Collaboraction Offers G.I.F.T.

Oct 12, 2009

On the eve of the holiday season, Collaboraction will take audiences on an immersive and interactive adventure through the act of gifting with the world premiere of G.I.F.T. Conceived and directed by Collaboraction company member and Creative Director Sam Porretta, and inspired by Lewis Hyde's "The Gift," G.I.F.T. explores the nature of gifts, community and culture while leading the audience on a partially open-aired journey through a sprawling warehouse compound and soundstage. G.I.F.T. will play for three weeks only November 12-29, 2009 at 459 1/2 N. Wolcott, Chicago. Audiences are advised to dress warmly, as a portion of the performance will be outdoors. The performance schedule is Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m.; and Sundays at 7 p.m. There will be additional performances Thursday, Nov. 12 at 8 p.m., Monday, Nov. 16 at 7 p.m. and Monday, Nov. 23 at 7 p.m. Tickets are a $15 suggested donation and can be reserved online at or by calling 312.226.9633.

An ensemble of 11 performers and a multi-disciplinary design team bring a new world to life in a production that is not a typical "holiday" offering. Otherworldly characters exist in strange worlds of their own and among the audience members, as they bring the audience on a journey that traverses through four different environments built within the 7,000 square foot compound that Collaboraction now calls home. In an interactive and transformative environment, audiences can participate and ruminate on gifting as we enter a season full of certain expectations.

"G.I.F.T. is an exploration of the nature of gift and exchange amongst individuals and communities, and I felt that this ritual would be best reflected through a physical voyage," says director Sam Porretta. "Our collaborative ensemble has developed a journey that belongs just as much to the audience as it does the characters. The audience is invited to investigate what it means to exchange materials, moments and messages to one another and how this act contributes to the total human condition." G.I.F.T. was developed with and will feature Amber Robinson, Aurelia Clunie, Catherine Glynn, Emma Stanton, Greg Hardigan, Hannah Phelps, Jeremy Harris, Mia Park, Scott Cupper, Antonio Brunetti and Andy Junk.

Collaboraction has recently moved into a 7,000 square foot compound at 1850 W. Hubbard that includes their offices, rehearsal and performance space. "As Collaboraction has grown over the past 13 years, we have demonstrated 3 distinct areas of interest and ability, the first being the traditional play like The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow, the next being the unique fusion of theatre, community and environment that is our annual Sketchbook festival, and the third, represented by G.I.F.T., an original, immersive and interactive experience that is equal parts installation, storytelling and celebration," says Collaboraction Executive Artistic Director Anthony Moseley. "I am honored and excited to have our Creative Director and long-time company member Sam Porretta, take the reins of this new production to lead the evolution of this type of Collaboraction programming." Collaboraction celebrates its 13th year as a Chicago-based arts organization and remains focused on becoming a national leader of contemporary theater.