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American Blues Theater to Host RIPPED: THE LIVING NEWSPAPER FESTIVAL, 5/17


American Blues Theater, Chicago's second oldest Equity Ensemble, under the continued leadership of Producing Artistic Director Gwendolyn Whiteside, hosts 2016 Ripped: The Living Newspaper Festival on Tuesday, May 17, 2016.

The annual festival features 10 original pieces reflecting current cultural events. All proceeds benefit American Blues Theater's arts education program, The Lincoln Project in Chicago Public Schools, which serves over 1,500 students. Tickets are $12 and include the performances and refreshments. Reservations can be made by calling (312) 725-4228 or visiting Doors open at 6:00pm, performances begin at 7:00pm at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N Lincoln Ave.

The lineup for the 2016 Ripped: The Living Newspaper Festival includes:

"Two Different Americas"

by CPS students

directed by Elyse Dolan^

featuring Freddie Beckley, Miles Blim, Alice da Cunha, Robert Isaac, Yando Lopez, & Sharon Kushiner.

"My Son"

by Larissa FastHorse

directed by Heather Meyers^

featuring Jazmin Corona, Marta Evans, Yunuen Pardo, & Pat Patton.

"Legitimacy Through Transparency"

by Keith Huff

directed by Hans Fleischmann

featuring Peter DeFaria, Editha Rosario Moore^, & Daniel Rivkin.

"Tweets by Trump: a selection from May 1 - May 17"

by Donald J. Trump, curated by Gwendolyn Whiteside^

directed by Carmen Roman^

featuring James Leaming^.

excerpt from "My Dream Act"

by Martha Razo and Cecilie Keenan

directed by Cecilie Keenan

featuring Martha Razo.

"Do This Work"

by Darren Canady^

directed by Elyse Dolan^

featuring Gilbert Domally & Martel Manning.


by Elaine Romero

directed by Erica Weiss

featuring Roberto Johnson & Carmen Roman^.

excerpt from "P.I.G."

by Rohina Malik

directed by Geoff Button

featuring Abu Ansari, Sahar Dika, Kurt Ehrmann, Matt Holzfeind, Mechelle Moe, Almanya Narula, & Mark Ulrich.


by Ron West

directed by Joe Dempsey^

featuring Aurora Adachi-Winter, Will Clinger, Zach Flax, Cheryl Graeff^, Suzanne Petri^, & Rebecca Sparks.


by Li-ning Yeh

directed by Heather Meyers^

featuring Cory Krebsbach, Sarah E. Ross^, & Craig Spidle.

^ Ensemble member or Artistic Affiliate of American Blues Theater

About Ripped: The Living Newspaper Festival

Since 2009, American Blues Theater has produced fifteen editions utilizing over 450 artists. Based on the 1930s WPA era program that brought Orson Welles, Arthur Miller, and Clifford Odets into public attention, American Blues Theater presents short plays ripped from today's headlines.

The annual festival cultivates new material and allows audiences to discuss topical issues together. American Blues Theater provides community service and raises awareness through creative collaborations. The following organizations have been supported by Ripped events since its inception in 2009: AgrAbility, Chicago Public Schools, Greater Chicago Food Depository, Illinois Farm Bureau, Lincoln Park Community Shelter, University of Chicago's Urban Education Teachers Program, and Open Books.

About American Blues Theater

American Blues Theater is the premier American theater producing visceral theatrical works while engaging its audience in missions of local service agencies. American Blues Theater illuminates the American ideas of freedom, equality, and opportunity in the plays produced and communities served.

The multi-generational and interdisciplined artists have established the second-oldest professional Equity Ensemble theater in Chicago. The 34-member Ensemble has 530 combined years of collaboration on stage. As of 2016, the theater and artists received 172 Joseph Jefferson Awards and nominations that celebrate excellence in Chicago theater and over 28 Black Theatre Alliance Awards. The artists are honored with Pulitzer Prize nominations, Academy Awards, Golden Globe Awards, Emmy Awards and numerous other accolades.

The American Blues Theater Ensemble includes all four Founders Ed Blatchford, Rick Cleveland, James Leaming, and William Payne with Dawn Bach, Matthew Brumlow, Manny Buckley, Kate Buddeke, Sarah Burnham, Dara Cameron, Casey Campbell, Brian Claggett, Dennis Cockrum, Austin Cook, Laura Coover, Lauri Dahl, Joe Foust, Cheryl Graeff, Marty Higginbotham, Jaclyn Holsey, Lindsay Jones, Nambi E. Kelley, Kevin R. Kelly, Steve Key, Ed Kross, Warren Levon, Michael Mahler, Heather Meyers, John Mohrlein, Suzanne Petri, Carmen Roman, Editha Rosario, Sarah E. Ross and Gwendolyn Whiteside.

American Blues Theater programs and activities are made possible, in part by funding by The MacArthur Funds for Arts & Culture at Prince, the Shubert Foundation, The Chicago Community Trust, SMART Growth Grant, Arts Work Fund, the Illinois Arts Council Agency, Robert R. McCormick Foundation, Anixter Foundation, and Actors' Equity Foundation. ComEd is the Season Lighting Sponsor.

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