Showing posts with label collaboraction. Show all posts
Showing posts with label collaboraction. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

OPENING: US Premiere of “DON’T SMOKE IN BED” Via Chimera Ensemble at Collaboraction Studios June 15 - July 8, 2018

Chi IL Live Shows On Our Radar:

Chimera Ensemble’s
US Premiere of
Created by 
Aurin Squire
Directed by Chika Ike

 “Eye-opening and troubling, DON’T SMOKE IN BED will force audiences to re-evaluate their understanding of modern society.” – Michelle Keepence, THE UPCCOMING

Here at ChiIL Live Shows, we're eager to catch the US premiere. Chimera Ensemble is a favorite of ours, as is Chicago's own Chika Ike, directing. I'll be out for the press opening June 16th, so check back soon for my full review. 

Chimera Ensemble's US Premiere of DON’T SMOKE IN BED, written by award-winning playwright Aurin Squire, and directed by acclaimed director Chika Ike, will open to the press on Saturday, June 16. Kai A. Ealy, who earlier this year appeared in MARY STUART at Chicago Shakespeare and FRANKLINLAND for Jackalope Theatre company; and ensemble member Nicole Fabbri, seen in Chimera’s SISTER CITIES, will play an interracial couple being interviewed about their marriage by an unseen journalist via webcam. Director Ike comes to the project from her recent sellout hit DONTRELL, WHO KISSED THE SEA, by Nathan Alan Davis, produced by First Floor Theater. Ike’s other recent directing credits include Janine Nabers’s A SWELL IN THE GROUND (The Gift Theatre) and Lloyd Suh’s FRANKLINLAND (Jackalope Theatre Company).

Kai A. Ealy (left) and Nicole Fabbri

Ike’s production team includes Milo Bue (Scenic Designer), Stefanie Johnsen (Costume Designer), David Goodman-Edberg (Lighting Designer), Stephanie Slaven-Ruffing (Sound Designer), Warren Wernick (Properties Designer), Gaby Labotka (Intimacy Designer), Jake Engram (Technical Director), Jaime Gutfeldt (Production Manager), Devonte E. Washington (Stage Manager).

The production will go up June 15 - July 8 in The Pentagon Theater at Collaboraction Studios in The Flat Iron Arts Building, 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave, Chicago IL 60622. There will be one preview on Friday, June 15 at 7:30 pm. Opening night, followed by a reception, will be Saturday, June 16 at 7:30 pm. 

DON’T SMOKE IN BED tells the story of Jamaican-American Richard (Ealy), and Irish-American Sheryl (Fabbri). As the couple open up about their relationship, inner demons are revealed and their effort to start a family together is complicated. DON'T SMOKE IN BED presents a rich, insightful exploration of how society's expectations influence what goes on behind closed doors. The play, which had its World Premiere in London in 2016, contains “intelligent, self-aware dialogue” and has been called “honest and raw” with “each scene more passionate than the last” (Annabel Mellor, THEATRE AND PERFORMANCE GUIDE AND GURU and Michelle Keepence, THE UPCOMING).

Aurin Squire (Playwright) is a Brooklyn-based playwright and journalist whose work has been called “refreshingly clever” by THE NEW YORK TIMES. He is a 2015 graduate of The Julliard School’s Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program, and took part in the Royal Court Theatre’s US Writer Programme, as well as the Dramatists Guild Fellowship. His plays include A FAMILY MANUAL FOR KWANZAA (The Kennedy Center MFA Workshop) THE GREAT BLACK SAMBO MACHINE (Lincoln Centre Lab and Ars Nova), DEFACING MICHAEL JACKSON (Nuyorican Poets Café workshop and winner of Lincoln Center’s Act One Prize), TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN (Abingdon Theatre and ArcLight Theatre productions), and AFRICAN AMERICANA (Brooklyn Arts Exchange and Theatre 503).

Chika Ike (Director) is a Chicago-based director who comes to DON’T SMOKE IN BED fresh from a sold-out run of DONTRELL, WHO KISSED THE SEA, by Nathan Alan Davis, produced by First Floor Theater. Other recent directing credits include Janine Nabers’s A SWELL IN THE GROUND (The Gift Theatre) and Lloyd Suh’s FRANKLINLAND (Jackalope Theatre Company). She has also worked with Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Victory Gardens, The Gift Theatre Company, American Blues Theatre Company, Eclipse Theatre, and Prologue Theatre Company. Chika is an ensemble member at The Gift Theatre Company and has received the SDCF Gielgud Directing Fellowship and the Bret C. Harte Directing Fellowship at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Chika is also a member of the 2017-18 SDCF Observership class, and a member of the Victory Gardens Directors Inclusion Initiative. 

Pay-What-You-Can Preview: Friday, June 15 at 7:30pm
Industry Night: Monday, July 2 at 7:30pm.

