Tonika Lewis Johnson's FOLDED MAP Project to Be Adapted for Stage Within Encounter Series

Tonika Lewis Johnson's FOLDED MAP Project to Be Adapted for Stage Within Encounter Series

Collaboraction, Chicago's home for social-issue driven contemporary theater, announces the 2nd annual Encounter, a two-week winter festival or theater, dance and spoken word curated around the themes of equity and inclusion, January 15-27, 2019.

Encounter consists of six programs: three new full-length works, two programs of mid-length pieces, and one short-works collection, each devised and performed by Chicago artists working in a variety of media, all intended to incite knowledge, discussion and action.

Highlights include the world premiere adaptation Folded Map, a new live theater piece inspired by Tonika Lewis Johnson's acclaimed Folded Map Project which connected Chicago "map twins" from Englewood and Edgewater.

Others are Dana N. Anderson's Soul in Suburbia, about a black single mom living in Chicago's suburbs, and a new work created by recently incarcerated Chicago-area youth via Storycatchers Theatre.

All Encounter programs will be presented at Collaboraction, 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave., 3rd Floor, in Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood. Tickets to each performance are $10 for students, artists, educators, and seniors; $25 general public. Festival passes, which allow a holder to see each show in the festival one time, can be purchased for $60.

To purchase tickets, Encounter passes and for more information, visit, email or call (312) 226-9633.

ncounter was curated through open and invited submissions from Chicago artists working in a variety of media including dance, music, spoken word and theater.

The three full-length productions selected for Encounter, all world premieres, are Nice Town, Normal People by Rhizome Theatre Company, When The Snow Melted in Chicago by Gregory Hardigan and Soul in Suburbia by Dana N. Anderson. Each production will be presented three times over the course of the festival.

The four mid-length performances, each 40 minutes or less, are Folded Map,devised from and inspired by the photographic art piece created by Tonika Lewis Johnson, A Great Day in the Neighborhood, conceived and performed by Lawndale native and performance-poet Marvin Tate with a live band, Open Questions, devised by Laura Biagi and Karly Gesine Bergmann, and Forecast by For Youth Inquiry (FYI) Performance Company at ICAH (Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health).

Folded Map will be performed with A Great Day in the Neighborhood, andOpen Questions is paired with Forecast - to create two double bills, each to be performed three times during the festival.

?Of course, Collaboraction has long enjoyed a niche for presenting festivals of short works via its annual PEACEBOOK series and 15 years producingSKETCHBOOK. In keeping with that tradition, Encounter also includes one short works program with seven different pieces addressing themes of inclusion and equity created by Chicago artists like Loretta "Firekeeper" Hawkins, She Crew, Storycatchers Theatre and Syrian refugee Sami Ismat.

"Encounter picks up where our fall PEACEBOOK tour left off, giving our audience new opportunities to immerse themselves in a deep, mixed medium exploration of racism in Chicago with a unique breadth of Chicago artists," says Artistic Director Anthony Moseley.

"We've seen Collaboraction's brand of social-issue-driven work cultivate knowledge and empathy, and serve as a catalyst for dialogue, understanding and peacemaking. With Encounter, Collaboraction will continue to engage a diverse group of Chicago artists and audiences in urgent conversations about the sad impact of systemic racism."

Following the two-week festival in Wicker Park, select pieces from Encounterwill tour to Englewood, Lawndale and Hermosa - neighborhoods where Collaboraction performs regularly and continues to deepen relationships with its residents - as part of Collaboraction's One City initiative.

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