Why Redmoon believes public art should be about more than just statues

July 9, 2012

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For more than two decades, Redmoon Theater has been one of Chicago’s most acclaimed, revered and outlandish performance companies.

I say outlandish only because Redmoon mixes the traditions of theater, puppetry, circus arts and performance art into large-scale spectacle performances often done in public spaces, like Logan Square or Ping Tom Park.

This summer, they’re building on that tradition with a series of Urban Interventions.

As the name suggests, Urban Interventions are part of the company's effort to invade public spaces, bringing performance out of the theater and into the community.  

The company's singular mix of madcap contraptions, dazzing acrobatics, and larger-than-life puppets have already dropped into Chicago's annual Pride Parade, as well as Fourth of July parades in Winnetka and Evanston.  But that's just the start.  From now until mid-October, Redmoon plans to pop up in places where you might least expect them.

It's all part of the vision of co-artistic directors Jim Lasko and Frank Magueri - a vision that focuses deeply on how art can transform not only public space, but democracy itself.  It's a belief in the power of performance to move, to delight, to surprise and, yes, to connect.

At a time when our political discourse seems as divided as ever and policy makers point to gaps in income inequality, violence and economic opportunity, could an ephemeral spectacle be part of the mix that begins to bridge those divides? We talk with Lasko and Magueri on the 102nd Afternoon Shift.


(Above photo by Christina Noël Photography)