Ticket Pricing: $23 general admission, $15 senior, $15 student/industry with valid ID (discounts subject to availability)

Tickets may be purchased HERE.

Click Here For Additional Information 

To create a quality innovative theatrical platform. To give back to Chicago organizations that advocate for the betterment of our community. To provide accessibility for all people. Above all, we seek out the good; we question our fears and judgments so that others may question theirs.

Access is an important part of our mission at Chimera Ensemble. Through discussions within the Ensemble and with Chimera’s amazing collaborators in the Chicago community, we attempt to create an environment in which performers, directors, designers, playwrights, and audience members feel welcome to work with us and experience our productions. Season Two marks a new chapter in our mission of access, as every performance will feature Open Captioning, rather than the norm of this programming only being offered for one performance during a production's run. By providing Open Captioning for every performance, Chimera hopes to create not only a more cohesive and inclusive theatrical process that better reflects the varied ways in which individuals experience the world, but also a model for other theater companies to follow. DON’T SMOKE IN BED will also feature one Audio Described performance proceeded by a Touch Tour, date TBD. 

Part of Chimera Ensemble’s mission as a theatrical platform is to give back to the community, so for each show we produce we partner with a local organization whose work matches the themes of the production. We collect money and raise awareness for our partner organization. Please stay tuned for an upcoming announcement on Chimera’s partner organization for DON’T SMOKE IN BED.

Thursday, March 22, 2018


Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

APRIL 12-MAY 20, 2018

Here at ChiIL Live Shows we're huge fans of the work Collaboraction does, bringing social issues to the stage and bringing theatre to the neighborhoods. We're eager to see their next iteration, the world premiere of A Blue Island in the Red Sea.

Welcome to the Grand Opening of the new Chicago Racism Museum, where community leaders and residents are gathering for a multimedia - and meta-theatrical - exhibit that explores the history of racism in Chicago.

That’s the opening of A Blue Island in the Red Sea, a world premiere live theater docudrama that exposes the history Chicagoans often try to forget.

The cast/co-devisers of A Blue Island in the Red Sea includes (from left) Sean Patrick Leonard, Sam Campbell III, Ada Cheng, Dana N. Anderson, P. Tyler Nielsen, Shannon Leigh Webber, Marcus D. Moore, Uday Joshi (kneeling), Andrew Rios and Esme Perez (kneeling). Please credit photo: Joel Maisonet

Performances are April 12-May 20, 2018 in The Pentagon at Collaboraction Studios in the Flat Iron Arts Building, 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave., in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood. Press opening is Wednesday, April 18 at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $15-30; $5-$15 for students, educators and industry. For tickets and information, visit or call (312) 226-9633.

After its successful tour of Encounter, a mixed medium festival about racism and racial healing that toured Wicker Park, Lincoln Park, Hermosa, Austin and Englewood, Collaboraction continues to explore the harsh reality of systemic racism in Chicago with A Blue Island in the Red Sea.

Collaboraction’s 2017-18 season finale is an original devised new work that presents a diverse cast of Chicagoans in a meta-theatrical live experience intended to open eyes and further the conversation about racism and racial healing in our city.

A Blue Island in the Red Sea, written and directed by Collaboraction Artistic Director Anthony Moseley, was created through open workshops in collaboration with a team of community members, actors and designers.

“The resulting work takes audiences on a whirlwind journey from the time before the city of Chicago was founded through the formation of the segregated city we know today,” explains Moseley. “Whether it’s Chicago’s history of locking up black and brown people, going all the way back to DuSable, or the inherent racism in the dress code today at Bottled Blonde, we are using theater to encourage an honest conversation about critical issues surrounding race to cultivate truth and transformation in the Windy City.”

Previews of A Blue Island in the Red Sea are Thursday through Saturday, April 12, 13 and 14 at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, April 15 at 3 p.m.; and Tuesday, April 17 at 7:30 p.m. Press opening is Wednesday, April 18 at 7:30 p.m. No show Thursday, April 19. Performances continue through May 20: Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. Industry nights are Monday, May 7 and 14 at 7:30 p.m. 


From left: Collaboraction Artistic Director Anthony with Managing Director
Dr. Marcus Robinson at Encounter festival talk-backs in Englewood and Hermosa earlier this year.

Collaboraction Managing Director Dr. Marcus Robinson will bring his deep experience in community development, social justice, and transformation to lead the post-show fireside conversation after every show. Audiences at Collaboraction are often a mix of people with power and privilege, sitting along side those who experience social injustice every day. So expect these conversations, led by a proud resident of Englewood, to pop. 

