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Sunday, August 12, 2018

HELP OUT: CONSORTIUM OF ASIAN AMERICAN THEATERS & ARTISTS (CAATA) To Join Chicago “NO ALOHA, NO POKE! PEACEFUL RALLY”

CONSORTIUM OF ASIAN AMERICAN THEATERS & ARTISTS (CAATA) STANDS WITH NATIVE HAWAIIANS IN SUPPORT OF THE 
“NO ALOHA, NO POKE! PEACEFUL RALLY,” TO TAKE PLACE ON WEDNESDAY, AUG. 15 

Production Photo Via ConFest Chicago

The Consortium of Asian American Theaters & Artists (CAATA), the national organizers of ConFest 2018, supports the Hawaiian people’s indigenous language reclamation. CAATA condemns the actions of Aloha Poke Co. and supports the peaceful rally Wednesday, Aug. 15, near the restaurant’s Lincoln Park location at 818 W. Fullerton Ave, from 12:30 - 2:30 p.m.


The 6th National Asian American Theater Conference and Festival (ConFest) will take place in Chicago from August 13-18 at DePaul University and Victory Gardens Theater.  The event is a weeklong gathering of industry leading theater performances, new play readings, workshops, breakout sessions, networking, parties and more. 

On the eve of ConFest 2018, board members of the Consortium of Asian American Theaters and Artists (CAATA) were disturbed to hear of the actions of Aloha Poke Co., a Chicago-based business, demanding restaurants across the country “Cease and Desist” using the words “Aloha” and “Poke” in their names on the basis of copyright infringement. CAATA would like to express support for the Hawaiian people and the reclamation of the Hawaiian language. After a 90-year history of ‘olelo Hawai’i being banned from use in schools, CAATA supports the freedom of Native Hawaiians to use their own indigenous language as they see fit, without restriction from outside entities or fear of legal actions.

As Andi Meyer, CAATA board member and artistic director of Tradewind Arts (Kansas City, MO), said, “Speaking as an artist of mixed Native Hawaiian descent, I feel that reclamation of language and artistic self-representation are paramount to our ability to perpetuate the Hawaiian culture after years of forced decline. It seems a perfect confluence of events that these artists are scheduled to be in Chicago at this time, when the overall CAATA conference theme happens to be "Revolutionary Acts!" As a board member, I hope the greater Chicagoland audience will take advantage of this unparalleled opportunity to both support the voices of Native Hawaiian artists, and also to value the many underrepresented voices that exist in their own community.”

This year CAATA is proud to include a stellar roster of  Native Hawaiian theatre makers and an entire slate of Native Hawaiian conference offerings.

Participants and Hawaiian-themed events included in this year’s ConFest 2018 include:

OPENING NIGHT SHOWCASE
Hot Asian Everything: REVOLT
Monday, Aug. 13 at 8 p.m.
Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave. 
Presented by CAATA
Directed by Victor Malana Moag
An evening of revolutionary proportions featuring a powerhouse mix of Chicago and national talent — all hosted by the illustrious Emi Macadangdang and Jasmine! Kick off ConFest 2018 in style with a collection of sketch comedy, musical performances and celebrity sightings by some of Asian American theater’s most noted artists. Lineup includes excerpts and performances from:
Moses Goods’ Kinolau
Comedy troupe Stir-Friday Night!
Anu Bhatt’s Hollow/Wave
Shishir Kurup's Merchant on Venice, Rasaka Theatre & Vitalist Theatre



Panelist and performer Moses Goods (pictured above). Goods is also the founder and artistic director of ʻInamona Theatre Company, an organization dedicated to reintroducing the native stories of Hawaiʻi to the community. Goods is one of Hawaiʻi’s most prominent theatre artists.  Originally from the island of Maui and now based in Honolulu he has traveled nationally and internationally performing his original work to a wide range of audiences.  His body of work ranges from full length plays to theatrical storytelling pieces most of which are strongly rooted in Native Hawaiian culture.

Opening Plenary Speaker Kumu Tammy Haili`ōpua Baker
And conversation with Native Hawaiian Theater Practitioners moderated by Sami L.A. Akuna aka Cocoa Chandelier
Tuesday, Aug. 14 at 9 a.m.
DePaul University - The Theatre School, 2350 North Racine Avenue, Chicago, IL 60614

Opening Keynote Speaker Kumu Tammy Haili`ōpua Baker, whose work centers on the development of an indigenous Hawaiian theater aesthetic and form, Hawaiian language revitalization, and the empowerment of cultural identity through stage performance. Baker is also a playwright and the artistic director of Ka Hālau Hanakeaka, a Hawaiian medium theater troupe. ​As an associate professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa she oversees both the Hawaiian Theatre and the Playwriting MFA programs. Originally from Kapa‘a, Kaua‘i, Baker now resides with her family in Kahalu‘u, Ko‘olaupoko, O‘ahu.



Cocoa Chandelier (pictured above) is the official artist-in-residence at the Leeward Community College after contributing her talents as a choreographer, costume design and artistic direction after several years of participation in both the Drama and Dance department. Chandelier holds two separate degrees in the Theatre and Dance program from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. She travels continuously as an advocate and spokesperson for H.I.V/AIDS and has taught Modern Dance at Leeward Community College and the Art of The Drag Performer at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Chandelier plans to graduate with a PhD in Performance Studies and would like to be addressed in the future as Dr. Chandelier. 

