Collaboraction to Bring CRIME SCENE CHICAGO to Four Neighborhoods Next Month

Collaboraction to Bring CRIME SCENE CHICAGO to Four Neighborhoods Next Month

Collaboraction returns this summer to incite change on a hyperlocal level by embedding its smash hit, docu-drama live theater experience Crime Scene Chicago in four different Chicago neighborhoods on four consecutive weekends in August:

Hamilton Park in Englewood
513 W. 72nd St.
Thursday and Friday, August 7 and 8

Austin Town Hall in Austin
5610 W. Lake St.
Thursday and Friday, August 14 and 15

Loyola Park in East Rogers Park
1230 W. Greenleaf
Thursday and Friday, August 21 and 22

Taylor Park in Bronzeville
39 W. 47th St.
Thursday and Friday August 28 and 29

Press night for Crime Scene Chicago: Let Hope Rise 2014 is Friday, August 8 at Hamilton Park in Englewood.

Updated and renamed Crime Scene Chicago: Let Hope Rise 2014, the summer tour of Collaboraction's theatrical reaction to violent crime in Chicago is presented as part of the Chicago Park District's Night Out in the Parks program.

Local organizations dedicated to promoting community and combating violence are partnering with Collaboraction to help with show research, to connect the company with community residents and their families, and to co-moderate post-show Town Hall meetings meant to spur action on ways to incite change and combat violent crime in all four locations.

Friday nights kick off at 5 p.m. with a free community BBQ sponsored in part by Goodman Theatre and Collaboraction's signature Dome of Dance competition for neighborhood residents. Pre-show Peace Rallies start at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday nights featuring pro-peace performances by activists and community groups. Show time is 7 p.m. with a Town Hall discussion after. All performances include opportunities for audience participation. Tickets are free and can be reserved by emailing or calling (312) 226-9633. Crime Scene runs 55 minutes and is recommended for ages 14 and up due to violence and mature content.

The world premiere of Crime Scene was universally lauded by the press when it debuted in 2013, when it drew considerable attention and played to sold-out houses at Collaboraction's Wicker Park home, followed by its first summer tour last year with the Chicago Park District. Press response included:

For its 2014 summer parks tour, show creator and Collaboraction Artistic Director Anthony Moseley has remixed Crime Scene to include up-to-the-minute stories of Chicago violence, coupled with nonfiction source material such as interviews, articles, social media threads and online comments to raise critical questions surrounding segregation, poverty, the news media and popular culture.

An internet search is the show's metaphor, because "today with the internet we have the power to access and share information in 20 minutes that can tackle and help turn around 200 years of segregation," said Moseley.

Moseley added, "When we first presented Crime Scene our goal was to use theater to wake Chicago up, to shake people up and to get the conversation started about Chicago's crime epidemic. This summer, the show has been remixed to show Chicago residents we understand what's going on in their communities, to share positive narratives about hope and change, to underscore how it's everyone's responsibility to end violence in Chicago, and to encourage audience members to look for even just one community program that connects with their values to support long-term."

As before, Collaboraction is collaborating with dozens of anti-violence activists and community organizations to create hyperlocal content for each residency, and to participate in neighborhood Peace Rallies before each Friday night performance.

Adding to its youth outreach effort, Collaboraction has partnered with the City of Chicago's After School Matters program to create the Crime Scene Youth Ensemble.

Collaboraction's first-ever youth ensemble, made up of 20 Chicago teens ages 14 and 15 from all over the city, is meeting at Collaboraction for five weeks, four days a week, now through July 31 to devise anti-crime performance art, including the show's new theme song, "Spread the Love."

Participating artists and activists include FM Supreme, an internationally popular, 25-year-old Chicago hip hop artist and activist named Jessica Disu, two-time winner of Chicago's Louder than a Bomb competition, showcased this spring as a Remarkable Woman in the Chicago Tribune. FM Supreme is featured in the new script for Crime Scene, and is scheduled to appear at the pre-show Peace Rally and post-show Town Hall discussion at Hamilton Park in Englewood on Friday, August 8.

Members of the Crime Scene Youth Ensemble as well as Young Chicago Authors will perform at all four Peace Rallies. At press time, Manchild is slated to perform at all Friday night rallies, and the Brickheadz Crew will appear Friday, August 8 (Hamilton Park) and August 29 (Taylor Park). Stay tuned for more artists TBA.

Likewise, Goodman Theatre's General Theatre Studies education program for teens ages 14 to 18 is collaborating with the tour and youth ensembles. A select group of youth artists will perform from Two Years Later, a piece that was included earlier this year in Goodman Theatre's Facing Our Truth festival of plays in response to the Trayvon Martin verdict.

Collaboraction invites Chicagoans to support its Crime Scene partners, which also include (at press time) CeaseFire Englewood, Change 4 Children, Embarc, Formers Anonymous, The Goodman Theater, Ignite One, The KLEO Center, Metropolitan Chicago Breast Cancer Task Force, RAGE, Strengthening Chicago's Youth and Young Chicago Authors.

This program is presented as part of the Chicago Park District's Night Out in the Parks with the support of Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Arts programming in neighborhoods across the city advances the goals of the Chicago Park District and the Chicago Cultural Plan. In its second year, the 2014 Night Out in the Parks series will bring 1,000 events throughout the city, making community parks safe havens and hubs of activity. Projects vary from traditional performances and concerts, to peace rallies, movies, magic shows, community workshops, nature based programs, dance pieces, festivals, and more. The Chicago Park District has partnered with more than 50 arts and community organizations to expand and produce this successful initiative.

Related Articles

Chicago THEATER Stories | Shows  Like BWW Chicago  Follow BWW Chicago

From This Author BWW News Desk

Before you go...