The Chicago Slam Works House Ensemble will present the world premiere of Redlined, an interdisciplinary, poetry-forward evening of theater written by and performed by the House Ensemble cast, opening February 6 at Stage773 in Chicago’s Lakeview. This is the second production in the premiere three-production season for Chicago Slam Works. For each production, the House Ensemble collaboratively writes the pieces which connect different disciplines including comedy, movement, spoken-word and music through a common theme. For this production, lead writer RJ Eldridge selected the CTA Red Line as a metaphor to explore issues like gentrification, economic disparity, violence, and the education system.
Directed by J.W. Basilo, Redlined tackles what it means to be a Chicagoan in the volatile climate of the city we call home.
"All the collaborators were excited to create a piece based on the Red Line," noted Eldridge. "Because it is the artery that both spans and divides the city, it has a lot of meaning for people. Everyone has had some type of interaction with the Red Line, both positive and negative, funny and tragic. And Redlined reflects the scope and breadth of those experiences in a very personal and interesting way."
Like the successful fall production of One Day When We Are All Robots, Redlined incorporates spoken word, music, movement, and sketch comedy into a theater experience that is unique, funny, poignant, and truly unlike anything else happening Chicago's poetry or theater landscape. Basilo is the ensemble director and Eldridge is associate director. Chicago Slam Works House Ensemble season will also include a production in Spring 2015.
Redlined runs every Friday, February 6 to March 13. For additional information visit www.ChicagoSlamWorks.com.
Clef Notes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts
(L-R) House Ensemble's Dru Smith, J. Evelyn and Rashaad Hall (photo by Andy Karol).