Collaboraction Presents 11th Annual Sketchbook Festival, 6/2-25

Collaboraction Presents 11th Annual Sketchbook Festival, 6/2-25

Collaboraction's widely celebrated SKETCHBOOK FESTIVAL returns for its 11th year to the Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division St., June 2 - 25. One of the most innovative and communal theater, music and video festivals in the country, this year's festival, titled "SKETCHBOOK: Evolution," features nine short plays and seven devised works, all eight minutes or less, inspired by the theme of ‘Evolution.' A different musical guest creates a unique soundscape for each performance, and the lineup of works will vary each night. Full music and play schedule available at

Previews are Thursday, June 2 and Friday, June 3 at 8 p.m. Opening/Press night is Saturday, June 4 at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.; the 16 short works will be presented in two separate programs (eight works per program). Tickets are $15-25 and available at or by calling 312.226.9633.

SKETCHBOOK pools together the collective talents of hundreds of multi-disciplinary artists for an electrifying and diverse evening of world premieres, video installations, live music and visual art. The festival has gained widespread recognition as a platform for emerging artists to gain critical exposure as well as an incubator for established artists to take exciting artistic risks.

The Chicago Tribune hails the festival as "stellar;" the Chicago Reader raves, "The atmosphere is all inclusive and embracing in this celebration of creativity, and as a result you're willing to go along for the ride no matter what;" and NewCity proclaims, "One of the city's most intriguing off-Loop companies. Sketchbook...has become a
must-see annual event."

"For the first festival of our second decade, we turn our focus towards evolution, the ongoing force of growth and change that is both invisible and ever-present," said Anthony Moseley, Executive and Artistic Director of Collaboraction.

"We are delighted to present this diverse collection of artists and perspectives that will utilize the medium of theater to explore the theme of evolution and in doing so, raise questions about the trajectory of our civilization and the art form itself."

New this year, Collaboraction joins forces with video and installation artist Gordon Kummel, who will use a Microsoft Kinect 3D camera to create stunning video riffs on the theme of evolution to be incorporated throughout the evening. A self-taught software developer, Kummel uses a hacked Kinect camera, normally used for Xbox games, to create 3D-like images that particularly highlight structure and shape, providing unique perspectives of everyday forms including our own self images.

Kummel is most known for his large scale production "Mindfield Experiment 1" in 2001. This event took place in 7,000 sq. ft industrial loft and brought together an international team of artists to build a dance floor capable of reading movement through hundreds of embedded pressure sensors. KumMel Built the software to translate this data into customized visuals and audio that reacted to the participants as they danced inside an immersive multimedia environment. "Mindfield Experiment 1" ran as an art installation during the day and as a dance club environment at night.



Written by Kristoffer Diaz, Directed by Eddie Torres
Pulitzer Prize finalist and playwright of smash hit "The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity," Kristoffer Diaz throws down with Charles Isherwood, theatre critic at the New York Times about the evolution of theatre itself in this provocative new piece written for SKETCHBOOK. The play is directed by Eddie Torres, artistic director of Teatro Vista and director of "Chad Deity."

"I and My iPhone"
Written by Mat Smart, Directed by StEve Wilson
A group of teenagers stage an intervention for their friend who is absolutely her iPhone. A sweet parable about how we connect, based on Herman Melville's "I and my Chimney" and written for the Red Orchid Youth Ensemble by the playwright of "Samuel J and K" and "The 13th of Paris."

"Only Paradise"
Written by Kristin Idaszak, Directed by Bea Bosco
During a layover at O'Hare, a young man encounters a saxophone-touting stranger who reminds him that the only paradise is a paradise lost, making him wonder if he really knows where he's going after all. Written by Collaboraction's Associate Artistic Director Idaszak.

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