Peacebook 2020 kicks off October 17 with two free programs of 10 Chicago artists/activists premiering short new works about peace in Chicago, followed by a month of additional screenings and online conversations leading up to the live Utopian Ball benefit gala on November 14th to raise spirits and funds for Chicago’s theater for social change. To buy your tickets for Utopian Ball, please visit this link. The 5th annual Peacebook, featuring ten world premiere videos, split into two distinct programs, Essential Perspectives, and Visions of Peace. Zoom registration link below!
Crucial Connections - We Still Dream Preview
Thursday, October 15, 8 pm
This episode will feature Peacebook 2020 artists and set up the month of programming and fundraising of We Still Dream.
Peacebook 2020 Opening Night
Saturday, October 17, 7 pm
All ten pieces premiere in a mixed program with free tickets available to join the artists in the Zoom and simultaneous live stream to
Facebook and YouTube Live, followed by a Crucial Conversation.
Thursday Night Watch Parties
Thursday, October 22 and 29, November 5 and 12, 7 pm
Collaboraction will re-screen Peacebook Opening Night for free on Zoom with Artistic Director Anthony Moseley, special guests TBA with live-streamed, artist hosted Facebook Watch Parties. No registration needed for these live-streamed events!
Becoming: Unlearning White Supremacy
Tuesday, October 27 and Tuesday, November 10, 6 pm
Collaboraction's recurring workshop on dismantling White supremacy will feature select Peacebook videos as a jumping-off point for exploration and dialogue about how systemic racism shows up in us all. Peacebook artists will participate as special guests.
Visions of Peace
Saturday, November 7, 7 pm
The Visions of Peace program will be screened via free Zoom, and simultaneous Facebook and YouTube Live live streams with the program’s artists followed by a Crucial Conversation.
Sunday, November 8, 3 pm
The Essential Perspectives program will be screened via free Zoom, and simultaneous Facebook and YouTube Live live stream with the artists followed by a Crucial Conversation.
Essential Perspectives will showcase five videos self-taped and edited by Chicago artists Jasmin Cardenas, Mia Park, Teh’Ray Hale Sr. aka PHENOM, Sami Ismat, and Willie Round. The common theme is how each of their communities is showing resilience during the pandemic. A grant from Illinois Humanities partially funds this program.
essential perspectives Line Up
Essential?...”Tengo que trabajar/ I have to work”
Covid-19 hit, and working people were in the direct line of fire. How are workers surviving this loss of work? When the professional class sheltered in place for conference calls and Zoom meetings, what happened to the most vulnerable that work in the cash economy, temp workers, low wage workers? Cardenas draws on her experience devising theater to fight for workers’ rights with the Chicago Workers Collaborative’s Workers Resistance Theater to interviews Latinx undocumented workers struggling with the impact of Covid-19. From Back of the Yards, Marquette Park, and North Lawndale, Chicago workers tell us where they find hope.
Struggle, acceptance, and understanding are crucial to developing resilience. These Daoist principles can describe how Chicago Asian Americans struggle with racism over the Covid-19 pandemic, accept that this pressure is a part of the American experience, and understand that we're all doing the best we can. Park, a multidimensional, Chicago based artist, actor, and creator of Our Perspective: Asian American Plays, talks with Asian Americans in Chicago who have experienced blaming and shaming about Covid-19.
Rose From the Concrete
By Teh’Ray Hale Sr. aka PHENOM
Hip-hop artist and activist Phenom, Collaboraction’s Director of Creative Community Cultivation, talks with South side residents who have recovered from Covid-19 to illustrate the beauty that arises from a community surrounded in "hardships" and now stands as a Rose of hope to others seeking to grow while living in similarly challenging conditions. Phenom has worked with First Lady Michelle Obama to teach youth about violence prevention, was founder and CEO of POETREE Chicago, and runs EmceeSkool which trains young artists to be Peace Ambassadors.
Ismat, a Syrian refugee in Chicago, explores being isolated and stuck between two places as he seeks political asylum in the U.S. while mourning his father’s recent passing, Syria’s former Director of Culture, due to Covid-19. Transfixed uses the green screen and the virtual chatting as core elements relevant to the current moment aesthetics.
This is North Lawndale
Round is a songwriter, playwright, videographer and hip-hop artist who mentors youth through his own program, MUD LIFE (Motivating the Urban to be Determined). In This is North Lawndale, he interviews residents about life on Chicago’s West side during Covid-19 with heartfelt interviews with community-based organizations, small business owners, and parents.
Visions of Peace, selected from over 75 submissions, will premiere five new works by Ada Cheng, Darling Squire, Matthew LaChappelle, Luzzo, and Vernon B. Gooden. Each “chapter” will be shot and produced in a socially distanced manner by Collaboraction's creative team.
Visions of peace line up
A Letter to My Younger Self
Cheng, a Chicago storyteller, educator and producer, shares a story about a series of emails with a young Asian American student who experienced a racist incident related to Covid-19. How does one overcome cultural conditioning and respond to bias and prejudice stemming from anti-Asian racism in the midst of the pandemic? How does one build solidarity with others in times of crisis and injustice?
