Kelly Haramis returns to the stage in September with a new one-woman show at the Chicago Fringe Festival. Meet her, and check out some ‘Hard-Core CORN’.
Meet Chicago Greek Writer Kelly Haramis
Writer Kelly Haramis always had a passion for the theater. However, she took a roundabout way to the stage. Born in Pennsylvania and raised in Central Florida, she traces her Greek roots to the island of Lemnos. She has a sister and brother and, and lived in various places before settling in Chicago.
Kelly earned a degree from Penn State, where she majored in Journalism and minored in Theater Arts and Women’s Studies. That’s also where she met her husband, novelist Davis Schniederman. They moved to Chicago when he accepted a position as an English professor at Lake Forest College. Soonafter, she went to work for the Chicago Tribune, editing and writing about various topics including parenting and fashion. During this time, Kelly experienced issues with infertility, and she and Davis began the adoption process. When her Tribune editor learned the news, he asked her to share her journey with readers. During the 2-year process, Kelly revealed her story, and readers shared their own stories, offered support, and cheered her on.
Within weeks of being matched with a child, Kelly discovered she was pregnant. In January 2007, the couple traveled to China to pick up daughter Athena. Just 6 months later, Kallista was born. This blessing of “double happiness” set her on a path back to the stage.
Sharing her story
In 2008, Kelly stopped working at the Tribune. After some time at home with her children, she began freelancing, and contemplating her future. The time had come to make a change, and finally pursue that passion for theater. Kelly graduated from the Second City Conservatory Program, and joined several independent improv groups.
In a class at Improv Olympics, students were asked to share personal stories. Kelly spoke about fertility and adoption, and her teacher encouraged her to do more. She recalled that pivotal moment.
“The teacher said, ‘That’s a one-woman show. You should write it.’ So I did, and a classmate produced it.”
In 2012, Kelly debuted her 1st one-woman show, ‘Double Happiness: A Tale of Love, Loss, and One Forever Family‘ at Studio Bee in Chicago. The show, directed by David Knoell, a Chicago-based theater artist, not only spoke of Kelly’s roller coaster ride to motherhood, but also touched on the loss of her mother, who died suddenly during the adoption process. Kelly took the audience on that roller coaster, evoking tears and laughter along the way. She also performed “Double Happiness” at the Chicago Fringe Festival in 2015, and in other cities, including New York, Orlando, and Montreal.
Kelly Haramis’ new one-woman show pokes fun at her intolerance to corn.
Going ‘Hard-Corn CORN’
About 5 years ago, while investigating her daughter’s reaction to artificial flavors, a nutritionist asked to review Kelly’s blood work. The testing revealed an intolerance to corn.
“I didn’t realize how it affected me until I stopped consuming it. Corn is in everything — often in the form of high fructose corn syrup. It’s not as easy as you think it is to eliminate it from your diet. But it completely changed my life.”
It changed her life so much, and since she always shares personal stories, she decided to write a show about it. Kelly began writing the show in 2014, and to gauge reaction, that year, she tested 20 minutes at the Chicago Women’s Funny Fest.
“It was well-received. So I wrote some more. And then I toured ‘Double Happiness’, and the process slowed down. Here and there I added more. Fast forward to January 2017, and I saw the deadline for Chicago Fringe Festival 2017. I got a ‘last chance to submit’ email, and went for it.”
‘Hard-Core CORN’, reunites her with “Double Happiness” director David Knoell, and pokes fun at her food intolerance. In the show, Kelly portrays an uncontrollable food addict, whose ”popcorn-jonesing life” gets turned upside down — or should we say, pops out of the pot — when she meets a nutrition guru. She navigates a hilarious maze of maize, as the world turns against her. She’ll play multiple characters in this hilarious 50-minute show. Kelly reflected on the comedic nature of both ‘Hard-Core CORN’ and ‘Double Happiness’.
“No one will cry in this show!”
See Kelly Haramis in ‘Hard-Core CORN’
Get in on some “Hard-Core CORN”! Kelly will perform ‘Hard-Core CORN’ as part of the Chicago Fringe Festival, at Windy City Music Theatre Blackbox Studio at 5340-5342 W. Lawrence Avenue in Chicago. Showtimes are September 2 at 5:30 pm, September 4 at 8:30 pm, and September 10 at 8:30 pm. Buy tickets.
We gave away a pair of tickets to see Kelly Haramis in ‘Hard-Core CORN’
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