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Home Explore Newcity Chicago January 2020

Newcity Chicago January 2020

Published by Newcity, 2020-01-02 12:35:52

Description: Newcity kicks off the new decade with The Players 50, our annual look at the leaders in the worlds of theater, dance, comedy and opera in Chicago. On the cover is our Player of the Moment: Wardell Julius Clark, an artist and activist who shares insights from his time on stage and behind the scenes. In case that doesn't slate your thirst for performing arts coverage, we also have a Winter Preview, highlighting more than 30 productions premiering in the back half of the 2019-2020 season. Elsewhere in the issue: fashion outlets bring the art to the people, a curious performance by Aura CuriAtlas, the Virtue of Erick Williams, and much more!


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JANUARY 2020 THE NEW ART JANUARY 2020 Newcity ROMANTIC Fashion Outlets of Chicago brings museum-worthy art to the public............... 42 Fashion cues from Barbie to Bambi DANCE The body eclectic performances P L AY E R of Aura CuriAtlas Physical Theatre ........................ 49 OF THE MOMENT DESIGN When you Warhol, take a closer look Wardell Julius Clark at these design exhibitions too ............................... 51 is flying high and fast DINING & DRINKING PL AY E RS 5 0 Erick Williams puts the meaning in his Virtue....................................... 53 Here's fifty faces of theater, dance and comedy you should memorize FILM A look at the birth of new movies now........................................ 55 LIT Johanny Vazquez Paz explains “I Offer My Heart As a Target”................................. 58 MUSIC Is Animal Heads really “classical\"?..................................................... 61 S TA G E Winter is coming and that's a good thing for theater ......................................... 63 LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL Teen Dream is ready to hit the road............................................... 66 3

THE A of human hair of rice paper OF MATT Left to Right: gu wenda, united nations: american code, 2019, Photo © Museum Associates/LACMA. Zhu Jinshi, Wave of Materials, 2007, Photo © Museum Associates/LACMA. Ai Weiwei, Tables at Right Angles, 1998, Stockamp Tsai Collection, New York. Xu Bing, 1st Class, 2011, Photo © Museum Associates/LACMA.

ALLURE of craftsmanship TER of the global cigarette THE ALLURE OF MATTER Material Art from China Opens February 7th at the Smart Museum on Chicago’s South Side and at Wrightwood 659 on the North Side. Featuring monumental artworks created from radically unconventional materials. The Allure of Matter presents 45 works by 27 leading Chinese contemporary artists.

Newcity JANUARY 2020 Welcome back to the Roaring Twenties. It's amazing to think back a hundred years ago, to the original Roaring Twen- ties, when the United States would elect a Republican president, an avid golfer who would go on to oversee probably the most corrupt administration in our history while carrying on notorious extramarital affairs, eventually coming to be known as one of the worst presi- dents in US history. Thankfully our nation learned the errors of its ways in choosing our leaders after Warren G. Harding and have no reason to fear a crash and depression at the other end of this decade. Gulp. Here at Newcity we're setting our sights on 2026, as we undertake our first structured strategic planning since the Great Media Crash of the Aughts. So much has changed since then, especially in our business. Our flagship is now a glossy monthly magazine rather than an alt-weekly. We make publications and web sites for other cultural institutions. Digital, rather than print, is now the fastest-growing part of our business, and will possibly overtake print revenue by 2026. And feature film production is now a core part of our business. So much to plan! Why 2026? Last summer I went to a gathering of independent cinemas—Art House Convergence's regional conference—in Ann Arbor, Michigan. That trip afforded my first (and second) visit to the legendary Zingerman's Deli to see firsthand how it has crafted what Inc. magazine once dubbed \"The Coolest Small Company in America\" from its foundation as a simple corner sandwich shop in a small college town. Beyond sandwiches, the company's ZingTrain division ran a session at my con- ference on the value of \"visioning\" for a company and its team. It made a lot of sense to me, and on my way out of town I picked up their founder Ari Weinzweig's manifesto/strategy book, \"A Lapsed Anarchist's Approach to Building a Great Business.\" He made a hell of a case for planning for the really long term, and so we decided that 2026 made the most sense. It's the year Newcity turns forty. Meanwhile, I'm off to the Art House Convergence Annual Conference in Utah this month and looking forward to more transformative insights. Maybe I'll let you know what I learn next month. 6


KEVIN GREENE (Theater Editor) co-edited ISA GIALLORENZO (Art Direction, THE ON THE COVER and wrote many of this year's \"Players\" NEW ROMANTIC) is a Brazilian who has Cover Image Joe Mazza | Brave Lux entries. In addition to covering theater for lived in Chicago since 2009. She runs Cover Design Dan Streeting Newcity, Kevin is also a musician, playing a street-style blog called Chicago Looks in local bands Siblings and Ignatius Pop. and believes this is one of the most stylish— Vol. 34, No. 1399 and kindest —towns on the planet. Her SHARON HOYER (Dance Editor) is four-year-old son takes a lot of her time, PUBLISHERS endlessly fascinated by bodies in motion. but she still tries to showcase her favorite Brian & Jan Hieggelke She serves as the director of arts nonprofit local designers whenever she has a chance. Associate Publisher Mike Hartnett High Concept Labs, teaches tai chi and tries EDITORIAL to dance a little every day. Sharon co-edited BAMBI (Art Direction, THE NEW Editor Brian Hieggelke and wrote much of this year’s “Players.” ROMANTIC) is a Chicago-based fashion Managing Editor Jan Hieggelke designer specializing in avant-garde clothing Art Editor Kerry Cardoza JOE MAZZA (Photographer, Cover, that breaks gender boundaries. With a visual Dance Editor Sharon Hoyer “Players” and “Player of the Moment”) arts background from Columbia College, Design Editor Vasia Rigou is an award-winning photographer who he creates artful pieces that challenge the Dining and Drinking Editor has been photographing Newcity’s Leaders wearer to express themselves glamorously. David Hammond of Chicago Culture since his first Players, Film Editor Ray Pride back in January of 2014 at the Music Box CARISSA COUGHLIN (Photographer, THE Lit Editor Tara Betts Theatre. This year’s is his thirty-first! NEW ROMANTIC) is a photographer and Music Editor Robert Rodi See Joe’s work at writer, specializing in fashion, portraiture and music photography. Originally hailing from eater Editor Kevin Greene the small village of Rudolph, Ohio; she now Editorial Intern Alexander Tannebaum provides photography for Chicago-based ART & DESIGN artists, designers and other creatives. She Senior Designers Fletcher Martin, also runs SALTINE, a music photography Dan Streeting , Billy Werch and criticism blog. Her work can be viewed Designers Jim Maciukenas, at  Stephanie Plenner MARKETING Newcity JANUARY 2020 The mind-bending cult classic by Marketing Manager Todd Hieggelke OPERATIONS TRACY LETTS General Manager Jan Hieggelke Distribution Nick Bachmann, THEY’RE EVERYWHERE Adam Desantis, Preston Klik, Quinn Nicholson By Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning ensemble member Tracy Letts Directed by Tony award winner David Cromer One copy of current issue free at select locations. Additional copies, including back issues up to one Featuring ensemble members Randall Arney, Carrie Coon and Namir Smallwood year, may be ordered at with Jennifer Engstrom and Steve Key Copyright 2020, New City Communications, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Newcity assumes no responsibility to return unsolicited editorial or graphic material. All rights in letters and unsolicited editorial or graphic material will be treated as unconditionally assigned for publication and copyright purposes and subject to comment editorially. Nothing may be reprinted in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. Newcity is published by Newcity Communications, Inc. 47 West Polk, Suite 100-223, Chicago, IL 60605 Visit for advertising and editorial information. STARTS JANUARY 23 | Tickets start at just $20 | 312-335-1650 8

From dance to literature: you want to be here. The Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago is a multidisciplinary home for artistic practice. Connect with the Logan Center for concerts, exhibitions, performances, family programs, and more from world-class, emerging, local, student, and international artists. Logan Center for the Arts 773.702.ARTS 915 E 60th St loganUChicago Photo: Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre dancers in Between Us, courtesy of the company.

10 Newcity JANUARY 2020

THE JANUARY 2020 Newcity FROM B A R B I E TO B A M B I B Y Isa Giallorenzo learned how to sew from my grandmother when I was three years old,” says twenty-seven- year-old Dylan Larson, a local cloth- ing designer also known as Bambi. “I spent a lot of time with her when my mother was at work, and she taught me how to create things out of fabric,” he says. “My grandmother would send me home to my mother’s with bags of fabric scraps and I would sit on the living room floor and make clothes for my Barbies with the ma- terials. I even used dryer sheets to create outfits! So I knew from a young age that this is the only thing I wanted to do.” 11

Newcity JANUARY 2020 AND BAMBI KEPT AT IT, eventually studying fashion design at Columbia College Chicago, an experience he found invalu- able: “I was lucky to have inspiring professors that drove me to achieve high goals and create beautiful things. At Columbia, you become well- rounded in what it means to be an artist, and you’re trained in multiple facets of the industry outside of fashion, which I found extremely re- warding.” He seems to have learned to balance his artistic sensibilities with a commercial side. Even though Bambi’s garments have a strong point of view, they can be paired with more ca- sual pieces: “You could wear one of my pieces with a T-shirt and instantly become a little bit more chic and daring,” he says. His style is both futuristic and romantic. “Some of my greatest in- spirations come from historical periods, as well as the beauty that is found in nature. Every col- lection I have made has been designed in a day, because when the inspiration hits I will sketch furiously until I get every possible idea out,” he says. “Then I take those ideas and work on fab- rication and patterns.” To bring a textural quality to his designs, Bambi favors materials such as PVC and different fin- ishes of leather—in addition to classic fabrics like wools and silks. Androgyny is another strong trait in his garments, which exude a glam-rock charm: “I strive to push boundaries with fashion and make the world a more beautiful and inclusive place with my clothes,” he says. “Fashion, especially menswear, has been lagging behind for over a century, and I want to change that.” And Bambi is doing exactly that. Bambi’s pieces can be purchased at (also available custom-made in different materials). CREDITS Art direction: Bambi (@bambicollection) and Isa Giallorenzo (@chicagolooks) Photography and graphic design: Carissa Coughlin (@salt.factory) Hair and Makeup: Tia Latrice (@makeup_by_tialatrice) Model: Robertson Scott (@glamourcadaver) 12

