Friday, November 4, 2016

OPENING: Theater Unspeakable's MOON SHOT: A RACE TO SPACE


ChiIL Mama's ChiIL Picks List

THAT'S ONE SMALL STEP FOR MAN, 
ONE GIANT LEAP FOR THEATER

CHICAGO CHILDREN'S THEATRE PRESENTS THEATER UNSPEAKABLE'S 
MOON SHOT: A RACE TO SPACE, 
NOVEMBER 1-20, 2016

**Moon Shot: A Race to Space runs approximately one hour and is ideal for ages 10 to adult. **



Watch seven actors squeeze onto a 21-square foot table 
to recreate the story of America's Apollo 11 lunar landing 
when Chicago Children's Theatre presents 
Theater Unspeakable's Moon Shot: A Race to Space, 
November 1-20, 2017. 

Theater Unspeakable's a local favorite of ours here at ChiIL Mama and ChiIL Live Shows. We adore their concept of performing contact theatre in a confined space-- a raised 21 square foot table! This leads to Twister-like scenarios and precarious blocking and adds a challenging intimacy to their shows that's fascinating to watch. We're also huge fans of Chicago Children's Theatre's Later Stages series for ages 10+. Chicago's theatre scene is incomparable on the adult productions front and has quite a few stellar companies doing children's theatre for the very young. Until now, the tweens and younger teens have been largely overlooked. Kudos to Chicago Children's Theatre for realizing many savvy urban children age out of early childhood theatre before childhood ends. There are plenty of theatre loving kids from age 10 on, that aren't quite ready for full on adult fare. This is the show for you!

Watch seven actors squeeze onto a 21-square foot table - nearly as tight as NASA's original Mercury capsules - to recreate the story of America's Apollo 11 lunar landing, when Chicago Children's Theatre presents Theater Unspeakable's Moon Shot: A Race to Space, November 1-20, 2016.

Using only their bodies and their voices, this astounding troupe of Chicago actors brings to life one of the most daring times in the history of human exploration: the Space Race. From the Cold War to Sputnik, from Yuri Gagarin to Neil Armstrong, this action-packed show brings Theater Unspeakable's tongue-in-cheek humor to a whole new atmosphere - one where the rules of gravity no longer apply.

Chicago Children's Theatre presents the world premiere of Moon Shot: The Race for Space, commissioned by Palo Alto Children's Theatre, November 1-20 at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn St., Chicago. 

Show times are Tuesdays through Friday at 10 a.m.; Saturdays at 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.; and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. (Exception: no show Tuesday, November 8.)

Single tickets are $10-$39. For tickets and information, visit chicagochildrenstheatre.org or call (872) 222-9555.

Chicago Children's Theatre's performance home, the Ruth Page Center for the Arts, is convenient to public transportation, surrounded by family-friendly restaurants and located just steps from the Magnificent Mile. 

CCT also offers discounted group rates for schools, playgroups, birthday parties and scouting groups. Email groupsales@chicagochildrenstheatre.org or call 
(773) 227-0180 x 15 to learn more.

Better yet, include Moon Shot: A Race to Space in a 2016-17 Chicago Children's Theatre Membership Pass. Multi-show membership benefits include discounted tickets, reserved seats, flexible ticketing, discounts on CCT classes and camps, no ticket fees and invitations to CCT events. For membership information, visit chicagochildrenstheatre.org or call (872) 222-9555.


November 12 and 13 is Access Weekend for Moon Shot: 
The Race to Space
Access Weekend for Moon Shot: A Race to Space is Saturday and Sunday, November 12-13, with services for persons with disabilities integrated into public performances. These include:

Live open captioning for guests who are deaf or hard of hearing:
Saturday, November 12 at 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Sunday, November 13 at 2:30 p.m.

Sensory friendly performance with quiet room for children on the autism spectrum or with Down Syndrome:
Sunday, November 13 at 2:30 p.m.

For more information about access services, visit chicagochildrenstheatre.org/access or contact access administrator Alex Mauney at cmauney@chicagochildrenstheatre.org.


The Apollo 11 lunar landing: A brief history



July 20, 1969: Watch the Apollo 11 Moon Landing

It's the morning of July 16, 1969, a little over eight years since the flights of Yuri Gagarin and Alan Shepard, which spurred President Kennedy to challenge NASA to put a man on the moon before the decade was out. Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins sat atop Saturn V at Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center, ready for the first manned flight to the moon.