Panelists include Moses Goods and Christopher K. Morgan. 
Moses Goods bio is included in the Hot Asian Everything: REVOLT section above.




Christopher K. Morgan (pictured above) is the executive artistic director of Dance Place in Washington, DC, where he oversees performances and a school for youth and adults. He is the artistic and executive director of dance company Christopher K. Morgan & Artists (CKM&A) and the director of Dance Omi, an annual collaborative residency for international choreographers. Born in Orange County, CA, Morgan’s Native Hawaiian ancestry and a broad, international dance career influence his work as an administrator, choreographer, educator, facilitator, curator and performer. Morgan’s choreography has been presented in 18 countries on five continents, and was profiled as one of six breakout choreographers in the US in Dance Magazine 2011.

A Recipient of an NPN Creation Fund and NEFA National Dance Project Award, Pōhaku premiered in March 2016 at Dance Place and has toured nine other venues in Hawaii, California, New York and Minnesota.

TeAda Productions, Tradewind Arts & aetherplough present
International Drag Bingo 
Hosted by Cocoa Chandelier featuring surprise guests from near and far.
Benefiting the Consortium of Asian American Theaters and Artist (CAATA) on going advocacy and convening efforts

Tuesday, Aug. 14 from  9:30 p.m. - 12 a.m.
Fiesta Mexicana, 2423 N. Lincoln Ave.

Cocoa Chandelier’s bio is included in the Opening Plenary Speaker Kumu Tammy Haili`ōpua Baker section above. 

Pōhaku
Written, directed and performed by Christopher K. Morgan
Wednesday, August 15 at 8 p.m.
Thursday, August 16 at 3:30 p.m.
Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave.

Pōhaku incorporates traditional Hawaiian chant, hula, contemporary dance, theater and storytelling to explore compelling universal themes in the story of Hawaii’s native people, including land loss and fractured identity. In this solo dance theater piece, Christopher K. Morgan connects his personal family story of outward migration away from Hawai’i to the illegal overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawai’i, the islands’ colonial history and its present day status.

Christopher K. Morgan’s bio is included in Opening Plenary Speaker Kumu Tammy Haili`ōpua Baker section above. 

Thursday, August 9, 2018

CASTING ANNOUNCED: HELLO, DOLLY! STARRING BROADWAY LEGEND BETTY BUCKLEY

Chi IL Live Shows On Our Radar:

CASTING ANNOUNCED 
FOR THE FIRST NATIONAL TOUR OF
THE TONY AWARD-WINNING BEST MUSICAL REVIVAL


TICKETS GO ON SALE FRIDAY, AUGUST 10

HELLO, DOLLY!
STARRING BROADWAY LEGEND BETTY BUCKLEY

ORIENTAL THEATRE
OCT. 23 - NOV. 17, 2018

Producer Scott Rudin and Broadway In Chicago are delighted to announce the cast for the first national tour of the Tony Award-winning Best Musical Revival of HELLO, DOLLY! starring Broadway legend, Tony Award winner Betty Buckley. The first national tour of HELLO, DOLLY! will play Broadway In Chicago's historic Oriental Theatre (24 W. Randolph) for a limited four-week engagement October 23 through November 17, 2018.

“The best show of the year. ‘Hello, Dolly!’ must not be missed.” NPR, David Richardson

“This ‘Dolly!’ is classic Broadway at its best.” Entertainment Weekly, Maya Stanton


“It is, in a word, perfection.” Time Out New York, Adam Feldman

The previously announced Ms. Buckley will be joined by Lewis J. Stadlen (Horace Vandergelder), Nic Rouleau (Cornelius Hackl), Analisa Leaming (Irene Molloy), Jess LeProtto (Barnaby Tucker), Kristen Hahn (Minnie Fay), Garett Hawe (Ambrose Kemper), Morgan Kirner (Ermengarde), and Jessica Sheridan (Ernestina).

The ensemble will feature Maddy Apple, Daniel Beeman, Brittany Bohn, Giovanni Bonaventura, Elizabeth Broadhurst, Whitney Cooper, Julian DeGuzman, Wally Dunn, Alexandra Frohlinger, Dan Horn, Corey Hummerston, Madison Johnson, Nathan Keen, Beth Kirkpatrick, Ben Lanham, Ian Liberto, Kyle Samuel, Scott Shedenhelm, Timothy Shew, Maria Cristina Slye, Cassie Austin Taylor, Davis Wayne, Brandon L. Whitmore, and Connor Wince.

Led by four-time Tony Award-winning director Jerry Zaks and choreographed by Tony Award winner Warren Carlyle, the entire creative team of the Broadway production reprises their roles for the national tour of HELLO, DOLLY!, including four-time Tony Award winner Santo Loquasto (Scenic & Costume Design), six-time Tony Award winner Natasha Katz (Lighting Design), Tony Award winner Scott Lehrer (Sound Design), Andy Einhorn (Music Supervision), Robert Billig (Music Direction), Tony Award winner Larry Hochman (Orchestrations), Tony Award winner Don Pippin (Vocal Arrangements), David Chase (Dance Arrangements), and Telsey + Company (Casting).

