WBEZ | Silk Road Theatre Project http://www.wbez.org/tags/silk-road-theatre-project Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Critics theater picks for 6/17-6/19 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-06-16/critics-theater-picks-617-619-87964 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2011-June/2011-06-16/TENNESSEE WILLIAMS 2010 -2015.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><strong><u>Laura Molzahn</u></strong></p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-June/2011-06-16/TENNESSEE WILLIAMS 2010 -2015.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 333px;" title="DanszLoop/Chicago"></p><p>Tennessee Williams is ripe—some might say overripe—for dance exploration. Which is exactly what Paula Frasz of <strong><a href="http://danszloopchicago.com/">DanszLoop/Chicago</a></strong> has been doing, off and on, for the last several years at the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Festival. Her collaboration with PJ Paparelli of American Theater Company was so successful last fall that <a href="http://www.atcweb.org/bxo/subscribe.php">they’ve decided to stage their three short plays/dances at ATC</a> next spring. <a href="http://boxoffice.printtixusa.com/stage773/eventcalendar">You can see two of the dances this weekend at Stage 773</a> in an evening “celebrating the power of movement influenced by the written word.” Frasz’s choreographed “prequel” to Williams’ <em>The Escape</em>, about chain-gang convicts, is set to work chants and the sounds of “dogs, running, water, and gunfire,” she says. Her duet based on <em>Summer at the Lake</em>is also about release, this time—surprise!—from a neurotic mother-son relationship.</p><p><strong><a href="http://www.hubbardstreetdance.com/index.php?option=com_content&amp;view=article&amp;id=83&amp;Itemid=132">Inside/Out</a></strong>, a choreographic showcase by some 16 Hubbard Street and Hubbard Street 2 dancers, is rumored to feature one performer (male) in the nude. Even without that incentive, this freewheeling display by some of the city’s best dancers is worth checking out.&nbsp;</p><p><u><strong>Jonathan Abarbanel</strong></u></p><p>Chicago's unofficial David Henry Hwang festival kicks off Saturday (June 18) with <a href="http://www.srtp.org/productions.html"><strong><em>Yellow Face</em></strong></a>, a satiric self-identity comedy, at Silk Road Theatre Project, directed by Goodman Theatre associate producer Steve Scott. Hwang, best know for his play <em>M. Butterfly</em>, arguably is the nation's best-known Asian-American author (although Chicagoans soon will come to know playwright Chay Yew as well, now that he's the new Victory Gardens Theater artistic director--but I digress). Hwang will have three plays produced here over the summer, with the Goodman Theatre following June 27 with the world premiere of <em>Chinglish </em>and the small Halcyon Theatre Company staging an early Hwang work, <em>Family Devotions</em>, in August. <em>Yellow Face</em> runs through July 17.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-June/2011-06-16/Homosexuals-3.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 333px;" title="Elizabeth Ledo and Patrick Andrews (Photo by Jonathan L. Green)"></p><p>About Face Theatre Company, which fought back from the brink of extinction two years ago and has slowly rebuilt its producing capacity, presents the world premiere of <strong><em>The Homosexuals</em></strong>, a serio-comic contemporary coming-of-age story by Philip Dawkins. The cast of seven features four About Face artistic associates and three guest artists, all under the direction of artistic director Bonnie Metzgar, who inherited a fiscal mess when she arrived three years ago and refused to let it stop her. Performed at the Victory Gardens Richard Christiansen Theater, <em>The Homosexuals</em> opens Sunday (June 19) and runs through July 24.</p></p> Thu, 16 Jun 2011 21:04:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-06-16/critics-theater-picks-617-619-87964 Silk Road Theater Project spins a new name http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-05-31/silk-road-theater-project-spins-new-name-87218 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2011-May/2011-05-31/index.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-31/index.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 131px; " title=""></p><p>Come this fall, the nine-year old Silk Road Theatre Project will have a new name: Silk Road Rising. Co-founders Jamil Khoury (artistic director) and Malik Gillani (executive director) say the name change reflects not only the company's success in less than a decade, but also its increasing involvement in online media and national advocacy as a means of promoting its goals with regard to theater and activism.