At 9:32 a.m. EDT, the engines fired and Apollo 11 cleared the tower. About 12 minutes later, the crew was in Earth's orbit. After one and a half orbits, Apollo 11 got the "go" for what mission controllers called "Translunar Injection" - in other words, it was time to head for the moon. 

Three days later the crew was in orbit. A day later, Armstrong and Aldrin climbed into the lunar module Eagle and began the descent, while Collins orbited in the command module Columbia. 

When it came time to set Eagle down in the Sea of Tranquility, Armstrong improvised, manually piloting the ship past an area littered with boulders. When the lunar module landed at 4:18 p.m EDT, only 30 seconds of fuel remained. Armstrong radioed "Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed."

At 10:56 p.m. EDT Armstrong planted the first human foot on another world. With more than half a billion people watching on television, he climbed down the ladder and proclaimed: "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind." Aldrin joined him, and they explored the surface for two and a half hours, collecting samples and taking photographs. They left behind an American flag, a patch honoring the fallen Apollo 1 crew, and a plaque on one of Eagle's legs. It reads, "Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the moon. July 1969 A.D. We came in peace for all mankind."

Armstrong and Aldrin blasted off and docked with Collins in Columbia. The crew splashed down off Hawaii on July 24. President Kennedy's challenge had been met. (Source: https://www.nasa.gov.)


Biggest show. Smallest stage. 
Theater Unspeakable's Moon Shot: A Race to Space
In 2010, Marc Frost created Theater Unspeakable, formally Un-Speak-Able, as a platform for devising new physical theater projects, drawing upon the heavy influence of Frost's time at the London International School of Performing Arts (LISPA).

The company's current project, Moon Shot: A Race to Space, commissioned by Palo Alto Children's Theatre, developed and presented in association with Chicago Children's Theatre, marks a return as well as a departure from the "platform" style. 

It stars David Gordezky as Yuri Gagarin, Quenna Lené as Janet Armstrong, Sarah Liken as Valentina Tereshkova, Aaron Rustebakke as Neil Armstrong, Rejinal Simon as Sergei Korolev, Orion Lay-Sleeper as Wernher Von Braun and Vanessa Valliere as President Kennedy. 

Marc Frost directs. Rachel K. Levy is lighting designer. Jacob Watson is additional set designer. Lucía Mier y Terán Romero is music director. Sara Beaman is stage manager. Stacey Klingberg is the assistant stage manager. Filipa Tomas is assistant movement director.

To date, Theater Unspeakable has created three original touring pieces. Their first "platform-style" piece, Superman 2050, was brought to life when Frost was awarded a six-month residency at Links Hall called the Lisa Dershin LinkUp. Chicago Children's Theatre subsequently presented SuperMan 2050 to unanimous audience acclaim in 2014. Other original works include Murder on the Midwest Express and The American Revolution.

Based in Chicago, the company continues to perform in venues across the country including Chicago Children's Theatre, Chicago Humanities Festival, Chicago Cultural Center, Adventure Stage Chicago, Filament Theatre, Links Hall (Chicago); Lincoln Center Education (NY), Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center (NY); Palo Alto Children's Theatre (CA); Center of Creative Arts (St. Louis, MO); Alden Theatre (McLean, VA); Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall (Sarasota, FL); Lewis University (Romeoville, IL), Piccolo Theatre (Evanston, IL); Gaillard Center (Charleston, SC) and Peace Center (Greenville, SC). For more information, visit theaterunspeakable.com.


What's Next? A Look Ahead to Chicago Children's Theatre's 2016-17 season
In addition to  Moon Shot: A Race to Space, Chicago Children's Theatre kicks off its 2016-17 season  with Thodos Dance Chicago's critically-acclaimed story ballet A Light in the Dark: The Story of Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan, co-choreographed by Thodos Dance Chicago Artistic Director Melissa Thodos and Broadway icon Ann Reinking, October 15-23, 2016.

Theatre Unspeakable's Moon Shot: A Race to Space is rotating performances at the Ruth Page with Another Snowy Day with Beatrix Potter & Friends, November 5-20, 2016. Will Bishop's delightful trunk show for the toddler set features mechanical suitcase sculptures with pulls and levers that little kids turn and crank to help tell every family's favorite Beatrix Potter stories.

