AKEELAH AND THE BEE Leads Adventure Stage Chicago’s 17/18 Season

AKEELAH AND THE BEE Leads Adventure Stage Chicago’s 17/18 Season

Pictured: REPRISE, Sept-Nov 2016. Photo by Johnny Knight. 

Adventure Stage Chicago, the participatory arts program of Northwestern Settlement, has announced its 14th season of programming for young audiences.

Exploring themes of literacy, Adventure Stage Chicago’s 17/18 season will open with the stage adaptation of AKEELAH AND THE BEE adapted by Cheryl West from the screenplay by Doug Atchinsona, and followed by a commissioned work by Lucas Baisch, based on the Guatemalan myths of POPOL VUH. The season will conclude with an original piece devised by their Trailblazers youth mentorship program.

“We’ll continue to create new plays that give voice to the most marginalized in our community. That Adventure Stage Chicago creates work appropriate for a wide spectrum of ages, that it celebrates cultural diversity, and that it encourages critical thinking, reflects a desire to strengthen bonds within our community,” comments Producing Artistic Director Tom Avertis. “It reflects a commitment to the idea that certain values—courage, imagination, collaboration, justice, hope—are universal regardless of age, gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, religion, or family background. The rich human values we share as a community will always make us stronger than the superficial differences that so easily drop us into divisive categories.”

Adventure Stage’s productions feature multiple options for audience engagement – including Spanish supertitles, post-show discussions, interactive installations in the lobby, and learning guides for teachers and parents.

Adventure Stage Chicago’s 17/18 Season (from the press release):

October 25 – November 25, 2017
Adapted by Cheryl West from the screenplay by Doug Atchinson
Directed by Daryl Brooks

After discovering her special talent, Akeelah dreams of winning the national spelling bee. With the support of her teacher and her friends, she fights to overcome every obstacle and make it to the top. Adapted to the stage and set in Chicago, Akeelah and the Bee is a testament to community and determination in the face of social, cultural, and economic hardship.

THE CEIBA NETWORK (working title)
March 31 – May 5, 2018
By Lucas Baisch

Twins Honey and Blanca—sunny, West Coast natives—are fish-out-of-water in Chicago, having been dumped at their reluctant abuela’s house by their Anglo mom. Banished to the alley to finish their chores, the sisters encounter a magical tree hiding strange objects and guiding them into the Ceiba Network, an online game with real world consequences. Our twin heroes face increasing challenges as they fight to level up, trekking through a mysterious underworld where they discover their Guatemalan heritage and their true origins. A wildly imaginative reinvention of the Mayan creation myths of The Popol Vuh, this original play makes connections between mythology, history, heritage, and the digital world. The first play developed by Community Crossings, ASC’s restructured new works process, and shepherded by Mellon Foundation Playwright-in-Residence Carlos Murillo, THE CEIBLA NETWORK asks youth to consider the meaning of digital literacy in a world growing increasingly divided.

Spring 2017

Join our ensemble of young artists and professional mentors as they present their 5th mainstage premiere. Since 2011, ASC’s Trailblazers mentorship program has inspired young people to lead the creative process, devising original work inspired by pressing issues in their everyday lives. Previous productions have touched upon bullying, technology, terminal illness, mental health and healing, media, and gun violence. Youth and mentors collaborate on all aspects of the show, from performance to production roles.

All performances take place at Northwestern Settlement’s Vittum Theater, 1012 N. Noble St. Tickets are $17 for adults and $12 for youth aged 14 years and younger. Group tickets are $10 for ten or more guests. Student matinee tickets are $7 for CPS and $8 for non-CPS groups. Tickets may be purchased at adventurestage.org or by calling 773.342.4141.


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