Friday, October 24, 2014

CLOSING: Forgotten Future: The Education Project at Collaboraction through October 26th

Act Out:  Chicago Theatre openings, closings, reviews, giveaways, ticket sale dates and more. 

Continuing Collaboraction's "incite change" mission, 
Forgotten Future: 
The Education Project 
is an explosive devised piece of theatre inspired by 
the dysfunction of the American education system

The Flat Iron Arts Building
1579 N. Milwaukee Ave, Room 300
Wicker Park, Chicago

Here at ChiIL Live Shows/ChiIL Mama we like to be entertained by live theatre as much as the next person. But what we really love is theater companies like Collaboraction who are willing to challenge, educate, enlighten and make their audiences squirm. 

Their mission to "incite change" is exciting and so very necessary. Come on out and see Forgotten Future: The Education Project featuring actual, real CPS students. This is a must see for parents, and although it may not sound like a great date night show, there are few things hotter than a sense of social justice! 

Forgotten Future focuses on the children going through Chicago's schools
and features three youth actors making their Collaboraction debuts:

Leah Aberman
a 7th-grader at Lane Tech Academic Center

Tyrese Hall
a 6th-grader at Alain Locke Charter School

Kids are the focus in Forgotten Future: The Education Project,
a world premiere devised piece inspired by the dysfunction of America's education system,debuting at Collaboraction September 18-October 26, 2014

Collaboraction's world premiere of Forgotten Future: The Education Project stars (from left) 
Tyrese Hall, Leah Aberman and Esmeralda Ayvar-Perez
(photo credit: Anna Sodziak).

Continuing with the company's new "incite change" mission, Collaboraction's fall production is the world premiere of Forgotten Future: The Education Project, an explosive devised piece of theatre inspired by the dysfunction of the American education system, through October 26, 2014.

Conceived and written by Sarah Moeller, co-written by Adam Seidel and Michele Stine, and co-directed by Sarah Moeller and John Wilson, Forgotten Future: The Education Project takes three students' unique perspectives of the Chicago school system and how it both serves and is failing them and their potential future. It has been constructed from extensive research and tackles the key issues of inequities, cultural barriers and testing. The result is a unique, immersive theatre piece designed to entertain and inform the audience, as well as motivate dialogue.

Forgotten Future not only focuses on the children going through Chicago's schools, but three child actors - Leah Aberman, a 7th-grader at Lane Tech Academic Center, Esmeralda (Emse) Ayvar-Perez, a sophomore at Lane Tech High School, and Tyrese Hall, a 6th-grader at Alain Locke Charter School - are making their Collaboraction debuts playing students in this world premiere production.

Forgotten Future also stars Scott Merchant (Mr. Wright), Susie Griffith (Mrs. Fischer), Angelica Roque (Ms. Mendoza), Nathaniel Swift (Mr. Perry/Administrator/Alderman), Ebony Joy (Mrs. Tate/CEO) and Jasmin Cardenas (Mrs. Rodriguez/Common Core Presenter).

Forgotten Future: The Education Project runs September 18 - October 26 at Collaboraction, in residence at the Flat Iron Arts Building, 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave, Room 300 in Wicker Park. The performance runs approximately 90 minutes, followed each night by a Town Hall Meeting. Tickets are $15-$30. Purchase tickets online at or call (312) 226-9633.

Forgotten Future dates, times and ticket information

Regular performances continue through October 26: Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 3 p.m.

Note:  Forgotten Future will be available for live streaming for each show for $5 at


Chicago kids center stage in Forgotten Future, literally and figuratively

Leah Aberman, a 7th-grader at Lane Tech Academic Center, plays Forgotten Future's Lauren Perry. "I am a CPS student and I had to go through the enrollment process because my school stopped at 6th grade," commented Aberman. "I just want people to recognize the stress and pressure I had to go through and see how hard people these days have to work just for education."


Esmeralda (Emse) Ayvar-Perez, a sophomore at Lane Tech High School with several TV, commercial and stage credits at Chicago Dramatists and School of Rock, portrays Carolina Rodriguez. "I'm a CPS student and I go to one of the best high schools in the city," said Ayvar-Perez. "I know I'm going to graduate and go to college but I see so many kids in my Humboldt Park neighborhood give up and think they 'can't.'  We need to show them they can."

Tyrese Hall, a 6th-grader at Alain Locke Charter School on Chicago's West side, plays Issac Tate.  Asked why Forgotten Future is important to him, Hall replied "I think the show will help make a change for people to try and make the education system better and not close down more schools cause in the end that will cause more chaos."  

