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Collaboraction Announces THE LIGHT, A Chicago Youth Theater Festival, Premiering July 11-14


Collaboraction Announces THE LIGHT, A Chicago Youth Theater Festival, Premiering July 11-14

See The Light - 16 world premiere short pieces of theater, dance, music and spoken word created by Chicago youth 21 and under - and you'll see what's really on kids' minds these days, growing up in Chicago.

Collaboraction, Chicago's home for social-issue driven contemporary theater, will debut The Light, the company's first annual Chicago youth theater festival, Thursday through Sunday, July 11-14, 2019. Performances are at The Pentagon Theatre at Collaboraction Studios in the Flat Iron Arts Building, 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago.

The 16 works are divided into two programs of eight works titled Radiance and Brilliance. Each program is a vital and varied mix of youth-devised theater, dance, music and spoken word. Topics range from colorism, assimilation and growing up in an age of instant gratification, to violence, racism, young love and a celebration of life on Chicago's south side. Tickets for each program range from $15-$30. Festival passes are $45; $22.50 for students, seniors and industry. For tickets and information, visit, or call Collaboraction at (312) 226-9633.

Note: Free tickets are available to Chicago youth 21 and under who make at least one social media post about The Light prior to reserving their tickets and commit to making a second post reflecting on the program after they attend. Connect with @collaboractionacross social channels and use the hashtag #TheLight to access free tickets.

Turn on The Light - See what Chicago youth have to say

Collaboraction's The Light is a fresh new collection of 16 short works curated from open submissions from youth from all over the city around the themes of equity and inclusion. The Light is also one of the first programs to debut as part of Collaboraction's new One City strategic plan to produce work from artists from communities historically left out of Chicago's thriving theater, TV and film industry as a tactic to spur social justice and healing.

Following are both program line-ups, with shows and descriptions listed within each in alphabetical order:

The Light: Radiance

Thursday, July 11 at 7 p.m.

Saturday, July 13 at 7 p.m.

Sunday, July 14 at 2 p.m.

Chicken Scratch of My Mother Tongue by Aria Mallare

Mallare's poem is a personal tale of cultural assimilation, focusing on the sacrifice immigrants make when coming to live in this country: sacrificing who they are in a country that is supposed to be free.

Color Me Bad by Anah Ambuchi and Nadia Simms

An original play about colorism in chronological view of its origins and its current day existence. The hope is to start a dialogue about how the black community can embrace and come together, while acknowledging there is beauty in all shades of our skin.

Heal You by Teh'Ray Hale Jr.

A dance piece inspiring dreamers to push past their fears.

Live and In People by Eric Fetty

Fetty's stand up comedy is a satirical comment on Generation Z and growing up in the age of instant information and technology.

Mind Over Matter by Aisha June

A music experience to uplift the spirit and inspire awareness towards issues regarding violence, healing from trauma, and loving with respect.

Once Upon a Southside by Enneressa Davis

A dance piece about the social injustices that people of color, specifically African-Americans, face in today's society and a celebration of life on the south side of Chicago.

Set The Example by The Example Setters Youth Poetry Squad

A spoken word piece by teens who want to set the Example in the city of Chicago.

Welcome to Limbo by The Collaboraction Peacemakers

The Peacemakers, Collaboraction's resident youth ensemble, return to the stage with a play covering social issues and the roles to which we do and do not contribute.

The Light: Brilliance

Friday, July 12 at 7 p.m.

Saturday, July 13 at 4 p.m.

Sunday, July 14 at 2 p.m.

Chicago: A Variation of Sandusky by Dani Mauleon

Mauleon tells her real life story of immigration services and detainment as an undocumented individual living in the U.S.

Nursery Rhymes by Veronica "Queen V" Perkins

Perkins's piece is a spin on common nursery rhymes to discuss police brutality and the injustices faced in the Black community.

For The Peace of The Land by Antwon Funches

Through Buddhist doctrine, Funches's poem reveals how the historic United States genocide, racism, and terrorism has paved the way towards today's cycle of violence.

Heal CTA by Elenna Sindler and T'Yanna Smith

A play about the experience of navigating public space as a survivor of sexual trauma. How does one find inner peace and what is the role of the community? How can we heal together?

Happy Place by Ella Rae

An original song about being there for a friend at a tough time.

I Can Be All That I Can Believe by Earl Hester

A trifecta of poetry, song, and dance centered around empowerment and pushing through doubt.

Us by Isabel Bravo and Sophia Bastounes

Using theatre and music to explore the idea of personal growth, healthy love, and the journey of learning and understanding one another in the development of relationships between others and oneself.

When They Come Around by Stella Moseley

A combination of aerial silks and spoken word about facing your fears.

On the evening of Tuesday, June 11, celebrate the "Year of Chicago Theatre" with a spectacular lantern procession led by the lead artists of Collaboraction'sThe Light. Lanterns exploring the themes of peace, love and summer are being created to debut as part of the Chicago Riverwalk program. The same lanterns will also be part of the scenic design for The Light, July 11-14 at Collaboraction Studios.

"As part of our new One City plan, Collaboraction is proud to bring together this inspiring lineup of visionary youth artists to debut The Light, a new, annual festival in Collaboraction's season," said Artistic Director Anthony Moseley. "We are proud to create a platform for their work and will excitedly watch their future work"

"The radiance and brilliance of Chicago's artist-activist shines brightest in our young people," agreed Dr. Marcus Robinson, Managing Director of Collaboraction. "This festival lifts these important voices to a height for all to see them, to learn from them and to grow with them."

Isabel Bravo, a member of Collaboraction's Peacemakers Ensemble and The Light's Youth Festival Director, said, "I'm excited to get the chance to work alongside other very talented, flourishing youth that are stepping up in the conversation of empathy, understanding and peace in Chicago."

Luis Crespo, Collaboraction's Education Director, added, "Chicago youth are wondrous. The Light festival is their platform to share the greatness they shine all day long. Just in bursts of song, dance, spoken word and theater."

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