*CONTENT NOTICE: HARASSMENT*
Back To Me
Squire, a Black trans woman, dancer and choreographer, fuses dance and poetry to pay homage to the music of her youth that has served as the foundation of her choreographic language. The days when dance was new to her and she would spend hours dancing in the studio, flying above the clouds and frolicking with the birds and bees like the winds whirling through the trees.
The Dance...Never Give Up
By Matthew LaChapelle
Directed by Sandra Delgado
LaChapelle, an independent adult actor with Down syndrome, performs an original monologue about being ridiculed at his eighth grade dance and how he didn’t let that stop his quest for greatness nor his zest for the dance floor.
*CONTENT NOTICE: ASSAULT*
I Used To Write With My Left Hand
By Luzzo in Collaboration with Farbota
Luzzo, a queer actor, dancer and choreorgrapher, debuts his new dance theater work about generational trauma caused by homophobia within Chicago’s South side Irish Catholic community, particularly how it affected Luzzo and his older queer relatives.
*CONTENT NOTICE: SUICIDE AND CHILD ABUSE*
By Vernon D. Gooden in collaboration with Ashley Wilkerson
What would it be like to meet your past and future versions of yourself? Would present self advise your past self differently? In Brother! Blackbird, Gooden, an activist, choreographer and former Paul Taylor dancer, uses dance and storytelling to explore liberation from cages and themes of identity, including sexuality, gender, race, culture and faith.
JASMIN CARDENAS is a Chicago Actress, Director, Storyteller, Deviser and Activist who uses the mediums of story and theater to move human hearts towards compassion and action. Daughter to Colombian immigrants Jasmin uses teatro and play in joyful resistance to the status quo. Recognized for her arts & civic engagement work she was awarded a 2020-2021 LAB Fellowship by The Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics at Georgetown University. This SAG_AFTRA actress loves dancing salsa, drinking mojitos and giggling in a tent with her little familia.
ADA CHENG is a professor-turned-storyteller, solo performer, and storytelling show producer. She has also been featured at storytelling shows and done her two solo performances all over the country. Ada is the producer and the host of four storytelling shows, including Pour One Out, Am I Man Enough?, Talk Stories: An Asian American/Asian Diaspora Storytelling Show, and Speaking Truths Series. She creates platforms for people to tell difficult and vulnerable stories as well as for communities who may not have opportunities otherwise. She is the Education and Outreach Specialist with Women's Leadership and Resource Center at UIC. Her motto: Make your life the best story you tell.
VERNON GOODEN, a Dallas,Texas native, is an emerging choreographer, performer, and teacher. Mr. Gooden began dancing at the age of 11. As a 2001 graduate of the acclaimed Booker T. Washington High School For The Performing Visual Arts. He received a Level I ranking by the National Foundation For The Advancement In The Arts for college scholarship for high school seniors. Mr. Gooden later was nominated by NFAA and was named by The White House Commission a 2001 Presidential Scholar in the Arts. Mr. Gooden later trained at The Juilliard School under the direction of the late Benjamin Harkarvy and Larry Rhodes. He have performed with noted companies such as Paul Taylor 2 Dance Company, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Theatre, Joel Hall and Dancers, Deeply Rooted Dance Theatre, and Winifred Haun & Dancers. He has performed works of noted choreographers such as Paul Taylor,Katherine Dunham, Donald McKayle, Bill T. Jones, Milton Myers, Cleo Parker Robinson, Nai-Ni Chen, Adam Houghland, Ronald K. Brown, Jessica Lang, Christopher Huggins, Kevin Iega Jeff, and Winifred Haun.
SAMI ISMAT is a performance-artist, director and actor who experiments with transdisciplinary forms. Conceiving works include: Every Time I Step Towards Freedom (Defibrillator Gallery), Picnic Summit (Collaboraction), Ghosts of Freedom (Greenhouse Theatre Residency), On a Shore Rested a Body with Armin Hayrapetian and Divyamaan Sahoo (New Blood Festival). Collaboration credits: New Normal a project by Jonas Becker (MCA Chicago), Atlas Unlimited a project by Karthik Pandian and Andros Zins-Browne (Logan Center at University of Chicago) & (Graham Foundation). Select theatre directing credits include: Uzbek, Pureland (Silk Road Rising: staged readings), Mihbaj (Theatre Royal Stratford East, London). Sami is an adjunct faculty at Columbia College Chicago, & previously worked as a teaching artist with Northlight Theatre and Stevenson High School. Besides that he led workshops & delivered artist talks at several higher education institutions including Harvard University. Sami is an alum of the Sojourn Summer Institute and the Directors Lab of Chicago and holds an MFA in Studio from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) & an MFA in Theatre Directing from the University of Essex’s East 15 Acting School, UK. Sami hails from Damascus, Syria and is based in Chicago as a political asylee.
