Congo Square program focuses on stage-to-film responses to recent events

SHARE Congo Square program focuses on stage-to-film responses to recent events

Mark your calendar for noon this Saturday (Feb. 20) at the Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State. That’s when the Chicago premiere of “My America Too (Taking Theater to the Streets”), an intriguing mix of theater, film and activism, will be screened.

“My America Too” was set in motion when 10 writers were commissioned by Baltimore’s Center Stage Theatre to create plays, each set around the kitchen table and inspired by recent events in communities like Sanford, Florida; Cleveland, Ohio; Ferguson, Missouri; Staten Island, New York; Baltimore, Maryland and Charleston, SC.

Six of these plays were filmed as pieces of street theater, guerrilla-style, at pivotal locations across the country, bringing into focus topics that also clearly face Chicago today. Among the playwrights were Lydia R. Diamond, Kwei-Armah and Larissa FastHorse, Neil LaBute, Kenneth Lin, Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder, and Hana Sharif.

The screening will be followed by a panel discussion led by Derrick Sanders (the Chicago director, filmmaker and founder of Congo Square Theater). He will be joined by Kwame Kwei-Armah, artistic director of Baltimore’s Center Stage, and by playwright Diamond (a veteran of Chicago Dramatists whose “Stick Fly” was produced on Broadway in 2011, and more recently at Chicago’s Windy City Playhouse).

Tickets are $11 plus fees, with a discount for Siskel members. Visit http://www.siskelfilmcenter.org/myamericatoo.

Playwright Lydia R. Diamond (Photo courtesy of Congo Square Theatre)

Playwright Lydia R. Diamond (Photo courtesy of Congo Square Theatre)

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