HELLO, DOLLY! began performances on Broadway on March 15, 2017, and officially opened on April 20, 2017. Having broken the record for best first day of ticket sales in Broadway history, the box office record at the Shubert Theatre twelve times, and shattering The Shubert Organization's all-time record ten times, this production will end its historic Broadway run on August 25, 2018.

For more information, visit www.hellodollyonbroadway.com


PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE
Tuesdays at 7:30PM
Wednesdays at 2PM & 7:30PM (no matinee performance on 10/24)
Thursdays at 7:30PM
Fridays at 7:30PM
Saturdays at 2PM & 8PM
Sunday, Oct. 28 at 7:30PM & Sunday, Nov. 4 & Nov. 11 at 2PM

TICKET INFORMATION
Individual tickets for HELLO, DOLLY! at the Oriental Theatre (24 W. Randolph) go on sale tomorrow and range from $27-$98 with a select number of premium seats available. Tickets are available now for groups of 10 or more by calling Broadway In Chicago Group Sales at (312) 977-1710. Tickets are available at all Broadway In Chicago Box Offices (24 W. Randolph St., 151 W. Randolph St., 18 W. Monroe St. and 175 E. Chestnut), the Broadway In Chicago Ticket Line at (800) 775-2000 and online at www.BroadwayInChicago.com. 

ABOUT BROADWAY IN CHICAGO
Broadway In Chicago was created in July 2000 and over the past 18 years has grown to be one of the largest commercial touring homes in the country.  A Nederlander Presentation, Broadway In Chicago lights up the Chicago Theater District entertaining over 1.7 million people annually in five theatres. Broadway In Chicago presents a full range of entertainment, including musicals and plays, on the stages of five of the finest theatres in Chicago's Loop including the Cadillac Palace Theatre, CIBC Theatre, Oriental Theatre, and just off the Magnificent Mile, the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place and presenting Broadway shows at The Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University. For more information, visit www.BroadwayInChicago.com.

Facebook @BroadwayInChicago Twitter @broadwaychicago Instagram @broadwayinchicago #broadwayinchicago

OPENING: World Premiere of NIGHTMARES AND NIGHTCAPS: The Stories of John Collier Via Black Button Eyes Productions August 17 – September 15, 2018

Chi IL Live Shows On Our Radar:

World Premiere!
Black Button Eyes Productions Presents
NIGHTMARES AND NIGHTCAPS: 
The Stories of John Collier


Adapted and Directed by Ed Rutherford
Choreography by Derek Van Barham 
August 17 – September 15, 2018 at The Athenaeum Theatre

Black Button Eyes Productions is pleased to launch its 2018-19 season with the world premiere of NIGHTMARES AND NIGHTCAPS: The Stories of John Collier, a non-musical adaption of British author and screenwriter John Collier’s phantasmagoric short stories, written and directed by Producing Artistic Director Ed Rutherford with choreography by Derek Van Barham. NIGHTMARES AND NIGHTCAPS will play August 17 – September 15, 2018 at The Athenaeum Theatre (Studio Two), 2936 N. Southport Ave. in Chicago. Tickets are currently available at athenaeumtheatre.org, by calling (773) 935-6875 or in person at The Athenaeum Theatre Box Office. 

NIGHTMARES AND NIGHTCAPS will feature Kevin Webb with Megan DeLay, Ellen DeSitter, Kat Evans, Caitlin Jackson, Shane Roberie, Joshua Servantez, Maiko Terazawa and Lee Wichman.

Before the Twilight Zone, there was British expatriate John Collier, writing humorous stories about the bizarre and fantastical for The New Yorker and sardonic screenplays in Hollywood throughout the first half of the 20th century. In this world premiere adaptation, an ominous host weaves together Collier's comic tales of love, loss and the mysterious for the audience's delight.

The production team for NIGHTMARES AND NIGHTCAPS includes: Jeremiah Barr (scenic design, props design, puppet design, technical director) Beth Laske-Miller (costume design), Liz Cooper (lighting design), Robert Hornbostel (sound design) and Kyle Bricker (stage manager).


Cast (in alphabetical order): Megan DeLay, Ellen DeSitter, Kat Evans, Jessica Lauren Fisher, Caitlin Jackson, Shane Roberie, Joshua Servantez, Maiko Terazawa, Kevin Webb and Lee Wichman.

Understudies: Jessica Lauren Fisher and Paul Gene Miller.

Location: The Athenaeum Theatre (Studio Two), 2936 N. Southport Ave., Chicago
Dates: Preview: Friday, August 17 at 7:30 pm
Regular run: Sunday, August 19 – Saturday, September 15, 2018
Curtain Times: Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays at 7:30 pm; Sundays at 3 pm. Please note: there will be an added performance on Tuesday, August 21 at 7:30 pm.

Tickets: $30. Students $15. Tickets are currently available at athenaeumtheatre.org, by calling (773) 935-6875 or in person at The Athenaeum Theatre Box Office.

