thinkTank programming features dramatic works with a focus on provoking timely conversation about a social, political or economic issue in which Chicago citizens have a stake. For the production of The Island, thinkTank discussions focus on the broadest subject of Fugard's play: civil disobedience. Exploring many permutations of civil disobedience through focused discussions after every performance, each discussion is led by a member of the Chicago community.
The Island runs from January 27 – March 6, 2010. Click here for details...
Chuck Smith is one of Goodman Theatre's resident directors and an associate producer of Legacy Productions, a Chicago based touring company. His other directing credits include productions at ETA, Black Ensemble Theater, Northlight Theatre, MPAACT, Congo Square Theatre Company, The New Regal Theater, Kuumba Theatre Company, Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre, Pegasus Players, the Timber Lake Playhouse in Mt. Carroll, IL, the Black Theatre Troupe in Phoenix, AZ, and the New Federal Theatrein New York. Mr. Smith is a 2003 inductee into the Chicago State University Gwendolyn Brooks Center's Literary Hall of Fame and a 2001 Chicago Tribune Chicagoan of the Year. He is the proud recipient of the 1982 Paul Robeson Award and the 1997 Award of Merit presented by the Black Theater Alliance of Chicago. He is currently a board member of the African American Arts Alliance of Chicago.
This post-show discussion immediately followed the performance of The Island, Remy Bumppo Theatre Company's current mainstage show. Athol Fugard's daring drama is set in an unnamed prison based on the one where Nelson Mandela was held. John and Winston are cellmates who spend their days doing back-breaking labor, and their nights rehearsing Sophocles' Antigone to present to their fellow inmates. When John learns his sentence is being reduced, the men's friendship is tested. Fugard plays the parallels between Antigone's fight against political and patriarchal boundaries off of the imprisoned men's fight for their dignity. The Island is a testament to the resiliency of the human heart.
Recorded Friday, February 05, 2010 at The Greenhouse Theater.