</p><p>In a statement explaining the company rebranding the two said, "In developing a new name for our organization, we wish to honor the triumphs of Silk Road Theatre Project while conjuring the movement that has led us to a more expansive vision. Mining the intersections of art and activism remains central to our aesthetic, as does showcasing perspectives seldom, if ever, heard in mainstream media."</p><p>That movement began following 9/11 when Khoury, of Syrian Christian heritage, and Gillani, American-born of Indo-Pakistani Islamic heritage, conceived of a theater company that would fight the misinformation, suspicion and outright fear of many American's towards anything that smacked of Islam or even the Middle East. However, they embraced from the start a wider swath, aiming to explore the diaspora of all cultures that once were found and connected along the ancient Silk Road from the Western Mediterranean to Japan.</p><p>In 2005, the company moved into permanent quarters in Pierce Hall of the Historic Chicago Temple Building at 77 W. Washington Street, making them the smallest Off-Loop theater in The Loop. In 2008, the Silk Road Theatre Project was honored with the Emerging Theatre Award presented annually by the League of Chicago Theatres and Broadway In Chicago, selected by vote among the League's 200-plus member theater companies. It was just one of a string of local and national honors earned by the company.</p><p>The new name will launch in the fall along with a new logo, although details of the 2011-2012 season have yet to be announced.&nbsp;Subscribers and supporters were invited to vote on a new logo, which will be revealed in the fall.</p><p>Meanwhile, the current production at what still is the Silk Road Theatre Project is the June 15-July 17 regional premiere of <em>Yellow Face</em> by David Henry Hwang. The production is being co-produced with Silk Road's much larger near-neighbor, the Goodman Theatre, which concurrently is staging the world premiere of Hwang's new comedy, <em>Chinglish</em> (June 18-July 24).</p></p> Tue, 31 May 2011 13:26:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-05-31/silk-road-theater-project-spins-new-name-87218 What Color Is Your Theater? http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-05-03/what-color-your-theater-86018 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2011-May/2011-05-03/Chay Yew.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="caption" height="300" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-03/Chay Yew.jpg" title="Chay Yew, artistic director of Victory Gardens" width="200"></p><p>Recently I've been pursuing a story about the many changes in Chicago's African-American theater community. I'll be asking artistic and managing directors from as many companies as I can find what role remains for African-American theaters now that a black man is leading a "white" theater (Remy Bumppo) and a black woman seems to be the heir presumptive at the city's most established "white" theater (Regina Taylor at the Goodman).&nbsp;<br> <br> And then two announcements appear, one right after the other, in my e-mail inbox. First is the announcement that <a href="http://leisureblogs.chicagotribune.com/the_theater_loop">Victory Gardens has chosen Chay Yew</a>, a leader in the national Asian-American theater community, to be its new artistic director. Next is a press release from Silk Road Theatre Project, Chicago's premier Asian-American theater company, announcing its production of David Henry Hwang's Tony-award-winning play <span style="FONT-STYLE: italic">Yellow Face</span>.&nbsp;<br> <br> And suddenly it all became clear to me: of course the need to do plays by David Henry Hwang and other Asian playwrights--and nothing but--does not disappear because an Asian man will be running a "white" company. I'll still ask the question about the role of black theaters because I'm incapable of embarrassment and want to hear what each of the veteran theater-makers has to say on the perennial subject of race in Chicago theater. But the answer is almost literally staring us all in the face.</p></p> Tue, 03 May 2011 18:23:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-05-03/what-color-your-theater-86018 Prominent Chicago actors hit the road for plum roles http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/prominent-chicago-actors-hit-road-plum-roles <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//Ryun Yu Dawn Michael Lamont.