We all know that Chicago is an international city. From its diverse neighborhoods to the wealth of world-class cultural programming, I can’t think of a better home for Stages, Sights & Sounds, an international performing arts festival for families and theatregoers of any age. The work we showcase pushes the boundaries of traditional theatre and performance. Work for young audiences should push boundaries; after all, isn’t that what childhood is about? This year’s festival is our thirteenth and runs May 2–12, 2012 at venues in Chicago and Evanston.
Because of their cultural and ethnic backgrounds, Chicago audiences are eager to welcome the artists that we bring to Stages, Sights & Sounds. Our festival showcases fresh, original work from Europe and Canada that you won’t see anywhere else. Parents come back year after year, as our offerings grow along with their children and provide a shared experience. Teachers look forward to introducing us to each new class and exploring connections between learning and play.
All of the productions from this year’s Stages, Sights & Sounds explore play, physically and philosophically:
~ ‘Tweens dance and dodge, physically expressing blossoming feelings
towards each other through play in DynamO Théâtre’s Mur-Mur (The Wall)
~ A postman unwraps packages, finding a play in each,
in Vélo Théâtre’s The Postman
~ Actor Susanna Hamnett tells the entire story of King Lear by herself,
with jokes, twisting our expectations of what a Shakespeare play is
in Nearly Lear
~ Puppeteer Nori Sawa plays with scissors, paper, and our notions
of some very familiar stories in Fairy Tales
~ Seven actors make a 3' x 7' platform their playground, bringing to life
a futuristic battle between Superman and Lex Luthor
in Theater Un•Speak•Able’s Superman 2050.
I enjoy working with my colleagues to bring these companies to Chicago’s smart and engaged audiences. I can’t wait to see you at the Festival!
Mary Kate Barley-Jenkins is CHF's Director of Programming and the Director of Stages, Sights & Sounds.
Tags: performance, France, Montreal, Shakespeare, puppet, theater, theatre, physical, Superman, Lear, wall, fairy tale, postman, mail, teen, tween, train, high speed rail