Emory is an effeminate 11-year-old boy who lives on a farm with his chain smoking Nanna and his only friend, a depressed chicken about to be processed. Nanna wishes Emory would get his head out of the clouds, stop choreographing ribbon stick dance numbers, and be more like Elliot, the boy down the road with a penchant for burning things. But Emory and Elliot have a relationship -- just not one Nanna would expect or approve of. With absurd, poignant dialog and brutal characterizations, MilkMilkLemonade is a bitterly funny exploration of gender, sexuality, life, death, and the human body.

Matt Farabee as Emory
Jessica London-Shields as Elliot
Cyd Blakewell as Linda
John Zinn as Nanna
Sarah Rose Graber as Lady in a Leotard

"You are so freakin' talented, Emory. Your dancing makes me feel as if the farm is a lovely place to be instead of a pit of loneliness and despair.

The sheer daring in Conkel’s 2009 comedy is breathtaking, and Sanders and her cast match the writer’s audacity. As Emory, Farabee flounces with flair, while London-Shields butches it up admirably as Elliot; the deliciously droll Zinn is a delight as wheezing, conformity-endorsing Nanna, while Graber resembles a crazed Shelley Duvall as the weirdly tentative narrator. The wacky laughs temper the very real strain of seething anger and fear that can accompany growing up other. That’s the real trick of MilkMilkLemonade— kid stuff is always more adult than we’d like to admit.” - Kris Vire; Time Out Chicago

The stellar cast and director Cassy Sanders bring Conkel's script to life in a touching, hilarious production.” - Lisa Findley; CenterStage

"The play’s humor shines through because of the brilliance of its performers...Sanders reins everything in to create a cohesive piece that has a definite arch and a quick pace...If you’re in the mood for a queer campy comedy, you can’t go wrong with MilkMilkLemonade. Although it’s in the style of a children’s play, the production’s adult humor is not for kids. Yet, its message of self- love is suitable for all ages.” - Keith Ecker; Chicago Theatre Blog

“This imaginative and colorful production of Joshua Conkel's 2009 play has the look and feel of a vaudeville pop-up book. John Wilson's set provides a fitting backdrop for the show's gay whimsy, yet brings out something more disturbing in Conkel's depictions of childhood isolation. The story plays on familiar tropes--the farm boy yearning to escape the sticks, the excitement and peril of growing up queer--but Conkel ups the ante by never compromising between sharp, sophisticated ideas about adolescence and fierce entertainment. Cassy Sanders supplies kinetic direction, and the gender-bent Pavement Group cast is magnificent--especially Matt Farabee and Jessica London- Shields as the farm boy and his schoolyard-bully lover.” - Dan Jakes; The Chicago Reader

"See, no matter how much people call me faggot or sissy or fudge packer or butt pirate, I really like being me. You wanna know a secret? ... Every time you or one of the other boys beats me up, I come here to the barn and I choreograph a new dance routine. And I think about how awesome I am. And how some day other people will see it too.

Pavement Group is a Chicago based collaborative of theatre artists who seek emerging voices to produce fresh, unconventional plays that make contact with a new generation. We commit ourselves to immediate and immersive work and aspire to create experiences that can unlock a conversation between the audience and their humanity.

Director: Cassy Sanders
Production Coordinator: Becky Mock
Stage Manager: Mary Krupka
Scenic Design: John Wilson
Sound Design: Jeff Kelley
Props Design: Aimee Plant
Lighting Design: Timothy Schoen & Janna Webber
Costume Designer: Katie Cordts
Technical Director: John Wilson
Asst. Stage Manager: Taylor Fenderbosch
Casting Director; Julia Dossett-Morgan
Publicist; Jenny Topolosky