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by Kevin GreeneNewcity JANUARY 2020We talked a litte over a year ago photo by Joe Mazza | Brave Lux with Susan Ask but it seems like a lifetime at the clip you’ve been working at. arking progress through a life in the arts is often measured Catch us up on what you’ve in inches across years. Day-to-day, month-by-month, year been up to and what’s coming next. after year after year. A show here, a break, another show. Life intervenes: relationships with artists are notoriously I went back on the other side of the table to complicated for all involved, though not without distinct act in “Flyin’ West” at American Blues The- rewards. Issues of finances and longevity, ethics and the ater, then directed two staged readings at elusive nature of “quality,” that most subjective of measures, which moon- TimeLine Theatre. I worked with Make Be- lights under the auspices of its opposite, are daily considerations. Making lieve Productions, recording an audio drama art as a person of color, a woman, or an artist who is unquietly queer, written by Nate Marshall, “Bruh Rabbit,” in femme, trans, non-binary or otherwise socially or culturally marginal- front of a live studio audience. I opened the ized redoubles these complications and adds a few more: institutionalized critically acclaimed “Dutch Masters” at Jack- racism and sexism, the demand for excellence in the face of white male alope Theatre, “The Watsons Go to Birming- mediocrity, a constant barrage of microaggressions, well-meaning lib- ham – 1963” at Chicago Children’s Theatre, eralism. The list goes on and on. “His Shadow” at 16th Street Theater, and “Hoodoo Love” at Raven Theatre. I work- And yet, against the odds, the artist rises. One of the most gratifying shopped and did a stage reading of a brand ascents to behold in the last few years has been that of Wardell Julius new Calamity West play, “Christmas at Clark. After a decade as a professional actor, Julius Clark switched his Home,” with Sideshow Theatre this summer, focus to directing in 2018—while maintaining a foothold in the world as well as finally joining the ensemble of The of acting—and has achieved a degree of critical and popular success the Fly Honey Show for their tenth anniversary. likes of which are rare for artists at any point in their career, with each Coming up, the Chicago premiere of new play building on the artistry of the ones before it. I spoke with “Sheepdog” opens at Shattered Globe, fol- Wardell via email as well as in person during this year’s Players photo- lowed by the Chicago premiere of James shoot, where he was generous, thoughtful and game for anything, qual- Ijames’ “Kill Move Paradise” at TimeLine ities that gracefully transpose onto his art and activism. Theatre Company. After that, I head to Step- penwolf as associate director on the world 14 premiere of the new Rajiv Joseph play “King James” with Anna D. Shapiro, which will move to the Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles later in the summer. What are the most significant things you’ve learned along the way about yourself as an artist and particularly as a director? What I know for sure is that I am walking in my calling, living in my purpose and growing as a human being through my art. My ideol- ogies have morphed and changed greatly over the past years, especially the last five. I have found a specific mission, one that is about illuminating, celebrating and relishing black life onstage, as a means to seek liber-

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Newcity JANUARY 2020 ation for my people through the art we cre- keting and a lot of self-promotion [laughs] Move Paradise” overlaps with tech and pre- ate. I have also learned that it is okay to not makes the whole thing work. views for “Sheepdog.” have all the answers. The best thing a direc- tor can do is surround themselves with a Critics like to note, or perhaps You don’t show much sign of slowing fierce, diverse team of individuals who share project patterns onto an artist’s down but let’s talk about self-care. a common goal for the work, with a myriad output. What connections do you see What does a day off look like for you? of ideas about how to achieve our collective between the plays you’ve directed? Do you have a go-to getaway spot? goal. I’ve learned that my connection to any play is directly tied to how effective and pow- All of the plays that I have directed so far A day off? What’s that? Ha. Yes. My best erful I think a story can be for the audience. deal with some aspect of the black experi- friend Sydney Charles often jokes that I need ence juxtaposed against a past, present and a hobby. If I am gifted with a day off, I prefer Because I spent ten years as a profession- future society seeking to invalidate our ex- to stay in bed. Self-care for me comes in very al actor before adding director to my re- istence. I am drawn to work that illuminates simple forms. Catching up on television sume, it is less about learning new things black folks in our current condition while shows, books that I’ve been meaning to read, and more about sharpening instincts that always striving for a more equitable exis- and checking in on pop culture. If I am treat- are already there. I’ve learned that if I can- tence in the world. A lot of my work has so- ing myself, there are specific foods and bev- not figure out the big moment in the play cial justice themes. Growing up in Fairfield, erages that I will indulge in. A Popeye’s chick- before I accept the job, then I can’t do the Alabama and being steeped in the history en sandwich and a Kentucky mule can do play. I have to have an instinctual, mental of Birmingham, I have always thought of wonders. Dance for me is the loftiest of art and visual understanding of how that works myself as an activist. A lot of the work that forms and through daily practice and the oc- in the storytelling. I’ve learned that taking I have done—from my first play “Insurrec- casional patronage I use dance as a form of something as small as three lines of stage tion: Holding History” at Stage Left to the rejuvenation and healing. direction can spark an entire theatrical mo- upcoming “Kill Move Paradise” at Timeline ment in my mind, unrealized to the play- Theatre—is steeped in various forms of lib- Who or what is currently inspiring you? wright and fully in service of the story. eration of black people. I am drawn to plays that have large theatrical moments or plays I am inspired by the artists in my inner circle. Every storefront show you directed last absent of blocking on the page. I said in our As a person who is constantly on the hunt year sold out. What is it about the work previous interview, and I still believe, what for inspiration, surrounding myself with a that you and your collaborators are doing we do with our art is our revolution. I seek small group of humans who share similar that draws such enthusiastic crowds? to do work that leads audiences on a reve- values and passion for life is my inspiration. latory journey, that can also act as a conduit My partner, Regina Victor, a person who em- To me, theater is church. A sacred place to for a better society. bodies what I personally feel are the best tell truths, to be a conduit and a reflection. qualities of the human spirit, is a daily inspi- Life’s mirror. I often talk about the distinc- Take us inside your directorial process. ration in the way they pursue life. That daily tion between concept and intention. What Where do you begin? What’s it like interaction alone facilitates an energy in me I mean by that is, every director has a con- in the room? Are you nervous when that allows me to continue on my hardest cept for how they choose to interpret the a new show opens or are you already days. I am inspired by the everyman in text of a play. However, there are many pro- thinking about the next? America who, in spite of everything, not only ductions that do not fully connect the con- survives but thrives in their own world. My cept to what the intention of the audience’s I begin with the images in my mind’s eye on mother’s joy inspires me. My brother Phillip emotion should be. From initial design my first read of the text. There are usually James Brannon, who I’ve long considered meetings throughout preproduction and moments that I see from the page that are one of the greatest young actors in the first rehearsal and the entire rehearsal pro- in the final form of the production. My con- American theater and now a rising TV and cess, I am continually reminding myself and versations with designers during preproduc- film star, has maintained his unique sense all collaborators what the intention of our tion are less instructive and more free-form of self while continually growing and pursu- concept is. That idea fuels the theatrical re- exploration of ideas. I always have a very ing the very heights of our industry. There lationship between production and audi- clear understanding of how the world of the are also visual artists who greatly inspire me: ence. Audiences have to know that a play should function and seek to collaborate Kara Walker, Hebru Brantley, Kerry James Wardell Julius Clark production will be a with designers to bring their instincts to my Marshall and Erin Mitchell. full-bodied, visceral, emotional journey. vision. On the first day of rehearsal I always That is because in every area of the produc- begin with a James Baldwin quote. Baldwin Anything else you want our tion my collaborators and I intentionally for me articulates the vast dexterity of black readers to know? seek to be as effective as possible in creat- life. It sets the tone for how we will work over ing a world that not only the actors can live the next several weeks in rehearsal. My re- Yes. We are at a vital point in the American inside of but the audience as well. Chicago hearsal room is very fun, I like to think. When society and the human condition. As we audiences have always known and contin- the play is hard, the work shouldn’t be. have been before and more than likely will ually crave this unabashed in-your-face ex- be again. It is more imperative than ever perience from their storefront theater. The- I am always nervous when a new show that we as people acknowledge the human- ater is both entertainment and education, opens, in that I hope the work resonates ity in one another, and seek to find a more even in the darkest moments onstage I want with audiences. I am also always thinking united understanding of how we can all the audiences to be fully enthralled. The col- about the next show, usually based on ne- exist together. That is what I search for in lective experience of the audience by nature cessity. Because of the freelance lifestyle, my work and that is the social media gospel makes people want to share it with each and scheduling, it has become a regular oc- I preach. The fundamental understanding other. I like to build early word of mouth, currence for me to be in preproduction that there are more things that connect us buzz and excitement around the shows that while in rehearsals for another show. For than separate us is the key to whatever I do. That, coupled with social media mar- example, my first week of rehearsals for “Kill comes next. 16

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Newcity JANUARY 2020 for this year’s Players photoshoot (a multi-day marathon that would not be possible without the grace and good cheer of Joe Mazza and Susan Ask), a handful of folks wrote back saying they regretted they would have to miss the shoot because they would be out of town for work. These days, this is hardly unusual: a quick scan of the production credits of the artists on this list sees many working around the country as well as in a variety of media and roles. Meanwhile, Chicago has long been a mecca for artists looking to cut their teeth in the local style: a spirited and scrappy can-do ethos, which translates to hundreds of productions across the city at any given time. This is a central paradox of our performance communities: an abundance of both supply and demand. And while the pros to this symbiotic arrangement are too numerous to fully account for, the drawback is that we sometimes have difficulty holding onto the talent we already have as we import dancers, directors, designers and Dionysians of all stripes from abroad and, too often, scribes from beyond the grave. And while cultural exchange is an essential artery in the infrastructure of art-making and heedlessly embracing a politics of isolation would be a disaster for our city, what I’ve come to admire most about Chicago’s theater community is the collective chip on our broad shoulders. We can do it better, faster, cheaper as well as more affordably and accessible than anyone, anywhere, period. And while conversations around equity and representation pur- posefully persist, during this season of reflection and anticipation, poised as we are forever on the precipice of change and stasis, we arrive at an agreeable theme: grat- itude. To the long-awaited revenant and lifelong resident alike, thank you for giving Chicago its most meaningful epithet of all: home. Players 50 2020 was written by Kevin Greene and Sharon Hoyer with additional contributions by Amanda Finn, Ben Kaye, Erin Shea Brady, Zach Freeman and Hugh Iglarsh. All photos by Joe Mazza | Brave Lux with photo assistance by Susan Ask 18

