Two Park Stops Left for Collaboraction's Hit Original Play Crime Scene: A Chicago Anthology

8/9/2013
CSpress03
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CHICAGO – Having successfully toured LeClaire-Hearst Park and Sherman Park this summer, Collaboraction Theatre Company wraps up their summer tour with two final weeks of performance at Hamilton and Austin Town Hall Parks.  Alongside performances of the original hit docu-drama Crime Scene Chicago: Let Hope Rise, Collaboraction offers performance and storytelling workshops, Saturday barbeques, and a “Dome of Dance” outdoor dance battle tournament, all free and open to the public.  The tour and community events are part of the Chicago Park District’s Night Out at the Parks initiative featuring more than 750 citywide cultural and arts activities in 230 parks this summer.

Crime Scene: Let Hope Rise will perform:
August 16-17 Hamilton Park , 513 W. 72nd St.
August 23-24 Austin Town Hall Park , 5610 W. Lake St.

Show times are Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.  Tickets are free. Learn more at www.collaboraction.org or call 312.226.9633. Crime Scene Chicago: Let Hope Rise runs approximately 85 minutes, followed each night by a facilitated discussion. The show is recommended for ages 14 and up due to violence and mature content.

Crime Scene Chicago: Let Hope Rise is a timely new theatrical reaction to Chicago’s history of violent crime and a call to discover what it might take to create lasting change in our city. The show, a Collaboraction world premiere conceived and directed by Anthony Moseley and collaboratively written by a team of co-devisers, couples nonfiction source material such as interviews, articles, and online comments with re-enactments of true Chicago crimes to raise critical questions surrounding segregation, poverty, the news media, popular culture, and our numbness to it all.

When it originally opened in mid-February, the play was universally lauded by the local press, receiving 3 ½ stars from the Chicago Tribune, a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED rating from the Chicago Sun-Times, a video profile on WTTW-TV Chicago Tonight, and national feature coverage in the March issue of American Theatre Magazine. 

The play, originally titled Crime Scene: A Chicago Anthology, was adapted for the tour in order to take a closer look at the systemic conditions that enable and abet violence, and to incorporate a more hopeful tone than the original piece, whose primary goal was to awaken patrons to the epidemic of senseless violence in the city.

Community Involvement
Collaboraction is not interested in merely performing the play for a new audience. Rather, they seek to form lasting connections with community members in each of the four neighborhoods they visit, and to engage the public in a two-way conversation about the crime epidemic. The team has conducted interviews with residents and business owners in order to incorporate the specific nature of each community into the piece, and also offers free workshops on devised theater and storytelling for anyone interested in participating.

Before the 8 p.m. performance on Saturdays, Collaboraction hosts a family-friendly barbeque in the park featuring their renowned Dome of Dance dance battles, djs, breakdancing, food, and other activities. 

Every performance is followed by a facilitated conversation with the audience about what we as Chicagoans can do about the prevalence of violent crime in our city. Representatives from our Community Partner organizations serve as co-facilitators, helping to guide the discussions alongside the cast and crew. Through meeting other concerned community members, learning about the many great nonprofits that are working to stem the violence, and openly discussing many conflicting perspectives of the epidemic, these conversations continue to provide audiences with a bright spark of hope within this dark subject matter.

Press accolades include:

"Crime Scene: A Chicago Anthology, far and away the best Collaboraction show I've seen these past 14 years, is indeed a call for collaborative action…There is something particularly special about this cast. Three and a half stars.” – Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune

"…There is something about the 85-minute Crime Scene that is so direct, visceral, youthful and winningly honest (meaning not at all predictably politically correct) that you might at least find yourself listening again — willing to get beyond the overload of disgust, impotence and sense of futility…Conceived and expertly directed by Anthony Moseley, Crime Scene has the feel of a streetwise Greek tragedy as it employs elements of history, testimony, song and hip-hop oration.” – Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times

"...a gripping tale of the Chicago condition that gets to the heart of our suffering."- Mark Konkol, Pulitzer-Prize winning crime writer for DNAinfo.com

“The success of this work as theater indicates its potential to reach beyond its black box space and start vital conversations, and yes, even incite actions needed to staunch the flow of blood in Chicago streets…” – Erika Mikkalo, StageandCinema.com

Behind the Scenes of Crime Scene:  A Chicago Anthology
According to director, co-deviser and Collaboraction Artistic Director Anthony Moseley, “the inspiration for Crime Scene came from a need to create work connected to important issues in our community. I strive to create a visceral experience that will awaken and spur personal change. I believe theatre can serve a critical role in addressing the issue of violence by offering Chicagoans a transcendent artistic experience that forces us to confront and question the core elements of the senseless violence.”

Crime Scene Chicago: Let Hope Rise was co-devised by an ensemble of community activists and Chicago theater professionals from diverse neighborhoods throughout the city. Co-devisers include Scott Baity Jr., Victoria Blade, Sara Carranza, Luis Crespo, Miranda Gonzalez, Michael Johnson, Eddie Jordan III, Laura Korn, James Lynch, Patrese McClain, Eamonn McDonagh, Niall McGinty, Medina Perine, Shavac Prakash, Adam Seidel, Lisandra Tena and Eric Walker.

Ensemble members performing in the production include Scott Baity Jr., Brandon Boles, Luis Crespo, Laura Korn, Anderson Lawfer, Patrese McClain, Medina Perine, TayLar, Tobias Pitman and Lisandra Tena. 

Designers include Courtney O’Neill (set and technical direction), Jeremy Getz (lights), Elsa Hiltner (costumes), Stephen Ptacek (sound), and Angela Campos (props). Sara Carranza is assistant director. Tara Malpass is stage manager. Crime Scene Chicago: Let Hope Rise is produced by Sarah Moeller.  Production management is by Majel Cuza.
 
Collaboraction is a Chicago-based arts organization of collaborative theater and experience makers focused on becoming a national leader of contemporary theater. By incorporating innovative artists and interdisciplinary collaboration, Collaboraction audiences are sure to experience groundbreaking theatrical and arts-based events.

Anthony Moseley serves as the Founding Executive and Artistic Director of Collaboraction, where he has produced over 50 productions, 13 SKETCHBOOK Festivals and over 250 events since the company’s founding in 1999. In 2000 Moseley co-founded the annual SKETCHBOOK Festival, which was lauded by Kerry Reid of the Chicago Reader as “the premiere short play festival in the Midwest.” Under Moseley’s direction, SKETCHBOOK has produced 158 world premiere short plays in a mixed media environment with music and visual art . Moseley’s Collaboraction directing credits include the world premieres of El Grito Del Bronx (a co-production with Teatro Vista in association with the Goodman Theatre), The Pull Toy (and His Pasian), and Heroes and Villains; Chicago premieres of dark play or stories for boys by Carlos Murrillo, Be a Good Little Widow by Bekah Brunstetter, Refuge (2000 Jeff Citation nomination for Best Direction), The Cosmonaut's Last Message to the Woman He Once Loved in the Former Soviet Union, Trueblinka and Guinea Pig Solo; as well as Mud, To Kill a Mockingbird, and numerous world premiere short plays for the SKETCHBOOK Festival.

For more information, visit www.collaboraction.org.

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