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American Blues Theater Announces SHINSAI: THEATER FOR JAPAN Benefit

American Blues Theater (ABT), Chicago's second oldest Equity Ensemble, is set to participate in a global benefit for the people of Japan, SHINSAI: Theatre for Japan, Sunday, March 11 at 3 p.m. at the Richard Christiansen Theater in Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, 2433 North Lincoln Ave. Tickets are a suggested donation of $10 with 100% of the proceeds going to SHINSAI. For tickets and more information go to www.americanbluestheater.com or call 312.725.4228.

ABT joins Manhattan Theater Club, Public Theater, Playwrights Horizons and theaters throughout the world commemorating the first anniversary of the earthquake that devastated Japan. The Japan Playwrights Association will disperse the proceeds from this one-day-only event to the Japanese theater community affected by the disaster. The event features 10 minute plays and music commissioned by major American and Japanese artists including Edward Albee, Richard Greenberg, Naomi Iizuka, Tony Kushner, Doug Wright, John Kander, Fred Ebb, Stephen Sondheim and Suzan-Lori Parks. From a selection of the commissioned works, ABT will perform live readings.

SHINSAI was created shortly after the 2011 earthquake in Japan, actor James Yaegashi, whose family is from a nearby area, called friends in the New York theatre community to say, "We as a community have to do something to help our fellow artists on the other side of the world." Six months later, a friendly consortium of more than a dozen organizations has come together and now a global event is underway. Yoji Sakate, president of the Japan Playwrights Association said, "Theater artists in Japan, centered around those living in the Tohoku region that was devastated by the great earthquake and nuclear accident, extend our hand to theater artists around the world to rebuild Tohoku and Japanese society, restoring the conditions that surround the art of theater, such as environments for creative activity, theater buildings, companies, rehearsal spaces, education and audiences. We seek to work with our international peers to demonstrate the potential of human beings and the theater to overcome adversity as well as the primordial power of expression on stage." ABT Producing Artistic Director Gwendolyn Whiteside added, "It is an honor to be part of this this one day special event to show the world the importance of art as a force on a global scale and its impact beyond the theater's walls."

Committed to the company's Ensemble since 1985, American Blues Theater produces stories about working people and partners each production with social and service organizations. ABT's multi-generational and inter-disciplined ensemble & artistic affiliates comprise all aspects of theater, television and film including producers, writers, directors, actors, designers, educators and technicians. As of 2012, ABT's ensemble members have individually received more than 115 Joseph Jefferson Awards celebrating excellence in Chicago theater, 21 After Dark Awards, two Pulitzer Prize nominations, an Academy Award nomination, a Golden Globe Award, 10 Emmy Awards and nominations, six Writers' Guild Awards, 17 Black Theatre Alliance Awards and nominations and multiple regional theater awards from New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and Florida. ABT is the second-oldest equity ensemble theater in Chicago. The 36-member Ensemble has more than 418 combined years of collaboration on stage.

SHINSAI: Theatre for Japan, Sunday March 11 at 3 p.m. at the Richard Christiansen Theater in Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, 2433 North Lincoln Ave. Tickets are a suggested donation of $10 with 100% of the proceeds going to SHINSAI. For tickets and more information go to www.americanbluestheater.com or call 312.725.4228.



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