A Multi-Ethnic Company of 22 High School Students Explore the Power of Resilience in an All-New Production, Including Choreography, Design Elements and APTPâ€™s First-Ever use of Bunraku-Style Puppetry
Chicago, IL â€“ Albany Park Theater Project (APTP), Chicagoâ€™s award-winning youth theater ensemble with a â€œreputation for artistic excellenceâ€ (Time Out Chicago), returns to the Goodman with Godâ€™s Workâ€”its fourth play to be produced downtown and the first to be wholly re-imagined for the larger scale of the Owen Theatre. The artistic partnership, which has introduced more than 5,000 new audience members to APTP over five years, includes previous productions of Home/Land (2012), Feast (2010) and AquÃ Estoy (2008)â€”all which were transfers of hit productions from APTPâ€™s neighborhood theater.Â Godâ€™s Work, originally produced at APTP in 2006 and based on a true story, follows Rachel, known as â€œthe lucky oneâ€ to her 17 siblings, on her journey toward healing after years of deprivation and punishment from a fundamentalist and vengeful father. Using high-stakes storytelling, original movement and music and stunning visuals, a new ensemble cast of 22 teens aged 14-18 collaborates with a team of directors and designers to collectively devise the new production, which features a â€œwater balletâ€ and Bunraku-style puppetry, a form of traditional Japanese puppet theater. Godâ€™s Work runs April 4 â€“ 19 in the Owen Theatre (the press performance is Sunday, April 6 at 7:30pm) and is recommended for ages 12 and up. Tickets ($10 – $25; subject to change) are available at GoodmanTheatre.org/GodsWork, by phone atÂ 312.443.3800Â or at the box office (170 North Dearborn). State Farm Insurance Company is the Opening Night Sponsor. A full performance calendar follows.
â€œOur journey toward Godâ€™s Work started when a 14-year-old ensemble member told us, â€˜I learned to love when I was 10 years old.â€™ We wanted to make a play that celebrates her triumph and illuminates the question of how a personâ€”especially a childâ€”summons the capacity not only to survive dehumanizing trauma, but to become so exquisitely human,â€ said APTP co-founder and producing artistic director David Feiner. â€œI hope audiences will be astonished by the exceptional sensitivity of our youth ensemble, which has earned a reputation for creating beautiful and hopeful art out of often ugly realities. With an ethnic composition ranging from Mexican to Puerto Rican, Filipino, Assyrian and Samoan, itâ€™s also sure to be one of the most diverse ensembles on any Chicago stage this spring.â€
Godâ€™s Work â€œexplores the human capacity for resilience featuring one of the most inspiring heroines youâ€™ll ever meet and one of the most breathtaking redemptions youâ€™ll ever witnessâ€ (Chicago Sun-Times), when after nine years of emotional and psychological abuse, Rachel learns to trust, to love and to move towards a more hopeful future. As previously announced, the directing and design team includes David Feiner (producing director), Stephanie Paul (director/choreographer), Maggie Popadiak (director/choreographer), Rossana RodrÃguez SÃ¡nchez (director), Brandon and Lacy Katherine Campbell (puppetry designers), Mikhail Fiksel (composer/sound designer), Jeremy Getz (lighting designer), Izumi Inaba (costume designer) and Scott C. Neale (scenic designer).