A World Premiere by Caitlin Parrish
Steppenwolf Theatre for Young Audiences

4 stars… I found myself moved to tears… This is one of those terrific SYA shows that adults should see — and bring your teenager, for this show is about finding your own voice in a time and place where those who should know better are talking about all the wrong things. By contrast, Parrish and Weiss are the real deal. – Chicago Tribune

4 stars… a confident, moving polemic..Much credit goes to Cygan and Weiss for managing to render Sophie—a normal girl in an impossible situation—with such complex vibrancy. ..The Burials is a play of powerful images and moments, with an ending that feels truly, exuberantly hopeful, and contains a message of empowerment that young audiences would do well to hear. – Time Out Chicago

3 and a half stars.. .Director Weiss takes her responsibilities seriously, but never panders to The Burials’ target audience. She’s not afraid of the humorous moments that make the more disturbing sequences bearable. Both Weiss and Parrish understand teenagers, what makes them tick, the violent world that even the most sheltered have to face every day… Smart, true and timely – Chicago Theatre Beat


A World Premiere by Jerre Dye
Strawdog Theatre Company

3 and a half stars…lovely and affecting… Director Erica Weiss has a sure handle on the rhythms of Dye's language, which goes from poetic reverie to acerbic one-liners. – Chicago Tribune

4 stars…Highly Recommended - Time Out Chicago

Highly Recommended… a stunning production, under the sensitive and driving direction of Erica Weiss, brings this script to life with fluidity and naturalism… Under Erica Weiss’ sensitive direction, her terrific actors become these five memorable, three-dimensional characters who weave a mesmerizing story about the reach and remoteness of love. – Chicago Theatre Review



The Gift Theatre Company
by John Steinbeck
adapted by Frank Galati

Critics' Pick and Jeff Recommended Revival

3.5 stairs… fascinating new production…director Erica Weiss has made the Joads an interracial family, and thus afforded Steinbeck's iconic story a sense of timelessness as well as specificity. It works quite spectacularly well…the real force of this excellent piece of direction lies in its collection of beautifully wrought two-person scenes… these small and usually painful conversations are the heart of a production with an auteur point of view and a palpable embrace of complexity. – Chicago Tribune
4 stars…It’s a great show…Walking out feeling depressed is how you know it’s working…Most productions of Galati’s stage adaptation—including the 1988 Steppenwolf original—are predominantly white affairs, but, this production is not. And it is all the better for it. – Time Out Chicago
…faithful yet progressive, director Erica Weiss’ decision to cast the Joads as a mixed-race family recontextualizes the racial makeup of the Dust Bowl migration (where ninety-five percent of those fleeing their desecrated homelands were white) while skillfully and subtly locating parallels between the Okies of the Great Depression, persecuted for a disaster outside of their control, and the ongoing targeting of people of color by the powers that be…New City
Brilliant director, filmmaker and Gift ensemble member Erica Weiss guides Galati’s sprawling drama, using the cramped confines of the intimate Gift Theatre to her best advantage… This is an incredible production of an 80-year-old story that couldn’t feel more timely. – Chicago Theatre Review
I never saw the Steppenwolf original, but I find it hard to imagine that it could be any better than Gift's rendition (directed by Erica Weiss) of the Frank Galati adaptation of Steinbeck's novel. – Dueling Critics
Director Erica Weiss masterfully directs a cast of 19 in the claustrophobic Gift Theatre space. Weiss makes an interesting decision in casting the Joads as a multiracial family, which adds even more texture to the story. – 3rd Coast Review





A World Premiere by Caitlin Parrish
Route 66 Theatre Company

 photo by Joe Mazza for Brave Lux

photo by Joe Mazza for Brave Lux

Nominated for 5 Equity Joseph Jefferson Awards including Best Director and Best Production

