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A Red Orchid Theatre presents "Turret"

"Turret" on stage at A Red Orchid Theatre
"Turret" on stage at A Red Orchid Theatre 02:36

CHICAGO (CBS) — A gripping tale brings an Oscar nominee and chicago favorite to an intimate local stage.

The writer and director of "Turret" is now playing at A Red Orchid Theatre in Chicago.

CBS 2 spoke with the writer and director of "Turret" about the production, now staged by A Red Orchid Theatre. 

On film, two-time Oscar-nominated actor Michael Shannon is known for his intense performances. 

And it's a perfect fit for the dystopian world in "Turret." Shannon plays Green, one of two men surviving in an underground bunker following a terrifying event in the world outside. 

The other is Rabbit, played by Travis A. Knight. Theirs is a dark world defined by horrifying monotony. 

Tensions arise with the arrival of Lawrence Grimm as "Birdy," a mysterious and dangerous stranger. 

Playwright Levi Holloway said the script explores masculinity, loss, and isolation. 

The director said the Orwellian thriller is also about fathers and sons.  

How did he come up with the idea for "Turret" in the first place?

"I've always been a big horror and sci-fi buff ever since I was a kid. My dad introduced me to the genre when I was probably a little too young for it. But it made an impression, and we bonded over that," Holloway said.

What is it about the genres that speak to Holloway?

"I really appreciate stories about characters in extreme circumstances. Because usually those circumstances force our characters to change," Holloway said. 

Does he feel that audiences are more open to stories exploring dystopian societies and themes?

"With what's going on socially and politically, I think it resonates with the audience in new ways, post-2020," Holloway said, adding that he was thrilled to have Shannon in the cast.

"It's a dream. I couldn't wait to write for him. So I had his voice in my head. And he is such a collaborator in the room. He's brilliant. Everybody is in the room. And I think that having Mike (Shannon) in something like this is so personal and so strange, an absolute dream come true. I hope he's having a good time, too," Holloway said.

The director said the Orwellian thriller is also about fathers and sons.

Red Orchid Theatre is presenting "Turret" through June 22, and it's an extended run at the Chopin Theatre. 

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