The cast/co-devisers of A Blue Island in the Red Sea includes (top row, from left) Dana N. Anderson,
Sam Campbell III, Ada Cheng, Uday Joshi, Sean Patrick Leonard, (bottom, from left) Marcus D. Moore, P. Tyler Nielsen, Esme Perez, Andrew Rios and Shannon Leigh Webber. (Photos by Joel Maisonet)

Designers are Jose Manuel Diaz-Soto (Scenic Design), Elsa Hiltner (Costume Design), Levert Wilkins and Jeremy Getz (Lighting Design), Liviu Pasare and Parker Langvardt (Video Design), John Nichols (Sound Design) and Katy Vest (Properties Design).

The production team includes Sarah Moeller (Producer), Noelle Hedges-Goettl (Production Manager), Caitlin Body (Stage Manager), Genevieve Fowler (Assistant Director), Nate Ferguson (Script Supervisor), Giulianna Marchese (Dramaturg), Manny Ortiz (Technical Director), Chas Mathieu (Scenic Painter and Assistant Scenic Design), Becs Bartle (Master Electrician) and Sunniva Holmlund (Assistant Stage Manager).

“I've made it one of my new goals, after five years of going into the neighborhoods making theater with and for communities affected by violence through docudrama theater to now come back to white Chicago and talk to white Chicagoans, that’s my dream: that white people will wake up and understand that they’ve benefited greatly from the racism and that it’s time for them to come full circle and become part of the solution.” - Anthony Moseley, Artistic Director, Collaboraction

Anthony Moseley (writer, director) has been the Executive Artistic Director of Collaboraction Theatre Company since 1999 and has produced over 60 productions, 17 festivals and numerous other artistic productions. He has led the company’s transformation from a Chicago storefront into a change agent that uses original, devised theatre and deep community collaboration to cultivate knowledge, empathy, dialogue and action around critical social issues. In 2013, he co-devised and directed Crime Scene: A Chicago Anthology, a docudrama about the root causes of violence in Chicago, which drew on over 250 sources. The show, and its subsequent four sequels, toured Chicago for three years. During its 125 performances, it reached over 25,000 Chicagoans. Each performance also featured dance battle tournaments, free community meals and town hall discussions. Anthony then initiated Collaboraction’s annual Peacebook festival, a collection of 24 world premiere pieces featuring over 235 artists, which opens at the Goodman Theatre each year before touring the city. In 2014, he co-wrote, co-directed and acted in This is Not a Cure For Cancer, an existential dramedy inspired by his father's battle with cancer. He wrote and directed Connected, a show exploring our relationship with technology. Moseley is also a collaborative partner with his wife and soul-mate, Chicago artist Sandra Delgado.

About Collaboraction

Collaboraction (, Chicago’s social contemporary theater, continues its tradition of provocative and powerful world premieres that take on Chicago’s most pressing social issues with A Blue Island in the Red Sea.

Collaboraction 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. Collaboraction has worked with more than 3,000 artists to bring more than 60 productions and events to more than 100,000 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.

Collaboraction is the resident theatre company in the Flat Iron Arts Building,
1579 N. Milwaukee Ave., at the epicenter of Chicago’s Wicker Park and Bucktown neighborhoods. The company’s collective three-space venue, Collaboraction Studios, includes The Pentagon, The Vault and The Salon, encompassing 8,000 square feet on the third floor of the historic building. Collaboraction Studios is home to Collaboraction’s productions, the work of its Teen Peacemakers Ensemble in partnership with After School Matters, as well as a wide variety of visiting Chicago theater and dance companies and comedy groups. Collaboraction Studios are also the home of Collaboraction For-Hire, which creates custom special event design for private, corporate and civic clients, including the Art Institute, the City of Chicago and many more.

Collaboraction’s vision is to utilize theatre to cultivate theater, 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 Nights Out in the Parks program to cultivate relationships and theater in Englewood, Austin and Hermosa through the Crime Scene, Peacebook and Encounter tours.

Other production highlights include 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 is supported by The Chicago Community Trust, The Joyce Foundation, DCASE and the Wicker Park & Bucktown SSA #33 Chamber of Commerce. This program is partially supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

For more, visit, follow the company on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, YouTube or Instagram, or call the Collaboraction box office, (312) 226-9633.

Monday, March 21, 2016

OPENING: Collaboraction's Connected 4/21-5/29

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:


Here at ChiIL Live Shows, we're utterly intrigued with the concept and can't wait to catch this show. What other production actually asks audience members to bring headphones and a smart phone, if they have them, in order to experience a pre-show silent disco?! Each performance will also be followed by a town hall discussion with an expert in astrophysics, technology or human evolution. Audience members also can join the Connected community, share content to be included in the show and find information that deepens the experience of seeing the performance at

For its 20th anniversary show, Collaboraction is exploring mankind, technology and our connection to it all with the world premiere of Connected, the story of humankind as told by the nine planets in our solar system, starting with the Big Bang and stopping at numerous historical and future campfires along the way.

Part historical docudrama, part science fiction, Connected soars through the history of space and time for an exciting new immersive theatre experience illuminating our relationship with technology and each other, and how a special tribe used its unique connection to one another to survive it all. 

