CHICAGO: Collaboraction Theatre Company has announced its 2017-18 season, which will be centered on the theme “The Reality of Racism and Envisioning Racial Healing in Chicago.” The programming will focus on racial issues in the city’s Engelwood, Austin, and Hermosa neighborhoods and at Collaboraction’s home in the Flat Iron Arts Building in Wicker Park.
“In times of such economic and political divisions, we believe it is essential that Chicagoans experience and participate in artistic work that brings the community together around important issues like violence, segregation, mental health, and education,” said artistic director Anthony Moseley in a statement. “Our new single-themed season model will allow us to expand and deepen our exploration of racism.”
The season will launch will the return of the PEACEBOOK Festival, which will begin at Goodman Theatre on Aug. 21. The event will feature 21 world premieres of short works of theatre, dance, and spoken word by artists in the Windy City, which will then tour around the city to Englewood (Oct. 5-7), Hermosa (Oct. 19-21), and Austin (Nov. 2-4). Along with the performances, which are free, will be community meals, peace fairs, and Dome of Dance tournaments. At the end of the festival, Collaboration will give cash awards and mentorship opportunities to emerging artists in a ceremony at the Goodman in November.
The new year will start with Encounter: An Explorative Event Series (Jan. 17-21, 2018), a festival on the theme of “Racism and Racial Healing” with theatre, visual art, music, video, and dance. After a weeklong event at Collaboraction Studios, parts of that event will go on tour to Chicago neighborhoods Hamilton Park, La Follette Park, and Kelvyn Park.
Next up will be A Blue Island in the Red Sea (April 19-May 27, 2018), a world-premiere devised work developed throughout the year based on the season’s theme. The team creating the piece will include Moseley, associate artistic director Taylor Barfield, Elsa Hiltner, Antonio Brunetti, Luis Crespo, Liviu Pasare, Jeremy Getz, Sarah Moeller, Sandra Delgado, and Avi Roque.
The company is also launching a private social media platform for artists, audience members, and supporters called the Hive, which will share information about the programming as it is being created.
Founded in 1997, Collaboraction works with artists and activists to create theatre that explores social issues and pushes artistic boundaries.