2018 PEACEBOOK Festival Preview

This is a FREE annual event in Chicago. Below is a preview of the September, 2018 event.  Look for this same event next year. 

Chicago rappers The Boy Illinois and Phenom join over 200 Chicago artists and activists for free, city-wide touring festival of short, peace-themed theater, dance, music and spoken word.  September 7 - 22 weekends.

Collaboraction, which calls itself “Chicago’s social issue-driven contemporary theater”, announced its third annual PEACEBOOK Festival--a free, collaborative city-wide festival of theater, dance, music, visual art and spoken word over three consecutive weekends in September, all focused on cultivating peace in Chicago.

First, with the blessing of hip hop group Wu Tang Clan, Collaboraction Artistic Director Anthony Moseley is adapting to the stage the song Tearz off their 1993 debut album 36 Chambers.

Other Chicago artists and activists creating new works in support of Chicago’s peace movement for the PEACEBOOK Festival include Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre, Nancy Garcia Loza, Bril Barrett of M.A.D.D. Rhythm, Sir Taylor of Example Setters Youth Poetry and Hope Dealer Amy Williams.

These original works of seven minutes or less, range from solos to large collaborations. In sum, the 24 “chapters” that comprise PEACEBOOK unite over 200 artists, from household names to neighborhood peace activists, all intent on creating real connections with Chicagoans in communities around the city.


“We couldn’t be more thrilled to have Wu Tang Clan and Amanda Williams support our cause,” said Moseley, PEACEBOOK Festival Director and Artistic Director of Collaboraction. “We want to encourage Chicagoans to be active, come to PEACEBOOK, experience new neighborhoods and hear new stories. In doing so, we will see our similarities and connections to one another. Only then we can start working together to dismantle oppression and cultivate peace and equity.”

The 24 works that comprise PEACEBOOK are divided into three “chapters,” each featuring eight diverse works of seven minutes or less.




Each chapter is assigned to one of three Chicago Park District locations in Chicago’s Austin, Hermosa and Englewood communities.

Collaboraction, has been embedding its artists in these three parks for the past five years to create and present devised, hyperlocal works about peace and racial healing via the Chicago Park District’s Night Out in the Parks program.

The following 24 pieces on peace were selected from over 100 submissions of theater, dance and spoken word, all envisioning a more peaceful Chicago:


PEACEBOOK Austin, La Follette Park, 1333 N. Laramie Ave.

Friday, September 7 at 6 p.m.

Saturday, September 8 free Community Meal at 11:30 a.m.

Pre-show performance at 1 p.m. by Mazi Dance and Peace Panel with David Cherry, City Leader, The All Stars Project; Tio Hardiman, Founder and Executive Director, Violence Interrupters; and, Creative Scott, Creative Scott Hair Salon and The Young Barbers Program


Sir Taylor Making of Example Setter

American Catracho By Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre (CRDT)

Chicago’s Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre presents the third part of a dance and music suite exploring the complexity of the immigrant experience, from the trauma of leaving a birthplace to the challenges of settling in a new homeland.

Somewhere in Uptown By Andrea Sutherland, directed by Myesha-Tiara McGarner

This testimony, in the form of a monologue, chronicles the experience of a new Chicago resident as they try to find peace and community in their Uptown apartment.

In the Air Tonight By Andrew Rios, directed by Sean Patrick Leonard

A comedy via spoken word testimony of a young boy's encounter with the police after a misunderstanding with a toy gun in his mom's new apartment.

Example Setters Youth Poetry Written and directed by Sir Taylor

Sir Taylor, the director, performer (Jesse White Tumblers, US Men Gymnastics Team, The Lion King on Broadway, Golden Gloves boxer) and teacher who grew up in Cabrini Green leads a ensemble of urban teens all focused on setting the example for the city of Chicago.

Tearz By the Wu Tang Clan, directed and adapted for the stage by Anthony Moseley

Anthony Moseley adapts the Wu Tang Clan’s song Tearz from their 1993 debut album to the stage sharing the tales of caution about street violence and safe sex featuring Chicago artists The Boy Illinois and Phenom.



Quiet By Noelle T. Hedges-Goettl, directed by Rose Shapiro

This spoken word piece shows how a transgender woman escapes the volume of her thoughts and the cruelty of societal judgment by immersing herself in the music from her headphones.

Manspread Madness By Donna Latham, directed by Lee Hannah Conrads

Comic exploration of peace as women on the subway band together and battle the oppression of a manspreader.

