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Chicago Danztheatre presents What We Carried, on immigrant experience
2020-03-09

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CHICAGO ( February 24, 2020 ) — Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble is pleased to announce the

final performance of its 2019-20 Art & Activism Performance Series, WHAT WE CARRIED , a

documentary-style danztheatre work created by ensemble-members that brings to life the

voices, stories, and struggles of asylum-seekers, featuring text pulled from interviews with local

immigrants. The performance is also a collaboration with sculptural artist Jean Parisi , serving

as both devised performance and immersive exhibition of her work. WHAT WE CARRIED will

play May 8-16, 2020 at Chicago Danztheatre's permanent home, Ebenezer Lutheran Church

Auditorium , 1650 W. Foster Ave. in Chicago's Andersonville neighborhood. Tickets are

currently available at danztheatre.org .

"This new work highlights the struggles and successes of waves of asylum seekers and

immigrants from across the globe, all of which call Chicago home now," says director and

deviser Maggie Robinson . "While we, the Ensemble, may not have directly immigrated

ourselves, our families did, our ancestors did, and we bring our stories to this work as well

honoring our families and the events we sought asylum from in our own paths. We see the

unjust and unethical separation of families at the U.S. Border, and want to address the ways in

which no human can be illegal."

WHAT WE CARRIED is devised and directed by CDE's interim artistic director, Maggie

Robinson , and features CDE ensemble members Tony Springs and Molly Hillson , as well as

newcomers Anna Bennett , Catherine Miller , ChihJou Cheng , Elisa Carlson , Joshua Miller ,

Koshi Mills , Mariah Larios , and Vanessa Strahan among the cast. What We Carried features

sculpture art by Jean Parisi , sound design by Andrew Stefano , and lighting design by Cora

Swise .

DETAILS :

Title: WHAT WE CARRIED

Devised and Directed by Maggie Robinson

Sculpture Art by Jean Parisi

Cast ( In Alphabetical Order ) :

Anna Bennett

Catherine Miller

ChihJou Cheng

Elisa Carlson

Joshua Miller

Koshi Mills

Mariah Larios

Molly Hillson ( CDE Ensemble Member )

Tony Springs ( CDE Ensemble Member )

Vanessa Strahan

Location: Ebenezer Lutheran Church Auditorium , 1650 W. Foster Ave., Chicago

Dates:

Regular run: Friday, May 8 - Saturday, May 16, 2020. Performances on Friday and Saturday

evenings.

House Open: 7:00 p.m.

Performances: 7:30 p.m.

Tickets: General Advance: $19. General Door: $25. Student & Senior Advance ( with ID ): $10.

Student & Senior Door ( with ID ): $15. Free to high-school and younger. Tickets are currently

available at danztheatre.org .

About the Artists:

Maggie Robinson ( Director, Deviser ) is a multidisciplinary choreographer, performer, and

teaching artist dedicated to presenting discussions surrounding socio-political issues through

performative art. They hold a BFA in Musical Theatre Performance and a minor in Dance from

the University of Memphis where they studied under Holly Lau and Moira Logan. They have

been a teaching artist in the Tristate area and Chicagoland region for ten years where they

emphasize co-creating and collaboration, students' artistic ownership of work, and devising

techniques. As a choreographer, Maggie values a rehearsal process where all artist voices are

utilized to create a personal yet universal message. They create pieces that primarily focus on

womxn's perspective, the queer experience and the lgbtq+ community, and activism for equality

of minority groups. Maggie began as a performance Ensemble member with CDE in 2016 and

has since performed in Consumed , Chapter Three , Unraveling Bill , and most recently I Bet You

Think This Dance is About You . They have co-directed A Memory A Monologue A Rant and A

Prayer ( 2018 ) and have choreographed pieces for Body Passages and Women In Response

since 2017 and will be making their full-length CDE debut this spring. Additional Chicago

choreography credits include Carrie 2: The Rage ( Underscore Theatre ) and The Pirates of

Penzance ( Saltbox Theatre Collective ). Regional credits include Almost, Maine , In the

Soundless Awe ( Saltbox Theatre Collective ).

Jean Parisi ( Space Designer, Artist Collaborator ) is an artist, performer, and educator - a

cultural activist collaborating with others in a creative effort to make a difference. Since 2010

she has created timely, large-scale, site-specific installations annually at Pilsen Open Studios.

Her illustrations for Lionel Bottari's Folktale series have been a monthly feature in the Fra Noi, a

national Italian American Magazine for over 25 years. Jean is a performer in the improvised

physical tradition of the Commedia dell'Arte presenting her work throughout Chicago, across the

US, and in Italy. In 1978 she co-founded the Pros Arts Studio, a community-based arts

organization in the inner city Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago where she taught and worked as

Executive Director until 2008. Jean Parisi is the recipient of an Illinois Arts Council Individual

Artist's Fellowship, the Public/Community Service Award from the Illinois Alliance for Arts

Education, the Deep Roots Award from ElevArte Community Studio, and several Neighborhood

Arts Project grants from the City of Chicago. Jean has an MFA in performance from the School

of the Art Institute, and a BFA in sculpture from the Philadelphia College of Art ( now University

of the Arts ).

About Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble

Dedicated to "performance with a purpose", Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble challenges,

engages and inspires audiences both onstage and in the classroom, through innovative,

multidisciplinary storytelling in the genre of Tanztheatre, "which unites all art media to achieve

an all-embracing, radical change in humankind." As an ensemble, CDE collaboratively creates

thought-provoking arts performances and educational outreach programs incorporating

elements of theatre, music, movement, visual arts, and literary text.

—From a press release


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