With the New Year comes the return of CCT's smash hit musical The Hundred Dresses, adapted and created by Ralph "Ralph's World" Covert and G. Riley Mills, directed by Sean Graney, artistic director of The Hypocrites. Don't miss this engaging and enlightening musical about a young girl who struggles to stand up to others-even when she's standing alone, January 17-February 12, 2017.

Has your child asked to take a gap year? Let them find out what it's really like with CCT's world premiere of The Year I Didn't Go to School: A Homemade Circus. Created and directed by Lookingglass Artistic Director Heidi Stillman and based on the popular Giselle Potter picture book, this all-new production will be a thrilling experience for all ages, filled with circus arts, February 28-March 26, 2017.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear & Other Treasured Stories by Eric Carle, presented by Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia, closes Chicago Children's Theatre 11th season, May 2-28, 2017.

All shows will be presented at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn St., Chicago. For memberships, subscriptions or passes, visit chicagochildrenstheatre.org or call (872) 222-9555. 


New home for Chicago Children's Theatre to open in January 2017
In addition to presenting its 2016-17 mainstage season at the Ruth Page, Chicago Children's Theatre is busy transforming the former, 12th District Police Station at 100 S. Racine Avenue in Chicago's West Loop into a beautiful, mixed-use performing arts and education facility designed to serve all Chicago families. 

Slated to open in January, 2017, Phase One of the new Chicago Children's Theatre will be CCT's headquarters for all educational programming, housing five classrooms for year round courses and camps for ages 0 to 14, and a space dedicated to year round Red Kite programs for children on the autism spectrum. 
Phase One also boasts a flexible, 149-seat studio theater ready to host professional performances and student shows. 

Phase Two of Chicago Children's Theatre's new building is anchored by a second, 299-seat mainstage theater, scheduled for completion in 2020. 

Stay tuned for more exciting news about inaugural events, the first session of theater arts classes in Chicago Children's Theatre's first-ever permanent home starting in February, plus two, must-see live family productions set to premiere in the new studio theater in 2017.


About Chicago Children's Theatre
Since its launch in 2005, Chicago Children's Theatre has cemented its reputation as the city's largest professional theater company devoted exclusively to children and young families. 

The company evolved out of Chicago's need for high-quality, professional year-round children's programming to match the quality and significance of theatrical powerhouses such as Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Goodman Theatre and Lookingglass Theatre. 

Likewise, CCT has always believed children should be treated as the sophisticated audiences that they are with high-profile and award-winning talent, inventive production values and compelling stories that challenge, educate and entertain.

Audiences have embraced Chicago Children's Theatre since its inaugural production, A Year with Frog and Toad, at the Goodman Theatre in 2006. Since then, the company's productions have featured everything from black-light scenery to live music to interactive four-dimensional sets to life-size puppets, with performances showcasing the heart of Motown to Vaudeville to contemporary, current and modern styles.

Chicago Children's Theatre also has built a national reputation due to its strong focus on new work, producing 12 world premieres in just the last 10 years including The Selfish Giant, The Hundred Dresses, Jackie and Me, Dot and Ziggy, The Houdini Box, The Elephant and The Whale (in association with Redmoon), Mr. Chickee's Funny Money, Leo Lionni's Frederick, Wonderland, Alice's Rock & Roll Adventure, A Snowy Day with Beatrix Potter and Jabari Dreams of Freedom. These enjoyed highly successful inaugural runs in Chicago, followed by new productions at family theaters across the U.S. 

CCT has always honored a strong commitment to low-income families and children with special needs. In partnership with Chicago Public Schools, the company offers free tickets to more than 5,000 Chicago-area low-income students each season. 

Meanwhile, the company has pioneered immersive theater designed for children on the autism spectrum via its Red Kite Project, and recently expanded programming for children with impaired vision or hearing and Down's syndrome. 

Chicago Children's Theatre also offers a full roster of after school theater classes and summer camps.

Led by Artistic Director Jacqueline Russell, Board Chair Todd Leland and Community Programs Artistic Director Frank Maugeri, Chicago Children's Theatre is supported by a dynamic Board of Directors comprised of dedicated individuals from the fields of entertainment, philanthropy and business. Officers include Jeff Hughes, President; Lynn Lockwood Murphy, Vice Chair and Secretary; David Saltiel, Vice Chair; and David Chung, Treasurer. 

Chicago Children's Theatre is sponsored in part by ComEd and Goldman Sachs Gives. 



For more information visit chicagochildrenstheatre.org, or call (773) 227-0180.

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