What do we do now? The Future.

I wrote my way out. I wrote my way out of hell.
I wrote my way to revolution.
I was louder than the crack in the bell.
… And in the face of ignorance and resistance
I wrote financial systems into existence
And when my prayers to God were met with indifference
I picked up a pen, I wrote my own deliverance.

-Hamilton, Hurricane

Waking up today, we’ve elected a leader who has Continue reading


Second City Identity Crisis

Saxophonist, band leader extraordinaire, Miguel Zenón performed as part of the UChicago Presents late last month.

miguel zenon

The performance of Identities are Changeable exhibited excellent craftsmanship accompanied by compelling video content. He focused on the complex identities of Puerto Ricans in New York or also known as Nuyoricans.  Continue reading

Inside, Outside

I scanned my book shelf looking for something that was a classic and had some artistic depth. I ended up pulling out Henrik Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House”…

Good news friends, I’m starting a new page to stage project! I’m adapting classic literature into musical pieces. There is more that can be explored in the relationship between music and writing than just song lyrics. I intend to replicate moods, tones, structures, characters of great works of literature through music alone.


BUT in my process of digging up research for exploring music related to “A Doll’s House,” Continue reading

Material and Memory

The Things We Keep by The Arc Theatre in its world premiere is running to the Noyes Theatre in Evanston throughout the month of February.


“A locally famous collage artist sifts through the contents of her attic at the end of her life, revealing a family history rife with hidden turmoil. As her family returns home to settle her estate, old wounds are unearthed that were thought to be packed away. When emotions are archived like pieces of paper, what beauty could be salvaged from the remnants?”

Like a collage, the play juxtaposes different time periods together requiring the actors to explore their characters at different ages. Continue reading

Age to Stage

Last weekend I saw Gotta Dance a Broadway in Chicago musical about starting a senior dance group to entertain at half-time for a professional basketball team.

It was a blast! I really was reminded of how much I love musical theater because it brings together the best of story, music and dance.

At the center of the story, a group of older people led the action. Continue reading

Page to WebPage?

December always seems to fly by, doesn’t it?! This time of year I’ve been traveling quite a bit and not around as much for the fabulous Chicago performances this time of year. But I still found myself engaging with the arts through new media and the internet.

Technology really is changing the way we look at performing arts.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you can’t have the arts without people. But there are so many ways technology is giving us more opportunities to be consumers of performing arts.

I’m examining  3 hot, recent examples that are changing the way we think about what performing arts should be.

What do you think has the most potential? What do you think the future holds?

  1. Performing Arts with Google

So this is really crazy to me. I went to open on new tab on google chrome and there, at the bottom of my screen, something like “click here to explore the performing arts.”

Thought #1- “Gosh, google analytics know me well!” Click! Thought number #2- “Yes! The internet is actually working to make performing arts accessible.”

Then I played with it for a bit and investigated more.

There weren’t many full length performances which I was really hoping for. But it was really lovely and a great foundation for what could be with buy-in from cultural giants around the world.

I watched ballet, I looked at archives, I went onstage at Carnegie Hall, I took a tour of the Kennedy Center all from my computer chair.

I was excited when on my travels, I got to take a tour of the Kennedy Center irl.

However, Continue reading

Fearing the Storm

“How long will you stay in your comfort zones?”

-Chicago Tap Theatre, Circo Tap

Approaching storm, change to new, threat of power, all things that evoke fear were central to Walkabout Theater Company‘s adaptation of The Tempest, Storm. The troupe pushed audience engagement by nearly sending a wrecking ball through the fourth wall.

Walkabout Theater Company's STORM

Walkabout Theater Company’s STORM

The show starts with the beckoning of an actor through entering though the the front door, making his way through the lobby stride by stride, drawing out glances leading the audience into the theater. Actors leap, move through and direct the audience all through body movement. Beckoning engagement while using their force to make it seem natural, toeing line just next to the comfort zone.

With some main characters and the general structure of the tempest, but fear and change guided thematically. The feud between Prospero and Caliban becomes a central piece.

What do audience members fear the most?

Fresh on my mind from seeing Chicago Tap Theatre’s latest, Circo Tap.  Combining tap dance with circus performance made for a daring combination. Tap dancers turned acrobats, turned clowns, turned escape artists! Something about the novelty of circus acts evoked that edge of the seat fear. They reached out, engaged by utilizing surrounding balconies to echo sound, spewing down aisles with gymnastic feats, even literally reaching out and shaking audience members hands. The whole performance was strikingly narrated by Marc Kelly Smith as the ring master seeking inspiration for a new act. The audience gasps with fear at tightrope walkers at lion tamers, but his fear draws them in and makes it impossible to look away. After storm, I had a new lens to examine what is intriguing about circus is that fear involved in live performance.

circo tap

One can often see the fear course through an audience when an actor is going to pull someone up on stage. You know this scene; a comedy club, audience members sink deeper into their chairs dreading that contact with the performer.

Engaging can be scary.

Both storm and Circo tap evoked this fear strongly, but once the audience was in, the emotional investment was apparent. Like a ritual, the audience had just enough fear to unite and invest fully to the performance.

I couldn’t help but think of my own fear and how what I dreaded most was also engaging. I DID NOT WANT TO WRITE! Like really did not. It was great thinking about this blog, imagining what it could be like, but the fear of an audience reading it made me freeze in my tracks. There is a fear mounting inside of myself that I can’t please my toughest audience member, me.

Fear drawing

I drew this picture simply with a sharpie (that had “write!” written on the cap). It shows the tension of being held back by fear and the cusp of breaking away. Tempestuous clouds, many forces pushing and pulling. I placed the sharpie in the frame with its shadow weighing down, just at the grasp of the hand. Reaching out of the comfort zone compelled me to do something that may not be good, but helped engage others in something more important, art.

Sometimes a healthy push towards that limit of the comfort zone is what pushes art, what engages community. Perhaps in this realm, the dreaded fomo (fear of missing out) can be greater to get more butts in seats enjoying daring performances like Storm and Circo tap. It is better to be there, to be present than to stay stagnant.

And lucky for you, it’s not too late! Walkabout theater performs The Wild at Links Hall July 8 and 9. More audience gripping fear this time with dionsyian elements is sure to engage at the Physical Festival!