2 – IKE HOLTER — Playwright, Actor; Ensemble Member, Makes Man,” a coming-of-age drama featur- the Holterverse, “Lottery Day” was the kind JANUARY 2020 Newcity Steppenwolf Theatre Company ing Steppenwolf ensemble member Alana of show you wanted to get on stage and Arenas, for the OWN cable network. He has become a part of, a theatrical delight the likes The release of “Moonlight” (2016) may have been the chair of playwriting at the Yale of which are rarely seen anywhere. Since that put an international spotlight on Tarell Alvin School of Drama since 2017, which could show closed, Holter’s pace has drifted toward McCraney, the Chicago theater community become the most important of his many proj- that of a mere mortal, albeit it one whose gifts has known of his talents for well over a ects: educating and training a new generation are now being appreciated by the rest of the decade. This past year saw a reunion between of storytellers. world: he recently wrote for the FX series McCraney and Steppenwolf, with a produc- “Fosse/Verdon,” starring Sam Rockwell and tion of “The Brothers Size,” directed by Monty — Playwright Michelle Williams, and has a Playwrights Cole as a part of the company’s programming Horizon commission on the way. And while for young adults, and the world premiere of An underappreciated subgenre of Chicago L.A. and New York have come calling, Holter “Ms. Blakk For President,” a one-of-a-kind theater: the plays that you take the people and his signature rollerblades continue to cut theatrical event, which starred McCraney as who think they don’t like theater to. Enter: Ike across the streets he calls home. Ms. Blakk and reunited him with another Holter. Holter has arguably done more than Chicago theater celebrity, Tina Landau. (Lan- any single individual in the last five years to — Director; Associate Artist, dau directed “The Brother/Sister Plays” in raise Chicago’s theatrical profile, both within TimeLine Theatre Company 2010, as well as the world premiere of “Head and beyond city limits. The success of his of Passes” in 2013.) McCraney wrote the productions have always been a group effort, Wardell Julius Clark went on a dizzying screenplay for Steven Soderbergh’s “High perhaps no more so than with “Lottery Day,” directorial tear two years ago and has hardly Flying Bird,” about a sports agent’s intrigues which premiered at the Goodman last year slowed since. Commencing at Stage Left during a basketball lockout, which debuted and brought Holter’s “Rightlynd Saga” to its Theatre and moving through some of the on Netflix in February, and created “David highly anticipated finale. Directed by fellow city’s best and brightest storefronts (Red Player Lili-Anne Brown and featuring a resplendent who’s who of characters from 19

9 – LILI-ANNE BROWN Tape, Jackalope), including a fruitful collab- Chicagoan Hannibal Buress has hit his stride. to drop-ins at Cole's Bar’s Comedy Open oration with fellow Player (and former New- While he can fill theaters on tour around the Mic. Buress also shows up as a surprise city contributing writer) Loy Webb, Clark country, in his hometown, you can catch him bonus for touring friends (like Eric Andre at picked up a slew of accolades along the way. in much smaller rooms, from pop-up shows Chicago Theatre). Buress' contributions to He found time to grace the stage as an actor at the one-hundred-seat capacity North Bar Chicago culture go beyond comedy: last year in Raven Theatre’s “Suddenly Last Summer,” as well as “Flyin’ West” at American Blues, 8 – M ARTI LYONS where he got the chance to learn from direc- tor Chuck Smith. This winter Clark helms local premieres of two works: Kevin Ijames’ “Kill Move Paradise,” which finds four black men trapped in purgatory, at TimeLine, and “Sheepdog” at Shattered Globe, a work on racial conflict and police brutality, topics never far from Clark’s conscience. Outspo- ken and politically engaged, his rise is a net positive for the theater community and will give way to more chances for his many tal- ents to shine. Newcity JANUARY 2020— Comedian Calling himself \"mildly popular\" in his web- site bio and \"medium famous\" in his stand-up, comedian, actor, podcast host and returned 20

he showed up in a Chicagoist video with Chance the Rapper to shed light on Chicago's ward system, and his Melvina Masterminds— an arts, science and technology center for youth on Chicago's West Side—is set to open sometime in 2020. — Artistic Director, Paramount Theatre 7 – JONATHAN BERRY In his eighth year as artistic director of Paramount Theatre in Aurora, Jim Corti directed two Broadway showstoppers, “Newsies” and “The Producers,” the latter earning him another Equity Jeff Award for direction. Meanwhile, his home theater was nominated for sixteen Equity Jeff Awards and won two. Paramount’s programming includes the Broadway series, concerts, film screenings and Chicago-based comedic imports, offering residents of the north sub- urbs an opportunity to see world-class art without boarding the Metra. Last year, the company opened the Paramount School of the Arts, offering classes for aspiring artists of all ages. A small-town citizen running one MS in JANUARY 2020 Newcity Leadership for Creative Enterprises COMMUNICATION Connect creative expertise to business knowledge in one year Full-time and part-time options available Learn more at 21

of the biggest regional theaters in the coun- try, Corti lets the community into his life with his weekly column on the Paramount web- site, “Tuesdays with Corti.”  — Co-Founder, Artistic Director, 10 – THE ERA FOOTWORK CREW Deeply Rooted Dance Theater JAMAL “LITEBULB” OLIVER, “CHIEF MANNY,” JEMEL “P-TOP” DE LA CRUZ, STERLING “STEELO” LOFTON For over twenty years, Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, co-founded by Kevin Iega ciation for ensemble-based acting, Jonathan he has only one production forthcoming Jeff and Gary Abbott, has been Chicago’s Berry handles his schedule the way he han- (Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Martyna leading contemporary dance company dles his frequently expansive casts: with grace Majok’s “Ironbound” at Steep), the future grounded in African-American dance. Jeff and taste. In just the past two years, Berry seems equally bright and busy for Berry. has been a leading creative voice, creating has directed nine productions, with an aver- more than fifty works for Deeply Rooted and age cast size of eight, from the colossal — Director; Ensemble Member, commissions—locally and nationally—for “Earthquakes in London” at Steep Theatre The Gift Theatre; Artistic Associate, Alvin Ailey, Dallas Black Dance Theatre and to the more intimate “The Children” at Step- Sideshow Theatre Cleveland Contemporary Dance Theatre. Jeff penwolf. These two examples demonstrate recently announced that he would be hand- Berry’s mastery of space: fifteen actors in a Marti Lyons has style. In a city of abundant ing over the artistic leadership of the company tiny storefront and three on a substantial talent, her name is on a shortlist of folks to Nicole Clark-Springer, and focusing his mainstage. Berry’s gifts for management whose work ought never be missed. Her energy on the development of a South Side- extend into the administrative and educa- productions are instantly recognizable. She based dance center that would not only serve tional in his work as an artistic producer and has an eye for collaborators, fusing sound, as a new base of operations for Deeply director of The School at Steppenwolf. While light, costume and scenery into unique mise- Rooted, but an incubator for new arts groups en-scène, turning too-often-produced works with aligned missions. In May, the company 6 – KEVIN IEGA JEFF like “Macbeth” into sensory and psycholog- will present a new piece, a collaboration with ical delights. And while Lyons could probably gospel artist Donald Lawrence. turn any play into a contemporary classic, her work with women playwrights—including — Director; Artistic Producer, Calamity West, Lauren Yee, Lily Padilla, Jen Steppenwolf Theatre Company Silverman, Eleanor Burgess and Sarah DeLappe—represents the pinnacle of her Splitting his time between two theaters output, with each more exuberant and excel- that share several letters and a deep appre- lent than the last. Lyons has added to her already impressive credits in and among the Newcity JANUARY 2020 cutting-edge storefront world with directing gigs at premiere regional theaters here (Writ- ers, Chicago Shakes) and far-flung (Woolly Mammoth, Geffen Playhouse). This spring, she heads out to South Coast Rep before 22

returning to the Midwest to direct at the ven- erable American Players Theatre. Fly, drive, run, boat, cartwheel: it doesn’t matter how you get there, just be sure you don’t miss anything bearing her name and artistic emblem. — Director, Actor Whether placing an old musical in new light or bringing a new play and new voices to the forefront, Lili-Anne Brown has made a name as Chicago’s director: her work sings, moves, and speaks to our city in ways vital and present. Brown’s work includes her award-winning revival of “Caroline, or Change” (Firebrand Theatre), Ike Holter’s “Lottery Day” (Goodman Theatre) and the searing cultural satire “P.Y.G. or The Mis-Edu- macation of Dorian Belle” (Jackalope Theatre). After more than a decade as a professional actor, Brown is a genius of movement, with an unblinking eye for stage composition, as adept in chaos as in stillness. Her directorial work has a definitive rhythm and unique mel- ody, even without musical numbers (although her musical theater output has been a heart, mind and game-changer). This spring she’ll return to the Goodman to helm the acclaimed hit “School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play” in its local premiere.  — Choreographers, Dancers, 11 – SYDNEY CHARLES to Dinner” (Court Theatre) and “Father Comes JANUARY 2020 Newcity DJs, Filmmakers Home From the Wars (Parts 1, 2, & 3)” (Good- youth a creative outlet through classes and man Theatre) to a leading role in “Nina Sim- The Era Footwork Crew became ambas- summer camps, and inspiring the next gen- one: Four Women” (Northlight Theatre) and sadors and keepers of the flame for the light- eration of dancers. the revival of her place in the Ike Holter-verse ning-quick street dance born on Chicago’s as Zora in “Lottery Day” (Goodman Theatre). South and West Sides some twenty years — Actor; Artistic Associate, Charles, a commanding performer in plays ago. The crew performs and teaches nation- Firebrand Theatre and musicals, dazzled as the star known as ally and internationally, and their new stage Sydney Charles has become a dominant Shug Avery in “The Color Purple” (Drury Lane show, “In the Wurkz” premiered at Links Hall Theatre) and has shown prowess acting as in December—an evening-length perfor- force on Chicago stages in recent years, each associate director with Wardell Julius Clark mance that earned them an award from the performance building upon the last, from on “The Shipment” (Red Tape Theatre) and New England Foundation of the Arts, along- supporting turns in “Guess Who’s Coming “His Shadow” (16th Street Theater). When side national names like Bill T. Jones/Arnie her work isn’t speaking for her, Charles speaks Zane and Camille A. Brown & Dancers, which for herself. She is an advocate for inclusion will allow them to take the show on tour. Most and representation in Chicago and beyond, importantly, in 2017, the crew founded “Open working tirelessly to address complex polit- the Circle,” a nonprofit dedicated to teaching footwork dance, music and culture to Chi- cago kids, keeping the scene vibrant, giving 23

12 – TYRONE PHILLIPS ical and social issues head-on. She is part of ect. If the community signs on to give back lope, Strawdog Theatre Company, The Roust- a group of guiding voices in Chicago’s cross- half of what Phillips himself has given, the abouts and The Inconvenience (where he is over artist and advocacy community who are project should be completed in no time. also a founding member), he’s directed seven working to bend the moral arc of the universe world premieres. His dedication to new work toward justice. — Artistic Director, Jackalope Theatre has quickly made Jackalope a premier pre- When Gus Menary took over as artistic miere destination in a city known for its — Actor, Director; Artistic Director, embrace of living playwrights. A man of many Definition Theatre Company director of Jackalope Theatre five years ago, interests, Menary concentrates his artistic he hit the ground running. Between Jacka- energies into one memorable production a You can’t say you’re part of the Chicago year, including a chilling series of collabora- theater community until you’ve gotten a hug 13 – GUS MENARY tions with Ike Holter including “Put Your from Tyrone Phillips. One of the hard- House In Order” and “The Light Fantastic,” est-working and most generous artists the “math cute” world premiere of Kenneth working in our city, Tyrone is everywhere: Newcity JANUARY 2020 acting and dramaturging at Chicago Shake- speare Theater, directing at Raven and A Red Orchid Theatre, and offering support for local artists looking to thrive. And in his off time? Tyrone is the artistic director of Definition Theatre Company, which received $1.6 million in direct funding from the city of Chicago's Neighborhood Opportunity Fund to buy and renovate a former Woodlawn church and transform it into a theater and administrative space. Phillips and Definition executive director Neel McNeill received support along the way through mentors like Chuck Smith and the late Martha Lavey. The company is in the midst of a capital cam- paign to raise additional funds for the proj- 24

