Conflicting and Complicated Feelings

Bilal Dardai is an ensemble member with The Neo-Futurists, where he writes and performs regularly in their late-night mainstay Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind. He has also collaborated as a writer or actor with other companies in Chicago, most often with New Leaf Theatre, who produced his Jeff-nominated, world-premiere adaptation of The Man Who Was Thursday last year and will be premiering his new play Redeemers in November. Bilal can also be seen this winter performing in Backstage Theatre Company’s Chicago premiere of Memory.

LiveWire is proud to present Bilal’s short piece The Short Straw as part of our VisionFest3: Feast line-up. We asked Bilal some probing questions about his piece and here is what he had to say…

1. What is your favorite meal?
I’m a fan of Italian food in general, but I especially love a well-made gnocchi.

2. Which three people (real or not) would you most like to sit down with for a meal?
Dorothy Parker, Hunter S. Thompson, and Jon Stewart. I’d find that wildly entertaining.

3. When was the last time you were together with your best friend? What did you do?
Just a few weeks ago, for my sister’s wedding.

4. What is your earliest theatrical memory?
I played the troll in a first-grade classroom production of The Three Billy Goats Gruff. It would be the first of several times I would die onstage.

5. What inspired you to write this play?
A number of conflicting and complicated feelings involving my own younger brother.

Check out Bilal’s piece and more at VF3, which opened to a packed house last night. Reservations can be made by calling 312 533 4666 or by emailing The festival runs Thu-Sat through November 13. See you at the show! more at

More on Bilal at his blog, Creative Control