Adventure Stage Chicago to Present World Premiere of SPARK: CHAPTER ONE OF THE PROMETHEUS PROJECT, 4/5-5/8

Adventure Stage Chicago to Present World Premiere of SPARK: CHAPTER ONE OF THE PROMETHEUS PROJECT, 4/5-5/8

Adventure Stage Chicago (ASC) closes their 10th season with the world premiere of SPARK: Chapter One of The Prometheus Project, which completely re-imagines the myths of Prometheus and Pandora. SPARK runs April 5 - May 8, 2014 and is written by Tom Arvetis (ASC Producing Artistic Director) and directed by Rives Collins (Theatre and Drama for Youth Specialist, Northwestern University).

Pandora lives a regimented life within the underground tunnels of Sanctuary, a secluded community designed to outlast the raging violence outside its walls. Each inhabitant of Sanctuary has a purpose, a place, and a common enemy-the mysterious Outliers who live in the world above.

But after Pandora personally encounters two young Outliers, she starts to question all that has been taught to her. Is Sanctuary the safe haven she has always believed it to be, or a prison built on fear? As sides are chosen and truths shattered, Pan must ultimately decide between the life she knows and the one that is calling to her.

Using projections designed by Liviu Pasare to simulate the texting and gaming that is ever-present in Sanctuary's techno-savvy world, this inventive adventure set in the near future is recommended for ages 9 (grade 4) and up.

SPARK is performed in English, with Spanish supertitles projected on a screen above the stage.

The Prometheus Project began when playwright Tom Arvetis and director Rives Collins visited several Chicago middle school classrooms and conducted a series of story circles with Adventure Stage's West Town neighbors, utilizing the Greek myth of Prometheus as a starting point for understanding contemporary challenges within our community. Themes of power, violence, sacrifice and hope emerged as young people and families shared the daily struggles they experience. Out of these story circles, SPARK was born.

Relying heavily on the archetypes of the Hero's Journey, ASC's goal with SPARK is to ask our audience to think critically about the responsibility we have to our neighbors and the courage it takes to move our communities toward a more imaginative, healthy and tolerant status quo.

Performances of SPARK are Fridays at 7:30pm and Saturdays at 4:00pm, April 5 - May 8, 2014. Weekend Matinees at 4:00pm will occur Saturday, April 5, Saturday, April 12, Saturday, April 19, Saturday April 26, and Saturday, May 3. Weekend evenings performances at 7:30pm will take place on Friday, April 11, Friday, April 18, Friday, April 25, and Friday May 2. Weekday Education Matinees will take place at 10:30am (also open to general public) and will occur on Tuesday, April 8, Wednesday April 9, Thursday, April 10, Thursday, April 17, Tuesday, April 22, Wednesday, April 23, Thursday, April 24, Tuesday, April 29, Wednesday, April 30, Thursday, May 1, Tuesday, May 6, and Thursday, May 8.

Tickets are $25 (regular adult), $15 (children 14 and under), $10 (previews), $10 (Educator, industry, and seniors), $13 (public groups of 10 or more), $8 (school groups with one free chaperone ticket per 10 students), and $10 (neighborhood discount for zipcodes 60642 and 60622). For tickets, call 773-342-4141 or visit www.adventurestage.org.

A Sneak Peak will be offered Sunday, March 23 from 4:00-5:00pm. Come for an open rehearsal of SPARK! Gain a glimpse into the journey that awaits you, and then tell the company what you think. Refreshments will be provided.

Settlement Saturday
Sat., April 12, 4:00-8:00pm

Settlement Saturday is a day to celebrate our parent organization, the Northwestern University Settlement House, as well as the Settlement's neighbors. This performance includes Spanish supertitles, and the pre- and post-show discussion are conducted in both Spanish and English. The show is followed by a food and entertainment reception in Vittum Theater's Burnside Hall for all audience members to enjoy!

Curtain Conversations: Every ASC performance is framed by a pre-show question and a post-show conversation. Our hope is not only to encourage thought and curiosity and in our audience, but also to spur ongoing family discussions that continue long after leaving our theatre.

