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Chicago Slam Works Ensemble Theatre to Premiere CARRIER This Spring

Chicago Slam Works Ensemble Theatre closes its third season with the World Premiere of "Carrier", exploring questions of inheritance and family, May 5 through June 9 at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont.

Using slam poetry as a primary medium, Chicago Slam Works Ensemble Theatre (CSW Ensemble Theatre) uses elements of movement, drama, music, spoken word, and sketch comedy based on a central theme to create a truly unique and unified theater experience. "Carrier" provides an intimate look at family, memory, and the legacies we all carry. Founding CSW member Teagan Walsh-Davis is the lead writer and Dru Smith makes his directorial debut with CSW Ensemble Theater. "Carrier" is produced by CSW Ensemble Theater Artistic Director J.W. Basilo.

Tickets are $10 - $20 and performances are Fridays at 8:15 p.m. and Saturdays at 2 p.m. There is one preview on May 4 at 8:15 p.m. For tickets and information visit

"We wanted to look at if identity is a predetermined outcome," said Walsh-Davis. "We wondered if identity is something that is passed down without consent or if it is something that we can control. This surreal interdisciplinary performance, mixing theater and performance poetry is our exploration of the questions we all face at one point or another in becoming an adult."

The cast of "Carrier" includes Ensemble members Samantha Dedian, Rashaad Hall, Whitney LaMora Currier, Spencer Miller, Dru Smith and Teagan Walsh-Davis.

Chicago Slam Works Ensemble Theatre's World Premiere of "Carrier" runs Friday, May 5 through June 9 at 8:15 p.m. and Saturdays, May 6, 27 and June 3 at 2 p.m. at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont. For tickets and information visit


J.W. Basilo (Producer) is the Executive Director of Chicago Slam Works and founder and Artistic Director of the CSW Ensemble Theatre. He serves as co-writer and director of the company's 6 original shows to date. Basilo is also a National and World Poetry Slam finalist, a PushCart Prize Nominee, and a company member with Red Theater Chicago. His work has appeared on NPR, CNN, CBS, WGN, in the Chicago Tribune, NewCity, numerous literary journals, and in hundreds of theaters, dive bars, prisons, schools and Comedy Clubs across the world. Recently, Basilo was honored by NewCity as one of Chicago's "Lit 50." Currently, Basilo co-hosts the world famous Uptown Poetry Slam every Sunday at the Green Mill in Chicago.

Samantha Dedian is an actor, playwright, vocalist, and sports enthusiast, among other things. She is a proud member of both The Hypocrites Community and CSW House Ensemble. Chicago credits include: All Our Tragic (Hypocrites), Handsome Animals (CSW), Cosmic Events are Upon Us (Waltzing Mechanics), and The After (Collaboraction).

Rashaad Hall is an actor, teaching artist, poet, visual and performance artist in Chicago. He has worked at The Goodman Theatre, Hypocrites Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, Victory Gardens, Chicago Slam Works, and Black Ensemble Theatre among others since graduating DePaul (2010) BFA program. Recently he was nominated for a Joseph Jefferson award with the cast of The Hairy Ape by Eugene O'Neil. Film credits include his guest starring role on Brown Girls (a web series). He is a company member of For Youth Inquiry providing sexual health and wellness forum theatre to students across Chicago with Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health.

Whitney LaMora Currier is an actor, comedian, writer and producer as well as the cofounder and producer of Wirehouse Co.- an arts organization that puts on quarterly event series and showcases artists work on a daily basis.

Spencer Miller is a actor, director, and writer originally from Memphis, TN. Most recently he has been seen in Tenants a online web series with Forever Summer Productions. Spencer earned his BFA in Theatre Performance from The University of Memphis.

Dru Smith is a company member with Chicago Slam Works where he has performed as an actor in seven world premieres over the past three years. "Carrier" marks his directing debut with The Chicago Slam Works Ensemble Theater. Other directing credits include The Ratcatcher and Imogen; both produced at Mudlark Theater in Evanston. As an actor, Smith has been seen onstage at Chicago Shakespeare Theater where he u/s for Othello: The Remix and The Gift Theatre, as a part of their annual short play festival called TEN, among other theater companies. Smith received his B.F.A. in Acting from SUNY Purchase. He also serves as the Education Director for Mudlark Theater and is a proud graduate of the School at Steppenwolf (2010).

Teagan Walsh-Davis is a Chicago-based writer/performer. She holds a BFA in acting from Columbia College Chicago. She is a founding company member of both the Chicago Slam Works Ensemble Theatre and the metatheatrical devising collective The Electric Brain, as well as Co-Artistic Director of The Jades, a theatre company dedicated to developing new works by female-identified artists. As an actor, she has performed with The Right Brain Project, Cold Basement Dramatics, The Mammals, The Living Canvas, and others. As a writer, her work has been produced by Forget Me Not Theatre Company, Mudlark Theatre and Chicago Slam Works Ensemble Theatre.

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