Here’s the press release from Free Street:
Free Street Theater embarks on 40th Anniversary Season
Flashback Benefit : “To Kill a Teenager” :
“Abe’s in a Bad Way” : Tour to Thailand
Chicago, IL – Free Street Theater embarks on its 40th year with an anniversary celebration, tour to Thailand, and a season of original plays.
Born in the 1969 spirit of social questioning, Free Street continues to serve as a cultural arts laboratory inspiring new artists and new audiences. Founding Artistic Director, Patrick Henry, said that, “Our goal is to cut through the layers of political, social and religious philosophy that have separated people from one another and to concentrate on the rhythms and energies common to all people.”
According to current artistic director, Ron Bieganski, Free Street’s work continues to be deeply rooted in the founder’s original mission. Bieganski says that “the world has made progress but there is still more to do. Our work is still relevant and will be for many years to come.”
Bieganski has been at Free Street since 1985. He remembers his first impressions : “The first show that I saw was a performance by the ensemble of Senior Citizens that Patrick directed. It had the kind of heart that I wanted something to have. It was the kind of work that I wanted to do.” He worked closely with Patrick Henry up until his death in 1989.
Free Street’s season begins with a 40th Anniversary Flashback Benefit on October 1st at the Steppenwolf Garage Theatre. Hosted by NBC 5’s LeeAnn Trotter, the celebration will also honor former company member Jackie Taylor (Founding Executive Director of the Black Ensemble Theater) and former board president Mel Smith (Community Arts Advocate and President of Investment Concepts).
Mica Cole, recently appointed Managing Director and former Free Street alumna says “We are so fortunate to have been around for 40 years. Connecting to our past has invigorated our plans for the future. We are all really excited about our upcoming season.”
Oct. 1, 2009 Flashback 40th Anniversary Benefit at Steppenwolf Theatre. A rare opportunity to hear Free Street’s story as told by the people whose blood, sweat, and joy are responsible for creating the extraordinary first 40 years. 1624 N. Halsted from 6:00-9:00 pm. Tickets $100
Jan. 9 – Feb. 6, 2010: “To Kill a Teenager,” a play based on the Seven Deadly Teenage Sins. Directed by Ron Bieganski. Free Street Theater 1419 W. Blackhawk. Fridays 7:00 pm and Saturdays at 2:00 pm. Tickets $15 or pay what you can.
March 20 – April 10, 2010:”Abe’s in a Bad Way,” a performance based on an exploration of Abe Lincoln’s failures and his deep mental depression. Directed by Fannie Hungerford. Free Street Theater 1419 W. Blackhawk. Fridays 7:00 pm and Saturdays at 2:00 pm. Tickets $15 or pay what you can.
April 18 – May 6, 2010: Collaboration with Makhampom Theater Company of Chiang Dao Thailand. Free Street’s teaching artists and most advanced youth will head to Thailand for two weeks of intensive cultural exchange and performance creation. This project is made possible by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
More information can be found at freestreet.org or by calling Free Street Theater at (773) 772-7248.