EYES ON CHICAGO Competition Of 'Cell Short takes' Accepting Submissions

In conjunction with her Goodman Theatre world-premiere production of Magnolia, playwright ReGina Taylor announces Eyes on Chicago, a competition of "cell short takes"-films that are 5-10 minutes in length and filmed entirely on cell phone cameras-for Chicago students aged 15-30. Cell short takes should address one of three questions: "How are you, as a Chicagoan, affected by the numerous changes, good and bad, America is currently facing? What will Chicagoans take away from this time of change in America? What are your dreams and how are they significant to the current climate of the country?" Cash prizes of up to $1,500 will be awarded, and the top three contestants in each category will earn a screening of their respective films. Submissions must be postmarked for receipt by April 18; winners will be announced April 25, and the winners' screening will take place May 2 (location TBD). Submission details follow, and a complete list of guideline regulations are available at www.CellShortTakes.com/terms

"We are living in a monumental time in history, and our new President has focused the eyes of the world on Chicago," said ReGina Taylor, actor, director and playwright who explores another historical period of churning social currents, Atlanta in 1963, in her latest play Magnolia at Goodman Theatre (though April 19). "The heart of the Obama campaign used internet, e-mail and video to motivate people; now it's Chicago's turn. We're looking for edgy, creative and original student films that delve into Chicago's past and look to its future in an honest and creative way. What are your dreams and how are they significant to the current climate of the country? "

A member of Goodman Theatre's Artistic Collective, ReGina Taylor authored and directed The Dreams of Sarah Breedlove, which premiered at Alabama Shakespeare Festival and was produced at the Goodman in June 2006. Drowning Crow, her adaptation of Chekhov's The Seagull, premiered at the Goodman and was produced on Broadway at Manhattan Theatre Club's Biltmore Theatre. Taylor wrote the award-winning Crowns, first produced at McCarter Theatre and at Second Stage in New York, and has subsequently become the most performed musical in America; Taylor also directed the production to critical acclaim. Her other plays include Oo-Bla-Dee, which premiered at the Goodman and won the 2000 American Theatre Critics/Steinberg New Play Award; Escape From Paradise, a one-woman show; Watermelon Rinds; Inside the Belly of the Beast; Mudtracks; Love Poem #97; and she curated Urban Zulu Mambo, an evening of plays by Adrienne Kennedy, Ntozake Shange, Suzan-Lori Parks and Kia Corthron. Acting credits include roles on Broadway, off-Broadway and in numerous resident theaters. Her film credits include Clockers, Losing Isaiah, Lean on Me, A Family Thing, Courage Under Fire with Denzel Washington, and The Negotiator with Samuel L. Jackson. For her role as Lilly Harper on the television series I'll Fly Away, Taylor won an NAACP Image Award, was nominated for an Emmy Award and received the Golden Globe Award for Best Leading Dramatic Actress. She currently portrays Molly on CBS' The Unit, written and produced by David Mamet and Shawn Ryan (2008 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama).


How to Enter Eyes on Chicago


Contestants entering the Chicago Cell Short Takes Contest should upload films to the Contest website CellShortTakes.com, and submit (via US Mail) the following, postmarked for receipt by April 18: a complete and signed entry form; a signed Voluntary Participation and Contestant Release; A copy of his/her film on CD or DVD; a brief biography about him/herself; and film stills on CD or DVD. Submissions should be mailed to: ReGina Taylor, P.O. Box 801867, Santa Clarita, CA 91380.


All entrants must be attending, or have attended, a Chicago-area high school, college or university (undergraduate) during the 2008/2009 school year, must be aged 15-30 years, and must be legal residents of the United States or Washington, D.C.


Submissions will be judged by media professionals. Merited films will be streamed online to varied audiences. The top three contestants in each category win cash prizes and have a public screening in Chicago (venue TBD).


About Magnolia - Must Close April 19


Magnolia takes place in Atlanta, 1963. As Martin Luther King Jr. inspires Atlanta's black citizens to fight passionately for their civil rights, the new mayor erects "Peyton Wall" to restrict where they can live. Amid these churning social currents, Magnolia Estate faces foreclosure-pitting the sensual, free-spirited heiress Lily (Annette O'Toole) against Thomas (John Jelks), a strong-willed businessman who lays claim to the estate where his ancestors were slaves. The development of Magnolia was supported by The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center during a residency at the National Playwrights Conference of 2008. Target is the Lead Corporate Sponsor of Magnolia and Lead Diversity Night Sponsor.

Tickets to Magnolia are $25 - $70 and may be purchased online at GoodmanTheatre.org, at the Goodman Theatre Box Office, 170 North Dearborn Street, or by phone at 312.443.3800. Mezztix are half-price mezzanine tickets available at 12 noon at the box office and at 10am online at GoodmanTheatre.org on the day of performance, subject to availability; Mezztix are not available by telephone. When purchasing on GoodmanTheatre.org, enter the promo code MEZZTIX. 10Tix are $10 mezzanine tickets for students available at 12 noon at the box office and at 10am online at GoodmanTheatre.org on the day of performance, subject to availability; 10Tix are not available by telephone. Valid student I.D. must be presented when picking up the tickets at will call. Limit four tickets per student with I.D. Tickets are subject to availability and handling fees apply. Discounted group tickets for 10 persons or more are available at 312.443.3820.


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