Chicago – Collaboraction, Chicago’s social issue-driven contemporary theater, announced today two exciting updates to its third annual PEACEBOOK Festival, a free, collaborative city-wide festival of theater, dance, music, visual art and spoken word over three consecutive weekends in September, all focused on cultivating peace in Chicago.
First, with the blessing of legendary hip hop group Wu Tang Clan, Collaboraction Artistic Director Anthony Moseley is adapting to the stage the song Tearz off their 1993 debut album “36 Chambers.”
Chicago rappers The Boy Illinois and Phenom will play roles based on RZA and Ghostface Killah’s original verses about the dangers urban youth faced then, and sadly, still today.
Tearz is one of eight short world premiere works devoted to increasing the peace in Chicago that will debut as part of PEACEBOOK Austin, Friday and Saturday, September 7 and 8 at LaFollette Park, 1333 N. Laramie Ave. in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood.
Collaboraction has built a strong relationship with Wu Tang Clan supporting the band’s efforts to build a Chicago peace coalition through its Wu Foundation.
“The Wu Foundation is committed to cultivating Peace in Chicago and the Wu Tang Clan excited to be a part of PEACEBOOK through this adaptation of Tearz by Anthony Moseley and his team at Collaboraction,” said Tareef Michael, General Manager, Wu Music Group.
In addition, Moseley confirmed Chicago visual artist Amanda Williams is allowing Collaboraction to use her recent Color(ed) Theory project as a departure point for this year’s PEACEBOOK set design.
Video projections of homes featured in her Color(ed) Theory project will extend and enhance Collaboraction’s PEACEBBOOK scenic design, which is anchored by a Chicago home, titled “The House of Power, Love and Hope.”
Much like the real homes in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood slated for demolition but painted in explosively vibrant hues in Williams’s Color(ed) Theory project, Collaboraction’s home is based on an original painting by Collaboraction set designer John Wilson, and likewise inspired by real homes in Englewood.
“I am in full support of seeing Collaboraction’s original works created and inspired by Color(ed) Theory as their source material and muse,” said Williams. “I’m excited to see Collaboraction use my project as their departure point for their own original vision and how their vision and the authors, playwrights and performers transform elements of the project into their own entity.”
Other Chicago artists and activists creating new works in support of Chicago’s peace movement for Collaboraction’s third-annual PEACEBOOK Festival include Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre, Nancy Garcia Loza, Bril Barrett of M.A.D.D. Rhythm, Sir Taylor of Example Setters Youth Poetry and Hope Dealer Amy Williams.
These and many more have created original works of seven minutes or less, ranging 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, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have Wu Tang Clan and Amanda Williams support our cause,” said Moseley, PEACEBOOK Festival Director and Artistic Director of Collaboraction.
“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.”
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 program.
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 David Cherry, City Leader, The All Stars Project; Tio Hardiman, Founder and Executive Director, Violence Interrupters; and, Creative Scott, Creative Scott Hair Salon and The Young Barbers Program. PEACEBOOK begins at 1 p.m. Dr. Marcus Robinson, Managing Director of Collaboraction, will lead a Community Dialogue Session after both performances.
The following weekend, PEACEBOOK travels to Kelvyn Park, 4438 W. Wrightwood Ave. in Hermosa, for shows Friday and Saturday, September 14 and 15.
PEACEBOOK 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 [email protected] or call Collaboraction, (312) 226-9633, for more information. For PEACEBOOK updates, follow the company on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or Tumblr.