Performances are April 21 through May 29 at Collaboraction, in the Flat Iron Arts Building, 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave., Room 300, in Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood. Press opening is Wednesday, April 27 at 7 p.m. 

Tickets are on sale now. Tickets are $15-$30. For tickets and information, visit or call (312) 226-9633.

Led by Collaboraction Artistic Director Anthony Moseley, Connected will be a milestone production that takes on the critical social issue of technology and whether we allow it to bring us together or isolate us further. Connected features intimate staging where the audience of 50 sits in a circle around a metaphorical campfire as the action takes place all around them. The production uses puppets, 3-D mapped video projections, meta-theatrics, social media, audience interaction and story-telling.

"For our 20th anniversary show, we wanted to explore and celebrate the origin of theatre itself, the ancient phenomena of coming together around a campfire to share stories and dream about the unknown, a uniquely human endeavor which speaks to our need for community and our penchant for asking the questions 'why'," said Moseley. "We aim to make this a show really about community and our connection to one another. I can promise it will be a truly unique piece of Chicago theatre history in its staging and scope."

Connected features an ensemble cast included Collaboraction company members Antonio Brunetti and Luis Crespo, along with Justin Dietzel, Amber Hughee, Warren Levon, Mary Mikva, Annie Prichard, Rasika Ranganathan, and introducing Stella Moseley.

The design team includes Anthony Moseley (writer/director), Jen Ellison (assistant director), Ashley Woods (set design), Erik Barry (lighting design), Elsa Hiltner (costume design), Matthew Reich (sound design), Rachel Watson (puppet and prop design), Sam Porretta (Outside Eye), Sarah Moeller (producer), Erica Bush (production manager), Caitlin Body (stage manager), Ian Downing-Beaver (dramaturg) and Stephanie Svarz (artistic intern).

Previews of Connected are April 21-26: Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 3 p.m. and Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. Press opening is Wednesday, April 27 at 7 p.m. Performances run through May 27: Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 3 p.m. Industry Night performances are Monday, April 28 and May 23 at 7:30 p.m. No show Thursday, April 28. Single tickets are $30; $15 for students, educators and industry. Purchase tickets online at or call 312.226.9633.

About Collaboraction
Collaboraction ( 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 more than 3,000 artists to bring more than 60 productions and events to more than 100,000 audience members.

Production highlights include Collaboraction's acclaimed series of Crime Scene productions responding to Chicago's current 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 theatre spaces, is led by Artistic Director Anthony Moseley, Executive Director Darcy Addison 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.

For tickets and information, visit or call 312.226.9633.   

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

ACT OUT OPENING: Collaboraction presents SKETCHBOOK 14: 2049 #Theatre

Collaboraction presents
May 22 - June 15, 2014

Here at ChiIL Live Shows we've been covering Sketchbook for 3 years now and it's become one of our favorite annual theatre feasts.  The quality and creativity of this mash up of world premier theater pieces is hard to beat.  This year there are EIGHTEEN social issues based pieces on the theme of "incite change". We also dig the concept of setting the fest in a future society looking back and exploring their past (our present). Sounds like wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff (ala Dr. Who), and right up our alley!

The kick off/press opening is an offering of ALL the pieces, back to back, and it's enough to make your head explode... in the best possible way!!  Come gorge on new theatre.  We did it that way the past 2 years and it was crazy cathartic.  Otherwise... there's a saner approach, where you can buy single show tickets or a festival pass and check the shows out at your leisure. However you roll... we HIGHLY recommend you roll on over to The Flatiron and catch SKETCHBOOK 14: 2049.  

Collaboraction presents
 A Mixed Medium Theatre Festival of Positive, Post-Apocalyptic
Short New Works, May 22 - June 15, 2014

Collaboraction's 14th annual SKETCHBOOK festival boasts 17 world premiere theater pieces addressing a wide range of current social issues, guest curated by Ike Holter

Continuing with its new "incite change" mission, Collaboraction presents SKETCHBOOK: 2049, a rapid-fire, raucous festival of 17 world premiere theatre pieces ranging from under a minute to 20 minutes in length, all set in a positive post-apocalypse and reflective of contemporary society's current challenges. 
Collaboraction's annual SKETCHBOOK festival is Collaboraction at its best: breaking down the walls that divide theater, music, visual art, video and the internet. Selected from hundreds of submissions, SKETCHBOOK once again brings together the collective talents of more than 150 pioneering and established directors, designers, actors, musicians and artists from Chicago and around the country for two jaw-dropping programs packed with creativity, experimentation and celebration.

