Chicago and Me

4 06 2014

Seven years ago, I moved to Chicago from Seattle.  I landed in a whirlwind of auditions and new opportunities and took on all sorts of fun and wonderful projects.  One of these projects was a ridiculous show called “Impress These Apes,” which, if you’re in Chicago and haven’t heard of it, you should totally check out.  Each week we had a new challenge (e.g., write a short song about yourself and sing it with a musical instrument, make a puppet and perform an act, choreograph and perform a dance number, etc…).  For the final week, our challenge was to do anything we wanted to do.  The only limit was that it had to be under ten minutes, I believe.

I wrote and performed this piece:

Now, here I am in 2014, about to get married and move away from Chicago, to Georgia.  I was getting sentimental (typical me) and I wrote a new conversation with Chicago.  I’m delighted to say that I’ll be performing this new piece with Beast Women THIS SATURDAY at 10:30 pm at the Den Theater (1333 N. Milwaukee).  The Beast Women Cabaret is a show that runs three or four times a year.  They are a powerhouse of female talent from all performing art disciplines (sbeastwomenlogo_thumbtand-up, poetry, music, dance, and more).  I wouldn’t have become the solo performer I am today without all of the opportunities to try stuff out and stretch myself through their auditions and performances throughout the years.  I performed my first “conversation with Chicago” in their show seven years ago and am absolutely honored that they’re giving me the space–one more time–to put up something new and personal on their stage.

I’d love to see you there.

Beast Women
Amanda performs a new, original solo piece at this cabaret
The Den Theater
1333 N. Milwaukee
$20 (cash only)
Saturday, June 7, 10:30 pm


Here’s the trailer for 185 Buddhas!

21 02 2013

185 Buddhas Walk into a Bar
Written and performed by Amanda Rountree, directed by Jen Ellison
Studio Be
3110 N. Sheffield Ave.
$12 in advance, $15 at the door Buy Tickets!
Thursdays in February and March at 8pm

185 Buddhas Walk into a Bar
The art of improvisation creates stories from thin air, making the unseen seen. For Amanda Rountree, this is not just an artform, but a way of life — one that includes unexpected twists and turns — leading, if not to mastery, to enlightenment.  Written and performed by Amanda Rountree, and directed by Jen Ellison, this show follows the artist on her path with all of the funny and touching moments along the way.

The Good, the Bad, and the Monkey: full video

14 11 2012

Born out of a silly idea of having very emotional moments with inanimate objects on stage, I wrote and performed my very first solo show, The Good, the Bad, and the Monkey in 2009.  I was fortunate enough to have the very talented, Jen Ellison direct me in this endeavor.  I previewed it on the west coast–in the supportive and friendly theaters that are like second-homes to me:  The Upfront in Bellingham, WA, the Brody in Portland, OR, and of course, Unexpected Productions in Seattle.  A few months later, I had a successful (read: I didn’t lose tons of money and people really seemed to like it) run in Chicago.  I took it to more cities after that (Philadelphia, Austin, TX, and my hometown, Louisville, KY), then back to Chicago for a couple more runs.

Here is that show in its entirety.  As an artist, posting a recording of a live performance is never completely easy or comfortable.  Watching it on a screen is a different experience than in the theater.  Yet, now as I begin working on the staging of my next one-woman show (directed again, by Ms. Ellison), posting a recording of my first one seems right.  It’s good to completely close a chapter before delving into the next.

The Good, The Bad, and The Monkey
Singlehood, Dating, and the Search for Something Real

Amanda Rountree takes a hilarious–and at times, heartbreaking–look at the cycles of relationships and the myths that we tell ourselves about finding a soul mate…..using sock monkeys.


Special thanks to Fuzzy Gerdes for filming the performance!

Shirley Mae Hicks

20 01 2011

If you haven’t yet checked out The Kates, you should!  Their twice monthly (and sometimes more often) shows are always fun.  Earlier this month, I performed with them in Lincoln Square.  Well, it wasn’t exactly me.  Ladies and gentlemen, Shirley Mae Hicks……