About the Artists:
Ed Rutherford (Adapter/Director) For Black Button Eyes, Ed most recently directed the Jeff-Recommended production of Nevermore - The Imaginary Life and Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe (Chicago premiere), preceded by Shockheaded Peter (Chicago storefront premiere), Amour (Chicago premiere), Goblin Market and Stephin Merrit's musical adaptation of Coraline (Midwest premiere). Recent directing credits elsewhere include the Jeff-Recommended productions of The Liar with Promethean Theatre Ensemble and Paula Vogel’s The Baltimore Waltz at Brown Paper Box Co. He is an artistic associate at Promethean, where he staged his own world premiere adaptation of the Peter S. Beagle fantasy novel The Last Unicorn, Brecht’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle and the company's inaugural production, Christopher Durang’s Beyond Therapy. As an actor, he has performed with Drury Lane Oakbrook, Porchlight, Theater Wit and many others. A graduate of Northwestern's theater program, he is currently completing his MBA at Kellogg. 

Derek Van Barham (Choreographer) is the Associate Artistic Director of Pride Films & Plays, a member of the Red Tape Theatre ensemble, and a former Artistic Director of The Ruckus. For PFP, he has directed Perfect Arrangement, Angry Fags (Steppenwolf Garage Repertory), Songs from an Unmade Bed (Jeff nomination), and PRISCILLA, Queen of the Desert: The Musical (co-directed with David Zak). He also wrote, directed and choreographed BITE: A Pucking Queer Cabaret and Kill Your Boyfriends. Other directing credits include Three Days of Rain (Boho), The View Upstairs (Circle Theatre), Miracle! by Dan Savage and Skooby Don't (Hell in a Handbag), Trash and HOT PINK (New American Folk Theatre) and From These Fatal Loins (The Ruckus). Choreography credits include The CiviliTy of Albert Cashier (Permoveo/PFP), Nevermore, Shockheaded Peter, Amour, Coraline, Goblin Market (Black Button Eyes). He was named one of Windy City Times 30 Under 30, recognizing individuals from Chicago's LGBTQ+ community. MFA: Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. Up next: Homos, or Everyone in America with PFP. 

NIGHTMARES AND NIGHTCAPS was made possible in part by a grant from the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events’ (DCASE) Individual Artist Program.

About Black Button Eyes Productions

The 2018-19 season continues Black Button Eyes Productions' mission to bring to Chicago premieres and seldom-seen works containing elements of fantasy, in which the magical and surreal invade reality. The company was founded in 2014 with the acclaimed Midwest premiere of the musical Coraline, and continued in 2015 by producing the musical Goblin Market in its first Chicago production in over 15 years, attended by the author, Chicago native Polly Pen. In the past few seasons, the company has produced the Chicago premiere of the musical Amour, the Chicago storefront premiere of Shockheaded Peter, and the Chicago premiere of the musical Nevermore - The Imaginary Life and Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Bossa Blue will be presenting the James Taylor songbook at Fitzgerald’s on Thursday, August 23rd

Chi IL Live Shows On Our Radar:


Bossa Blue, led by acclaimed singer-songwriter Brad Cole, performs a unique stylistic blend of Bossa/Samba, Cool Jazz, Dub, Soul and Blues interpretations of the songs that have become the soundtrack to our lives.

Bossa Blue will be presenting the James Taylor songbook at Fitzgerald’s on Thursday, August 23. Click here for full details




Bossa Blue Presents: A Tribute to the James Taylor Songbook
Thu, Aug 23 2018, 8:30pm - $10
Doors open at 7 pm.

Award winning singer-songwriter and band leader Brad Cole’s most recent project, Bossa Blue, has created quite a buzz with their multi-genre mash-ups of contemporary and classic rock tunes that run the gambit from Radiohead to The Beatles, from The Killers to Joni Mitchel, and now an entire set of James Taylor songs re-imagined and re-energized! Bossa Blue combines Latin rhythms, jazz, dub, rock and soulful blues along with intriguing vocal interplay to create their unique and intoxicating grooves. 


"The James Taylor Songbook is a treasure chest of gems and I’d put his songwriting in the same class as Cole Porter and Johnny Mercer, not to mention the ‘A list’ of his contemporaries. I decided to perform the JT songbook for a few reasons, primarily because these songs are so rich in melody and structure and, because there are so many classics. When I was in grade school I discovered Sweet Baby James in my sister’s record collection. This music was gentle and I never second guessed its honesty. From that day I have always felt a kinship to that young cowboy who lives on the range. The fun and/or challenge here is not to deliver the “James Taylor” version of his tunes, but to update each composition and performance in a compelling way with this extraordinary group of musicians. I immersed myself in the JT catalogue and pondered his headspace both musically and lyrically to better understand his pure and simple elegance.   Each tune has found its own blend of Bossa Nova, Samba, Jazz, Rock and Soulful Blues, all rich with vocal interplay and groove. Personally, the James Taylor set feels like an important body of work but, just as importantly, it is a lot of fun to perform.”

https://www.bossabluemusic.com/
http://www.bradcolemusic.com/

THEATRE NEWS: Kokandy Productions’ Producing Artistic Director Allison Hendrix To Step Down

Kokandy Productions announced today that Allison Hendrix will step down as the company’s Producing Artistic Director. Hendrix has served as PAD since the company was founded in 2010. Kokandy will launch a search for a new Producing Artistic Director this week.


