Saturday, May 9, 2015


MAY 21-JUNE 21,

Collaboraction, the Ambassadors of Hope, are premiering an all-new, world premiere installment of Crime Scene, the hit show that ignited the company's now three-year campaign to link immersive, hyper-local live theater crowd-sourced with community activists and organizations to combat violence in Chicago.

Titled Crime Scene: The Next Chapter, Collaboraction's new spring production is the 2015 chapter to Chicago's history of violent crime and a call to discover what it might take to create lasting change. 

Previews start May 21. Press opening is Wednesday, May 27 at 7 p.m. Performances run through June 21 at Collaboraction, in the Flat Iron Arts Building, 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave, Room 300, in the heart of Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood. Tickets are $15-$30. For tickets and information, visit or call (312) 226-9633.

Crime Scene: The Next Chapter asks audience to look in the mirror while taking them through five, all-new intimate portraits of real Chicagoans who have used their first-hand experiences with violence to become peacemakers and be a positive impact in the lives of others. The five portraits are of:

Sir Taylor, an original member of the Jesse White Tumblers who found his way out of Cabrini Green, became a member of the USA Gymnastics Team, performed in Broadway's The Lion King, and today leads the youth group Example Setters Youth Poetry. In addition to inspiring one of its stories, Taylor also performs in the show.

Mike and Karen Trout, who moved into a home without heat in Lawndale in 1992 and founded Y-Men, an organization that has been preparing young men in North Lawndale for mature, responsible leadership, academic excellence and outstanding service to others since 1996.

Mariame Kaba, founder and director of Project NIA, a grass-roots organization that promotes restorative and transformative justice with a vision to end youth incarceration.

Luis Crespo, a cast member in the original Crime Scene whose father founded the Villalobos, a Puerto Rican street gang in Pilsen in 1969. Crespo used theater as a way to get and keep him out of trouble, and today he directs Collaboraction's Teen Ensemble with After School Matters. Crespo also performs in the show.

Hadiya Pendleton, the 15-year-old King College Prep high schooler who was lost to tragic gun violence in 2013, and her parents, Cleo and Nathaniel Pendelton, who have leveraged the national spotlight to keep Hadiya's spirit alive and inspire millions across the country.  

The cast for Crime Scene: The Next Chapter includes (top, from left) Antonia Arcely, Esme Ayvar-Perez,
Luis Crespo, Kristin E. Ellis, Monique Johnson, (bottom) Melvin Lyons, Scott MerchantMichele Stine and Sir Taylor

Behind the scenes of Crime Scene: The Next Chapter

The 2013 debut of Crime Scene drew much attention and played to sold-out houses. Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune, wrote "Crime Scene, far and away the best Collaboraction show I've seen these past 14 years, is indeed a call for collaborative action. The ensemble piece probes the current epidemic of violent crime in this city, (and) offers a veritable plethora of problems, contexts and solutions."

Following is mainstage debut, Crime Scene returned that summer via the Chicago Park District's Night Out in the Parks program, toured targeted neighborhoods including Englewood, Austin, and Rogers Park, was brought back to the same parks in summer 2014 by popular demand, and spawned Collaboraction's current series of Let Hope Rise monthly peace variety shows with the Chicago Park District.

The cast for Crime Scene: The Next Chapter includes Antonia Arcely, Esme Ayvar-Perez, Luis Crespo, Kristin E. Ellis, Monique Johnson, Melvin Lyons, Scott Merchant, Michele Stine and Sir Taylor


Meet the cast of Crime Scene: The Next Chapter

The production team includes Anthony Moseley (writer/director), Adam Seidel (co-writer), Ashley Ann Woods (set), Jeremy Getz, (lights), Liviu Pasare and Chris Owens (co-video designers), Elsa Hiltner (costumes), Matt Reich (sound), Sara Engel (props), David Wooley (violence), John Wilson (technical director), Patrick Fries (production manager), Johanna Polzin  (stage manager) and Sarah Moeller (producer).

Anthony Moseley (director) 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. Moseley's most recent productions include This Is Not a Cure for Cancer in 2014, and the 2013 debut of Crime Scene:  A Chicago Anthology. 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 other 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 MurrilloBe 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 MudTo Kill a Mockingbird, and numerous world premiere short plays for the SKETCHBOOK Festival.


Crime Scene: The Next Chapter - times, dates and ticket information

Previews of Crime Scene: The Next Chapter are May 21-26:  Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday at 3 p.m., no show Monday, and Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. 

Press opening is Wednesday, May 27 at 7 p.m.

Performances run through June 21: Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 3 p.m. Added Industry Nights are Monday, June 1 and 15 at 7:30 p.m. All performances will be followed by a Town Hall Discussion co-hosted by Collaboraction community partners.

Tickets are $15-$30. Collaboraction is located in Chicago's historic Flat Iron Arts Building, 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave, Room 300, in the heart of Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood. For tickets and information, visit or call (312) 226-9633.

Collaboraction's Let Hope Rise series updates

Collaboraction's new production of Crime Scene: The Next Chapter syncs up perfectly with the company's current Let Hope Rise series, a community variety show born from Crime Scene, rotating monthly every second Saturday through July at Chicago Park District facilities in Englewood, Austin and Roger's Park. 

Following are the remaining Let Hope Rise dates and locations:

May  9                             Hamilton Park in Englewood, 513 West 72nd St.
June 13                           Austin Town Hall in Austin, 5601 W. Lake St.
July 11                            Loyola Park in Rogers Park, 1230 West Greenleaf Ave.


Each Let Hope Rise event starts at noon with a free community meal sponsored by Connie's Pizza. At 1 p.m., Collaboraction Artistic Director Anthony Moseley hosts a fast-paced, fun and audience involved variety show dedicated to increasing the peace, art, love, hope and fun in Chicago. All events feature inspirational guest performers including local theater and dance troupes, slam poets, break dance crews, drum lines, gospel choirs and more. Visit for information on updates about event line-ups.

Next year's 15th and Final SKETCHBOOK Festival 
at the Chopin Theatre in January 2015

Collaboraction's 15th and final SKETCHBOOK Festival will return to where it all started: the Chopin Theatre Mainstage, January 14-24, 2016, reuniting many of the Chicago artists who have participated over the years, including co-creators, Wesley Kimler (painter) and John Cabrera (tv and film producer/writer/actor.)

SKETCHBOOK will also return to its classic format of 16 short plays, visual arts and music, reuniting and further growing a diverse community of artists and audience for a grand finale bacchanal of provocative new works and immersive staging in a multi-disciplinary environment.

About Collaboraction

Collaboraction ( collaborates with artists, community leaders, health professionals and citizens from throughout the city to create original theatrical experiences that push artistic boundaries and explore critical social issues with a diverse community of Chicagoans. For tickets and information, visit or call (312) 226-9633.

Collaboraction is supported by The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, Richard H. Driehaus Foundation via the MacArthur Foundation, and the Wicker Park & Bucktown SSA #33 Chamber of Commerce. This program is partially funded by the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

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