Chicago Home Theater Festival will explore the practice of social organizing by inviting artists, activists, and neighbors to create Neighborhood Field Guides in collaboration with the Chicago Park District, City Bureau, Sixty Inches From Center and others. We will gather neighborhood stories and create zines, audio collages, and dramaturgical tools which will be utilized by artists to create neighborhood-specific work and performed as part of our festival in May 2017. CHTF invites strangers into each other’s homes to share an intimate meal, experience transformative art, and build intentional community across lines of difference. We aim to provide a platform for artistic exchange within neighborhoods that have experienced systemic disinvestment; center narratives by and about artists of color, women and femmes, migrants and immigrants, LGBTQ folks, and artists with disabilities; and curate performances and conversations that directly disrupt injustice and catalyze collective action.
Nikki Zaleski and the Illinois Caucus on Adolescent Health (ICAH) will facilitate an interactive workshop engaging audience members in questions around reproductive histories.
The FYI Performance company of ICAH uses 4 core principles in our playmaking and story exchange: Pleasure, Pretend, Practice and Power. This workshop will lead participants through an exploration of their reproductive, relationship, intimate and sexual histories as they relate to place and neighborhood. Using the four Ps, participants will write and share stories, build images and scenes on their feet, and examine place-based intimate memories.
The Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health is a network of empowered youth and allied adults who transform public consciousness and build capacity of family, school and healthcare systems to support the sexual health, identities, and rights of youth. We educate, advocate, and organize for reproductive justice for youth in Illinois.
Nik Zaleski is a director, playwright and cultural activist rooted primarily in the reproductive justice movement. She is the Arts Justice Director for the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health (ICAH), where she designs participatory theater experiences about sexual health and sexual violence with the FYI Performance Company. Nikki is an Artistic Associate for Sojourn Theater and has directed performance for FYI, Redmoon Theatre, Northwestern University and Erasing the Distance, where she is also a company member. She completed her undergraduate degree in Performance Studies and Gender Studies at Northwestern and holds an MA in Interdisciplinary Studies from DePaul University, which combined Public Health and Directing coursework.
Alyssa Vera Ramos is a theater and teaching artist with an emphasis on social practice. Director and Lead Developer credits include I Am The Rat (The Scarlett ‘S’ Project: DCASE & 3AP Individual Artist Grants; Artist in Residence at Free Street Theatre), Generation Sex (Teatro Luna at the Chicago Fringe); and The Liberation of Carmela Lopez (Northwestern University). Acting credits include work with the FYI Performance Company, First Floor Theatre, Adventure Stage Chicago and Teatro Vista. Alyssa is a certified crisis counselor and medical advocate at Rape Victim Advocates and Movement Building Organizer at the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health.
This program is in conjunction with Public School and is led by Irina Zadov.