Allison Hendrix is stepping down from her role at Kokandy to pursue her yoga career. 
(Popio Stumpf Photography)

Under Hendrix’s leadership, Kokandy has presented 13 musicals and numerous staged musical readings, establishing the company as a leader in the growth and visibility of storefront musical theatre in Chicago. During her tenure, Kokandy has earned over 40 Joseph Jefferson Award nominations, including four wins, and gained national recognition in publications such as American Theatre and The Sondheim Review. Hendrix’s credits with Kokandy include music direction for The Great American Trailer Park Musical, The Last Five Years and Bonnie and Clyde; direction of Loving Repeating and Little Fish; and acting in The Last Five Years and Assassins. 

Board President Scot Kokandy comments, “I can’t believe it was six years ago this summer that we produced our first musical and since have produced a total of 13 shows. Allison has been a great influence on Kokandy Productions from the very beginning and the company wouldn’t be what it is today without her. I want to thank Allison for her time, talent and contributions in the various roles she served over the last six years. Allison will remain on the board of directors and the board and I will be posting the position of Producing Artistic Director this week."

Adds Hendrix, “Working with Scot and so many of Chicago’s exceptionally talented actors and musicians has been one of the formative experiences of my lifetime. I’ve grown as a human and an artist, in ways I could never have expected. As so many storefront theatre makers know, the work is demanding and time-consuming, and I’ve reached a place where I need to take my energy and focus into my personal life and yoga teaching career.”

About Kokandy Productions
Founded in 2010, Kokandy Productions seeks to leverage the heightened reality of musical theater to tell complex and challenging stories, with a focus on contributing to the development of Chicago-based musical theater artists, and raising the profile of Chicago's non-Equity musical theater community.

For additional information, visit www.kokandyproductions.com.

REVIEW: Red Theater Chicago's The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity Through August 10th

Chi IL Live Shows On Our Radar:

FREE Remount of Red Theater Chicago's 
Award Winning Production
The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity
5 Performances Only! 

All Production Photos Via Red Theater Chicago

REVIEW:
Tuesday night, my son, Dugan and I made the trek from Chicago's northwest side down to 7059 S. South Shore Dr. My son was particularly excited to see the show, since he had worked on productions at Actors Gymnasium with several involved with the show, and Alejandro Tey had directed a couple AG youth circus shows both of my teens were in. 

Parking was plentiful and it was easy to find the elegantly retro, south side gem, The South Shore Cultural Center. I'd been there decades ago for their jazz fest and on a wedding location scout with a friend, but I'd forgotten the opulent chandeliers and solarium. It was like walking into another world. 

 South Shore Cultural Center Photos by B. Kenaz-Mara 


Then we entered the theatre, and it was like walking into another universe. A wrestling platform, ringed with risers full of seats, dominated an arena with loud music playing, and a palpable excitement among the fans filing in. A lone wrestler, Alejandro Tey, begins to warm up and runs through his paces, bouncing off the walls, practicing impressive acro moves, and crashing to the mat with thunderous reverberations. 


A wall full of screens comes to life with vivid wrestling promo videos and character intros, and we're off. This fast paced production is full of award winning stage combat, stunning choreography, and non stop excitement. The action is impressive and the characters colorful, but what really elevates The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity is the depth and insight this show brings. The production is a microcosm of the world of marketing racism, fear and stereotypes for profit and entertainment. This is a searing look at capitalism, complicity, ego, and the chasm between minority reality and scripted drivel for profit. It's easy to see how Kyle Encinas won the 2018 Jeff Award for Fight Choreography for this production. Truly impressive work!

Alejandro Tey breaks down the 4th wall with his monologues directly to the audience, in a phenomenal performance that's as thought provoking as it is physical. Kristoffer Diaz's writing is spot on and the entire cast brings his words vividly to life and slams them home. Chad Deity provides a terrifically timely and much needed springboard for conversations around how our society falsely elevates some and crushes many, without regard for actual talent or skill. When this extends to entire socioeconomic classes and/or races or religions, we have a huge problem that needs to be acknowledged and fixed. I highly recommend catching this excellent production.



DATES: 
Tuesday, August 7 at 7pm 
Wednesday, August 8 at 7pm 
Thursday, August 9 at 2pm 
Thursday, August 9 at 7pm 
Friday, August 10 at 7pm
South Shore Center

LOCATION: 
Robeson Theater, South Shore Cultural Center 
7059 S. South Shore Dr. 
Chicago, IL 60649

RSVP
Tickets are FREE. Secure yours now!
Click here or call 312.742.7994



Red Theater Chicago's Jeff Award-winning production of The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity will receive a limited remount as part of the 2018 Theater on the Lake Summer Theater Festival. Written by Kristoffer Diaz and directed by company member Jeremy Aluma, performances will take place August 7-10, 2018 at The South Shore Cultural Center.

What people are saying about The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity: 

* 2017 Top 10 Best Off-Loop Productions – Chicago Tribune

* 3.5 STARS “The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity shows exquisite staying power.” – Chicago Tribune 

* “Aluma’s production is, quite simply, all-inclusive & terrifically breathtaking.” – Chicago Theatre Review 

* “Aluma’s direction sizzles and his cast of actor/wrestlers are all outstanding.” – Third Coast Review

* 2017 Best Revival of a Play Nomination – Broadway World


Kyle Encinas won the 2018 Jeff Award for Fight Choreography for his work with The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, and Alejandro Tey (Mace) was nominated for Performer in a Principle Role. Don't miss this rare opportunity to check out the show that the Tribune said delivers a power slam!





