Chicago – Collaboraction, Chicago’s social issue-driven contemporary theater, announced today its line-up of 24 world premiere short pieces for its third annual PEACEBOOK, a free, collaborative city-wide festival of theater, dance, music, visual art and spoken word, all focused on cultivating peace in Chicago.
Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre, GQ from The Q Brothers, Nancy Garcia Loza, Bril Barrett of M.A.D.D. Rhythm, Sir Taylor of Example Setters Youth Poetry and Hope Dealer Amy Williams are among the artists and activists creating fresh new works in support of Chicago’s peace movement. Each piece is seven minutes or less, and range from solos to large collaborations. In sum, the 24 “chapters” that comprise PEACEBOOK unite over 200 artists, from household names to neighborhood peace activists, all intent on creating real connections with Chicagoans in communities around the city.
“This is a massive Chicago coalition of artists and activists. We want to encourage Chicagoans to be active, come to PEACEBOOK, experience new neighborhoods and hear new stories. In doing so, we will see our similarities and connections to one another. Only then we can start working together to dismantle oppression and cultivate peace and equity. We are delighted by the diversity and depth of this year’s line-up and look forward to sharing the 24 pieces with Chicago,” said Anthony Moseley, PEACEBOOK Festival Director and Artistic Director of Collaboraction.
The 24 world premiere works that comprise PEACEBOOK are divided into three “chapters,” each featuring eight diverse works of seven minutes or less. Each chapter is assigned to one of three Chicago Park District locations in Chicago’s Austin, Hermosa and Englewood communities. All three parks are now familiar terrain for Collaboraction, after more than five years of embedding its artists there to create and present devised, hyperlocal works about peace and racial healing via the Chicago Park District’s Night Out in the Parks event series.
For its third-annual PEACEBOOK Collaboraction is embracing the concept and symbol of a Chicago home that has endured time, seen people come and go and witnessed change on its street and in its city. This home, “The House of Power, Love and Hope,” an original painting by Collaboraction set designer John Wilson, is inspired by real homes in Englewood, is the main icon of show marketing materials and anchors this year’s set design.
PEACEBOOK launches Friday and Saturday, September 7 and 8 on Chicago’s west side at LaFollette Park,
1333 N. Laramie Ave. in Austin. The Friday performance starts at 6 p.m. with a special opening act. Saturday events start at 11:30 a.m. with a Free Community Meal, followed by a pre-show Peace Panel with neighborhood leaders, then PEACEBOOK at 1 p.m. Dr. Marcus Robinson, Managing Director of Collaboraction, will lead a Community Dialogue Session after each performance.
The following weekend, PEACEBOOK travels to Kelvyn Park, 4438 W. Wrightwood Ave. in Hermosa, for shows Friday and Saturday, September 14 and 15, then heads to Hamilton Park, 513 W. 72nd St. in Englewood for performances Friday and Saturday, September 21 and 22. Friday shows start at 6 p.m. Saturday events start at 11:30 a.m. with the Free Community Meal, pre-show Peace Panel and performance of PEACEBOOK at 1 p.m.
PEACEBOOK is free but reservations are recommended. Book online at collaboraction.org/peacebook2018, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Collaboraction, (312) 226-9633, for more information. For PEACEBOOK updates, follow the company on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or Tumblr.
More about the 24 works of theater, music, dance and spoken word
The following 24 pieces on peace were selected from over 100 submissions of theater, dance and spoken word, all envisioning a more peaceful Chicago:
La Follette Park, 1333 N. Laramie Ave.
Friday, September 7 at 6 p.m.
Saturday, September 8 – free Community Meal at 11:30 a.m. followed by a pre-show
Peace Panel and performance by Mazi Dance, show at 1 p.m.
By Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre (CRDT)
Chicago’s acclaimed Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre presents the third part of a dance and music suite exploring the complexity of the immigrant experience, from the trauma of leaving a birthplace to the challenges of settling in a new homeland.