This year, SKETCHBOOK transports audiences to the year 2049, a post-apocalyptic world of regeneration and birth where 17 shows from the past have been unearthed to reveal how we lived before the Revolution. Chicago-based playwright Ike Holter (Hit the Wall, Loom and B-Side Studio) is Guest Curator of SKETCHBOOK: 2049, which features new works by Caitlin Parrish, The New Colony, Usman Ally, Seth Bockley and Holter himself in a collaboration with director Dexter Bullard

In addition to two programs of fresh new work, Collaboration's air-conditioned Lounge in the Pentagon Theatre will be a live connection zone for audiences to relax, socialize, discuss, debate and enjoy post-show "pop up" performances on Saturday evenings.  
SKETCHBOOK: 2049 runs May 22 - June 15, 2014 at Collaboraction, located in the historic Flat Iron Arts Building, 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave., Room 300, in Wicker Park. The pieces are split into Program A: Reflection and Program B: Echo and run in rep with both programs performed each Saturday. 

Regular show times are Thursday and Friday at 7.30 p.m.; Saturday at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.; Sunday at 7 p.m. Exceptions: Industry Night for Program B: Echo is Monday, June 2 at 7 p.m. Industry Night for Program A: Reflection is Monday, June 9 at 7 p.m. Both programs will be performed on the final day of the festival, Sunday, June 15, at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. 

Single tickets to each program are $30; $15 for students, educators and industry. All-Access festival passes to both programs are $50; $25 for students and industry. Purchase tickets and All-Access passes online at or call 312.226.9633.   

"Each year SKETCHBOOK brings together more than 150 actors, visual artists, musicians, writers, directors, designers, and stagehands from all over the city to collaborate on this beautiful and ambitious undertaking. Many return year after year, drawn by the energy and passion that drives this festival forward," said Anthony Moseley, Founding Executive and Artistic Director of Collaboraction and SKETCHBOOK Festival Director. "SKETCHBOOK serves as an invaluable opportunity for both seasoned and emerging artists to connect and grow together, turning Collaboraction into a hub of talented individuals working toward the common goal of creating a broad array of innovative art for a diverse audience."

Following are SKETCHBOOK: 2049 dates, times and program summaries:

Program A: Reflection

Thurs, May 22, 7:30 p.m.; Sat, May 24, 7 p.m.; Sun, May 25, 3p.m.; Fri, May 30, 7:30 p.m.; Sat, May 31, 9 p.m.; Sun, June 1, 7 p.m., Fri, June 6, 7:30 p.m.; Sat, June 7, 9 p.m.; Mon, June 9, 7 p.m.; Thurs, June 12, 7:30 p.m.; Sat, June 14, 7 p.m.; Sun, June 15, 5 p.m.

Pieces listed in run order. Run Time: Approximately 90 minutes.

The Surprise
by Corey Rieger, directed by Nathan Green  The tables get unexpectedly turned on a group of people gathered to throw a surprise birthday party for a friend.

The Distance to the Moon
devised by First Floor, directed by Jesse Roth  Puppet theater, live action and multimedia elements combine in this story of a young sailor stranded on the moon alongside the woman he loves.

Let Me Tell You What I See Here
by Jason Gray Platt, directed by Anna Bahow  Real YouTube comments are deconstructed and repurposed to show personal connections in a disconnected world.

To the NSA Agents Listening in on this Play
by Sam Graber, directed by Mary O'Connor  An important message to our burgeoning national security state from one lone voice in the wilderness.

by Lisa Kenner Grissom, directed by Jo Cattell  When some 'infernal ass pains' force Lena to retreat into the solace of her bathtub, she learns a thing or two about suffering in silence.

Young Fathers
by Joel Kim Booster, directed by Chris Chmelik  A single father and his gay neighbor are each on the verge of a complete breakdown as they wrestle with the meaning of fatherhood in the wake of personal tragedy.

The Big One
by Idris Goodwin, directed by Marie Cisco  Vernon is always waiting for his home team to score the big one, but his wife and son aren't so keen on waiting. A subtle story about chasing the past at the expense of missing out on the present.

Attic Play
by Anthony Donald Kochensparger, directed by John Rooney  Gender and personal boundaries blur in this rhapsodic two-person piece about family, fear and sexual awakening.

Dream Scenario
devised by Ike Holter, directed by Dexter Bullard  A victim of an insanely elaborate stalking plans a face-to-face meeting with their pursuer.     

Program B: Echo

Fri, May 23, 7:30 p.m.; Sat, May 24, 9 p.m.; Sun, May 25, 5 p.m.; Thurs, May 29, 7:30 p.m.; Sat, May 31, 7 p.m.; Mon, June 2, 7 p.m.; Thurs, June 5, 7:30 p.m.; Sat, June 7, 7 p.m.: Sun, June 8, 7 p.m.; Fri, June 13, 7:30 p.m.; Sat, June 14, 9 p.m.; Sun, June 15, 3 p.m.

Pieces listed in run order. Run Time: Approximately 95 minutes - Room 300

by Caitlin Parrish, directed by Josh Sobel  A cosmic story of two celestial bodies intertwining, told from an all-too-human vantage point right here on earth.