#unapologeticallyblack By Bril Barrett and Star Dixon

Chicago tap dancer Bril Barrett choreographs this team of female dancers exploring tap-dance as an effective form of protest and a powerful catalyst for change.



Kelvyn Park, 4438 W. Wrightwood Ave.

Friday, September 14 at 6 p.m.

Saturday, September 15 ~ free Community Meal ~ at 11:30 a.m.

Pre-show Peace Panel and performance by Laura Biagi at 1 p.m.

Five Families By Loretta Firekeeper Hawkins

Hawkins’s spoken word piece, a tribute to black men shot by police, promotes peace and understanding among different groups and concludes that humans are more alike than they are different.

Erased By the Collaboraction Peacemakers, directed by Luis Crespo

Race and equality in Chicago are explored in this short piece written, developed and performed by the Collaboraction Teen Ensemble.

Oak & Pallets By Nancy García Loza, directed by Ana Velazquez

García Loza often draws from personal experiences that fluctuate between lived trauma and comedic coping. Her newest theatrical story depicts the citizenship process for her Mexican immigrant family, recalling a key moment of connection between a daughter and her father.

Reflections, Thoughts and Reminders Written and co-devised by Avi Roque and Mia Vivens

In this visceral devised piece, Roque contemplates the idea of peace and how to achieve it while examining identity, gender and race in a very binary Chicago.

Heal CTA By Sophia Pietrkowski and Elenna Sindler

An ethnographic exploration of how public space is navigated by survivors of sexual trauma. Through the depiction of one woman’s commute on the CTA, this piece aims to show how communal respect and understanding are essential to healing.

Hope is My Homie By Amy L. Williams, directed by Juan Castaneda

A theater piece about the realities of incarceration that highlights what people don’t know about “the visits” – the first hug, the depression, haircuts and fresh uniforms – and the challenges of returning back to society.

Sandusky By Dani Mauleon, directed by Esteban Arévalo

Bare and straightforward, this devised theater piece about an undocumented student’s journey home is a call to come together in love and rally against hate.

Working By Chicago Worker Collaborative’s Workers Theatre, directed by Jasmin Cardenas

Dividing black and brown workers strategically allows sky rocketing profits for corporations and temp agencies. Chicago Worker Collaborative’s Workers’ Theatre Collective fights for workers’ rights by revealing the real struggles – exploitation, racial discrimination, poverty, gender violence and more – facing temporary workers in the U.S.


Hamilton Park, 513 W. 72nd St.

Friday, September 21 at 6 p.m.

Saturday, September 22 - free Community Meal at 11:30 a.m.

Pre-show Peace Panel and performance by

Stanford Bailey and Step Alive  at 1 p.m.


Conflict Peacemakers Ensemble

The Boys in the Hoods By Frederick Alphonso, directed by Cordaro Johnson

Alphonso uses theater to reflect the recent influx of drug use in the youth in Englewood, show awareness to the gentrification in the neighborhood and promote the need for positive change.

Thursday night Choreographed by Yariana Baralt Torres and Maria Blanco

Dance is matched with feminism to explore the experience of being a woman, with Torres and Blanco aiming to empower women and inspire unity among them.

Walkout By Nathaniel Swift

This devised piece explores the perspectives and opinions of students who chose to protest gun violence by walking out.

Enough is Enough By Janice Fields

Janice Fields presents a spoken word piece that aims to illuminate minds, confront societal issues and encourage change.

Wind for a Sail By Katie Angelica Abascal, directed by Abbey Bobzin

In this minimalist satirical play, six privileged extraterrestrials board a spaceship to escape interstellar war, and share their thoughts on traveling with aliens from a different planet and their options for dinner.

Head to the Sky By Jason Makia Robinson, directed by Madi Delk

This musical piece aims to inspire people to take action and create a better future for those living in Chicago.

Thursday night Choreographed by Yariana Baralt Torres and Maria Blanco

Dance is matched with feminism to explore the experience of being a woman, with Torres and Blanco aiming to empower women and inspire unity among them.

Ruh/Ruach By Shawn Lent

This dance and music collaboration is part of a social intervention addressing insularity and division in Northwest Chicago. The piece aims to celebrate the resiliency and mobility of the human spirit and features apprentice refugee performers. Temporarily, the space is made radically inclusive for religiously conservative performers and audiences.

School Daze By Emcee Skool, led by PHENOM of POETREE CHICAGO

The vision of Emcee Skool is to develop young artists into community organizers and youth ambassadors for peace under the mentorship of Teh’ray Hale aka PHENOM.


Photos courtesy of Collaboraction


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