Somewhere in Uptown
By Andrea Sutherland, directed by Myesha-Tiara McGarner
This testimony, in the form of a monologue, chronicles the experience of a new Chicago resident as they try to find peace and community in their Uptown apartment.
In the Air Tonight
By Andrew Rios, directed by Sean Patrick Leonard
A hilarious spoken word testimony of a young boy’s encounter with the police after a misunderstanding with a toy gun in his mom’s new apartment.
Example Setters Youth Poetry
Written and directed by Sir Taylor
Sir Taylor, the legendary director, performer (Jesse White Tumblers, US Men Gymnastics Team, The Lion King on Broadway, Golden Gloves boxer) and teacher who grew up in Cabrini Green leads a powerful ensemble of urban teens all focused on setting the example for the city of Chicago.
Tears for Athwal
By Tyrone Taylor and GQ
In last year’s 17 to (New) Life, audiences traveled with Tyrone Taylor through the committing of his crime – murder. Chapter two in the forgiveness series continues following Taylor’s actual life events. In Tears For Athwal, we meet Taylor again. After 20 years in prison, he is up for parole for the third time. Rejoin Tyrone for a look at his journey on the inside, his third plea to the parole board and his release from prison.
By Noelle T. Hedges-Goettl, directed by Rose Shapiro
This spoken word piece shows how a transgender woman escapes the volume of her thoughts and the cruelty of societal judgment by immersing herself in the music from her headphones.
By Donna Latham, directed by Lee Hannah Conrads
This over-the-top theatrical piece brings a comedic perspective to the exploration of peace as women on the subway band together and battle the oppression of a manspreader.
By Bril Barrett and Star Dixon
Chicago tap dance legend Bril Barrett choreographs this team of female dancers exploring tap-dance as an effective form of protest and a powerful catalyst for change.
Kelvyn Park, 4438 W. Wrightwood Ave.
Friday, September 14 at 6 p.m.
Saturday, September 15 – free Community Meal at 11:30 a.m. followed by a pre-show Peace Panel and performance by Laura Biagi, show at 1 p.m.
By Loretta Firekeeper Hawkins
Hawkins’s spoken word piece, a tribute to black men shot by police, promotes peace and understanding among different groups and concludes that humans are more alike than they are different.
By the Collaboraction Peacemakers, directed by Luis Crespo
Race and equality in Chicago are explored in this short piece written, developed and performed by the Collaboraction Teen Ensemble.
Oak & Pallettes
By Nancy García Loza, directed by Ana Velazquez
García Loza often draws from personal experiences that fluctuate between lived trauma and comedic coping. Her newest theatrical story depicts the citizenship process for her Mexican immigrant family, recalling a key moment of connection between a daughter and her father.
Reflections, Thoughts and Reminders
Written and co-devised by Avi Roque and Mia Vivens
In this visceral devised piece, Roque contemplates the idea of peace and how to achieve it while examining identity, gender and race in a very binary Chicago.
By Sophia Pietrkowski and Elenna Sindler
An ethnographic exploration of how public space is navigated by survivors of sexual trauma. Through the depiction of one woman’s commute on the CTA, this piece aims to show how communal respect and understanding are essential to healing.
Hope is My Homie
By Amy L. Williams, directed by Juan Castaneda
A theater piece about the realities of incarceration that highlights what people don’t know about “the visits” – the first hug, the depression, haircuts and fresh uniforms – and the challenges of returning back to society.
By Dani Mauleon, directed by Esteban Arévalo
Bare and straightforward, this devised theater piece about an undocumented student’s journey home is a call to come together in love and rally against hate.
By Chicago Worker Collaborative’s Workers Theatre, directed by Jasmin Cardenas
Dividing black and brown workers strategically allows sky rocketing profits for corporations and temp agencies. Chicago Worker Collaborative’s Workers’ Theatre Collective fights for workers’ rights by revealing the real struggles – exploitation, racial discrimination, poverty, gender violence and more – facing temp workers in the U.S.
Hamilton Park, 513 W. 72nd St.
Friday, September 21 at 6 p.m.
