Pivot Arts Presents the World Premiere of
DON’T LOOK BACK/MUST LOOK BACK
Conceived by Julieanne Ehre
Written by Tanya Palmer
Directed by Devon De Mayo
October 20 – November 19, 2017
(left to right) Jin Park, Ashlyn Lozano and Phyllis Liu
Photo by Austin D. Oie.
Pivot Arts is pleased to present the world premiere of DON’T LOOK BACK/MUST LOOK BACK, a site-specific performance experience in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood, conceived by Julieanne Ehre, written by Tanya Palmer, directed by Devon de Mayo and devised by an ensemble of actors and designers. Audience members are taken on an immersive journey inspired by the stories and experiences of Uptown residents, many of whom came to Uptown as refugees.
DON’T LOOK BACK/MUST LOOK BACK will play October 20 – November 19, 2017 in various Uptown locations starting at the Chinese Mutual Aid Association, 1016 W. Argyle St. The intimate performance experience is limited to 16 audience members per show. Tickets, priced at $35, are currently on sale at pivotarts.org/events/.
DON’T LOOK BACK/MUST LOOK BACK will feature Christopher Acevedo, Samantha Beach, Lucy Carapetyan, Phyllis Liu, Sarah Lo, Ashlyn Lozano, Edward Mawere and Jin Park.
The performance is inspired by stories of escape and loss from local residents who fled their countries and arrived here to make Uptown their home – and the systems and people that they’ve encountered along the way. Blending movement, images and storytelling, Don't Look Back/Must Look Back brings audiences into the experience of making a home in a place where everything is unfamiliar and the sands are constantly shifting beneath your feet.
The performance also features images from documentary artist James Bowey’s exhibit “When Home Won’t Let You Stay,” a portrait of refugees in America and their stories of hope and perseverance in the face of violence and loss. For additional information, visit https://jamesbowey.atavist.com/home.
“Don’t Look Back/Must Look Back continues Pivot Arts’ initiative to create site-specific performances where audiences participate in unique experiences,” comments Pivot Arts Director Julieanne Ehre. “Last year’s The Memory Tour took audiences on a journey through memory and Don’t Look Back/Must Look Back uses a similar format. Audiences will have the opportunity to experience the lives of local residents and refugees while moving through various locations.”
The production team includes Patricia Nguyen (associate director), John Blick (production manager), James Bowey (video and photographs), Connor Ciesil (sound designer), kClare McKellaston (costume designer), Justine B. Palmisano (stage manager), Giau Truong (lighting and installation designer) and Sammy Ziesel (assistant director).
(front right) Ashlyn Lozano with (back, l to r) Jin Park, Phyllis Liu, Christopher Acevedo, Samantha Beach, Lucy Carapetyan and Edward Mawere
Photo by Austin D. Oie.
Dates: Previews: Friday, October 20 at 7:30 pm
Regular run: Friday, October 27 – Sunday, November 19, 2017
Curtain Times: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 7:30 pm.
Tickets: $35.Tickets are currently available at pivotarts.org/events/.
A special event held on Sunday, October 22 at 5:30 pm at 1027 W. Argyle St. includes a discussion with lead artists on DON’T LOOK BACK/MUST LOOK BACK along with an opportunity to learn more about the work of Chinese Mutual Aid Association and other local organizations who serve refugees. More information can be found at pivotarts.org/events/.
DON’T LOOK BACK/ MUST LOOK BACK is funded in part by an Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts with major in-kind support from Chinese Mutual Aid Association.
About the Artists
Julieanne Ehre is the founder and the director of Pivot Arts. She both leads the organization and curates performances including the Pivot Arts Festival, Live Talk series and conceived/directed The Memory Tour. She was the NEA/TCG New Generations “Future Leaders” Fellow at the Goodman Theatre, where she served as producer on Latino Festival, New Stages Series and conceived of and produced the Goodman’s Artists Talk series. Julieanne served as a delegate to the Santiago a Mil Festival in Chile and the ITI World Theater Congress in Xiamen, China through Theater Communications Group and was the co-chair of the Arts and Culture Committee for Chicago’s 48th Ward. As the Artistic Director of Greasy Joan & Co. for five years, she directed and produced critically acclaimed and premiere adaptations of classic plays and worked as a freelance theater director. Ehre holds an MFA in Directing from Northwestern University.
Tanya Palmer is a dramaturg and playwright. Her plays include Body Talk, Fatherland, Barbra Live at Canyon Ranch, Spring and Trash and The Memory Tour, and have been developed or produced at Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Hangar Theatre, Solar Stage, the Montreal Fringe Festival, The Harbourfront Centre, HERE and Pivot Arts, where she is an Artistic Associate. She is a member of MC-10, a newly formed Playwrights Collective in residence at the Greenhouse Theater Center. Her work has been published by Smith & Kraus, Samuel French and Playscripts, Inc. She is the Director of New Play Development at Goodman Theatre, where she coordinates New Stages, the theater’s new play program, and has served as the production dramaturg on a number of plays including the world premieres of 2666 by Roberto Bolaño, adapted and directed by Seth Bockley and Robert Falls; Smokefall by Noah Haidle, The Happiest Song Plays Last by Quiara Hudes and the Pulitzer Prize–winning Ruined by Lynn Nottage. Prior to her arrival in Chicago, she served as the director of new play development at Actors Theatre of Louisville, where she led the reading and selection process for the Humana Festival of New American Plays. She is the co-editor, with Amy Wegener and Adrien-Alice Hansel, of four collections of Humana Festival plays, published by Smith & Kraus, as well as two collections of 10-minute plays published by Samuel French. Originally from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, she holds an MFA in playwriting from York University in Toronto.
Devon de Mayo is a director, devisor and teacher. Most recently, she directed Harvey at Court Theatre. Other directing credits include: You on the Moors Now (The Hypocrites), Sycamore (Raven Theatre), Animals Out of Paper (Shattered Globe Theatre), You Can't Take it With You at (Northlight Theatre), Jet Black Chevrolet (side project), Lost in Yonkers (Northlight Theatre), Compulsion and Everything is Illuminated (Next Theatre); An Actor Prepares (University of Chicago); and Roadkill Confidential, The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler and Clouds (Dog & Pony). Directing and devising credits include: Guerra: A Clown Play, a collaboration with Mexico City based artists La Piara (performances in Mexico City, Chicago, New York, Bogota, Albuquerque and Madrid); The Whole World is Watching (Dog & Pony Theatre Co. with Chicago Park District), Infiltrating Bounce (San Antonio Luminaria Festival), The Twins Would Like To Say (Dog & Pony at Steppenwolf Theatre), As Told by the Vivian Girls (Dog & Pony). In 2015, she served as Resident Director under Stephen Daldry for The Audience on Broadway. Devon also serves as an Adjunct Professor at Northwestern University, Loyola University and the University of Chicago. She received her MFA in Theatre Directing from Middlesex University in London.
About Pivot Arts
Pivot Arts produces and presents contemporary and multi-disciplinary performance. They develop new work and present performances throughout the year culminating in a multi-arts festival. Their vision is that of a vibrant community where unique collaborations between artists, businesses and organizations lead to the support and creation of innovative performance events.