After an early morning home invasion becomes a murder, Rosemary Ward finds herself in a battle of wits and cons with one man for survival, according to a news release from the Factory Theater.
Maybe that’s because its writer, former Joliet resident Manny Tamayo and the theater’s co-artistic director, likes 1970s "B movies, exploitation pictures and gritty noir," the release also said.
In fact, Tamayo always hoped for a career in cinema. Instead, he’s carved out a two-decade niche in community, and now Chicago, theater, which started when he attended Stephens College for Women for women in Columbia, Missouri, which is renowned for its theater and dance department, Tamayo said.
At the time, the college would offer scholarships to a limited amount of men, too, which was useful during performances, he said. Otherwise women had to play all the roles, he added.
Tamayo heard about the college while taking general education classes at Joliet Junior College and getting involved in the school’s theater department, the first time Tamayo had ever acted, he said.
He eventually auditioned for Stephens College for Women and was accepted.
“It changed my life,” Tamayo said.
After graduation, Tamayo moved to Chicago and became involved with "small theater groups with small budgets", he said. Tamayo joined the Factory Ensemble in 2002. By day, Tamayo is a transactional coordinator with Redfin.
“I do it because I love it,” Tamayo said of community theater. “I do it because I like to create; I like to work with creative people. The glory of seeing something you had a hand in creating and people coming from different places to see it and appreciate it makes it all worth it.”
To date, Tamayo has written “five or six” plays and has seen four produced. He’d have written more if they didn’t take so long to write, he said.
“It’s a good feeling to be able to create in that sort of way,” Tamayo said. “It’s pretty amazing to see people from all over the city coming and auditioning to read your lines, your dialogue, and when they get cast, to become part of the production because they trust you as a writer.”
Although Tamayo also used to act, direct and produce with the Factory Theater, he much prefers his role as co-artistic director.
“As an actor, you can’t step outside and see it It’s a weird place,” Tamayo said. “I find more pleasure in being able to look at it, judge it and then say, ‘This is where I can do better next time.’”