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: left;">Chicago actor Ernest Perry, Jr. will spend the winter on the road in &quot;Ma Rainey's Black Bottom,&quot; the August Wilson play set in a 1920s Chicago recording studio. As directed by another local artist, <a href="http://www.ronojparson.com/About.aspx">Ron OJ Parson</a>, the show is a co-production between the <a href="http://actorstheatre.org/">Actors Theatre of Louisville</a> (where it will play in January and February) and the <a href="http://www.milwaukeerep.com/">Milwaukee Repertory Theatre </a>(where it will play in March). <br /><br /> Also on the move is <a href="http://www.steppenwolf.org/ensemble/members/details.aspx?id=26">Steppenwolf Ensemble</a> member Yasen Peyankov returns in December to his native Bulgaria to direct a play at Bulgaria's <a href="http://www.natfiz.bg/index.php?id=11">National Academy of Theatre and Film Arts</a> in Sofia, where he trained as an actor before coming to the USA 20 years ago. He'll be back in time to perform at Steppenwolf in &quot;The Hot L Baltimore&quot; (March 24-May 29). Peyankov also is <a href="http://www.uic.edu/depts/adpa/facultybios/faculty-staff_peyankov.htm">Director of Theatre Studies</a> at the University of Illinois at Chicago.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><br /> <img height="300" width="200" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2010-November/2010-11-23/Ryun Yu Dawn Michael Lamont.jpg" alt="" title="" /></p><p>Ryun Yu will make his Chicago debut in Jeanne Sakata's &quot;Dawn's Light: the Journey of Gordon Hirabayashi,&quot; the true story of a Japanese-American who sued the U.S. government in 1942 rather than accept internment. Yu starred in the world premiere of the one-man show at <a href="http://www.eastwestplayers.org/">East-West Players </a>(Los Angeles) in 2007-2008. &quot;Dawn's Light&quot; will be presented&nbsp; by <a href="http://www.srtp.org/">Silk Road Theatre Project </a>as part of the In the Works series at Jay Pritzker Pavilion (indoors), Jan. 13-15. Yu is a familiar TV face from guest starring roles on &quot;<a href="http://www.fox.com/bones/">Bones</a>,&quot; &quot;<a href="http://www.cbs.com/primetime/medium/">Medium</a>,&quot; &quot;<a href="http://tv.disney.go.com/disneychannel/goodluckcharlie/">Good Luck Charlie</a>&quot; and other shows.</p></p> Tue, 23 Nov 2010 17:08:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/prominent-chicago-actors-hit-road-plum-roles About Face Theater and Silk Road Theater Project take "Wing" http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/about-face-theater-and-silk-road-theater-project-take-wing <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//logo_atw.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img height="109" width="160" align="left" alt="" style="margin-right: 10px;" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2010-November/2010-11-17/logo_atw.jpg" />Chicago's <a href="http://www.aboutfacetheatre.com">About Face Theatre</a> and <a href="http://www.srtp.org/">Silk Road Theatre Project </a>are among the 10 recipients across the country of the first <a href="http://americantheatrewing.org/grants/recipients.php">National Theatre Awards</a> bestowed by the American Theatre Wing, best known for Broadway's annual Tony Awards. Each of the 10 companies received a $10,000 grant at Oct. 25 ceremonies in New York City, hosted by Angela Lansbury.</p><p>Since its founding in 1939, the American Theatre Wing has been almost exclusively a New York organization despite its name. The Wing's modest annual cash awards to non-profit theaters went only to New York theater companies up until now. Revamping its rules for the first time in 53 years, the American Theatre Wing finally has become nationwide in scope by instituting the National Theatre Awards.</p><p>Non-profit theaters between five and 15 years old may apply for the grants. The Wing will look for companies which have articulated a distinctive mission and have nurtured an audience and community of artists demonstrating the quality, diversity, and dynamism of American theatre. About Face Theatre explores GLBT themes and stories, while the Silk Road Theatre Project explores the diaspora of cultures found along the ancient Silk Road, with particular emphasis on Asian and Middle Eastern peoples under-represented in mainstream American theater. About Face currently is presenting the world premiere of &quot;Float,&quot; by lesbian author Patricia Kane (at Theatre Wit through Dec. 12), while the current Silk Road production is &quot;Scorched&quot; by Lebanese-French Canadian author Wajdi Mouawad (through Nov. 21).<br />&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 18 Nov 2010 21:26:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/about-face-theater-and-silk-road-theater-project-take-wing