Edgewater-Rogers Park Students to Perform BIG SHOW at Raven Theatre this Month

Edgewater-Rogers Park Students to Perform BIG SHOW at Raven Theatre this Month

The fall term of Raven Theatre's theatre arts education program - TAKE FLIGHT - is culminating this month with a series of public performances at Raven Theatre featuring 64 student performers from the two high schools and three elementary schools in which Raven artists-in-residence have been conducting classes. These annual performances, called The Big Show, will this year include scenes and performances either adapted from or inspired by the 1997 short children's novel Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman

The 2013 Big Show opened on Wednesday, December 4 to standing-room only crowds at Raven Theatre and will be repeated Saturday morning, December 7th, at 11 am. Performers were selected from the more than 300 students participating in the residencies at Senn and Sullivan High Schools, Peirce and Hayt Schools, Stone Academy and Centro Romero.

On Tuesday, December 17th, students in the residency programs at Edgewater's Senn Arts High School and neighboring Sullivan High School in Rogers Park will perform scenes adapted from Seedfolks. The following evening - Wednesday, December 18th - the Senn students will perform additional scenes from the book. Both performances are free and open to the public. Curtain times for the shows on December 17 and 18 are 6:15 pm. Tickets are free and are available on a first-come, first served basis the nights of the performances. Seating is general admission and audiences must arrive at Raven Theatre, 6157 N. Clark St. by 6 pm to gain admittance.

Raven's TAKE FLIGHT selected Seedfolks for its focus this year not only because of the novel's relevance to the ethnically diverse Edgewater and Rogers Park neighborhoods, but also to build upon community activities initiated earlier this year when the book was selected for the One Book, One Edgewater program conducted by the Chicago Public Library Edgewater branch and Alderman Harry Osterman.

Seedfolks is a story of the residents of an ethnically diverse inner city neighborhood in Cleveland, Ohio. After a nine-year-old Vietnamese girl plants seeds in a vacant lot in the neighborhood to honor her deceased father, neighbors take notice and plant seeds of their own. In each chapter of the book, new characters of various races and ethnicities are introduced, each making their own contribution to the garden. Collectively, they transform the empty lot into a vibrant community garden and are themselves transformed through their increased understanding of the neighbors and a deeper sense of community.

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