CHICAGO – Collaboraction, the Chicago-based theater company dedicated to social change, collaboration and original work, announces the appointment of Dr. Marcus Robinson as its new Managing Director.
A transformational leader of non-profit management, talent development, corporate culture, and diversity with inclusion, Robinson comes to Collaboraction prepared and eager to spread the company’s core mission. He has a passion for helping families and youth living in low resource communities, and he firmly believes that with Collaboraction by his side, sustainable change is possible.
“Dr. Marcus’s arrival is a symbol of Collaboraction’s metamorphosis from a theater company to a change agent using theater as our tool. His experience with community development, social justice and transformation will bring new depth and expertise that will increase our impact around Chicago’s most critical social issues, such as racism and violence,” said Anthony Moseley, Collaboraction’s Artistic Director.
“I can’t imagine a better partner as we enter our 22nd season focused on the theme of racism in Chicago, and prepare to launch our PEACEBOOK 2017 Chicago parks tour next week,” Moseley added. “The company’s board has complete confidence in Dr. Robinson’s ability to make Collaboraction’s important, complex goals achievable.”
“People can only help if they know help is needed, and understand how they can contribute to an achievable goal,” said Dr. Robinson. “That’s where Collaboraction comes in. Devised theatre provides us with the unique opportunity to create significant learning experiences that promote deep introspection about the issues of the day that really matter. Combined with structured talk back sessions where audience members can ‘unpack’ and share insight with each other promotes the spirited activation of individual effort to a make a difference. Taken together, this is powerful formula to incite positive change in our communities.”
Robinson attended the University of Miami School of Music and earned a Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Clinical Hypnotherapy from the American Institute of Clinical Hypnotherapy. His extensive education compliments his years of experience as president and CEO of multiple corporations, including the Consortium of Community Development, Citizens for Progressive Change, Inc. and wetWare Inc. He also was founder and principal consultant of his own firm, Social Innovation Group, which worked with clients to create inclusive cultures that drive sustainable high performance.
Robinson’s arrival could not have come at a better time. Following its successful launch in August at Goodman Theatre, Collaboraction’s PEACEBOOK Festival of theater, dance, music, visual art and spoken word – 24 short works all focused on cultivating peace in Chicago – begins its tour of city neighborhoods next week.
PEACEBOOK performances are October 5-7 at Hamilton Park, 513 W. 72nd St. in Englewood; October 19-21 at Kelvyn Park, 4438 W. Wrightwood Ave. in Hermosa; and November 2-4 at LaFollette Park, 1333 N. Laramie Ave., in Austin. Thursday and Friday performances are at 7 p.m. On Saturdays, events start at 3 p.m. with a Dome of Dance competition, a free community meal and peace panel at 4 p.m., with a diverse array of Chicago peacemakers and the show at 5 p.m. Each night features a different musical guest. Park performances are free.
Another event Robinson will help guide is Collaboraction’s second annual Utopian Ball, Saturday, November 11 at 8 p.m. at Chop Shop/1st Ward, 2033 W. North Ave., Chicago. A reinvention of the traditional theater gala, guests at Utopian Ball will enjoy delicious food and drink, unforgettable live performances, great company in a cool atmosphere, and of course, an unforgettable party as only Collaboraction can throw. Tickets are on sale now at collaboraction.org/utopian-ball-2017.
January brings Encounter, Collaboraction’s annual festival of theater, visual art, music, video and dance, focusing on an increasingly relevant theme: “Racism and Racial Healing.” Artists from throughout Chicago have submitted pieces of many diverse art forms, which Collaboration will use to incite knowledge, discussion and action. The festival kick-offs January 15-21 at Collaboraction Studios, 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave., followed by a tour to Englewood, Austin and Hermosa.
In light of this season’s theme, Anthony Moseley, in association with Associate Artistic Director Taylor Barfield, also is developing Collaboraction’s spring production, a world premiere piece about racism and racial healing in Chicago, currently titled A Blue Island in the Red Sea. A continuation of Collaboraction’s five Crime Scene chapters, Blue Island will analyze Chicago’s past, present and future, with the goal of using truth to facilitate much needed changes in segregation and economic disparity.
For tickets and information, visit collaboraction.org or call 312.226.9633.
Collaboraction (collaboraction.org) collaborates with artists, community activists, and citizens from throughout the city to create original theatrical experiences that push artistic boundaries and explore critical social issues with a diverse community of Chicagoans. Collaboraction has worked with over 3,000 artists to bring more than 60 productions and events to upwards of 250,000 audience members.
Production highlights include Collaboraction’s acclaimed series of Crime Scene productions responding to Chicago’s crime epidemic, 15 years of the SKETCHBOOK Festival, Sarah Moeller’s Forgotten Future: The Education Project in 2014, 2010’s Chicago premiere of 1001 by Jason Grote, 2008’s world premiere of Jon by George Saunders and directed by Seth Bockley, and 2007’s The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow: an instant message with excitable music by Rolin Jones.
Collaboraction, based on the 3rd floor of Wicker Park’s historic Flat Iron Arts Building with three theater spaces, is led by Artistic Director Anthony Moseley, Managing Director Dr. Marcus Robinson and a dedicated staff and board of directors. Collaboraction is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, Richard H. Driehaus Foundation via the MacArthur Foundation, and the Wicker Park & Bucktown SSA #33 Chamber of Commerce. This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.