Chicago Inclusion Project founder and producer Emjoy Gavino has announced a slate of upcoming projects for the initiative with three prominent off-Loop Chicagoland theaters.
After last summer's successful launch with a staged reading of William Saroyan's The Time Of Your Life, in partnership with Victory Gardens Theatre and The League of Chicago Theatres, this summer The Chicago Inclusion Project will be collaborating with a pair of acclaimed area theaters on two additional staged readings: George Bernard Shaw's Saint Joan in partnership with Writers Theatre in Glencoe, IL on July 11, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.; and Sarah Ruhl's In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play) in partnership with TimeLine Theatre in Chicago on August 9, 2016 (time TBD). Additionally, The Project will be collaborating with American Theater Company on an inclusive casting process for the entirety of that company's 2016-2017 Season. The League of Chicago Theatres will continue as a supporting partner.
The reading of George Bernard Shaw's Saint Joan at Writers Theatre will feature an inclusive cast of actors, including Charin Alvarez, Joseph Anthony Foronda, Nathan Hosner, Anish Jethmalani, and Dominique Worsley with Avi Roque in the role of Joan. The reading will be directed by WT Artistic Director Michael Halberstam and stage managed by David Castellanos. Casting for the reading of Sarah Ruhl's In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play) at TimeLine Theatre is yet to be announced.
"It is deeply moving to see established Chicagoland theaters like Writers, TimeLine and American Theater Company truly considering the idea of inclusion, not just in our upcoming readings with them but in planning their future seasons," noted project founder/producer, Emjoy Gavino. "The dialogue that has started has begun to turn into action and we look forward to exploring what more we can do to further this conversation and this movement as a community: artists, administrators and patrons."
Gavino founded The Chicago Inclusion Project as a collective of artists, committed to creating inclusive theater experiences by bringing together Chicago artists and audiences normally separated by ethnic background, economic status, gender identity, physical ability and countless other barriers.
Michael Halberstram, artistic director for Writers Theatre in Glencoe said of the initiative, "We are excited to be working with Emjoy Gavino and The Chicago Inclusion Theatre Project on an inclusive reading of Saint Joan…Diverse, equitable and inclusive casting must become an organic and reflexive gesture for any theater artist, and The Project is doing valuable work to bring this conversation into the mainstream...Saint Joan is generally thought to be one of Shaw's masterpieces, and I think that the wonderful and inclusive cast that Writers Theatre and The Chicago Inclusion Project are bringing together on stage will make a terrific case for this way of thinking…”
The Chicago Inclusion Theatre Project readings are free and open to the public. Reservations are required and are expected to open soon.
For more information about reservations and programming, visit www.thechicagoinclusionproject.com.
Clef Notes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts
Actress Charin Alvarez has been cast in a reading of George Bernard Shaw's Saint Joan at Writers Theatre in The Inclusion Project's 2016-2017 season (photo courtesy of The Inclusion Project).