“ROUSING ENTERTAINMENT. A BIG PLAY WITH BIG IDEAS” -Mail Tribune 14 – SANDRA DELGADO BY LISA LOOMER DIRECTED BY VANESSA STALLING Lin’s “Life on Paper,” and Aaron Loeb’s vicious satire of corpo- rate groupthink “Ideation.” This spring he will direct yet another Fast-paced, humorous and stunning, Roe illuminates world premiere, Justice Hehir’s “Night Creatures,” which takes the young women behind 1973’s Roe v. Wade, and the place at an animal shelter, and promises Menary’s signature heart and passion that each side has for their cause. blend of intellectual aplomb and rigorous sincerity. You can catch Menary many nights of the week greeting audiences and JAN. 18 – FEB. 23 guiding them on their way up to Jackalope’s cozy corner of the Broadway Armory Park. An accessible leader and a confirmed 312.443.3800 | JANUARY 2020 Newcity talent, Gus embodies the Chicago storefront legacy. Groups of 10+ only: 312.443.3820 — Actor, Playwright THE ELIZABETH F. CHENEY In everything she does, Sandra Delgado serves the com- FOUNDATION munity, whether through advocacy for Latinx artists, writing plays that canonize history and provide opportunity, or lighting Major Production Sponsors up a room acting in “La Ruta” or “La Havana Madrid” (which she also wrote). Delgado is her own brand of triple threat. As an ensemble member at Teatro Vista and a founding ensemble member at Collaboraction, Delgado is an integral part of Chi- cago’s Latinx theater scene. If her accolades and resume aren’t enough to impress, just check the books: her play “La Havana Madrid” was performed at four di erent venues in the span of two years, including the Goodman and the Heath Main Stage at the Den Theatre. Major Corporate Sponsor Media Sponsor 25

20 – NICK PUPILLO in New York at The Minetta Lane Theatre — Actor; Ensemble Member, to accolades. Chicago theater companies Steppenwolf Theatre Company — Founder, Artistic Director, have lifted him up, too: his heart-wrenching Red Clay Dance Company “La Ruta,” about the missing women in Within a year of his appearance in the Juárez, Mexico, was produced in 2018-19 at world-premiere production of Philip Daw- Sanders-Ward has led her Fuller Park- kins’ “Charm,” ascendant talent Namir Small- based company, rooted in the African dias- 19 – BREON ARZELL wood starred as Tom Joad in Frank Galati’s pora, on a meteoric rise in recent years. The adaptation of “The Grapes of Wrath” at The culmination of Red Clay’s long-term inter- Gift Theatre, a mammoth undertaking when national collaboration with Uganda-based it premiered at Steppenwolf more than three Keiga Dance Company played at the Dance decades ago. and a bona fide miracle of Center of Columbia College in 2018. Last economy at The Gift, as well as “East Texas fall, the company participated in “Lineage: Hot Links” at Writers, under the direction of The Black Dance Legacy Project” at the Players Hall of Famer Ron OJ Parson. Within Logan Center alongside Deeply Rooted a few months of these star turns, Smallwood Dance Theater, Joel Hall Dancers & Center joined the ensemble at Steppenwolf, where and Muntu Dance Theatre. In November, he has appeared in “Monster,” “BLKS” and Sanders-Ward was named a Community “True West,” and will return in January for Impact Scholar by the Harvard Business Tracy Letts’ “Bug” alongside Randall Arney School Club of Chicago, with full scholarship and Carrie Coon. Smallwood joined fellow to the Harvard Extension School, a strong ensemble member Jon Michael Hill for Antoi- sign that Red Clay’s rise has only begun. nette Nwandu’s “Pass Over” in New York Newcity JANUARY 2020 — Playwright, Dramaturg Steppenwolf. In addition to his dramaturgy after its stunning premiere at Steppenwolf and playwriting, Gomez is a lecturer at The (and surreptitious filming by Spike Lee). Isaac Gomez plays many roles in many Theatre School at DePaul University. “I feel While still in the early and promising stages different places throughout our theater com- pretty strongly that I’m exactly where I’m of his career, theatergoers in Chicago may munity. “I’ve always considered myself supposed to be,” says Gomez. We couldn’t hope to hold onto Smallwood for as long as someone who can weave his way in and out agree more. we possibly can. of institutions pretty easily,” Gomez told Newcity in a 2018 interview. In the last five years he’s been a dramaturg on nearly twenty productions, had a handful of his plays produced and even had his off-Broad- way premiere. “The Way She Spoke” opened 26

— Artistic Director, The Gift Theatre 15 – VERSHAWN SANDERS-WARD winning work on “The Total Bent” (Haven) and his noteworthy buoyant and irreverent The realms of theater, film, TV and stream- — Actor, Choreographer choreography for Kokandy Productions’ ing dovetail in the busy and productive life Whether onstage or behind the scenes, “Head Over Heels.” An actor with an unpar- of Michael Patrick Thornton, performer and alleled ability to deliver the comedic goods artistic director of The Gift Theatre, the small there’s no escaping the joy and playfulness (a cameo from Arzell is worth the price of but formidable Equity company based in of the work of Breon Arzell. A performer who admission), he has gotten the opportunity Jefferson Park. While Thornton remains lights up any stage he touches, Arzell’s the- to flex his dramatic muscles in the coming- passionately involved in the theater he atrical profile has grown with his work as a of-age drama “Objects in the Mirror” (Good- co-founded, his recent acting focus has been choreographer, including this year’s award- man Theatre) and Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ on screen projects. “After two years of play- incendiary “An Octoroon” (Definition Theatre ing characters like Iago and Richard III— 18 – MICHAEL PATRICK Company) as well as the deceptive emotional people who hate themselves—I needed to THORNTON complexity of “Direct from Death Row: The take a year or so off from the stage,” says Scottsboro Boys (An Evening of Vaudeville Thornton. Recently, he’s worked with two and Sorrow” (Porchlight Music Theatre). Oscar winners: J. K. Simmons on Starz’s While those roles proved Arzell as more than “Counterpart,” and Hilary Swank on Netflix’s a quick wit with quicker feet, he is a bona “Away,” whose executive producer is Gift fide pro when it comes to entertaining. This ensemble member Andrew Hinderaker. past year he hosted the 2019 Non-Equity Thornton has also appeared in Chicago-set Jeff Awards, turning what could  be a drab CBS series “The Red Line,” a show co-cre- evening of navel-gazing into an unforgetta- ated by another Gift colleague, Erica Weiss. ble big-ticket event. Breon has bounce in The mobility-impaired Thornton also serves his step and so will you after seeing any of on the SAG-AFTRA union’s National Per- his work. formers with Disabilities Committee. He maintains his live performance chops with his ongoing “You & Me” improv show, which played Ireland in 2019. “I’m overjoyed that I’ve been able to work with people I’ve always looked up to, and with people I’ve always known,” says Thornton. “It’s all so beautifully surreal and comforting.” — Founder, Artistic Director, JANUARY 2020 Newcity Visceral Dance Chicago Visceral Dance came on the scene only five years ago, yet has amassed the reper- tory, cultivated the virtuosic dancers and played the big stages of mature, well-estab- lished companies, thanks to the driving vision of Nick Pupillo, who continues to push 27

his young company to new heights. Visceral has performed works by internationally renowned choreographers like Ohad Naha- rin, yet Pupillo’s choreography remains at the heart of the repertoire. Last year, Pupillo brought his dancers in touching distance of the audience in a converted industrial space along the river, experimenting with reaching through the fourth wall, to great success. Next, Pupillo looks to move and expand the studio spaces that house his company and growing school of dance.  Newcity JANUARY 2020 — Playwright and intimate performances in the Middle 25 – ERIN KILMURR AY Brow Bungalow, Tack Room and Punch  Lydia Diamond’s “Stick Fly,” Premiering House and two private homes. And “Echo Stalling's body of work has highlighted the in 2006 at Congo Square Theatre and Mine,” a piece inspired by her time choreo- achievements of extraordinary women, from appearing almost a full decade later at Windy graphing for the late, great Claire Bataille, an all-girl soccer team navigating the waters City Playhouse, comes back this year in a one of the founding dancers at Hubbard of teenagehood in Goodman's “The Wolves”; production helmed by Ron OJ Parson at Street, appeared in the annual “Dance For to TimeLine's “A Shayna Maidel,” where two Writers Theatre. And with it, the playwright Life” fundraiser at the Auditorium Theatre sisters ask big questions during war about as well. Diamond recently returned to the in August and enjoyed a standalone night identity, family and reconnection; to complex Midwest (she was born in Detroit and got at the Harris Theater in December. dramatizations of real-life heroines in “Pho- her B.A. in theatre and performance studies tograph 51”; and“Tiny Beautiful Things” at at Northwestern) to teach at the School of — Director Victory Gardens. In 2020, Stalling's work Theatre and Music at UIC after spending continues with her upcoming production of more than ten years in Boston, writing plays Fresh off her Jeff Award win for “Photo- Lisa Loomer's “Roe” at the Goodman, a play and teaching at Boston University. Her return graph 51” at Court Theatre, Vanessa Stalling to fuse Stalling’s gifts as a director with an marks a significant coup for Chicago, which continues to be among the most prolific urgent theatrical message. often bears witness to the departure of tal- directors in the city, moving readily between ented locals but not their return. Boston storefronts and Equity houses, bringing her — Director treated Diamond well: she received com- eye for elegant movement wherever she goes. missions and premieres at The Huntington Few directors are able to balance theatri- and Company One in addition to her work cal magic and down-to-earth honesty as well at BU. Chicago should draw from her expe- as Jess McLeod. Her work has the inherent rience: several of Diamond’s early works engagement necessary to craft great theater. debuted here, including “The Gift Horse” (Goodman, 2001), “Voyeurs de Venus” (Chi- cago Dramatists, 2006) and “Harriet Jacobs” (Steppenwolf, 2008).  — Choreographer Robyn Mineko Williams has quickly become one of Chicago’s most sought-after contem- porary choreographers. She created four world premieres for as many companies in 2019: Malpaso Dance Company from Havana, Ballet Idaho, GroundWorks Dan- ceTheater in Cleveland, and Pacific North- west Ballet in Seattle. But there were plenty of opportunities to see her work here, too; her “Undercover Episodes” series of dances in public spaces continued with up-close 28