Born and raised in Chicago’s windy city, MATTHEW LACHAPELLE was inspired at an early age by an awesome acting teacher who taught me about theater and to NEVER GIVE UP. I followed my dreams, and in high school it led me to Collaboraction Theatre where I learned how to speak up and speak out. From there I merged my passions of advocating for people with disabilities and my love of performance to rise up, keep dancing and NEVER GIVE UP!!
LUZZO (He/Him/His) is a queer Movement Director, Actor, and Dancer based in Chicago, IL. Prior to Covid-19, Luzzo was working in TV production and freelancing as a performer and choreographer. You can see his latest choreographer in Nick DeLaurentis' music video "Bone Dance" and see him still dancing/making on his instagram (@luh.zoh). As a queer artist, Luzzo works to raise awareness for the queer community through his body, work, and perspective. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois BFA Acting class of 2018.
MIA PARK is a multidimensional, Chicago based artist powered by hopeful engagement, providing platforms for people to be seen and heard. She is an actress, yoga teacher, producer, volunteer, and story collector through her series, "In Response: Interviews with Intriguing Internalizers". Learn more about Mia at Patreon.com/MiaPark and MiaPark.com
This fearless emcee/poet from Chi’ Town has shared stages throughout America with accomplished artists such as Roy Ayers, Mos Def, The Roots, Common, Erykah Badu,, Fertile Ground, Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco, Chance The Rapper, Brother Ali, Jay Electronica, Vic Mensa, Lyfe Jennings, Talib Kweli and more. In the fall of 2017, PHENOM traveled to IRAQ as a cultural/ spiritual ambassador for Hip-Hop culture. This 11-day pilgrimage from Chicago to the Holy City of Karbala in Iraq, reinforced his goal to major impactful inspire change in the urban neighborhoods of Chicago and abroad. Upon his return from Iraq he founded the Artist Peace Ambassador Training Program, "EmceeSkool"; a 6-month curriculum where he trains young aspiring emcees/rappers to use their art and voice as instruments of peace. In a short time EmceeSkool has established a strong presence via participating in and organizing several of Chicago’s most relevant music and community events. visit PHENOM was given the honor to be the Keynote Speaker at the 25th anniversary of AmeriCorps and the 40th anniversary of the Serve Illinois Commission which was held in the state capital Springfield, IL. PHENOM has most recently awarded the Inaugural “BROTHER MIKE AWARD” for his excellent work as a youth mentor and his dedication to creating platforms, safe-spaces, guidance and opportunities for community change makers.
Born May 20, 1991, in the inner city of Chicago, Willie Round III is a proven song writer/producer, videographer, radio personality and does community out reach. Raised by his single mother, Deveta Gill within the North Lawndale community. This community is referred to as the “Holy City”. Due to Willie’s activism within the community, he has garnered the name, “Prince Roc”. Rev. Bernard Lilly is credited for being a strong father figure and mentor to Prince Roc. He graduated from Kelly High School. Because of the support from his family and mentor, Prince Roc holds a BA in Communications Radio and Television Broadcasting from Central State University.
DARLING SQUIRE is a Chicago native who has roots in Atlanta where Darling started dance training. Darling attended North Springs Charter School of the Performing Arts where Darling was trained in ballet, modern, jazz, and African performance. Darling began dancing professionally out of high school and in that time worked with many great choreographers. The highlights were working with Bubba Carr, choreographer/artistic director to Cher for 12 years and counting; Rhonda Henriksen, soloist with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago; Twyla Tharp and Tracy Vogt, former Philadanco dancer and soloist; Hinton Battle, the original Scarecrow from the Broadway production of The Wiz; and Lauri Stallings, former Hubbard Street and River North Dance Chicago soloist and founder/artistic director of gloATL.
Scroll Down for Full Line Up
of the past
Peacebook is Collaboraction's annual performance festival of short works about peace and peacemaking in Chicago. In 2016, the first Peacebook Festival launched, touring to the south and west sides of Chicago with free performances, workshops and meals. In 2017 the festival kicked off at the Goodman Theatre before touring Chicago. In 2019, Collaboraction will produce 21 world premiere short works of 7 minutes or less as part of the festival. Peacebook is curated through a combination of open and invited submissions from emerging and established artists throughout the city. Every performance is followed by a Crucial Conversation and the festival serves to unite Chicagoans and engage the audience with the Chicago Peace Movement.
Artistic Director, Anthony Moseley on ABC 7
ABC7 NEWS: Chicago's social issue-driven theater company, Collaboraction, is excited to bring their PEACEBOOK Festival back for its second year. Click here to read the full article.
GQ and Tyrone Taylor of 17 to New Life on WGN Radio
WGN RADIO: Collaboraction Artistic Director and PEACEBOOK curator Anthony Moseley, GQ of The Q Brothers and performer Tyrone Taylor join Justin to discuss Collaboraction’s 2nd annual PEACEBOOK Festival. Click here to hear the full interview.
Chicago Tribune: Collaboraction second annual Peacebook festival kicks off at the Goodman theatre
"to bring Chicago's wounds to the forefront." Click here to read the full article.