A draft of my essay for tonight, next to grande cup from Lavazza and my dirty keyboard

With a fully functioning bar on the second floor, Strawdog Theatre is something of an actor’s hangout. So when the playwright Hank Boland and his friend, the actress Kate Parker, decided they wanted to start a theatre “talk show,” it made sense that they’d do it at Strawdog.

Their show, The Callback, kicked off last week: it’s an hourlong variety program on Wednesday nights, including Kate’s interviews with guests like T.J. Jagadowski, one half of the improv duo TJ and Dave (who’s the guest tonight at 8 p.m). Also fueling the show are copious amounts of beer that are served at the cash bar.

Part of the hour is a radio documentary-style essay bit. I mention this because yours truly is tonight’s essayist! Oh yeah, I’ll be reading a little ditty during the 8 p.m. hour. (To hear the podcast (which will go up later in the week), go to the Strawdog web site. If you attend the show, don’t throw tomatoes at me. I’m no actress.

They’re putting up two shows tonight, so if you miss the 8 p.m., there’s also a 9 p.m., with George Cederquist from Steppenwolf talking about The Crucible; Robert Kauzlaric & Paul S. Holmquist of Lifeline Theatre previewing their creepy new show, The Island of Dr. Moreau; and my pal, the writer and piemaker Michael Bowen, whose alter ago is a large-chested Minnesotan named Bertha Mason, reading a killer essay.

The show’s free, casual, and relaxed. And there’s plenty of wandering in and out to get a beer. So if you’re not up to much tonight, stop by and say hi. Otherwise, it happens live every Wednesday night through Dec. 19th.