Saturday, September 22 – free Community Meal at 11:30 a.m., followed by a pre-show Peace Panel and performance by Stanford Bailey and Step Alive, show at 1 p.m.
The Boys in the Hoods
By Frederick Alphonso
Alphonso uses theater to reflect the recent influx of drug use in the youth in Englewood, show awareness to the gentrification in the neighborhood and promote the need for positive change.
Choreographed by Yariana Baralt Torres and Maria Blanco
Dance is uniquely matched with feminism to explore the experience of being a woman, with Torres and Blanco aiming to empower women and inspire unity among them.
By Nathaniel Swift
This devised piece explores the perspectives and opinions of students who chose to protest gun violence by walking out. Will these marches do anything to create real change? And what do we do next?
Enough is Enough
By Janice Fields
Janice Fields’s spoken word piece illuminates minds, confronts societal issues and encourages change.
Wind for a Sail
By Katie Angelica Abascal, directed by Abbey Bobzin
In this minimalist satirical play, six privileged extraterrestrials board a spaceship to escape interstellar war, and share their thoughts on traveling with aliens from a different planet and their options for dinner.
Head to the Sky
By Jason Makia Robinson, directed by Madi Delk
This musical piece moves, touches and inspires people to take action and create a better future for those living in Chicago.
By Shawn Lent
This dance and music collaboration is part of a social intervention addressing insularity and division in Northwest Chicago. The piece celebrates the resiliency and mobility of the human spirit and features apprentice refugee performers. Temporarily, the space is made radically inclusive for religiously conservative performers and audiences.
by Emcee Skool, led by PHENOM of POETREE CHICAGO
The vision of Emcee Skool is to develop young artists into community organizers and youth ambassadors for peace under the mentorship of Teh’ray Hale aka PHENOM.
Collaboraction (collaboraction.org), Chicago’s social contemporary theater, collaborates with a diverse community of Chicagoans, artists and community activists to create original theatrical experiences that push artistic boundaries and explore critical social issues. Since the company’s founding in 1996, Collaboraction has worked with more than 3,000 artists to bring more than 60 productions and events to more than 150,000 audience members.
Collaboraction is led by Artistic Director Anthony Moseley, Managing Director Dr. Marcus Robinson, a company of 20 talented Chicago theater artists, and a dedicated staff and board of directors. The company’s vision is to utilize theater to cultivate dialogue and action around our most critical social issues throughout Chicago.
For the past five years, Collaboraction has partnered with the Chicago Park District through their Night Out in the Parks program, returning each year to cultivate relationships and theater in Englewood, Austin and Hermosa through the Crime Scene, PEACEBOOK and Encounter tours. Production highlights also include its series of Crime Scene productions responding to Chicago’s crime epidemic; Sarah Moeller’s Forgotten Future: The Education Project; 15 years of the SKETCHBOOK Festival; the Chicago premiere of 1001 by Jason Grote; the world premiere of Jon by George Saunders and directed by Seth Bockley; and The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow: an instant message with excitable music by Rolin Jones.
Collaboraction also maintains an active Collaboraction For-Hire division, which creates custom special event design for private, corporate and civic clients, including the Art Institute, the City of Chicago and many more.
Collaboraction is supported by The Chicago Community Trust, The Joyce Foundation, The Field Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, DCASE and the Wicker Park & Bucktown SSA #33 Chamber of Commerce. This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.
About the Chicago Park District’s Night Out in the Parks program
Collaboraction’s PEACEBOOK Festival is presented as part of the Chicago Park District’s Night Out in the Parks series, supported by Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Arts programming in neighborhoods across the city advances the goals of the Chicago Park District and the Chicago Cultural Plan. Now in its sixth year, the 2018 Night Out in the Parks series will host over 1,000 cultural events and programs at more than 250 neighborhood parks throughout the city, making community parks a safe haven and hubs of activity. Projects will vary from traditional performances and concerts, to movies, peace rallies, community workshops, nature based programs, dance pieces, festivals and more. The Chicago Park District has partnered with more than 100 arts and community organizations to expand and produce this successful initiative.