Tom Arvetis (playwright) founded Adventure Stage Chicago in 2004 and is responsible for the creative vision of the company and the implementation of all programming. Tom's other playwriting credits for Adventure Stage include Walk Two Moons (honorable mention in Chicago Theatre Beat's Best Shows of 2011 and published by Dramatic Publishing with productions across the country) and I Dream in Blues (dubbed "the sleeper hit of the season" by the Chicago Tribune). Directing credits for Adventure Stage Chicago include Six Stories Tall by Marco Ramirez (AATE 2013 Orlin Corey Award for Artistic Excellence), And A Child Shall Lead by Michael Slade, Katrina: The Girl Who Wanted Her Name Back by Jason Tremblay (world premiere), The Blue House by José Cruz González (world premiere), and A Woman Called Truth by Sandra Fenichel Asher. Tom also directed a reading of Katrina: The Girl Who Wanted Her Name Back as part of the New Visions/New Voices Festival at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. Other directing credits include 500 Clown Trapped (500 Clown tour), Dragon/Sky by Elizabeth Wong (Silk Road Theatre Project), The Search for Odysseus by Charles Way (The Simple Theatre) and The City Wears a Slouch Hat by Kenneth Patchen (Wanderlust Productions). Tom was an Ann Shaw Fellow with TYA/USA in 2009 and twice a finalist for a Chicago Community Trust Fellowship. He is an adjunct lecturer at Northwestern University, where he received his theatre degree.

Rives Collins (Director) is featured frequently as a professional storyteller and keynote speaker at festivals, schools, libraries, businesses, and museums. He is the co-author with Pamela Cooper of The Power of Story: Teaching Through Storytelling, currently in its second edition. His audio recordings have received the Parent's Choice Award, the iParenting Media Award, and the Spoken Word Award from the NAPPA. He is a member of the National Storytelling Network and the Illinois Theatre Association. He is also a Trustee of the Children's Theatre Foundation of America, and an active member (and past president) of the American Alliance for Theatre and Education. He serves on the faculty of the Department of Theatre at Northwestern University, where he is the department's specialist in Theatre and Drama for Youth. He teaches courses in Theatre for Young Audiences, Creative Drama, and Storytelling. A Fellow in the Searle Center for Teaching Excellence, he was the recipient of the Charles Deering McCormick Professorship for Excellence in Teaching. Recent directorial efforts include: The Hundred Dresses, The Bluest Eye, The Secret Garden, How Can You Run With A Shell On Your Back?, The Orphan Train,Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse, Children of Eden, To Kill A Mockingbird, And Then They Came For Me: Remembering the World of Anne Frank, Into the Woods, The Witch of Blackbird Pond, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten and A Wrinkle In Time.

The cast features Charlotte Ellison (Pandora), Danielle Davis* (Jude), Mykele Callicutt (Farren), Drew Johnson (Drew), Allison Latta Lashford* (Janice), Mike Ooi (Amin), Michael Mercier (Dr. Lowell), Ebony Joy (K), Kaelan Strouse (Cord) and Blake Russell (Tico).

The crew features Tom Arvetis* (Playwright), Rives Collins (Director), Ben Kaye* (Assistant Director), Matthew Reeder* (Dramaturg), Phil Claudnic (Stage Manager), Bailey Heinz (Assistant Stage Manager), Liviu Pasare (Projections Design), Simon Lashford (Scenic Design), Brandon Wardell* (Lighting Design), Jessica Kuehnau Wardell* (Costume Design), Michael Huey (Sound Design/Composition), Kitty Campbell (Properties Design) and Justin Snyder (Technical Director).

Adventure Stage Chicago creates and tells heroic stories about young people. We do this to engage our community and inspire all of us to be heroes in our own lives. This is our 10th season.

Adventure Stage has received numerous honors since its inception in 2004, including:

American Alliance for Theatre and Education's 2013 Orlin Corey Award for Artistic Excellence to ASC Founder/Producing Artistic Director Tom Arvetis
Illinois Theatre Association's 2012 Award of Excellence in Theatre for Young Audiences
Continuing Innovation Stage II grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
Zeta Phi Eta Winifred Ward Award for Outstanding New Children's Theatre Company from the American Alliance for Theatre and Education
Two-time Finalist for the Broadway In Chicago Emerging Theater Award
Participant in the New Visions/New Voices Festival at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, Washington D.C.
Five-time Recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Access to Artistic Excellence Grant

Adventure Stage Chicago is a program of Northwestern University Settlement House, the oldest continually operating settlement house in Chicago. Throughout its 122-year history, the Settlement has remained committed to providing resources that empower neighbors to overcome the obstacles of poverty. Adventure Stage extends this mission by presenting Chicago's young audiences, educators and families with affordable artistic experiences rooted in performance.

SPARK is performed at Vittum Theater, 1012 N. Noble St., in the heart of Chicago's West Town neighborhood. Street parking is available, and the theater is close to the Noble St. stop on the #56 Milwaukee bus line and the Division stop on the CTA Blue Line. The theater is wheelchair accessible.

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