American Theater Company (ATC) presents the third world premiere in its 30th Anniversary season: The Project(s), a documentary play about the history of public housing in Chicago, April 24-May 24, 2015. Conceived, co-written and directed by ATC Artistic Director PJ Paparelli and co-written by Joshua Jaeger, The Project(s) innovatively combines documentary theater with a cappella music, body percussion and stepping to create a provocative examination of the successes and failures of public housing that poses the question, "What is America's responsibility to its poor?" Single tickets for The Project(s) range from $38-$48 and are now on sale at the Buy Tickets link or call the box office at 773-409-4125.
From 2010 until 2014, Paparelli conducted over 100 interviews with scholars, historians, and former and current residents of Chicago's public housing, including Cabrini-Green, Robert Taylor Homes, Wentworth Gardens and Ida B. Wells Homes. The Project(s) interweaves verbatim material with a cappella music, body percussion, and stepping with choreography by Jakari Sherman, artistic director of Washington, DC-based Step Afrika!, the nation's only professional dance company devoted to stepping. Paparelli previously conceived, co-wrote, and directed the critically-acclaimed documentary play columbinus that premiered its third act at ATC, toured to ArtsEmerson in Boston in 2013, and has been produced around the country and internationally.
"The Project(s) is the story of Chicago," says Paparelli. "My hope is to shatter the misconceptions about public housing by taking a hard look at what happened from both the planning side and from the residents' point of view. I have met the most extraordinary people on this journey and am honored to share their stories of hope, resilience, and resistance, especially during this time of racial turbulence across our nation."
The Project(s) received two development opportunities at the Orchard Project, a national new play development retreat in New York; a Jentel Artist Residency in Wyoming, and a MacArthur International Connections Fund grant, through which Paparelli travelled to the United Kingdom to workshop the play at Citizens Theatre in Glasgow and the Lyric Hammersmith in London, in addition to interviewing public housing residents and city officials in Scotland. ATC also partnered with Howard University in Washington, DC, for a five-week workshop integrating stepping and body percussion.
The Project(s) is free to all former and current residents of Public Housing. If interested, please call the box office on 773.409.4125
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Michael Milligan is a performer who has been writing and acting for the theater for almost two decades. Milligan has appeared on the Broadway stage as Little Charles in August: Osage County, De Bries in La Bete, and as a ‘raver’ and understudy on Jerusalem. No stranger to the one man show, Milligan performed Will Eno’s Thom Pain Off Broadway. Milligan received his training from Juilliard where he won the John Houseman Prize for excellence in classical drama. He has performed the bard’s works with the the Shakespeare Theater, Royal Shakespeare Company, Shakespeare and Company, Cincinatti Playhouse, Shakespeare Sedona and Santa Cruz, St. Louis Rep, the Utah, Alabama, Illinois, Colorado Shakespeare Festivals, Milwaukee Shakes, Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis, and New Jersey Shakespeare in roles as diverse as Hamlet, Mercutio, Romeo, Angelo, Cassio, Dromio, Lucentio, Antipholus, Mark Antony, Edgar, Orlando, as well as many spear carriers and various shrubbery movers. Milligan is a sometime instructor of Shakespeare at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting. He has also appeared at many of the nation’s top regional theaters including the Guthrie, Westport Country Playhouse, Charlotte Rep, The McCarter Theater, and Folger Theatre in Washington D.C.
The Harold Clurman Laboratory Theater Company grew out of a feeling that the time had come for the Stella Adler Studio of Acting to produce, or reproduce, its spirit, voice and theatrical sensibilities on a professional level. The mission of the Lab Theater is to produce theater committed to the standards and ideals set out by Stella Adler, Harold Clurman and the Group Theater.
About the Illinois Single Payer Coalition
reviewsMercy Killers reviews from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe:
Five Stars, “There’s a marvelous and mysterious kind of alchemy at work in author and actor Michael Milligan’s mesmerizing, harrowing indictment of US healthcare. Theatre distilled to its most basic essentials.” The Scotsman
Five Stars , “Beautifully moving and thought provoking…” Three Weeks.
“Thoroughly moving. One man theatre at its very best.” Broadway Baby.
“Shattering.” The Stage.