THE PLAY: 
How does one pursue the "American Dream" in a country that refuses to offer opportunity indiscriminately? That is the question at the heart of The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, an American satire set in the professional entertainment wrestling world. We follow Macedonio Guerra, an excellent Puerto Rican wrestler, as he rises from the bottom of the pecking order. In this interactive physical comedy, Mace talks directly to the audience as fans in his arena. The play dissects race, xenophobia, ego, and our moral compass - topics even more relevant now than when it premiered nine years ago.





THE CAST: 
Alejandro Tey as MACE, Harsh Gagoomal as VP, Breon Arzell as CHAD DEITY, Frank Stasio as EKO, Will Snyder as THE BAD GUY, and Dave Honigman as REFEREE.

PRODUCTION TEAM: 
Stage Manager: Jamie Crothers 
Costume Designer: Hailey Rakowiecki 
Lighting Designer: Charles Blunt 
Sound Designer: Sarah D. Espinoza 
Technical Director & Set Designer: Becca Venable 
Projection Designer: Alberto Mendoza and Matt Hooks 
Fight Choreographer: Kyle Encinas 
Props Designer: Kat Moraros 
Assistant Director: Nathan Speckman 
Dramaturg: Joseph Galizia 
Associate Producer: Rory Jobst



ABOUT RED THEATER: Red Theater is a Jeff Award-winning company that asks dangerous questions, striving to deliver productions that go beyond entertainment, challenging an audience to interpret the themes and ideas presented on a personal level. Since 2008, our commitment to accessibility through every stage of the creative process also lowers the barriers of access, allowing all audiences to see new and reimagined works that broaden perspectives and inspire dialogue.

SIXTH NATIONAL ASIAN AMERICAN THEATER CONFERENCE & FESTIVAL TO BE HELD IN CHICAGO AUGUST 13 – 18, 2018

Theater Fest Alert
Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:



The 2018 Theme, Revolutionary Acts, will engage Chicago Community in Critical Theater and Dialogue

The Consortium of Asian American Theaters & Artists (CAATA), dedicated to advancing the field of Asian American theater, announces Chicago as the host city for the Sixth National Asian American Theater Conference and Festival (ConFest), to be held August 13 – 18. Single tickets for festival shows and new play readings will be available for $25 and $10 respectively, with a student price of $20 for festival shows.

Over the course of six days, ConFest 2018: Chicago will explore the theme Revolutionary Acts, engaging attendees and the Chicago community in critical theater and dialogue regarding the intersection of art, leadership and organizational practice in the face of social injustice, inequity and active resistance in American culture. This theme will be realized through theater productions, plenary speakers, panel discussions, new play readings, workshops and special events. Most importantly, ConFest 2018: Chicago provides a space for Asian American theater practitioners and their allies from across the country to connect and build the relationships that help keep the community vibrant and alive. ConFest 2018: Chicago will be hosted in Chicago by Victory Gardens Theater, Silk Road Rising and The Theatre School at DePaul University.

"The peoples and cultures that connect Japan with Syria and Polynesia with Kazakhstan, can trace settlement in the Americas well before any present day borders. Yet in the crafting of national narratives, our stories were largely erased by those with more power than us,” said Jamil Khoury, founding artistic director of Silk Road Rising and CAATA board member. “This year's ConFest in Chicago is itself a ‘revolutionary act’, an intentional reversal of a deliberate erasure.  It represents yet another milestone in raising our voices and asserting our power. For if culture is defined by the artist, then the artist is unmistakably an activist. Or as I like to say, 'Don't Ask, Create!'"

Victory Garden Theater Artistic Director and CAATA Board Member Chay Yew said, “Victory Gardens is passionately committed to inclusion, diversity and equity on every level of our institution, from artists to audiences, from board to staff. We believe in bringing our world onto our stages and creating civic dialogue towards a more equitable nation. We are thrilled to open our home to the 2018 CAATA ConFest so that our Chicago theatre community can also learn and benefit from the best artistic and institutional practices in Asian American theatre.”

ConFest 2018: Chicago will include several notable plenary speakers and breakout sessions addressing topics including casting and union representation of Asian American performers. Speakers and sessions will be announced at a later date.

The Festival features six CAATA-presented fully-staged productions from some of the nation’s leading Asian American theater practitioners and playwrights, one opening night showcase of CAATA member-company five new play readings and additional community and partner programs.



The six Festival productions included in ConFest 2018: Chicago are:

Hot Asian Everything: Revolt
Presented by CAATA
Directed by Victor Malana Moag

Monday, Aug. 13 at  8 p.m.
Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave.
Included in ConFest pass. Single tickets on sale June 20.

An evening of revolutionary proportions featuring a powerhouse mix of Chicago and national talent -- all hosted by the illustrious Emi Macadangdang and Jasmine! Kick off ConFest 2018 in style with a collection of sketch comedy, musical performances and celebrity sightings by some of Asian American theater’s most noted artists. Spend the evening with some of our closest CAATA friends, both old and new. Full lineup TBA.