McLeod brought her unique visual sense to These Chicagoans, or the roles they play, are so well-established and The Gift Theatre’s “Wolf Play” and Northlight’s essential to the theater or dance world of Chicago that they are always “Landladies,” the former a puppet-wielding near the top of the list. journey through race and national identity, while the latter addressed class and friend- — Artistic Director, — Founder, Artistic Director, ship in late capitalism. McLeod is also resident The House Theatre of Chicago Annoyance Theatre director on the local production of “Hamilton.” While she has beefed up her musical theater — Associate Artistic Director, — Director; Resident Artist, credentials, McLeod is more than adept at TimeLine Theatre Company Court Theatre theatrical productions that fall between the “straight” and musical theater binary. She — Choreographer — Founding Artistic Director, recently wrapped her production of “Hype — Director Lucky Plush Productions Man: a break beat play” by Idris Goodwin, a — Creative Consultant, playwright with whom she has done excellent — Artistic Director, work (Haven Theatre’s “How We Got On”), Lyric Opera of Chicago Remy Bumppo Theatre Company at Actors Theatre of Louisville and will bring — Director that production and her freewheeling vision, — Actor; Ensemble Member, — Resident Director, Writers Theatre; back to Haven next season.  Associate Artist, TimeLine Steppenwolf Theatre Company Theatre Company — Choreographer, Dancer — Founding Artistic Director, — Actor; Ensemble Member, The Fly Honey Show, a raucous, joyful, The Seldoms A Red Orchid Theatre late-night cabaret-inspired celebration of individual expression, community love, queer- — Resident Director, ness and kink—the show for anybody, no Goodman Theatre matter the body—marked its tenth anniver- sary with five sold-out shows at The Den — Director; Resident Artist, Theatre, featuring over 300 performers play- Court Theatre ing to thousands of audience members. You think this would be enough to keep found- — Comedians, TJ and Dave — Director, Playwright; JANUARY 2020 Newcity er-director Erin Kilmurray tied up. But Kilmur- — Actor, Playwright; Ensemble Artistic Director, ray, a recent 3Arts and Chicago Dancemak- Victory Gardens Theater ers Forum grantee, found time to finish the Member, Steppenwolf Theatre two-year development of “Search Party” for Company — Director; Artistic Associate, premiere at Pivot Arts Festival: a dance work Goodman Theatre created by women that explores our political moment in Kilmurray’s signature explosive athleticism. Kilmurray also marks her second season as a collaborator in the dance collec- tive The Cambrians. — Actor; Ensemble Member, Steppenwolf Theatre Company It’s been a good couple of years for Celeste M. Cooper, although it’s been even better for theatergoers who have witnessed her hone her craft. Her work included the indelible and ebullient “Blues for an Alabama Sky” at Court Theatre (where she appeared in the Midwest premiere of Tom Stoppard’s “The Hard Problem”) and a string of pro- ductions at Steppenwolf (where she became an ensemble member in 2018), including a 29

at The Flea Theater, a welcome sign for those who see Colón as a bold new theatrical voice capable of decisively crossing disciplines and demographics. starring role in Danai Gurira’s “Familiar,” a 27 – KRISTIANA RAE COLÓN — Co-Founders, Artistic production featuring a Zimbawean-Ameri- and Executive Directors, Khecari can family that represented a promise of an Company last fall, walked away with the inclusive future for Steppenwolf’s distinct Non-Equity Jeff Award for new work last A Khecari performance attests that the brand of living-room drama. Cooper’s comic spring. Her work smashes the boundary human body in motion can create worlds. timing is second to none, but “Blues” and between poetry and playwriting, with each Jonathan Meyer and Julia Rae Antonick have “Familiar” demonstrated the greater range line more urgent than the one before. “good accessed a portal to the multiverse with their of her capabilities. This spring she will star friday,” her play about the traumatizing distinctive choreographic style, which owes alongside fellow ensemble member Ora effects of gun violence, particularly on as much to martial arts as to modern and Jones in the local premiere of Kevin Ijames’ women of color, had its New York premiere contemporary techniques. Khecari kept the “The Most Spectacularly Lamentable Trial portal open for a solid week in 2018, inviting of Miz Martha Washington,” a play that 22 – ROBYN MINEKO audiences to come and go for two-hour, promises to be demanding for artist and WILLIAMS four-hour, twelve-hour or extended stays in audience alike.  the uninterrupted seven-day performance “The Retreat: One Week.” They choreo- graphed the evening-length duet “Margina- lia” in 2019, a breathtaking reflection on femaleness in its complex fullness. Khecari also states their values on equity clearly in their program, which informs attendees that all staff (including the directors) and com- pany members are paid equally; audiences are invited to pay what they can—as low as $10 and up to $300. Their upcoming project — Playwright, Poet, ActorNewcity JANUARY 2020 Kristiana Rae Colón is a born-and-bred Chicagoan. Her written word strives to make noise and change hearts as well as minds. She is the co-director of the five-year-old artist-activist #LetUsBreathe Collective, born out of the tragedy of Mike Brown’s death in Ferguson, Missouri, which imagines a world without prisons and police. She co-founded Black Sex Matters, a video and event series that celebrates sensuality and pleasure for those in struggles with libera- tion. Colón’s play “Tilikum,” which had its world premiere through Sideshow Theatre 30

26 – CELESTE M. COOPER 39 – ALEX KUMIN in 2020 goes into conceptions of value in the arts, juxtaposing elite, high-ticket services like salons with the low-to-no-paying jobs in the performing arts. — Costume Designer The League congratulates Mieka van der Ploeg designs costumes that fill fashion-con- Chicago’s scious audiences with envy. Sartorially speaking, she has been leading players! gifted both with vision and the resources to bring those visions to bear. Her recent collaborations with Marti Lyons (“Witch” at SHOWS & TICKETS: JANUARY 2020 Newcity Writers, “Macbeth” at Chicago Shakes and “The Niceties” back at Writers) find two aesthetes in ideal harmony. The folks at Shakes took notice, hiring her as an associate costume designer on the kaleidoscopic “Six,” as well as a recent production of INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS: “Romeo and Juliet” that recalled Baz Luhrmann’s luxuriant 1996 film adaptation in color and style. Van der Ploeg excels at the exuberant and understated alike, a versatile talent whose work is as an integral component of whatever show she works on. Facebook “f ” Logo @ChicagoPlaysCMYK/.epsCMYK / .eps Facebook “f ” Logo — Scenic Designer Arnel Sancianco's style is elusive. From the elegant music hall of “Master Class” to the scientific lab rooted in metaphor in “Photograph 51,” for which he won a Je Award, Sancianco designs with grace, keen attention to story, and collaboration across a wide range of theatrical experiences. A world built by 31

Chicago’s Black social lineage from the Great Migration to the present day. As the arts and culture manager for the Chicago Park District, McNeal supports creative programming city- wide. In 2020, keep an eye out for “Re:Center 2020/Chicago Parks as Learning Labs for Civic Engagement and Cultural Stewardship,” which engages communities to consider how public spaces can be hubs “for creative think- ing and doing that result in pleasure, leisure, learning, revitalization and social justice,” terms that apply to McNeal’s expansive, holis- tic creative practice. 29 – MIEKA VAN DER PLOEG Sancianco is in dynamic relationship to the powerhouse humans. The artistic director of — Casting Director text, the actors, and the other design ele- Honey Pot Performance, along with drama- ments, elevating the audience's understand- turgical coordinator Abra M. Johnson, puts In the last four years, Catherine Miller has ing of the play from the get-go. In the last rigorous scholarship at the center of perfor- been a casting director in Chicago on over few years, his work has been seen on the mances that delve into nuances of what it thirty productions. (That number doesn’t stages at Steppenwolf (“The Crucible”), the means to be alive, now, from a feminist, include the times they’ve been dramaturg Goodman (“Lottery Day”) as well as theaters Afro-diasporic perspective. The most recent or on the directing side.) As a casting direc- all across the country. Honey Pot performance, “ways of knowing,” tor, they are on staff at First Floor Theater, worked through the exhaustion that results but lend a studious hand to companies such — Actor, Writer, Director from a modern world that values narrow as Piven Theatre, Red Tape, Jackalope, rationality to the exclusion of ancient wisdom, Redtwist and Eclipse Theatre Company. As an actor, J. Nicole Brooks has had a examined and imagined other ways of know- They endeavor to do right by performers starring role in two of the most memorable ing through movement, spoken word and a and strive for equity in casting decisions. productions of recent years: as Tracy in shared meal. McNeal also created The Chi- Through their work, they give power back “Beyond Caring” at Lookingglass (where cago Black Social Culture Map in 2019, an to the performers in order to bring not just she also directed the unforgettable 2016 online map and program series that explores authenticity to the role but respect. production of “Thaddeus and Slocum: A Vaudeville Adventure”) and Mallory in Ike 28 – JULIA RAE ANTONICK Holter’s “Lottery Day” at the Goodman. Both AND JONATHAN MEYER characters seemed perpetually on the verge of a breakdown, stuck between earthly want and spiritual need. Audiences also recognize Brooks from recurring roles on Showtime’s “The Chi” and Comedy Central’s “South Side.” Brooks has written plays as well, including “HeLa,” a journey through space and race, which premiered at Sideshow Theatre in 2018. Newcity JANUARY 2020— Artistic and Managing Director, Honey Pot Performance Artist, scholar, educator and administrator Meida McNeal does the work of at least four 32

moted from casting director to associate artistic director in 2018 at The Gift, where she starred in Leah Nanako Winkler’s “Kentucky.” Gavino is the executive director at the Chi- cago Inclusion Project, a force for advocating inclusive casting and hiring practices in the local theater community.  — Playwright Calamity West stays busy. With two world premieres in 2018—“In The Canyon” (Jacka- lope) and “Hinter” (Steep)—and four plays in development at major houses in New York and Chicago, as well as the Williamstown Theatre Festival, the award-winning play- wright is making waves. With zero apology, West risks big in style and theme, blazing a trail through a theatrical landscape that has for too long been steeped in the misogynis- tic erasure of raw and unrelenting feminist work. Chicago can look forward to the devel- opment of West's latest, “The Retribution Play,” as part of Jackalope's GroundWorks Series in February of this year. 30 – ARNEL SANCIANCO — Sound Designer, Composer, Musician You’ve probably heard Mikhail Fiskel’s sound. From The Public Theatre on the East Coast to South Coast Repertory on the west and a ton of Chicago theaters in between, Fiskel’s jams are nationwide. This past year, his sound design was part of “Romeo and Juliet” (Chicago Shakes), “Dana H.” (Good- 32 – MEIDA McNEAL — Actor; Associate Artistic Director, JANUARY 2020 Newcity The Gift Theatre; Founder, Executive Director, Chicago Inclusion Project From supporting roles to leading turns, at storefronts and million-dollar mainstages alike, Emjoy Gavino is at home all over this city and beyond, starring in Molly Smith Met- zler’s “Cry It Out” at Washington, D.C.’s Stu- dio Theatre in a production directed by fellow Chicagoan Joanie Schultz. Gavino also plies her trade in front of the camera, with appear- ances on “Chicago Med,” “The Exorcist” and “Empire.” Her administrative and behind-the- scenes game is equally strong: she was pro- 33