"In telling a story about schools one must include the students," said Forgotten Future creator Sarah Moeller. "The school system doesn't exist without the children. It is there to serve them. However more and more we are leaving children behind in lieu of outside interests. When I decided to tackle this subject I knew it was crucial to include students in the storytelling as this story is for them and for our future."

In addition to being a Chicago theater artist, Moeller knows her Forgotten Future subject matter. She has been a Chicago middle school social studies and music teacher for the past 9 years, and has a master's degree in education.

More about the Forgotten Future creative team
Sarah Moeller (co-writer, co-director) is a Collaboraction company member, a Chicago-based director, deviser, producer and dramaturg, and the creative team leader for Forgotten Future: The Education Project. Moeller started at Collaboraction in spring of 2006 and went on to stage manage Sketchbooks 6, 7 and 8. At Collaboraction she project manages the Experience Design department and has production managed and produced mainstage shows since 2007. Outside of Collaboraction she is a company member at Eclipse Theatre Company where she has been the resident dramaturg since 2007 under their mission statement of "One Playwright One Season." Directing credits include Pearl Cleage's A Song for Coretta, Naomi Wallace's Fever Chart, and Dan LeFranc's 60 Miles to Silver Lake among several Sketchbook shows.  

Adam Joseph Seidel (co-writer) is a company member with Collaboraction, where he co-devised Crime Scene: A Chicago AnthologyCrime Scene: Let Hope Rise and Crime Scene: Let Hope Rise 2014. His one-act, Harold After, premiered at the 2013 Chicago Fringe Festival where it won the Audience Favorite Award. His full-length plays include Catching the Butcher and The Devilman, and his 10-minute plays have been produced around the country.

Michele Stine (co-writer) is a Chicago-based playwright, director, actor, and teaching artist. She has worked with Illinois Shakespeare Festival, First Floor Theatre, Emerald City Theatre, American Theatre Company, Indie Boots, trip, and Manhattan Repertory.  

John Wilson (co-director) is a teacher, actor, scenic designer and storyteller. As a teacher, he has worked with Lifeline Theater teaching theater to 2nd and 3rd graders in Rogers Park, taught for Steppenwolf for Young Adults, and taught children on the autism spectrum with Chicago Children's Theatre's Red Kite Project. Acting credits include This is Not a Cure for Cancer (Collaboraction), El Grito del Bronx (Collaboraction/Goodman), and Our Bad Magnet (Mary Arrchie; Jeff nomination for Best Ensemble). He performs with 2nd Story, and has designed over fifty shows in Chicago as a freelance scenic designer.

Designers are Ashley Woods (set), Heather Sparling (lights), Jeffrey Levin (sound), Paul Deziel (video), Elsa Hiltner (costumes), Angie Campos (props), Ashley Bowman (stage manager), Gaby Lobotka (literary dramaturg) and Danielle Stack (production manager).

Collaboraction's world premiere of Forgotten Future: The Education Project is supported in part by The MacArthur Funds for Arts and Culture at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelly Foundation, the Illinois Arts Council, Chop Shop/1st Ward Events, Reed Rigging, Inc., Wicker Park Bucktown SSA#33Chicago Athletic Club and AV Chicago.

About Collaboraction
Collaboraction ( celebrates its 18th year as a Chicago-based arts organization and has recently moved its theater and operation headquarters to the historic Flat Iron Arts Building, 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave., in the heart of Wicker Park. By incorporating innovative artists and interdisciplinary collaboration, Collaboraction creates groundbreaking theatrical and art-based experiences.

The overwhelming response to its 2013 world premiere Crime Scene: A Chicago Anthology was the first step in Artistic Director Anthony Moseley's new vision for Collaboraction to be used as an artistic tool to explore critical social issues in an effort to create dialogue and incite change. Crime Scene subsequently toured park district facilities in underserved Chicago neighborhoods in summer 2013 and 2014 as part of the city's Night Out in the Parks program.

Following Crime Scene, Collaboraction employed the same provocative, docudrama style to attack cancer, its treatment and the way we live with This is Not a Cure for Cancer in February 2014. With both productions, and now with Forgotten Future, 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.

Collaboraction has worked with more than 2,500 artists to bring more than 60 productions and events to more than 50,000 audience members. Presenting such smash hits as 2010's Chicago premiere of 1001by Jason Grote, 2008's world premiere of Jon by George Saunders and directed by Seth Bockley, and 2007's critically acclaimed production of The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow: an instant message with excitable musicby Rolin Jones, as well as the annual SKETCHBOOK Festival, Collaboraction has worked with more than 2,500 artists to bring more than 60 productions and events to more than 50,000 audience members. 

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