Acquittal
By Shahid Nadeem
Translated by Tahira Naqvi
Directed by Noelle Ghoussaini
Presented by Pan Asian Repertory Theatre

Tuesday, Aug. 14 at 3:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Aug.15 at  6 p.m.
Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave.
Included in ConFest pass. Single tickets on sale June 20.

Acquittal weaves together the story of four women unjustly imprisoned in Pakistan during General Zia-ul-Haq’s discriminatory Hudood Ordinances: Zahida, an activist jailed for her 
political activity; Marium, a pregnant rape victim in prison because she refused an abortion; Jamila, a woman denied divorce by Islamic law, who murdered her abusive husband and Jannat Bibi, incarcerated in place of her son for theft. In this bleak 1980s prison, the women forge a bond that transcends their differences in class, ideology, and religious practice. 

Acquittal’s production staff includes: You-Shin Chen, set design; Hyun Sook Kim, costume design; Leslie Smith, lighting design and Sinan Refik Zafar, sound design.

About Pan Asian Repertory Theatre
Now in its 41st milestone season, Pan Asian is the pioneer Asian American theater in New York City, the second most veteran in the nation, and is at the forefront of promoting pan-Asian cultural stories previously unseen on the American stage. It was founded in 1977 by Tisa Chang with the vision that Asian American artists can equally follow their artistic aspirations to reach the zenith in American theater. Its mission is to provide professional theatre opportunities for diverse Asian American artists to work under the highest standards of excellence and create new works that dignify and dispel stereotypes, focusing on stories of probing social justice issues. Pan Asian’s artistic distinction is seen in Off-Broadway productions, tours, educational outreach, and community service. The company has nurtured thousands of artists, with notable alumni including Lucy Liu, Daniel Dae Kim, and Wai Ching Ho from Marvel’s Defenders series.

#////#
Written and directed by Pratik Motwani

Tuesday, Aug. 14 at  8 p.m.
Wednesday, Aug. 15 at 3:30 p.m.
Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave.
Included in ConFest pass. Single tickets on sale June 20.

A multimedia experience combining film, Prezi presentation, and physical theatre, EMBEDDED is a revolt against all identities that trap us. EMBEDDED follows the journey of a YouTube cyber celebrity – a virtual identity trapped in the algorithms of a social media platform, a world from which it is impossible to disconnect and all communication happens via a “wall.” Questioning notions of identity and image, reality and perception, this devised theatre piece explores our need for real connection and inclusion coupled with our inability to disconnect from our imposed virtual identities. 

About Pratik Motwani
Originally from Mumbai, India, Pratik Motwani is a resident actor, teaching artist and company member with Dell’Arte International in California. Motwani creates, produces and tours original works of devised physical theater. Motwani tours internationally as lead performer with IMAGO Theatre (Portland, OR) in their world-renowned physical comedy and mask performance shows FROGZ and Zoo Zoo. He has served as a guest teacher for mask performance technique/devised physical theater at Pennsylvania State University, the University of California Berkeley, and the Michael Chekhov School in New York. Recent works include: #////# (2018 FURY Factory festival, San Francisco; 2018 CoHo Summer Fest, Portland, OR); The Long Way (2017 United Solo Festival, NYC); The Mysterious Magical Brandishers of Magic (2018 New York Clown Festival, The BRICK, NYC; 2017 Play the Fool Festival, Edmonton, Canada); and IN'Tents (OSF 2014 Green Show, Ashland, OR and AFCA's 5th annual Hakawy International Arts Festival, Cairo and Alexandria).

Pōhaku
Written, directed and performed by Christopher K. Morgan

Wednesday, Aug. 15 at 8 p.m.
Thursday, Aug. 16 at 3:30 p.m.
Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave.
Included in ConFest pass. Single tickets on sale June 20.

Pōhaku incorporates traditional Hawaiian chant, hula, contemporary dance, theater and 
storytelling to explore compelling universal themes in the story of Hawaii’s native people, 
including land loss and fractured identity. In this solo dance theater piece, Christopher K. Morgan connects his personal family story of outward migration away from Hawai'i to the illegal overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawai'i, the islands' colonial history and its present day status. 

About Christopher K. Morgan
Christopher K. Morgan is the executive artistic director of Dance Place in Washington, DC, where he oversees performances and a school for youth and adults. He is the artistic and executive director of dance company Christopher K. Morgan & Artists (CKM&A) and the director of dance Omi, an annual collaborative residency for international choreographers. Born in Orange County, California, Morgan’s native Hawaiian ancestry and a broad, international dance career influence his work as an administrator, choreographer, educator, facilitator, curator and performer. Morgan’s choreography has been presented in 18 countries on five continents and was profiled as one of six breakout choreographers in the United States in Dance Magazine 2011.

893 / Ya-Ku-Za
By Daria Miyeko Marinelli
Directed by kt shorb 
Presented by Generic Ensemble Company (GenEnCo)

Thursday, Aug. 16 at 8 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 17 at 3:30 p.m.
Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave.
Included in ConFest pass. Single tickets on sale June 20.

