21
August , 2017
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CHICAGO, IL –  “Remixing the March,” Goodman Theatre’s year-long commemoration of the historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, continues this summer: youth participants in General Theater Studies (GTS) combine talents with senior citizens of the GeNarrations writing program to create a performance piece that views the historic event through a contemporary lens. As part of the annual GTS six-week summer program (through August 12), 80 teenage participants initiate discussions with GeNarrations participants about their recollections of the March, including Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech. From these interviews, the students blend their own stories into an original performance piece to be presented almost 50 years to the day. Reservations for the free August 12 public showcase performance are required; call 312.443.3800. Crown Family Philanthropies, Grosvenor Capital Management and Impact Creativity are Education Partners. Anonymous and the Helen V. Brach Foundation are Institutional Supporters of Education and Community Engagement.

“GTS is about using theater to develop engaged, socially conscious individuals who learn the powerful influence the arts have on daily life,” said Willa J. Taylor, Goodman Theatre Director of Education and Community Engagement. “The March on Washington was one of the largest political rallies for human rights in United States history; by engaging in conversation with our GeNarrations participants—people who lived through this landmark event—our GTS young people use theatrical techniques to understand and respond to events of the world in which we live.”

The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in Washington, D.C. took place on August 28, 1963, when Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his historic “I Have a Dream” speech advocating racial harmony. Attended by an estimated 200,000 – 300,000 people, the March is widely credited with helping to pass the Civil Rights Act (1964) and the Voting Rights Act (1965).

The Goodman’s commemoration of the March on Washington’s anniversary began with a CONTEXT series discussion with arts and community leaders about Gospel music’s role in the Civil Rights Movement in conjunction with Regina Taylor’s Crowns. It continued during the past school year with the Goodman’s Student Subscription Series, in which high school participants considered what contemporary issues would be investigated in a 2013 March (gun control, freedom to marry, immigration reform, etc). The final program takes place this fall in conjunction with Pullman Porter Blues (date TBA).

Participants in GeNarrations—an ongoing adult-education program for life-long learners—develop personal narrative performance pieces based on themes of Goodman Theatre productions, which they then perform in a public forum. The Goodman offers at least two six-week sessions each season, with approximately 30 participants per session. This program is presented in collaboration with the City of Chicago’s Department of Family and Support Services as well as session-specific community based organizations.

Now celebrating its seventh season in its current iteration, the GTS six-week intensive includes two three-hour sessions per day, four days per week. Activities with teaching artists Bobby Biedrzycki, Amanda Delheimer, Kevin Douglas, Khanisha Foster, Vince Pagan, Tony Sancho and Paul Whitehouse range from vocal, facial and physical warm-ups to theater ensemble building, object work and writing exercises. GTS participants will also see Albany Park Theater Project’s Home/Land at the Goodman and Mojada at Victory Gardens Theater as part of the program. General Theater Studies and GeNarrations Participants Commemorate March on Washington Anniversary.

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