Sanatorium Story
by Seth Bockley, directed by Lydia Milman Schmidt  A child deals with his terrible illness and macabre surroundings through the comedic character Boob McNutt.

Goodbye, Night
devised by The New Colony, written by Nick Delehanty, directed by Thrisa Hodits 

A medical breakthrough spawns a pill, which nullifies the need for sleep. But what happens when the well-to-do can reclaim a third of their life while the rest are left to sleep through it?

Until the World is Beautiful
by Jack Miggins, directed by Elana Boulos  While wandering the labyrinthine tunnels of a post-apocalyptic world, a man comes across a 2000-year-old pregnant woman longing to return to the surface.

Boys and Violence
by Mackenzie Yeager, directed by John Williams  This parodic send-up of masculinity and morality features Andy and Ben, two young 'boys,' as they come together to play a harmless game of 'Violence.'   

Based on a True Story
by Usman Ally, directed by Sonny Das  When two friends stop over to catch a high school game at Ismail's apartment, things turn heated when their schools' mascots are shown to trade in vicious racial stereotypes. Nationalism and race collide in this satirical look at America's cultural heritage.

The Rise and Fall of Everything in the World
by Brooke Allen, directed by Diana Raselis  What exactly is the value of a universe fashioned by two bored and aimless clown-like beings? And what would be its value if it could simply disappear?

10 Things
by Scott Tobin, directed by Emmi Hilger  At each sequential ten-year marker of his life, a man takes stock of all that he's gained, all that he's lost, and all that he continues to be grateful for.

Set design for SKETCHBOOK: 2049 is by Ashley Ann Woods. Lighting design is by Jeff Glass. Sound design is by Mikey MoranStephen Ptacek and Matthew Reich. Costumes are by Elsa Hiltner and Kate Setzer Kamphausen. Props are by Angie Campos and Rachel Watson. Michael Sanfill is video designer. Dan Haymes is technical director. Drew Donnelly is stage manager. Brian Foster is floor manager. Danielle Stack is production manager. SKETCHBOOK: 2049 is produced by Sarah Moeller.   

About Collaboraction  

Collaboraction ( celebrates its 18th year as a Chicago-based arts organization and has recently moved its theater and operation headquarters to the historic Flat Iron Arts Building, 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave., in the heart of Wicker Park. By incorporating innovative artists and interdisciplinary collaboration, Collaboraction creates groundbreaking theatrical and art-based experiences.    

The overwhelming response to Crime Scene: A Chicago Anthology in 2013 was the first step in Artistic Director Anthony Moseley's new vision for Collaboraction to be used as an artistic tool to explore critical social issues in an effort to create dialogue and incite change. To do so, Collaboraction collaborates with artists, community leaders, health professionals 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. 

More recently, Collaboration's world premiere This is Not a Cure for Cancer was an immersive live theater experience that used the same provocative, docudrama style conceived via Crime Scene to attack cancer, its treatment and the way we live.     

Collaboraction has worked with more than 2,500 artists to bring more than 60 productions and events to more than 50,000 audience members. Production highlights also include 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 critically acclaimed production of The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow: an instant message with excitable music by Rolin Jones. 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

ACT OUT OPENING: 13TH Annual Sketchbook at Collaboraction

Do you like to see creative, thought provoking new works before anyone else?   Hop on board the blue line, green line, brown line, and black line at Collaboraction for a slew of world premiers.   We'll be checkin' out and reviewing the blue and green line shows today.   Last year we did a one day theatre immersion where we saw ALL the Sketchbook plays in one day and it an intense, altering experience.   Highly recommended. 

Flat Iron Arts Building
1579 N. Milwaukee, 3rd Floor

14 world premiere works of theater
Over 150 participants  
Four programs to choose from   

Each "line" on the transit map constitutes  
a complete mind-blowing theater experience

See all 4 Programs in One Day with your Festival Pass!
Price Point                           

Hospital & WeatherVane

Snapshot & Deadpan Melodrama    

The Shorts: 9 Destinies
with Musical Guest 

Planning on catching the entire festival? Get a Festival Pass and see all 4 programs as many times as you want!

Click here to get yours today

The Green Line
A full-length devised piece  

Price Point
Co-devised by the ensemble members of Honey Pot Performance:  
Felicia Holman, Aisha Jean-Baptiste, Abra Johnson and Meida McNeal

Pictured ( clockwise from top left):  Felicia Holman, Abra Johnson, Meida McNeal and Aisha Baptiste-Johnson 

Price Point explores notions of fairness and balance, or the lack thereof, in today's economic landscape through a mixture of the tragic and comic. The work combines movement, theater, song and image to examine the state of the American Dream.

