Monday, March 21, 2016

Parents' Night Out: Connected at Collaboraction Opens April 21st

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:


Here at ChiIL Mama and Live Shows, we're utterly intrigued with the concept and can't wait to catch this show. What other production actually asks audience members to bring headphones and a smart phone, if they have them, in order to experience a pre-show silent disco?! Each performance will also be followed by a town hall discussion with an expert in astrophysics, technology or human evolution. Audience members also can join the Connected community, share content to be included in the show and find information that deepens the experience of seeing the performance at

For its 20th anniversary show, Collaboraction is exploring mankind, technology and our connection to it all with the world premiere of Connected, the story of humankind as told by the nine planets in our solar system, starting with the Big Bang and stopping at numerous historical and future campfires along the way.

Part historical docudrama, part science fiction, Connected soars through the history of space and time for an exciting new immersive theatre experience illuminating our relationship with technology and each other, and how a special tribe used its unique connection to one another to survive it all. 

Performances are April 21 through May 29 at Collaboraction, in the Flat Iron Arts Building, 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave., Room 300, in Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood. Press opening is Wednesday, April 27 at 7 p.m. 

Tickets are on sale now. Tickets are $15-$30. For tickets and information, visit or call (312) 226-9633.

Led by Collaboraction Artistic Director Anthony Moseley, Connected will be a milestone production that takes on the critical social issue of technology and whether we allow it to bring us together or isolate us further. Connected features intimate staging where the audience of 50 sits in a circle around a metaphorical campfire as the action takes place all around them. The production uses puppets, 3-D mapped video projections, meta-theatrics, social media, audience interaction and story-telling.

Audience members are asked to bring headphones and a smart phone, if they have them, in order to experience the pre-show silent disco. Each performance will be followed by a town hall discussion with an expert in astrophysics, technology or human evolution. Audience members also can join the Connected community, share content to be included in the show and find information that deepens the experience of seeing the performance at

"For our 20th anniversary show, we wanted to explore and celebrate the origin of theatre itself, the ancient phenomena of coming together around a campfire to share stories and dream about the unknown, a uniquely human endeavor which speaks to our need for community and our penchant for asking the questions 'why'," said Moseley. "We aim to make this a show really about community and our connection to one another. I can promise it will be a truly unique piece of Chicago theatre history in its staging and scope."

Connected features an ensemble cast included Collaboraction company members Antonio Brunetti and Luis Crespo, along with Justin Dietzel, Amber Hughee, Warren Levon, Mary Mikva, Annie Prichard, Rasika Ranganathan, and introducing Stella Moseley.

The design team includes Anthony Moseley (writer/director), Jen Ellison (assistant director), Ashley Woods (set design), Erik Barry (lighting design), Elsa Hiltner (costume design), Matthew Reich (sound design), Rachel Watson (puppet and prop design), Sam Porretta (Outside Eye), Sarah Moeller (producer), Erica Bush (production manager), Caitlin Body (stage manager), Ian Downing-Beaver (dramaturg) and Stephanie Svarz (artistic intern).

Previews of Connected are April 21-26: Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 3 p.m. and Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. Press opening is Wednesday, April 27 at 7 p.m. Performances run through May 27: Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 3 p.m. Industry Night performances are Monday, April 28 and May 23 at 7:30 p.m. No show Thursday, April 28. Single tickets are $30; $15 for students, educators and industry. Purchase tickets online at or call 312.226.9633.

About Collaboraction
Collaboraction ( collaborates with artists, community activists, 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. Collaboraction has worked with more than 3,000 artists to bring more than 60 productions and events to more than 100,000 audience members.

Production highlights include Collaboraction's acclaimed series of Crime Scene productions responding to Chicago's current crime epidemic, 15 years of the SKETCHBOOK Festival, Sarah Moeller's Forgotten Future: The Education Project in 2014, 2010's Chicago premiere of 1001 by Jason Grote, 2008's world premiere of Jon by George Saunders and directed by Seth Bockley, and 2007's The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow: an instant message with excitable music by Rolin Jones.

Collaboraction, based on the 3rd floor of Wicker Park's historic Flat Iron Arts Building with three theatre spaces, is led by Artistic Director Anthony Moseley, Executive Director Darcy Addison and a dedicated staff and board of directors. 

Collaboraction is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, 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 supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

For tickets and information, visit or call 312.226.9633.   

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