American Theater Company presents Escape for subscribers only - Chicago Theatre News
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American Theater Company presents Escape for subscribers only
Oct 27, 2011


American Theatre CompanyAmerican Theater Company (ATC) announces a limited-run of Escape, a subscriber-only theatrical event featuring three recently-discovered short plays written by Tennessee Williams and three modern dances choreographed by DanszLoop Chicago Artistic Director Paula Frasz. Escape is directed by Artistic Director PJ Paparelli, and features ATC Ensemble Member Patrick Andrews and Joan Kohn, along with 14 other performers. The production will run November 3 - November 6, 2011 at American Theater Company, 1909 W Byron, Chicago, IL.

Press note: Escape is not intended to be a finished product or a fully-executed production. This presentation is produced without technical elements; only the minimal props, costumes, and lighting are incorporated. ATC and DanszLoop Chicago's intentions are to share this theatrical experiment with the Chicago theater community to gather feedback on whether this type of experiment has merit and should further be explored in a fully-realized production in the near future. Press are invited to attend on Friday, November 4, 2011 at 8:00PM.

America. 1940. Recently-discovered in the vaults of America's most prolific playwright, ATC pushes the boundaries of theatre by merging groundbreaking works from Tennessee Williams with the power of modern dance. ATC Artistic Director PJ Paparelli teams up with DanszLoop Chicago Artistic Director Paula Frasz to stage three theatrical explorations of escape in America: from white oppression in the Bible Belt, from a co-dependent mother and son in New England, to the bacchanal of Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

"With Escape, I am interested in sharing a theatrical experiment with the Chicago arts community. Using only the essential production elements, Paula and I are focused on exploring these three stories through high-stakes acting in Tennessee's extraordinary dialogue and exploring the emotional landscape of the characters through modern dance. We are eager to hear feedback from the community on the merits of the experiment and hope this project will inspire further collaborations between Chicago's theatre and dance communities, who have been separate for far too long," says Artistic Director PJ Paparelli. "Escape is a gift to our subscribers for their loyalty. These three short plays, lost for almost forty years, capture a deep-seeded desire for freedom in a diverse set of characters and stories, including Tennessee's only all-African American published play. This unique experiment allows them to see these three rare Williams plays and three gorgeous modern dances in our intimate space. It's rare in Chicago to experience modern dance in such an intimate environment. We proudly bring the two forms together at ATC."

Escaped comprises three recently discovered Tennessee Williams plays: "Summer by the Lake," "Auto-Da-Fe," and "Escape." "Summer by the Lake" features Patrick Andrews as Donald Fenway, Joan Kohn as Mrs. Fenway, and Michelle Renee Thompson as Anna. "Auto-Da-Fe" features Patrick Andrews as Eloi Duvenet and Joan Kohn as Madame Duvenet. "Escape" features Marlon Washington as Big, Greg Marlow as Steve, and Jaquis Neal as Texas.

Escape features DanszLoop Chicago Company Members Natalie W, Margret Reynolds and Paul Christiano, with Kevin Dirckson, Ashleigh Muhammed, Michael Rioux, and Daniel Gibson. Drummers are Dominique Louis and Freddy Weaver.


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