Red Tape & Walkabout Theater’s World Premiere of MOTHER OF SMOKE runs March 23 – April 15 at Pride Arts Center

Red Tape Theatre and Walkabout Theater Company are pleased to present the world premiere of MOTHER OF SMOKE, a co-created production inspired by the collision of Chuck Mee’s Trojan Women: A Love Story and Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard, playing March 23 – April 15, 2017 at The Broadway at Pride Arts Center, 4139 N. Broadway, Chicago. 

Directed by Walkabout’s Artistic Director Thom Pasculli+MOTHER OF SMOKE features original writing by Emma Stanton+Morgan McNaughtLucas Baisch and Ruth Margraff* with original music and text by Lucia Thomas. Tickets go on sale Thursday, January 19, 2017at www.redtapetheatre.org.

MOTHER OF SMOKE is performed by Red Tape Company Members Emma LadjiRuth MargraffKelsey ShipleyStephanie Shum and Johnard Washington, Walkabout Ensemble Members Nigel BrownMcCambridge Dowd-WhippleCooper ForsmanKatie Mazzini and Alex Rodriguez with guest artists Anita Darwish and Lucía Mier y Terán Romero and musicians Oya Dubey and Lucia Thomas.

In a city on fire, one woman laments the destruction of her house while another refuses to acknowledge the existence of a threat at all.  Created in response to the global crisis of displacement, the promise of safety and the crumbling of the American Dream, Mother of Smoke delves into a mash-up of The Trojan Women and The Cherry Orchard to examine the conflicting forces relevant to violence and disparity present in Chicago now. The performers weave together these stories, original text, music and movement in order to create a new response to this violence and how it exists in our daily lives. Co-created with a team of writers, musicians and performers, Mother of Smoke is an epic performance of remembering, coming together and picking up the pieces.

The MOTHER OF SMOKE production team includes: Stephanie Pasculli (scenic design), Michael Banks (lighting design), Steve Labedz (sound design), Carrie Drapac (movement collaborator), Casey Wright (dramaturg), Dani Wieder (asst. director), Deirdre Connelly (production manager), Kyle Land (producer)

Dina Klahn+ (stage manager) and Julia Santha (asst. stage manager).

*Denotes Red Tape Theatre Ensemble Members

+Denotes Walkabout Theater Ensemble Members

About the Director

Thom Pasculli (Director / Artistic Director of Walkabout Theater Company) is a Chicago-based director and performer specializing in physical and laboratory theater, actor training and exchange. Recent Walkabout productions include The Wild, Tall Girl and the Lightning Parade, and Beach Party at the End of the World.  Additional directing credits include Circle-Machine at Oracle Theater, Core of the PUDEL at Trap Door and The Reluctant Lesbian at NYC’s Cherry Lane Studio. Past projects include creating a performance tour and international symposium in South Africa, an intensive street performance program for high school students in Colorado, and most recently a festival of innovative new works-in-progress for theater professionals at Dartmouth College. Most formidable in his experience were his years as a company member of Double Edge Theatre in MA, his training at the Odin Teatret in Denmark and the Grotowski Institute in Poland, and working with Steppenwolf, Redmoon and Trap Door Theatre in Chicago. Thom is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Columbia College, a visiting lecturer at University of Chicago and DePaul University, and a teaching artist with Steppenwolf for Young Adults

About Red Tape Theatre

Red Tape Theatre Company (Max Truax, Artistic Director), now in our 13th Season, is committed to the creation of new and experimental work. Red Tape’s productions invite our audiences to reimagine their world. Red Tape’s work serves a vital purpose in our community: to arrest attention and create empathy.

About Walkabout Theater Company

Since 1999, Walkabout Theater Company (Thom Pasculli, Artistic Director; Emma Stanton, Associate Artistic Director) has performed and produced arresting theatrical events and new site-specific and experimental work in Chicago, challenging traditional theatrical models of production, performance, narrative and story. Through active exploration of the theatrical form and the architecture in which theater is created, Walkabout seeks to deepen the connection between the artist and the Chicago community. The ensemble is comprised of ten multidisciplinary artists that live and work in Chicago. Recent highlights include The Cure (2016), a site-specific search for immortality at the Chicago Cultural Center’s Yates Gallery; The Wild (2014-16), a deconstruction of Dionysian rituals with text from playwright Charles L. Mee, performed at the Steppenwolf Garage Rep, Physical Festival Chicago, Garfield Park Conservatory, and the Bharat Rang Mahotsav Festival in Delhi, India; STORM (2015), an international collaboration with the Moon Fool collective at Links Hall; and Beach Party at the End of the World (2014), a guerrilla dance spectacle that appeared on eight different Chicago beaches between Edgewater and Hyde Park.

About Pride Arts Center

Pride Arts Center (PAC) opened in 2016 and consists of two performance spaces: The Buena at 4147 N. Broadway which has 50 seats and The Broadway at 4139 N. Broadway which has 85 seats, and it is run by Pride Films and Plays. PAC has become an important part of the arts environment in the Buena Park neighborhood and beyond by hosting events including After Orlando, Bechdel Fest, SheFest and the 525,600 Minutes Cabaret. For more information about space at Pride Arts Center, visit www.prideartscenter.com.