Set over the course of a business lunch in an unknown Japanese restaurant somewhere in the United States, 893 | Ya-ku-za follows an ambitious young assassin’s bid to become the first female member of the infamous Japanese crime syndicate. Over a meal of sushi, witty banter and quiet threats, 893 | Ya-ku-za explores the cost of ambition and change – questioning what it means to be first and what we’re willing to do to get there.

About GenEnCo
Founded in 2009, the Generic Ensemble Company is a fixture in Austin theater. Centering devised work by queer people of color, GenEnCo uses the Suzuki Method and Anne Bogart’s Viewpoints as principle training practices. Citations include: Open Meadows Foundation (2011, The Experiment), Q Rental Subsidy Grant (2012, The Experiment), B. Iden Payne Award for Best Original Script (2016, The Mikado: Reclaimed), and a two-year performance residency at the Dougherty Arts Center (2017-2019). GenEnCo has been featured on the cover of Austin’s free weekly newspaper, The Austin Chronicle, for its devised Asian American reclamation of the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, The Mikado. Their recent production of Scheherazade, a devised work centering Middle Eastern narratives in the context of the “Muslim Ban,” was named one of the 10 most memorable theater productions of 2017 by the Austin-American Statesman, and an honorable mention for the Austin Chronicle’s top 10 “Theatre Riches” of 2017.

Pillowtalk
Written and directed by Kyoung H. Park 
Presented by Kyoung’s Pacific Beat

Friday, Aug. 17 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 18 at 8 p.m.
Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave.
Included in ConFest pass. Single tickets on sale June 20.

Set in Brooklyn 2017, Pillowtalk brings to life one night in the lives of Sam and Buck, a recently married interracial couple. Through a formal exploration of theatrical naturalism and the codified gender norms of ballet’s pas de deux, Pillowtalk queers the intersections of race, gender and class to illuminate how liberation and oppression co-exist in our most intimate spaces.

Pillowtalk is performed by two queer men of color, JP Moraga and Basit Shittu, and features live music by Helen Yee, choreography by Katy Pyle, set and lighting design by Marie Yokoyama, sound design by Lawrence Schober and costume design by Andrew Jordan.

About Kyoung’s Pacific Beat
Kyoung’s Pacific Beat (KPB) is a peacemaking theater company based in Brooklyn, New York, which promotes a culture of peace through the production of new works of theater written and directed by Kyoung H. Park. The company develops its work over the course of multiple years, in collaboration with artists from different cultures and disciplines. Through research and engagement with local communities, KPB explores experiences of oppression and transforms the collected stories through radical experimentations with form. Its goal is to give voice to marginalized perspectives in society and bring together like-minded individuals that believe peace matters. KPB's work includes disOriented, Tala, and Pillowtalk. KPB is led by Kyoung H. Park, the first Korean playwright from Latin America to be produced and published in the U.S. and a 2010 UNESCO Aschberg-Laureate.

History of National Asian American Theater Conference & Festival
In September 2003, six Asian American theater companies attended a convening sponsored by Theater Communications Group. The companies— Pan Asian Repertory Theatre, East 
West Players, Ma-Yi Theater, the National Asian American Theatre Company (NAATCO), 

Second Generation and Mu Performing Arts— began discussions to hold the first National Asian American Theater Conference. Spearheaded by Tim Dang of East West Players, “Next Big Bang: The First Asian American Theater Conference” took place in Los Angeles in June 2006.

The first National Asian American Theater Festival took place June 2007 in New York City, featuring over 25 performing artists and companies. Conferences and festivals have since been hosted in Minneapolis, New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Ashland, Oregon. 

About the Consortium of Asian American Theaters & Artists (CAATA)
The Consortium of Asian American Theaters & Artists (CAATA) envisions a strong and sustainable Asian American theater community that is an integral presence in national culture—evocative of its past, declarative of the present and innovative towards the future. CAATA’s mission is to advance the field of Asian American theater through a national network of organizations and artists. They collaborate to inspire learning and sharing of knowledge, and resources to promote a healthy, sustainable artistic ecology.

As a collective of Asian American theater leaders and artists, CAATA brings together local and regional leaders to work nationally toward the shared values of social justice, artistic diversity, cultural equity and inclusion. National conferences and festivals are held biennially in different parts of the country, reaching as wide a range of Asian American populations and communities as possible. Asian American theater artists and organizations are surveyed to find out their foremost concerns. CAATA then forms alliances with other theater groups of different affinities to advance mutual goals cooperatively and to exchange ideas and strategies.

What: 2018 National Asian American Theater Conference and Festival (2018 ConFest)

2018 Theme: Revolutionary Acts

When: August 13 - 18, 2018 

Where: Hosted by Victory Gardens Theater, Silk Road Rising and DePaul University School of Theater

Tickets: Early Bird passes start at  $350 and are available at caata.net beginning Wednesday, May 16 at 10 a.m. Beginning Wednesday, June 20 at 10 a.m., single tickets for festival performances and new play readings will be available for $25 and $10 respectively, with a student price of $20 for shows.

 

For additional information about the 2018 ConFest, including artist and speaker bios, ConFest passes, and single tickets visit CAATA.net.

The National Endowment for the Arts, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and donors to CAATA’s 2018 Indiegogo campaign are generous supporters of this year’s ConFest in Chicago.

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