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The Mix: Cloud Gate Dance, Chicago Children’s Film Fest and more cool things to do Nov. 12-18

There’s much to see and do in Chicago in the week ahead both online and in person.

Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan will present a four-part virtual series on the making of “13 Tongues.”
Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan will present a four-part virtual series on the making of “13 Tongues.”
Liu Chen-Hsiang

Cloud Gate creates

While it won’t be performing live on the Auditorium Theatre stage this season, Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan can be seen in a four-part series that looks behind the scenes at the making of “13 Tongues.” Created by artistic director Cheng Tsung-lung, the piece is based on his mother’s stories about a street artist in the 1960s in Bangka, the oldest district in Taipei City. The first episode of the free series begins streaming at 6 p.m. Nov. 16 and is available through Nov. 23. It features the full-length work “Beckoning,” considered a prologue to “13 Tongues.” Subsequent episodes will debut in the winter and spring. Visit auditoriumtheatre.org.

A world of stories

“Our Lady of the Nile” will be screened virtually at the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival.
“Our Lady of the Nile” will be screened virtually at the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival.
Provided

Kids of all ages will find something of interest at the 37th annual Chicago International Children’s Film Festival. Included among the 20 features and 242 short films are the environmental documentary “2040,” the blended family animated feature “Dreambuilders,” the pre-Rwanda genocide feature and Toronto International Film Festival opening film “Our Lady of the Nile,” the animated short film “Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race” narrated by Octavia Spencer, and more shorts programs that center on themes of empowerment, disabilities and race. The festival streams from Nov. 13-22. Tickets: $15, $50 (4 programs), $250 (entire festival). Visit festival.facets.org.

Fabric transformed

Bisa Butler. “The Safety Patrol,” 2018. Cavigga Family Trust Fund. © Bisa Butler
Bisa Butler. “The Safety Patrol,” 2018.
Cavigga Family Trust Fund/© Bisa Butler.

The new exhibit “Bisa Butler: Portraits” features 22 quilts that convey multidimensional stories and narratives of Black life. Meticulously stitched with vivid fabrics, Butler creates portraits that look at themes of family, community, migration, the promise of youth and artistic and intellectual legacies. Using photographs that resonate with her, she transforms the images using thousands of fabric pieces stitched together. “In my work I am telling the story — this African American side — of the American life,” says Butler. “History is the story of men and women, but the narrative is controlled by those who hold the pen.” From Nov. 16, 2020-April 19, 2021, at The Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan. Tickets: $16-$25 (advance tickets required). Visit artic.edu.

Checking in with teens

EPIC students at DePriest Elementary School read each others’ plays. 
EPIC students at DePriest Elementary School read each others’ plays.
Tracy Strimple

Silk Road Rising presents Black Teen Lives Matter, a free four-part series drawing on monologues and short plays written by Black teens in the EPIC (Empathic Playwriting Intensive Course) program, which features the voices of these teens within a legacy of storytelling and activism. Actors Brianna Buckley and Londen Shannon perform the pieces; Jarrett King directs. Streams at 2 p.m. Nov. 14 and 7 p.m. Nov. 16. Visit silkroadrising.org.

Return to Bedford Falls

The holiday theater season gets underway with what has become a seasonal staple: American Blues Theatre’s 19th annual radio-play staging of “It’s a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago!” Of course, the presentation will be a bit different this year. Performances of the 80-minute production, adapted from Frank Capra’s classic film, are livestreamed each night with actors performing from their homes. “It’s a Wonderful Life,” directed by Gwendolyn Whiteside, streams from Nov. 12, 2020-Jan. 2, 2021. Tickets: $25-$55. Visit americanbluestheater.com.

New perspectives

Playwright Karissa Murrell Myers stars in “Fragmented.”
Playwright Karissa Murrell Myers stars in “Fragmented.”
Anna Gorin

The AA Arts Incubator Program of Asian Improv Arts Midwest presents Karissa Murrell Myers’ “Fragmented” as part of its series Our Perspective: Asian American Plays. The three-person play explores what it means to be biracial and bicultural in American. Murrell Myers, Emily Marso and Brennan Urbi perform the series of vignettes; Spencer Ryan Diedrick directs. Available to stream free on Nov. 16; beginning Nov. 17-26, the video can be accessed with a donation of $5-$15. Visit our-perspective.com.

Fresh air art

Arts of Life, “City Circle Heart” is projected in “Art on the Mart.” -Photo courtesy of Art on the Mart
Arts of Life’s “City Circle Heart” is projected in “Art on the Mart.”
Courtesy of Art on the Mart

For an outdoor experience and easy social distancing, check out the latest edition of Art on the Mart, the nightly projections of art and more on the façade of the Merchandise Mart. Featured are images from the Joffrey Ballet’s holiday classic “The Nutcracker,” the Art Institute of Chicago’s exhibits “Monet and Chicago” and “Bisa Butler: Portraits” and work by artists from Arts of Life, a local nonprofit that works with individuals with physical and intellectual disabilities. Nightly from Nov. 12-Dec. 30 at 7 and 7:30 p.m. On Wacker, between Wells and Franklin. The Nov. 12 projections also will be livestreamed. Visit facebook.com/artonthemart.

Mary Houlihan is a local freelance writer.