Chicago Slam Works Concludes Inaugural Season with IN ANY TONGUE Tonight, 7/21


Chicago Slam Works (CSW) concludes its inaugural performance season with "In Any Tongue", a unique collaborative performance by the Speak'Easy Ensemble and two German national championship slam teams, Team Allen Earnstyzz and Team Totale Zerstorung tonight, July 21 at 8 p.m. at the Vittum Theater, 1012 N. Noble.

"In Any Tongue" is a collaborative performance where American poets will translate and interpret German poems then present the poems in both languages simultaneously through a large-scale, highly choreographed 5 to 8 voice performance. The concept of "In Any Tongue" stems from a similar performance at CSW's 25th Anniversary Slam Poetry Celebration in 2011.

"This is an amazing collaboration and an inspiring challenge," said CSW Artistic Director JW Basilo. "This adds a whole new dimension to the art of performance poetry because of the collaborative nature of interpreting poems in other languages and the intense process of choreographing a multi-voice performance. It was extremely successful when we attempted this for our 25th anniversary and we are excited to join forces again, especially since we have a whole new set of foreign poets to work with."

The Speak'Easy Ensemble features Basilo, Dan "Sully" Sulivan, Molly Meacham, Robbie Q. Telfer, Shelley Geiszler Randall and Joel Chmara. Germany's Team Allen Earnstyzz includes Stefan Dorsing, Tes Fu and Julian Heun. Team Totale Zerstorung is Julius Fischer and Andre Herrmann. "In Any Tongue" also includes championship slammer André Schuermann from Switzerland.

"We feel very excited about traveling to the sacred motherland of deep dish pizza and slam poetry," said Tes Fu, a member of Team Allen Earnstyzz. "We all used to watch Air Jordan back in the old days and have been listening to Grandmaster Scott-Heron ever since. So let's make the words dance till their feet hurt and they collapse in joyful ecstasy."

In addition to the three-performance season, CSW also presents the "Uptown Poetry Slam" and the "Encyclopedia Show". For over 25 years, Marc Smith has hosted the "Uptown Poetry Slam", where the international slam poetry movement began. This exciting and boisterous evening celebrates poetry and poets - both up-and-coming and established. The "Uptown Poetry Slam" runs every Sundays at 7 p.m. at the Green Mill Jazz Club, 4802 N. Broadway.

The "Encyclopedia Show" is a live variety extravaganza hosted by performance artists Robbie Q. Telfer and Shanny Jean Maney. The show brings artists and experts from many disciplines to use their individual talents to present a different verbal encyclopedia entry each month. The show cultivates accidental knowledge and irreverenT Loving kindness. The show strives to chafe against logic and proof, find meaning in obfuscation, and wrest truth from fact once and for all. The Encyclopedia Show is performed the first Wednesday of the month at 7:30 p.m. at the Vittum Theater, 1012 N. Noble.

Chicago Slam Works concludes its premiere season with "In Any Tongue" tonight, July 21 at 8 p.m. at the Vittum Theater, 1012 N. Noble. Tickets to individual performances are $14 or $10 for students. Tickets are available by visiting or calling 866-811-4111.

Chicago Slam Works (CSW) is rooted in the Poetry Slam movement, which began in Chicago as a highly entertaining, interactive, innovative poetic experience and spread around the world to become a major force in stirring the minds of students, scholars, and everyday people. The founding members of CSW are pillars of the international movement and the organizational force behind dozens of major poetic events in and around Chicago-as well as the world including three National Poetry Slam Championships.

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