Victory Gardens Theater will present We Must Breathe: A Response from Chicago Playwrights and Poets, a special event gathering members of Chicago’s artistic community to share their views on discrimination, race and inequality and engage Chicagoans in a discussion about these social issues. We Must Breathe features performances from poets and playwrights directed by Victory Gardens’ associate artistic producer Joanie Schultz, and a forum discussion on the performance topics, moderated by Congo Square Theatre’s artistic director Samuel Roberson. The event will take place Thursday, December 18, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. at Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue, and is free and open to the public.  

In recent months the deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Oscar Grant, Tamir Rice, John Crawford, Sean Bell, Rekia Boyd, and countless others have brought to light ongoing national issues of race, discrimination and inequality. Droves of individuals across the country have taken to the streets participating in rallies, riots and die-ins. During this one-night-only event, members of the Chicago artistic community will address these topics through artistic expression.  

"As a theater that passionately believes in civil discourse and social justice, Victory Gardens will provide a venue for Chicago playwrights, poets, actors and community members to respond to these recent events the best way they know how—through their art. We hope this gathering will allow our artists and our city to find better ways for a more equitable America," says artistic director Chay Yew.  

We Must Breathe begins with performance pieces from a diverse group of artists, including Victory Gardens Ensemble playwrights Marcus Gardley (The Gospel of Lovingkindness; Black Odyssey) and Tanya Saracho (El Nogalar; Mala Hierba), Nambi Kelley (Native Son), Andrew Hinderaker (Dirty; Suicide Incorporated), Kristiana Colón (Octagon; Lack on Lack)  and several others. Performances are directed by Joanie Schultz. Following the performances is an open forum, moderated by Samuel Roberson exploring the social issues expressed by the featured artists.   

Admission is free, but reservations are required. To reserve tickets, visit or call the Victory Gardens box office at 773-871-3000.   We Must Breathe will be livestreamed courtesy of Those who cannot attend can follow the event live on Twitter using #wemustbreathe.

Victory Gardens Theatre will present a unique artistic engagement on issues of race, discrimination and  inequality on December 18 called We Must Breath: A Response from Chicago Playwrights and Poets (photo courtesy of Victory Gardens Theatre).

Victory Gardens Presenting We Must Breathe, a Response from Chicago Playwrights and Poets to Recent Social Issues