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Writers Theatre opens the 2020 tour of
The MLK Project: The Fight for Civil Rights
By Yolanda Androzzo
Directed by Sophiyaa Nayar
Featuring Adhana Reid
with free public performances at the Chicago History Museum
on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (January 20, 2020 at 10:30am) and
DuSable Museum of African American History
on February 28, 2020 at 7pm
Writers Theatre opens its 14th annual tour of The MLK Project: The Fight for Civil Rights, written by Yolanda Androzzo, directed by Sophiyaa Nayar and featuring Adhana Reid. A special Martin Luther King, Jr. Day public performance will take place at 10:30am on January 20, 2020 at the Chicago History Museum, 1601 N Clark Street in Chicago. The kickoff event also includes a post-show community discussion. The event is free and open to the public, and audience members will also receive free museum admission for the remainder of the day. The closing performance will also be free and open to the public, at 7pm on February 28, 2020 at DuSable Museum of African American History, 740 East 56th Place in Chicago. Tickets are free and can be reserved in advance by calling 773-947-0600. Visit dusablemuseum.org/events for more information.
Weaving together poetry, hip hop and history, The MLK Project: The Fight for Civil Rights is a one-woman show that follows Chicago student Alaya’s personal transformation through studying the Civil Rights Movement. Alaya uses her fists as an outlet for anger. After interviewing local heroes of the Movement, she discovers she can put “anger into action” and that her power is in her voice and her hip hop, not violence.
Seen by more than 83,000 students, this dynamic, cross-cultural, multi-media performance interlaces personal interviews of Chicago-based Civil Rights activists, featuring both celebrated and unsung heroes of the Movement, such as Reverend Samuel “Billy” Kyles, spoken word artist and activist Sista Yo, Reverend Jesse Jackson and Puerto Rican poet and activist David Hernandez, among others.
The 2020 production will tour to more than 35 venues during its 6-week run, including Chicago Public Schools, community centers, and juvenile detention centers. All performances on the tour include a post-show discussion and a study guide with wrap-around curriculum.
Title: The MLK Project: The Fight for Civil Rights
By: Yolanda Androzzo
Directed by: Sophiyaa Nayar
Featuring: Adhana Reid
Dates: Monday, January 20, 10:30am – Chicago History Museum (Free)
Friday, February 28, 7pm – DuSable Museum of African American History (Free)
The 2020 tour of The MLK Project is made possible in part by support from Allstate, Major Corporate Sponsor. Additional supporters of The MLK Project and Writers Theatre’s education programs in 2020 include: The Crown Family, Polk Bros. Foundation, Dr. Scholl Foundation, and The Seabury Foundation.
Writers Theatre Education Programs are aimed at exploring text, nurturing the creativity of young people and instilling appreciation of the arts for future generations. Through comprehensive programming in schools, on-site and through community-based initiatives, WT Education’s curriculum is designed to emphasize collaboration, cultivate self-expression, encourage imaginative inquiry and promote civic responsibility.
Additional Writers Theatre’s Education Programs include:
Write On! a flexible artist-in-residence program customized for each school and group of students. Write On! pairs teaching artists with schools and community organizations in dynamic explorations of performance and text with a focus on encouraging young people to find their creative voices. Writers Theatre has provided after-school drama programs, in-depth Shakespeare or mythology workshops, ethnographic performance and dramaturgy units, and poetry and writing classes in collaboration with CPS schools, community organizations and juvenile detention centers.
The Novel Series, a cutting-edge theatre and literary arts curriculum designed to allow students to explore literature and the art of bringing text to life. Under the guidance of a Writers Theatre Teaching Artist, students engage in a layered study of a book and enter a rigorous artistic process that merges writing, discussion, and vocabulary with arts-integrated theatre projects. Residencies culminate in a final performance of student-created work as students use voice, body, and imagination to make new and exciting connections to the text.
ACTIVATE is Writers Theatre’s wraparound residency designed to deepen students’ engagement with the art on our stages. Students and teachers involved in ACTIVATE attend an exclusive student-only matinee performance of a play in our season, prepare for and extend their experience at the theatre through in-school pre and post-performance participatory workshops designed to investigate contextual information and the major themes in the play, and participate in a post-show discussion with WT artists and educators.
Writers Theatre Youth Council, an artistic leadership advisory board for motivated, passionate high school students interested in hands-on, in-depth exposure to arts administration. Council members get behind-the-scenes access to Writers Theatre productions, artists, and programs, participate in play readings and artistic discussion groups, host youth nights at the theatre, and develop artistic leadership skills. Youth Council members attend after-school meetings, performances at the theatre, and workshops. Youth Council members represent a valued voice in theatre operations.
Writers also began offering Onsite Theatre Classes for young people in Fall 2017. Classes each session will mirror WT’s mission of the word and the artist with creative themes that highlight each of these theatrical tenants created specifically for young artists at the heart of the process. Held in our state-of-the-art theatre center, these customized classes are the perfect way to introduce children to the arts through creative and active collaboration.
All of Writers Theatre’s education programs are aligned with state and national Common Core standards. To learn more visit www.writerstheatre.org/education.
ABOUT WRITERS THEATRE
For over 25 years, Writers Theatre has captivated Chicagoland audiences with inventive interpretations of classic work, a bold approach to contemporary theatre and a dedication to creating the most intimate theatrical experience possible.
Under the artistic leadership of Michael Halberstam and the executive leadership of Kathryn M. Lipuma, Writers Theatre has grown to become a major Chicagoland cultural destination with a national reputation for excellence, being called the top regional theatre in the nation by The Wall Street Journal. The company, which plays to a sold-out and discerning audience of more than 60,000 patrons each season, has garnered critical praise for the consistent high quality and intimacy of its artistry—providing the finest interpretations of both classic and contemporary theatre in its two intensely intimate venues.
In February 2016, Writers Theatre opened a new, state-of-the-art facility. This established the company's first permanent home—a new theatre center in downtown Glencoe, designed by the award-winning, internationally renowned Studio Gang Architects, led by Founder and Design Principal Jeanne Gang, FAIA, in collaboration with Theatre Consultant Auerbach Pollock Friedlander. The new facility has allowed the Theatre to continue to grow to accommodate its audience, while maintaining its trademark intimacy. The new facility resonates with and complements the Theatre’s neighboring Glencoe community, adding tremendous value to Chicagoland and helping to establish the North Shore as a premier cultural destination.
Find Writers Theatre on Facebook at Facebook.com/WritersTheatre, follow @WritersTheatre on Twitter or @Writers_Theatre on Instagram. For more information, visit www.writerstheatre.org.
PICTURED: CAREN BLACKMORE AS ALAYA THE MLK PROJECT. PHOTOS: TOM MCGRATH