The Blue Line
Two one-act plays with an intermission

Conceived by Sarah Illiatovitch-Goldman and Diana Rose and created by Sarah Illiatovitch-Goldman, Diana Rose and Robin Toller
devised by Carolyn Hoerdemann, filmmaker Ann Sonneville and Tony Werner, written by Tony Werner, with creative consultant Jess McLeod
Pictured (from left): Sarah Illiatovitch-Goldman, Ann Sonneville, Carolyn Hoerdemann 

A stay at a hospital is a strange and scary theatrical experience. At our most vulnerable moments of losing physical control of our bodies we are asked to surrender emotional and intellectual control, and give our trust to a group of strangers. Hospital brings the audience into the private world of one patient as she journeys through the bizarre and surreal world of the medical system. 

Christina and Nicole are both outsiders in a system that demands assimilation and loyalty. They married into a powerful family, and Nicole has been guiding her through the process. When Christina's husband goes missing, she goes into hiding. Can she trust the more adapted Nicole and survive the onslaught of the established order?


The Black LIne
Two one-act plays with an intermission

by Brett C. Leonard, directed by Anthony Moseley
Deadpan Melodrama
by Bob Glaudini, directed by Scott Illingworth

Pictured (from left): Chris Meister, Karl Pontliff, Morgan McCabe, Susan Jamshadi

The family of a contract killer faces its demons in a battle between amnesia and revenge in this provocative new play by the author of Guinea Pig Solo and The Long Red Road

Deadpan Melodrama
What do parents owe their children? How does a child live up to the expectations of their parents? At 40, Rogers and Trish continue to struggle with who they are and how to live in this world. Their confusion clashes violently with the immobility and inflexibility of their parents.

The Brown Line
The Shorts: 9 Destinies
Nine short plays of 7 minutes or less
Featuring live musical guests every night
Pictured (from left):   Kiley Moore and Aja Wiltshire 

The Sorrows of Young Werther  by The Q Brothers, directed by Kimberly Senior
featuring Eric Swanson, Torian Miller, Kiley Moore and Mike Hahalyak

Young Werther is unlucky in love. He turns from one failed love to pining after an engaged woman. This update on Goethe's classic pokes fun at Werther's misfortune through the lens of his increasingly melodramatic and irrational letters to his friend.

Native American Princess 
by Stanley Toledo, directed by Elana Boulos featuring David Seeber, Alex Stage and Aja Wiltshire

All relationships start in fantasy. Some fantasies are more extreme than others - as Native American Princess suggests. Believing in fate and true love, Joel follows the signs of the universe, ignoring warnings at every turn.

Everything is Permitted 
by Chelsea M. Marcantel, directed by Mignon Stewart featuring Derek van Barham, Ben Gojer, Kanome Jones and Jackie Koester

A group of students have constructed their own Dreamachine - a device that can stimulate the brain and induce episodes of lucid dreaming. However, in the hands of these young and inexperienced students, the Dreammachine stimulates greed and obsession as well.

by Adam Joshua Seidel, directed by Sarah Gitenstein featuring John Crothswaite and Barbara Figgins

After 300 years trapped in darkness, Grace is cynical and abrasive. When faced with abandonment by her spiritual advisor, she must determine if her protective outer shell is more important than being honest with herself.   

Minus You 
by Jennifer Barclay, directed by Paige Riley, featuring Jane Brody and Walter Brody

There are those we truly cannot live without, and life without them is distinctly missing something. In the wake of an accident, Lennox and Gracie struggle to reach out for each other and hold on to what they have lost.  
Survey No. 5 
by Alex Lubischer, directed by John Rooney, featuring Nick Timmons and Lorraine Freund  

The audience is polled and drinking games enacted in this sprint across the minefield of breakups and bisexuality.   

Shuffle Off 
by Gregory Hardigan, directed by Danny Bernardo 
featuring Aurora Adachi-Winter, Garrett Lutz, Charlie Oh, Charlie Rasmann, Ray Rehberg, Angelica Roque and Matt Tassell

Earl is dying on the side of the highway. His iPod is stuck on shuffle, replaying random moments from his life, trying to find the perfect song to end on, but music can be like life - random and cruel.

Theater McGuiver 
co-devised by Jenny Lynn Christoffersen and Jaci Entwistle featuring Jaci Entwistle and Dan Krall

Inspired by everyone's favorite TV resourceful Rube Goldberg-esque inventor, one man will enter the theater. Given a task and a box of miscellany he will, through the magic of theater, accomplish his task. The fate of the world is in his hands.

The Most Delicious Little House for Beginners (Clip Her Small to Fit the Boards) 
devised and performed by Kelly Rafferty and Heather Warren-Crow

Tinkerbell is on uppers, and Wendy is a drunk, desperate housewife who now lives inside the teevee. Together they pine after Peter and sort through the media traces of colonialism that perpetually overwhelm their home in Neverland.

Save the date.   The Decades Project is going to be epic!  June 21 & 22 only.