"One of 4 shows NOT TO MISS...Highly recommended...through old-fashioned narrative build and provocative contemporary characters, Weiss and Parrish manage to totally unsettle everyone in the'll be riveted to the action." -Chicago Tribune
"Highly Recommended...delivers genuine terror in a grounded family drama...bracingly unromantic and nerve-rending..." - Time Out Chicago
"Highly Recommended. Weiss has done a masterful job...Expertly guiding her four, sensitive direction, sharp focus and a natural pacing enhance the effortless work of her actors. Especially excellent are Ms. Weiss‘ transitions between scenes." - Chicago Theatre Review
"Highly sweet as it is scary—no easy feat in writing or staging. But director Erica Weiss has a Midas touch...These four completely committed performances should be preserved in amber. Seeing them is the next best thing." - Stage and Cinema
"The kind of work that gives me hope for theater’s future—it’s that good...Director Weiss has tremendous talent. Her transitions from scene to scene allowed us to stay deeply fixed on the action...All moments felt organically derived." - Epoch Times


A world premiere by Jerre Dye
Route 66 Theatre Company

 photo by Joe Mazza for Brave Lux

photo by Joe Mazza for Brave Lux

Nominated for 2 Jeff Awards! (Best Supporting Actress - Cecelia Wingate, and Best Original Music/Sound Design - Christopher Kriz)

"A magical journey...expertly directed." - New City Magazine
“In a Weiss production, the lives and voices inside characters' minds are just as active and powerful as the characters onstage, and it shows.” - Time Out Chicago
“It is a rare instance when theatre is so powerful it literally knocks the wind out of you…one of the best casts to set foot on a Chicago stage.” - Showbiz Chicago
“A memorable, thought-provoking production..Erica Weiss has directed her cast with loving care and a feel for Dye’s poetic dialogue. She’s staged the play much like the lyrical ebb and flow of his words…” - Chicago Theatre Review


The Gift Theatre Company

"...Compassionate and darkly comedic…Erica Weiss's deliberate and careful production…keeps the play's stakes on firm ground." - Time Out Chicago

"Surreal as it sounds, it is easily relatable...because of the intimate environment and grounded cast...Beyond the acting, the show succeeds due to marvelous tech work...Erica Weiss weaves these elements together to create a tight, engrossing package that is funny, powerful, and enjoyable...a wonderful theatrical experience." - Chicago Theatre Beat

"Complex, beguiling, and emotionally satisfying …Director Erica Weiss negotiates this difficult terrain with aplomb, unfolding Haidle's story gracefully, never revealing too much, and never allowing the dizzying array of flashbacks to become confusing or predictable.” -Chicago Reader

"Weiss… has shown chops at sculpting stories of loss and rebirth with an adroit mixture of wit and well-placed earnestness, moments of genuine intimacy and revelation…The script remains skeletal, but Weiss' cast finds the shreds of meat on its bones and tears into them with gutsy vulnerability.” Chicago Tribune


Acclaimed world premiere by Caitlin Parrish, co-created with Erica Weiss
Route 66 Theatre Company

 photo by Brandon Dahlquist

photo by Brandon Dahlquist

A Twist of Water received a Joseph Jefferson Award nomination for Best New Work, and an Award for Best Video/Projections Design

“A rare, Four Star play… a real achievement by director Erica Weiss and the Route 66 Theatre Company… goes further than any other play in recent memory in defining Chicago. One of the Best Shows of the year so far.” - Chicago Tribune
“Four stars…a compelling work.” - Time Out Chicago
"An intelligent tearjerker - Four stars!"- Time Out New York CRITICS' PICK
"Terrific! Undeniably moving"'- New York Post
"Four Stars" - The Chicago Tribune, Time Out Chicago, Time Out New York
"Best Box Office Hit of 2011" - Chicago Magazine


World Premiere by Danny Bernardo
Bailiwick Chicago

 photo by Eric Martin

photo by Eric Martin

Four Stars - Critic's Pick! - Time Out Chicago

"Under the well-paced direction of Erica Weiss, the talented ensemble gets the laughs and the concern from the audience as the stories unfold.  This family seems genuinely family!" - Chicago Now

"Director Erica Weiss has focused on universality, keeping things moving... She’s fashioned this new play into a compelling story of survival and Mahal, the Filipino word for love." - Centerstage Chicago

"Joseph Anthony Foronda...anchor[s] an actors' ensemble delivering articulate portrayals devoid of stereotype, rendering this a fable of redemption stretching beyond its superficial ethnic boundaries." - Windy City Times