31 – J. NICOLE BROOKS man), ''La Ruta” (Steppenwolf) and “Cam- (16th Street Theater’s “Graveyard of Empires”) adapted by Gomez from the award-winning bodian Rock Band” (Victory Gardens), as to multiple productions at Steppenwolf novel by local literati Erika L. Sánchez. well as ten productions elsewhere in the including Isaac Gomez’s affecting “La Ruta” Rodriquez is immediately recognizable for country. Fiskel has awards under his belt and “The Doppelgänger (an international her comedic delivery and ability to bring and is an adjunct professor at Loyola Uni- farce),” alongside Rainn Wilson. Rodriguez audiences into the heart of a story. A young versity and the University of Chicago. He is closed out 2018 at her home company in performer on the cutting edge of an ongoing a company member at 2nd Story, an artistic Clare Barron’s “Dance Nation,” a 2019 Pulit- revolution in representation, Rodriguez is well associate at Timeline Theatre Company, zer Prize finalist, and will appear in February on her way to being a household name in Teatro Vista and Strawdog Theatre Com- in “I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter,” Chicago theatrical circles. pany. As a resident artist at Albany Park Theatre Project, he designed the sound for 33 – CATHERINE the company’s immersive day-in-the-life, MILLER choose-your-own-adventure, immersive theater experience “Learning Curve,” which spanned floors of a closed Chicago public school, mixing realism and fantastic aural elements into a magical whole. — Actor; Ensemble Member,Newcity JANUARY 2020 Steppenwolf Theatre Company It’s been less than a decade since Karen Rodriguez came onto the Chicago theater scene but in that time, she has shown herself as a force to be reckoned with. Already an ensemble member at Steppenwolf, as of 2018, Rodriguez has performed on a wide swath of our city’s stages, from storefront spaces 34

— Choreographer, Dancer, Art Union Humanscape No one moves like Ayako Kato. She can transform the energy of a room in apparent stillness. Although when watching Kato, one realizes there’s no such thing: the flow of breath, the coursing of blood: all functions of life are movement, ceaseless and waiting to be mined for revelation in performance. Kato celebrated the twentieth anniversary of her company Ayako Kato/Art Union Humanscape in 2018, marking the occasion by collaborat- ing with an international group of musicians on four nights of performances that pulled thirty-five pages from a 4,000-page score by Swiss composer Manfred Werder. Highlights from this year include a performance as part of Pivot Arts Festival that traveled from his- toric Colvin House, across Sheridan Road, to (and into) Lake Michigan, and “Then,” her solo at Links Hall set to Alvin Lucier’s famous repetitive sound art piece “I am sitting in a room.” In 2020, Kato takes Art Union Human- scape to Switzerland to perform in Zurich and Lucerne. — Comedian 34 – EMJOY Alex Kumin is easily one of the most essen- GAVINO tial—and versatile—players in the Chicago comedy scene. On top of killing in her own headlining sets, she's a teacher (through 36 – MIKHAIL FISKEL Lincoln Lodge's all-female stand-up class Feminine Comique), a producer (The Laugh Factory's monthly Diamond Comedy Hour), a host (of the infamous and long-running weekly open mic at Cole's Bar) and an in-de- mand opener for touring national acts (includ- ing recent dates with Maria Bamford and Patton Oswalt). After she opened for Oswalt in August he gushed onstage, \"I just saw a new favorite comedian!\" and later tweeted \"...every line landed. No unnecessary words, stripped-down, all-joke-no-filler. Dark and funny and smart.\" In other words, the perfect Chicago comedy representative. — Scenic Designer JANUARY 2020 Newcity Yu Shibagaki doesn’t design so much as build worlds you want to explore. She does 35

38 – AYAKO K ATO — Director, Adapter 37 – KAREN RODRIGUEZ There has been plenty of potent writing on understandably sore subjects in the the- ater world in recent times. Director, adapter and activist Lavina Jadhwani’s July 2018 editorial “How to Respond to a ‘Casting Controversy’” addressed the “blind” side of “color blind” casting practices and served as a primer on how to diagnose and address underlying and institutional issues to which theater is far from immune. Jadhwani’s artis- tic vision includes making a priority of stories of marginalized communities (“Vietgone” at Writers Theatre) as well as placing actors of color into roles that have been tradition- ally played by whites (“A Doll’s House,” also at Writers, and “As You Like It” at The Guth- it all: sci-fi space odysseys (“X” and “HeLa” at Sideshow Theatre), rock ’n’ roll spectacle (“Cambodian Rock Band” at Victory Gardens), medieval and Victorian fantasias (“Witch” at Writers, “Mansfield Park” at Northlight), social-realist horror (“Welcome to Jesus” at the now-defunct American Theater Com- pany) and the unclassifiable (Red Tape’s “The Walk Across America for Mother Earth”). Whether practicing restrained minimalism or detail-oriented design, there is more than meets the eye in her work. In a field that can be taken for granted, as in how “set dressing” is applied to the blasé, Shibagaki’s work is one of the most rewarding pleasures of pro- ductions that employ her. — Actor, Screenwriter, Producer, DirectorNewcity JANUARY 2020 Watching Daniel Kyri as Hamlet in The Gift’s 2018 production of Shakespeare’s play was one of the last few years’ theatrical high points. Kyri made his Goodman Theatre debut in 2017, starring in Charles Smith’s globe-spanning coming-of-age story “Obj- ects in the Mirror.” On “Chicago Fire,” Kyri plays Darren Ritter, a beloved and openly gay character, and has been featured on “Chicago P.D.” and “Chicago Med.” Not fully satisfied by the representation offered by major network dramas, Kyri teamed with Bea Cordelia to write, produce, direct and star in “The T,” an OTV series about a queer black man and a white trans woman navi- gating love and friendship in the Windy City, which premiered in 2018.  36

41 – DANIEL KYRI rie). Jadhwani seems drawn to topics that — Comedian her backstage afterwards to tell her, \"I have are debated far and wide, from the highest been looking for you.\" Since then—on top courts to modest living rooms, including The first time South Side native Correy of her own gigs in Chicago and elsewhere— abortion (Lisa Loomer’s “Roe”) and religious Bell opened for Mo'Nique—at the Chicago Bell has opened for Mo'Nique around the freedom (Bekah Brunstetter’s “The Cake”). Improv in November 2018—Mo'Nique met country, including a seven-month residency Jadhwani is driven by the question “What at SLS Las Vegas. She recorded a special does it mean to be an American?” Through for Showtime with Mo'Nique in October at her work inside theater and out, Jadhwani the A3C Festival in Atlanta, set to drop in is addressing and answering that question, early 2020, and there's gossip of a thirty-min- evolving a collective notion of what theater is, and who it is for. 40 – YU SHIBAGAKI — Founder, Artistic Director, JANUARY 2020 Newcity Natya Dance Theatre Chicago’s professional dance scene is rich and diverse, thanks in part to Hema Rajago- palan’s longstanding company, which has been instrumental in raising the visibility of classical Indian dance in our fair city. Natya performs Rajagopalan’s choreography, based in bharata natyam, on stages of all sizes, from high schools to the Harris Theater. Most recently, Natya collaborated with renowned contemporary Indian choreographer Astad Deboo on “INAI—The Connection,” which premiered at the Dance Center of Columbia College in November. 37

44 – CORREY BELL ute solo stand-up special being recorded in cago's tough. We ain't playing,\" she says. with efforts like the Crosstown Comedy Chicago in the near future. Bell's calendar \"This is where you build your courage and Classic, a show she produces at Laugh Fac- stays booked with shows all over the coun- you have to have tough skin because I have tory that brings together comics from the try, although she still credits Chicago rooms seen it all.\" As a producer, Bell is working to North Side and the South Side. with building up her comedy strength. \"Chi- desegregate the Chicago comedy scene 45 – PATRICK AGADA — ActorNewcity JANUARY 2020 Patrick Agada leveled up this past spring with his multifaceted turn in Jackalope The- atre’s tense comedic thriller “Dutch Masters.” Agada’s work in this emotional rollercoaster of a two-hander brought his gifts to the forefront of our stages, showing audiences a performer whose comedic timing and emotional resonance could coexist in brilliant harmony. Since that Jeff Award-winning role, he’s been seen in Rivendell and Side- show’s co-production of “Something Clean,” Steppenwolf’s young adult production of “The Brothers Size” and Victory Gardens Theater’s “The First Deep Breath,” which he will need after a whirlwind year. Agada brings to the stage a degree of focus and intensity that is unmistakable: the mark of soul-deep talent. 38

47 – NEJLA YATKIN — Playwright, Screenwriter — Choreographer, Dancer the German-born Yatkin reconstructed “Wall- JANUARY 2020 Newcity stories by Nejla Yatkin” for Modern American This past year was busy for Chicago-born If you’ve seen Nejla Yatkin perform in the Dance Company in St. Louis as part of a playwright Loy Webb. She had her first past two years it was likely outdoors. You thirtieth-anniversary celebration of the fall of off-Broadway premiere as well as world pre- might have seen her clad in white with hip- the Berlin Wall, and in 2020 she will create a miering her latest work, “His Shadow,” at 16th length black tresses, a gorgeous specter new piece for Kansas University’s department Street Theater, where it received high praise. knee-deep in the quarry of Palmisano Park of dance. Webb is currently living in Los Angeles where in “The Lady of the Pond.” Or maybe on her she works as a screenwriter on AMC’s horror knees on a platform at North Pond Sanctu- — Actor, Intimacy-Violence Designer drama “NOS4A2.” Part of a generation of ary, hair tucked beneath a delicate, sequined artists that see no distinction between art headpiece, waving lengths of white fabric The culture of theater is changing. Pro- and activism, while living in Chicago Webb with six-foot arm extensions like a magnifi- duction teams are expanding to include roles worked as a theater journalist (her resume cent, exotic heron in “Moving Nature Dreams: that prioritize the physical and emotional includes fine work for this publication) as well Remembering Loie, Nana and Isadora.” Or safety of actors throughout the rehearsal and as a mentor with Goodman’s Cindy Bandle maybe you took a leisurely stroll along the performance processes. As one of the city's Young Critics initiative, which introduces lakefront with Yatkin and her collaborators most sought-after intimacy choreographers, young women to theater criticism and the in “Conference of the Birds,” a walking per- Sasha Smith leads the way, with choreogra- world of professional writing. Whether writ- formance which traversed the Burnham phy credits at Steppenwolf, Writers, Steep ing for or about the stage, Webb’s prose is Wildlife Corridor. But in truth, Yatkin has been and Jackalope, where her work has expanded poetic, striving toward a level of communi- making work for all sorts of spaces and stages the opportunity for truthful, character-driven cation that pierces the soul.  locally, nationally and abroad. In November, intimacy onstage, elevating the storytelling 39