Saturday, June 9, 2012


Sketchbook is baaaack.   We've been giving you the heads up about Collaboraction's latest for a while now, but today's the day it all begins again.   So, high tail it over to the Flat Iron Building in Wicker for total theatre immersion....or check out the shows at a more leisurely pace from now through July 15.


An all access Festival Pass is only $65 ($45 for students/industry) or come see a specific show for only $20 ($10 for students/industry) with the ability to add-on more shows later. Click Here for tickets/passes.

CLICK HERE and check out the new SKETCHBOOK:REINCARNATE website which gives you detailed information on each of the shows featured in this year's festival, as well as a calendar of events, ticket/pass purchasing and media coverage.

(312) 266-9633

Here's the latest scoop including line up changes:


SKETCHBOOK: REINCARNATE Features A Brand New Format and World Premiere Line-Up of Five Programs Including the Unscripted Social Experiment, THE INTERVIEW

Collaboraction’s annual SKETCHBOOK festival will feature an additional program, THE INTERVIEW, an unscripted theatrical experience that breaks new ground in documentary theater, written by Lawrence Bridges and directed by Ian Forester. Mr. Bridges, a seasoned experimental documentary and feature film director, has crafted a set of instructions for a solo performer, which prompt an unexpectedly personal and spontaneous theatrical experience. As the actor responds with stories and personal accounts to these previously unheard instructions, the play unfolds along a hidden arc, resulting in an unforgettable encounter between audience and performer. Since THE INTERVIEW can be done only once by a performer, no two shows will ever be the same. Part theater and part social experiment, THE INTERVIEW promises to be a funny, poignant, and thought-provoking examination of the human condition.

Appearing in THE INTERVIEW will be John Wilson, company member and storyteller on June 9 and the recording artist known as Himself on June 10 with many more throughout the festival which closes July 15. THE INTERVIEW runs 45 minutes.

THE INTERVIEW will run on the following dates and times:
Thursday June 7, 6:00 pm Saturday June 9, 1:30 pm – John Wilson Sunday June 10, 12:30 pm - Himself Saturday June 16, 1:30 pm Sunday, June 17, 7 pm – Craig Spidle Saturday June 23, 4:30 pm Thursday June 28, 7:30 pm Saturday June 30, 1:30 pm Monday July 2, 7 pm – Lance Baker Saturday July 7, 3:30 pm
Saturday July 14, 1:30 pm Sunday July 15, 12:30 pm

Ian Forester is an actor and award-winning theater director, having won the 2008 LA Weekly Award for Best Comedic Direction for his production of John Clancy's “Fatboy.” Film credits: “In Memoriam,” “Sketch,” “Breathing Room.” Chicago theater: “Cadillac,” Chicago Dramatists (dir. Ed Sobel); “The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow,” Collaboraction; “Men of Steel,” Theater Wit; “The Last Days of Judas Iscariot,” Steep Theater; and “Guinea Pig Solo,” Collaboraction. In Chicago Ian directed for Stage Left and Collaboraction, where he was formerly an Associate Artistic Director. He is a co- founder and Artistic Director of needtheater in Los Angeles, where he developed and directed The Interview with Mr. Bridges for its world premiere. He is a graduate of Northwestern University and The School at Steppenwolf.

Lawrence Bridges is best known for his creative work in the film and literary world. He founded the acclaimed film production and design studio, Red Car, and has directed several hundred commercials and music videos, features, and documentaries. Stanley Kubrick has called his work in film “visual poetry.” More recently, he directed a series of six documentaries on prominent American authors for the NEA’s “Big Read” initiative, which include Ray Bradbury, Amy Tan, Rudolfo Anaya, Ernest J. Gaines, Tobias Wolff, and Cynthia Ozick. Bridges’ poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, and most recently, The Tampa Review.

What can you expect from SKETCHBOOK: REINCARNATE? 
You’ll see some of Chicago’s most exciting theatre artists pushing the form in a social, mixed-medium environment. Real food will be used in an exploration of the assumptions we make and the connections we have to death row inmates and their final meals. You’ll help resolve a whodunit turned on its head. You’ll meet Chicago librarians in a battle to preserve the boundaries of reality and an overlarge buffoon who goes by “Honeybuns.” Not to be outdone, Nellie Bly, First Woman Reporter, interviews Mary Fons in a comedy about being gutted alive. And this is only the beginning of Sketchbook 2012!

SKETCHBOOK: REINCARNATE will feature five programs in both of Collaboraction’s spaces in the Flat Iron Arts Building. Collaboraction has officially moved into both Studio 300 and Studio 336 to provide programming throughout the year in these two spaces.

SKETCHBOOK: REINCARNATE will run June 6 – July 15. Tickets are $20 for individual programs and $65 for an all access pass and can be purchased by calling 312-226-9633 or online at
FOR DIRECTIONS AND INFORMATION  check out Collaboraction's main site here

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