“My First Time” tells real life stories of first sexual experiences

Virgins to the Chicago scene, the newly formed Broken Nose Theatre Co. is bringing the  off-Broadway hit “My First Time,” based on true accounts of first sexual experiences, to the Greenhouse Theatre Center in Lincoln Park, Friday nights at 11 p.m.

This four-person, simply staged show is based on a website on which people from all walks of life were invited to share the story of their first sexual experience. Writing credits for the show go to Ken Davenport and “real people just like you” who have contributed their story to the website

Each week, the show begins with a local Chicago storyteller recounting the tale of their personal “first time.” The main body of the show features actors Brooks Applegate, Spenser Davis, Catherine Dildilian and Leslie Ruettiger in dramatic readings of stories from the website, artfully cut together to reveal the broad range of experiences and emotions associated with “first times.”

Each cast member adds a unique sensibility to their range of characters, bringing to life perspectives on the topic from different genders, ages, sexual orientations and cultural backgrounds.

The show also contains an interactive element, using information from anonymous surveys distributed before the show to incorporate aspects of the audience members’ experiences into the show, an element which elicits big laughs, romantic moments and raised eyebrows from the crowd.

“My First Time” is a fitting show for the newly formed theater company, which tries “to create a community that celebrates those universal ideas and experiences we all share, and grows and learns from the ways in which we differ from one another” as part of its mission.

By retelling the stories of real people who all experience the same thing in many different ways, this production illuminates an, at times taboo and at times romanticized, aspect of most peoples’ lives in an interesting and entertaining format.

The name of the company is derived from a quote by writer Nelson Algren about the city of Chicago, which reads “like loving a woman with a broken nose, you may well find lovelier lovelies. But never a lovely so real.”

This show is true to this sentiment, celebrating the reality of this human experience, including its potential both for joy and for pain and awkwardness.

“My First Time” is currently playing at the Greenhouse Theater Center at 2257 N. Lincoln. Tickets are $15-$30 and are available online at www.greenhousetheater.orgor at 773-404-7336.