48 – SASHA SMITH through her collaboration. As an actor, Smith — Dramaturg, Director producer at Court Theatre, providing their has been in productions at Steep, where she trademark dramaturgical expertise to a mul- is an ensemble member, as well as Victory It takes great skill to thread the needle that titude of productions across Chicago. Victor’s Gardens and The Hypocrites. is making art while also writing arts criticism. up-to-the-minute arts criticism, alongside Regina Victor not only threads the needle the oft-discussed column “Dear White Crit- — Costume Designer; but knits a few dozen scarves. Alongside ics,” has helped move conversations around Resident Designer, heading the empathetic, artist-led critical hub arts criticism in a direction that is open, wel- Albany Park Theater Project that is Rescripted, Victor is also an associate coming and inclusive of artists looking to contribute. They’ll be bringing their directorial The paradox of design is that great work eye to our stages this spring with the world in the field is designed specifically not to draw premiere production of Brynne Frauenhoffer’s attention. Period dramas and aesthetic spec- “Pro-Am” at Sideshow Theatre Company. tacles are bound to attract attention, but what of the designers plying their trade in blouses 50 – REGINA VICTOR and trousers? While Izumi Inaba has done Newcity JANUARY 2020 undeniably excellent work in the former (“The Wickhams: Christmas at Pemberley” at Northlight, “A Doll’s House” at Writers and, conveniently, “A Doll’s House, Part 2” at Step- penwolf) her work in the latter is equally compelling. Think of it as clothing the unex- ceptional: the early-aughts suburbanites of “If I Forget” (Victory Gardens), the grunge hangover of “The Undeniable Sound of Right Now” (Raven Theatre), the mallrat ennui of Midwestern adolescence of “Twilight Bowl” (Goodman). An already impressive resume that includes the Michael Maggio Emerging Designer Award in 2014 as well as being a resident designer at Albany Park Theater Project, Inaba’s work will likely be coming soon to a theater near you. 40

Raising Kael Documentary on mid-century film critic Pauline Kael, “What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael,” accompanied by seven of her favorites, including five on 35mm: Robert Altman’s essential “McCabe & Mrs. Miller,” Renoir’s “The River,” “Bonnie and Clyde,” Scorsese’s “Mean Streets,” De Palma’s “Casualties of War,” as well as Bertolucci’s “Last Tango in Paris,” one of the diminutive doyenne’s great flames (or flame-outs), and Godard’s “Band of Outsiders.” At the Gene Siskel Film Center, January 10-23 rts & CulturePhoto:“BonnieandClyde”filmstill

Art Jen Stark, \"Drippy.\" Like Pyramids to Rosemont, which boasts a museum-quality the Boom Years collection of contemporary artwork. At a time when many cities and states are slow to put Fashion Outlets of Chicago Brings dollars toward public art, the mall serves as an Museum-Quality Art to the Public out-of-the-ordinary place for folks to encounter artwork in their everyday life. By Kerry Cardoza Dubbed “The Collection: Where Art Meets Fashion,” Fashion Outlets currently has nineteen permanent installations on display, as well as three indoor exhibition cases that feature a rotating series of work. Newcity JANUARY 2020 When Generation X was coming of age, Those days are long gone. Over 4,000 malls “We’re always looking for pieces that are acces- malls were at their height in the American closed in 2019, according to a recent Bank of sible, not only to art enthusiasts but also for consciousness. Bland, homogenous chain America report, a 140 percent year-over-year people being exposed for the first time,” says stores ensured adolescents everywhere were increase. More than 9,100 U.S. stores closed Alex Jakubiak, the vice president of hospitality keyed into the same trends. Paired with food last year; these closures come after years of at Carol Fox and Associates, who handles courts and movie theaters, malls had downturn in business following the Great public relations and marketing for the mall. everything you needed to while away bored Recession. teenage hours. See movies such as “Clueless” Upon entering the main entrance, near Saks or “Mallrats” (both 1995), or the latest season But things are looking brighter at the Fashion Off Fifth, you’ll encounter one of The Collec- of “Stranger Things.” Outlets of Chicago, a high-end indoor mall in tion’s newest commissions, “Fashion Show,” 42

M OD E R N I S MMSSJJaannuuaarryy2211––AApprrilil55,,22002200 Iranian, Turkishh,,aannddIInnddiaiannHHigighhlligighhttss from NYU’s AbbbyyWWeeeeddGGrreeyyCCoollleeccttioionn OaHnergdriaOaHtAannerrgigdjzrueiaetAnandFrgiAjzoubeegunydFgnAtoadbhgurayewgntitGadaohralner,wet;iEGaoyVmlnr,aAe;EizrynVtimefaAdGizranaatienfrldGldBeaaarunrSyllidBeel,drulNSieymiele,rdslNwieGmPerYuswvGlotPc.YurevkLloltcit.kUrdekL,.lni;takUdiAv,n.n;eardiiArvnesberdliiyrteaysblntiyhtwadyentihtwAdhIelilltaAithInhllleloaeitnhhilesoseOhiuAsspsOruApttpsasropttdCsaro;tdoCrto;thuoftoenhuDfcenGDaiclGlraiiAenllriyAgcen’eygcsa’nesnaDcndnDyicrd.eyiMr.ecMeItcmoehItmorhva’rsvea’gsesgCesCeA:irA:iBcrrBicrlbeeilbeeud,ud,rrInirrnIninRutRuet;ae;raVrh/VhN/imNoimoaalieltietiEoitEotynJynJüaaüaabblbbloCaoCağrğrooaalluuuuCCnn((cThcThiiauaull rrraraiikkttnnaaiissddbbhhllFF)e)errFFiTiTeeuurrnnlulullddsMsMsstt;;;o;oWaWoaonnnnLLd,dS,S1t1th9Sh9Se6ep6p1Ae1Ae,nb,nObcbOcbeiyleiyrlarWFaWnFnoedoeudeugendgnlddulGduaeGaterioetorioenyonnyn;Tc;ArTacuArna.suAvn.tsa.AvltfsIa.rlnef,sIr-nd5e,k-0di5Tkn0ia7dTnu/a7d8sbu/u8sxmbpuxm4pap2on4par2oinFtnrio.isFt,,urdrGopneavrydrotieidaovAyetinirddoAt;enGArbdt;yvaGAbildAlyvearMirltdAlyCeo,rMratdNyCrjo,eteaadNNwrbjeteYaaYNwCib;oYaCYrICkni;hocUCarI.knrnhTicniUahv.areenTinrEihvBsaneeiltodyrEBsc.onikwltody’smc.okpwe’rsnmetspeFerneuntsntaFedtun;iontPnadetb;irosyPniaeAbnrnsyuiaAnnu

Newcity JANUARY 2020 ART TOP 5 by Derrick Adams. Unveiled in 2018, the yellow rectangle. Near the staircase is a bright, boldly-patterned seventy-by-fifty-foot digital kiosk, which displays the most recent 1 Alex Katz: Flowers. mural pays homage to the late fashion user-generated artwork. Participants also Richard Gray Gallery. designer Patrick Kelly, making it a perfect fit have the option of purchasing their artwork One of our greatest living for the location. Kelly, the first American as a print. painters masterfully blends admitted to the prestigious Chambre abstraction and representation Syndicale du prêt-à-porter, was known for “One of the main goals of my studio practice in these colorful yet subtle iris making colorful, splashy haute couture is to kind of create an active viewing studies, a welcome burst of inspired by his Southern upbringing. Installed experience instead of a passive one,” Kouri color in winter. Through Jan 10 on the side of the outlet's seven-story parking says. “I’m really just trying to engage people garage, “Fashion Show” features overlapping in the conversation of art viewing.” 2 Female Trouble. panels in rich shades of red, blue and green, Western Exhibitions. among other colors, some showing the dotted Rotating exhibition cases are on the second Co-curated by the gallery and lines of a garment-maker's pattern. The floor of the shopping center, the most recent Elijah Wheat Showroom, this panels are dotted with dots and stripes of of which were installed in November. Curated group exhibition explores varying colors and sizes, along with a in partnership with the Evanston Art Center, female representation, from the deconstructed painter’s palette. the cases feature work by Paula Froehle, Jill corporeal form to the power King and artist duo Katrin Schnabl and Anne of sexuality. Opens Jan 10 Each indoor entrance to the mall welcomes Guitteau. Each of the artists works with form visitors with a unique, 360-degree, in their display case, and each relates to 3 In Real Life. all-encompassing artwork. There’s wwJim fashion in some way. Museum of Contemporary Drain’s “Rakes and Snakes,” which features Photography. Seven digital a dizzying, checkered pink-and-yellow Anna Cerniglia, the founder and director of media artists explore the design, with friendly cartoon snakes Johalla Projects, has worked with the mall on growing tension between slithering on top, painted directly onto the a number of the installations, including recent humans and technology, with entrance vestibule’s wall. Another entrance commissions by Adams and Kouri. Johalla close attention paid to the was taken over by artist Bert Rodriguez. For Projects frequently does consulting and dubious ethics behind AI and his piece, “Never Forget Where,” Rodriguez programming outside of traditional gallery \"seeing.\" Opens Jan 16 installed neon lights along opposite walls, atmospheres. which read, “never forget where you're 4 Modernisms: Iranian, from,” and, “never forget where you’re “Johalla makes a point to put art in public Turkish and Indian going.” On the wall in the middle of these space,” she says. “I think it’s really important Highlights from NYU's hangs a grid of clocks that show the time in for people who would normally not go to a Abby Grey Collection. cities around the world. It’s a fitting piece for gallery, to stumble upon something and feel Block Museum. This the mall’s clientele, about sixteen percent of like they can go to it without hesitation.” wide-ranging survey helps whom are international. correct West-centric art Cerniglia notes how valuable it is when historical records by focusing Chad Kouri’s two-part installation, “Art for organizations or businesses put part of their on the exciting innovations All,” was unveiled at the same time as budget toward art and artists. coming out of three nations. Adams’ mural, in 2018. The first part is an Opens Jan 21 interactive art project made in collaboration “They could use that money for something with software engineer Sean Neilan. The else,” she says. “So the fact that the mall 5 Becoming the Breeze. two wanted to come up with a system for even did that, makes me feel pretty excited.” Museum of Contemporary people to access art in a context of Art Chicago. Local artist Alex something they already do everyday: Kouri agrees that The Collection offers artists Chitty asks viewers to texting was an obvious choice. So Neilan a great opportunity to reach a whole new reconsider Alexander Calder's and Kouri created a program where guests audience. iconic mobiles by playfully at the mall can text a number and receive a interjecting within his displays. message back containing an original “I’m really looking to bring artwork to people Through April 12 artwork. Each piece is generated by an instead of waiting for them to come to it, so algorithm based on the person’s phone having a public space like a mall where 44 number; since everyone’s phone number is people aren’t necessarily going there to unique, so is each piece. Mine consisted of look for artwork, and just kind of giving a blue square, with an orange arc and a them a surprise when they show up there,” dark purple column shape layered on top. he says. “I like to bring artwork out of the The program can generate up to a million context of the white gallery walls, to give unique pieces. people an opportunity to really experience it as part of their day-to-day life.” The second part of the project is a staircase painted with the sort of architectural forms \"Floating Forms\" is on view at Fashion Outlets that are present in each text-generated of Chicago, 5220 Fashion Outlets Way, artwork: an orange arc, a purple triangle, a Rosemont, through February 27, 2020.

