story launches a character’s journey. It defines who they are, explains why they do the things they do, and informs how they go about making a difference.

On the cusp of our 20th Anniversary, Babes With Blades Theatre Company reflects on our own origins: a group of artists determined to expand the canon of women’s roles and challenge audience expectations through the use of stage combat in our stories. And today, we stand proudly as a vital, essential company for play development in Chicago.

This season, in celebration, we’ll share two origin stories with our fantastic fanbase and new friends alike. We’ll present the world premiere of our first commissioned piece, created to speak directly to our mission; we’ll also welcome home a play that began in our Fighting Words program, went on to full production in Minnesota, and is now receiving its Chicago premiere.

This city thrives on innovation, challenge, and commitment, and Chicago theater is no small part of that identity. Babes With Blades Theatre Company is thrilled to originate from, echo, and shape the Chicago spirit, as we take a look back… and soldier on.

Current Season (2017-18)


FALL 2017: 
The Invisible Scarlet O’Neil by Barbara Lhota*
September-October at The Factory Theater (1623 W. Howard St.)

Director: Leigh Barrett*
Violence Design: Libby Beyreis*
A world premiere based on Russell Stamm’s syndicated 1940s comic!
Meet Scarlet O’Neil, a spirited young woman with a secret superpower.

WINTER 2018:
The Good Fight by Anne Bertram

January-February at City Lit Theater (1020 W. Bryn Mawr Ave.)

Director: Elizabeth Lovelady
Violence Design: Gaby Labotka
Developed as Deeds Not Words via Fighting Words 2011!
A Chicago premiere illuminating a remarkable chapter in the tale of the struggle for women’s suffrage: the English suffragettes who learned jiujitsu to defend their leader.

SPRING 2018:
Fighting Words Festival 2018
May 19-20 at The Strawdog Theatre (1802 W Berenice Ave.)

Featuring public readings of the Fighting Words 2017-18 selections:
The Lady Demands Satisfaction* – Arthur M. Jolly
The Witches of Birnam – Sara Murdoch
Women of 4G – Amy Tofte
* the winner of Joining Sword & Pen 2017-18

* denotes BWBTC Ensemble Member