Saturday, March 25, 2017

REVIEW: YEPP's Forging From Fire at Athenaeum Theatre Highly Recommended

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar

YEPP’s New Production: 
Forging From Fire 

**Recommended for ages 13+ due to references to adult situations. **
Performance lasts 1 hour and 30 minutes without intermission.

Wow. Just wow. I'm speechless at the talent, beauty, and strength of the cast of Forging From Fire. We caught the first complete run of the show on Friday evening, and were stunned by the powerhouse vocals, dance and art that has grown from channeling some pretty devastating and intense experiences through YEPP's recovery process. Come catch this show and spread the word. This fierce foursome of survivors are inspirational to say the least. Highly recommended!

Adolescence is tough for even conventional kids with supportive families. It can be brutal for LGBTQ or trans teens who are bullied by peers, victimized by older predators, or stuck in the foster system or homeless on the streets. It's complicated and confusing to become your true self if you're not sure who you are and society's putting on the pressure. This ensemble is a shining beacon of light to other teens who are struggling through abuse, self loathing, doubt, self destructive habits and hard times. In the current political climate, the vulnerable need all the allies they can get, to step up and have their backs. Kudos to YEPP for not only providing a safe space for survivors' recovery, but for sharing the stories. Everyone deserves to be seen and not hurt. Everyone deserves to be heard.

Youth Empowerment Performance Project (YEPP), a non-for-profit organization that supports lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer youth experiencing homelessness, is opening its new show at the Athenaeum Theatre during March 23-26 titled Forging From Fire. This performance is based on the healing process and true stories of 6 young people facing homelessness and other personal, emotional and physical struggles. 

Forging From Fire
Venue: Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport Ave., Chicago, IL 60657 

Dates and Times: 
March 23rd, 1:00PM, 7:00PM March 24th, 1:00PM, 7:00PM March 25th, 3:00PM, 7:00PM March 26th, 1:00PM, 5:00PM 

Admission: $20 Seniors/Students, $25 Adults

Forging From Fire tells of the various journeys that individual ensemble members have taken to build lasting relationships and how circumstances, behaviors and choices can create compromising situations. Through diligent deconstruction and self-discovery, each member worked through a heated process to understand ways to develop meaningful and healthy relationships afterwards to mold and refine a new space of love - for one’s self and for others. Some of the life-topics they address include physical, verbal and sexual violence, DCFS and the foster care system, incarceration within the trans and gender non-conforming community, domestic violence, self-harm, mental health, and suicide, among many others. Forging From Fire is the journey of the ensemble members to continue discovering their inner- power to become agents of change within themselves and in their communities. 

About YEPP: 
YEPP seeks a safe environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer youth experiencing homelessness to explore their history, investigate new ways to address their struggles and celebrate their strengths through the process of developing a theatrical performance piece. 
YEPP uses harm reduction, social justice, transformative justice and education for liberation (theatre of the oppressed and popular education) frameworks to contain and guide the work. 

We work with the ensemble members for one year: 6 to 8 months in the story telling, individual-group healing, and theatrical performance piece development, and 6 months traveling around the country performing, creating awareness and educating communities about LGBTQ street-based youth issues. 

YEPP’s Web Page:
Twitter: @WeSayYEPP
Facebook Page: 

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