Logan Center Gallery • Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts • 915 E 60th St Chicago IL 60637 Harold Mendez January 24 — THE YEARS NOW March 8 Say it to My Face (detail) will be on view at KAC during Dex R. Jones: Storied Portraits, ST. JOSEPH/BENTON HARBOR, MI March 13 - May 31, 2020. LEARN MORE AT KRASL.ORG Return to the Everywhere looks to various modes of communication, storytelling, and listening in an attempt to grasp the implications of this so-called post truth era in which we now find ourselves. January 24, 5–8pm Opening Reception Featuring work by Gwyneth Anderson, Jesse McLean, Sayward Schoonmaker, Sonnenzimmer, and Sadie Woods RETURN TO THE EVERYWHERE Weinberg/Newton Gallery JANUARY 2020 Newcity January 24–April 4, 2020 688 N Milwaukee Avenue Chicago, IL 60642 Presented in collaboration with WBEZ Chicago, Chicago’s NPR news station 312 529 5090 weinbergnew tongaller Hours Tue–Sat 10 AM–5 PM Free and open to the public 45

EXHIBITIONS THE ARTS CLUB OF CHICAGO GRAY 201 East Ontario Street Richard Gray Gallery, Hancock: 875 N. Michigan Avenue, 38th Floor 312 787 3997 Mon–Fri 10-5:30, Sat by appointment [email protected] / Gray Warehouse: 2044 W. Carroll Avenue Tues–Fri 11-6, Sat 11-3 By appointment January 16–February 22 89th Exhibition of Visual Artist Members 312 642 8877 Through April 6 Garden Project | Bernard Williams: [email protected] / Through January 10 Alex Katz: Flowers The Black Tractor Project (Richard Gray Gallery, Hancock) THE BLOCK MUSEUM OF ART KAVI GUPTA GALLERY At Northwestern University 40 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston, IL Kavi Gupta | Washington Blvd., 835 W. Washington Boulevard 847 491 4000 Tues–Fri 10-6, Sat 11-5 [email protected] / Kavi Gupta | Elizabeth St., 219 N. Elizabeth Street Tues, Sat–Sun 10-5, Wed–Fri 10-8, Mon closed Thurs–Fri 10-6, Sat 11-5 Closed December 9–January 20 312 432 0708 January 21–April 5 Modernisms: Iranian, Turkish and Indian Highlights [email protected] / Through January 18 To Reclaim (Kavi Gupta | Washington Blvd.) from NYU’s Abby Grey Collection January 21–April 19 Terence Gower: Ciudad Moderna CARL HAMMER GALLERY LOGAN CENTER EXHIBITIONS 740 N. Wells Street At the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts 312 266 8512 915 E. 60th Street, Chicago, IL 60637 [email protected] / 773 702 2787 [email protected] / Tues–Sat 11-5:30 Tues–Sat 9-9, Sun 11-9, Mon closed Opening January 10 3-D: Inside(r) and Out – Neal Goodman, Jay Kelley, January 24–March 8 Harold Mendez: The years now Aristotle Georgiades, Vanessa German, and Simon Sparrow DEPAUL ART MUSEUM MONIQUE MELOCHE GALLERY At DePaul University 451 N. Paulina Street 935 W. Fullerton Avenue 312 243 2129 773 325 7506 [email protected] / [email protected] / Tues–Sat 11-6 Through January 11 Brendan Fernandes: Restrain Mon–Tues closed, Wed–Thurs 11-7, Fri–Sun 11-5 Through February 23 Julia Fish: bound by spectrum Through February 23 Remember Where You Are Through February 23 Architectural Annotations

MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY RHONA HOFFMAN GALLERY PHOTOGRAPHY 1711 W. Chicago Avenue At Columbia College Chicago 312 455 1990 600 S. Michigan Avenue [email protected] / 312 663 5554 Tues–Fri 10-5:30, Sat 11-5:30 [email protected] / January 10–February 15 Gordon Parks Mon–Wed 10-5, Thurs 10-8, Fri–Sat 10-5, Sun 12-5 January 16–March 29 In Real Life SMART MUSEUM OF ART THE NEUBAUER COLLEGIUM At the University of Chicago FOR CULTURE AND SOCIETY 5550 S. Greenwood Avenue 773 702 0200 At the University of Chicago [email protected] / 5701 South Woodlawn Avenue Galleries closed through February 6 773 795 2329 February 7–May 3 The Allure of Matter: Material Art from China [email protected] / Mon–Fri, First Saturdays 9-5 ZHOU B ART CENTER Through January 31 Martha Rosler: Passionate Signals 1029 W. 35th Street POETRY FOUNDATION 773 523 0200 [email protected] / 61 W. Superior Street Mon–Sat 10-5 312 787 7070 December 12–January 4 Tête à Tête: Embodying Dialogues [email protected] / Mon–Fri 11-4 Saturday, January 18 11-4 January 9–April 30 A.R. Ammons: Watercolors THE RENAISSANCE SOCIETY At the University of Chicago 5811 S. Ellis Ave., Cobb Hall, 4th Floor 773 702 8670 [email protected] / Tues–Wed, Fri 10-5, Thurs 10-8, Sat–Sun 12-5 January 11–March 29 Silke Otto-Knapp: In the waiting room

VA. de Pintor Gordon Parks D City Unhinged This Land Is Your Land © The Gordon Parks Foundation Collision – 4’ x 4’, Encaustic, Oils, Bullet Casings 24 JAN – 22 FEB JANUARY 10–FEBRUARY 15, 2020 Zolla/Lieberman Gallery Opening Reception 1711 WEST CHICAGO AVENUE 24 Jan 2020 CHICAGO ILLINOIS 60622 Main Gallery WWW.RHOFFMANGALLERY.COM 325 West Huron Street, Chicago, Illinois 60654 from 5pm to 8pm [email protected] Newcity JANUARY 2020 Photo: Ian Douglas KIMBERLY BARTOSIK/ DAELA I hunger for you January 30—February 1, 2020 | 7:30 p.m. First time appearing in Chicago Go to for more information. 48

Dance Aura CuriAtlas members Dan Plehal and Mickey Lonsdale in \"DREAM LOGIC.\" “In college, a dance professor and theater JANUARY 2020 Newcity professor decided to join forces and create a The Body Eclectic class dedicated to physical theater,” he says. “I loved it; the physical type of storytelling Aura CuriAtlas Physical Theatre Performs Dreams and really caught me. I took the class three years The Tarot at Steppenwolf 1700 in a row and assisted later. It stuck with me. I went to Philly for grad school and then to By Sharon Hoyer study in Italy. Joan and I kept in touch. Once I came back from grad school, she invited me Physical Theatre, says his six-year-old stories without words, from everyday to make a piece with her. At the time I was company is hard to classify: “It wants to situations seen through a new perspective, getting heavily into partner acrobatics and live in circus, theater and in dance, but is to outright abstract flights of fancy. brought that in the mix. She wrapped me into never fully in any of those three.” Part the dance world, and we met in the middle.” clowning, part dance, part acrobatics, The company evolved as a collaboration Aura CuriAtlas (the name refers to between Plehal and one of his former Happy with the result, the two continued lightness and strength, with curiosity at the professors at William & Mary, Joan Gavaler, working together. “I called a buddy from grad center) uses the human body, with and Plehal traces the origins back to the school and she called an alum she taught at occasional musical accompaniment, to tell classroom. William & Mary,” Plehal says. “We formed a 49

DANCE TOP 5 Aura CuriAtlas in \"The Fool and The World.\" Newcity JANUARY 2020 1 I hunger for you. Dance company, booked ourselves a date in international farce),” and last year as the Center of Columbia College. Chicago for eight months from that time and movement creator for “The Curious Kimberly Bartosik and her decided in eight months we’d have a show, Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.” company Kimberly Bartosik/ so we got to work making one.” daela make their Chicago debut For the Steppenwolf program, Aura CuriAtlas with a reflection on ecstasy, That show was “DREAM LOGIC,” a series of will also premiere their newest piece, “The ritual and the transformative short pieces, selections from which Aura Fool and The World,” inspired by the Major power of faith. Jan 30-Feb 1 CuriAtlas will perform January 9-11 as part of Arcana of the tarot deck. For each of the their program at Steppenwolf 1700. Two cards, the company created a movement 2 Get Out Alive. years later came “A Life With No Limits,” sequence accompanied by an original piece Steppenwolf 1700. inspired by the life of astrophysicist Stephen of music by composer Sophia Serghi a Nikki Lynette's autobiographical Hawking. In this piece, which played in June Cypriot-born composer now at William & punk-hip hop musical uses at Stage 773 as part of the Physical Theatre Mary. For this show, five performers will act storytelling, song, dance and Festival Chicago, the company used their out the twenty-two segments in the order a live DJ to share her personal bodies to trace the journey of Hawking’s they appear in the tarot deck, then ask an journey and struggles with physical deterioration and mental expansive- audience member to pull three cards from a mental health. Jan 30-Feb 2 ness: “We vacillate between the caretaking deck at random. Those three cards will be and physicality of the relationships, and performed again—a physical tarot reading. 3 aMoratorium. transition into mind space,” Plehal says. “One of the things I love about the tarot is that Steppenwolf 1700. J'Sun “Seeing how he functions inside his brain, and it doesn’t give you the answers; it’s not some Howard's performance, a our bodies become the objects in mental, diving fortune telling, there’s no magic to it,” response to the work of Black celestial space.” Plehal says. “In some locations we’ve Renaissance artist Charles performed there’s some superstition we’ve Wilbert White, is an exploration 2019 was a busy year for the company. In had to fight against for people to embrace of black male identity in relation May they performed at the Kennedy this performance. But the tarot is a tool for to the black church and spiritual Center, and when I spoke with Plehal in your own intuition. It presents archetypes to traditions. Jan 3-4 November, they had returned from a tour guide your thinking, but really to just wake up of Cyprus. The performances at Steppen- the thoughts that are already in your brain 4 DREAM LOGIC & wolf come quickly on the heels of these and point to them. We’re excited to try out The Fool and The World. engagements, especially for a company that reading with Chicago and see how Steppenwolf 1700, Circus- whose members reside in different states. people respond to it.” Plehal encourages physical theater company Aura Plehal is here in Chicago, Gavaler lives in audience members to stick around and talk CuriAtlas presents two short Virginia, and Mickey Lonsdale, the third with the company after the show in the cozy works—a collection of short core member, lives in Stamford, Connecti- confines of the Front Bar. “We’re always out fantastical tales—told through cut. About twenty additional collaborators chatting with audiences after the show and acrobatics and dance. are spread out across the country. Five want to hear how people respond and take Jan 9-11 cast members will perform at Steppenwolf, that with us.” three of whom are Chicago-based circus 5 Stories of Chicago. performers. Plehal has a history at At Steppenwolf 1700, 1700 North Halsted, Ebenezer Lutheran Steppenwolf prior to the upcoming show (312)335-1700. January 9-11 at 8pm. $25 Church. The second with Aura CuriAtlas, appearing two years general admission, $20 students and seniors. installment of Chicago ago in the cast of “The Doppelgänger (an Tickets: Danztheatre Ensemble's four-part Art + Activism series examines the Civil Rights movement, migration and heritage, and the influence of white privilege. Jan 24-25 50

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