PIVOT ARTS FESTIVAL Preview -May 22–June 9

Pivot Arts, which celebrates innovative, multidisciplinary performance, presents its seventh annual Pivot Arts Festival, including five world premieres showcasing theatre, dance, music, storytelling, poetry and more.

May 22, 6 p.m.

A Festival Preview Party fundraiser

welcomes Festival artists and Pivot Arts board members and supporters for Italian cuisine, drinks and entertainment, supporting the Festival through tickets and a silent auction. The party also features the first-ever Pivot Arts Awards: the Award for Artistic Contribution, to playwright and artistic associate Isaac Gomez, and the Award for Community Contribution, to Francesca’s Bryn Mawr, which has supported Pivot Arts with significant in-kind contributions since 2014.

Francesca’s Bryn Mawr, 1039 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue

May 31, 7:30 p.m.

Chicago Fringe Opera and BraveSoul Movement present The Rosina Project

A contemporary adaptation of Rossini’s opera The Barber of Seville that mixes hip-hop MCs, opera singers and street-dance artists with a live DJ and beatboxer to perform an original story of female empowerment and interracial friendship as an immersive house party. Originally developed in the 2018 Pivot Arts Incubator Program at Loyola University.

Alternatives, 4730 N. Sheridan Road.

June 1, 11 a.m.

Art Union Humanscape presents “To the Shore: ETHOS Episode I” by Ayako Kato

This meditative performance combines dance, movement and music to illuminate the connection between everyday human gesture and wisdom from the past. Part one of a three-part project, ETHOS reflects upon how contemporary humans have evolved both spiritually and physically from ancient times.

Colvin House/Creative Co-Working, 5940 N. Sheridan Road, culminating at Thorndale Beach.

June 1, 8 p.m.

Chicago Fringe Opera and BraveSoul Movement present The Rosina Project

A contemporary adaptation of Rossini’s opera The Barber of Seville that mixes hip-hop MCs, opera singers and street-dance artists with a live DJ and beatboxer to perform an original story of female empowerment and interracial friendship as an immersive house party. Originally developed in the 2018 Pivot Arts Incubator Program at Loyola University.

Alternatives, 4730 N. Sheridan Road.

June 2, 1 p.m.

Art Union Humanscape presents “To the Shore: ETHOS Episode I” by Ayako Kato

This meditative performance combines dance, movement and music to illuminate the connection between everyday human gesture and wisdom from the past. Part one of a three-part project, ETHOS reflects upon how contemporary humans have evolved both spiritually and physically from ancient times.

Colvin House/Creative Co-Working, 5940 N. Sheridan Road, culminating at Thorndale Beach.

June 2, 7:30 p.m.

Chicago Fringe Opera and BraveSoul Movement present The Rosina Project

A contemporary adaptation of Rossini’s opera The Barber of Seville that mixes hip-hop MCs, opera singers and street-dance artists with a live DJ and beatboxer to perform an original story of female empowerment and interracial friendship as an immersive house party. Originally developed in the 2018 Pivot Arts Incubator Program at Loyola University.

Alternatives, 4730 N. Sheridan Road.

June 6, 7 p.m.

Search Party by Erin Kilmurray

This live dance work by Kilmurray, creator of The Fly Honey Show, exists somewhere between a nightclub and a sports arena. Featuring a group of women, this performance relentlessly challenges and reconstructs the boundaries we face during this charged political moment by investigating agency, freedom and societal expectations.

Edge Off Broadway, 1133 W. Catalpa Avenue

June 6, 8:30 p.m.

Brittany Harlin presents Don’t Forget Your Mother:

Harlin’s choreographic memoir is dedicated to her mothers here on Earth and her ancestors beyond. Using storytelling, poetry, song and dance, accompanied by a live band, the performance by four dancers and four musicians connects Harlin’s personal experience with trauma to pieces of African Diasporic culture, granting herself the heritage that threatens to be erased over time.

Edge Theater, 5451 N. Broadway

June 7, 7 p.m.

TRIA Theatre presents Gilgamesh and Enkidu by Ahmed Moneka (U.S. debut), Jesse LaVercombe and Seth Bockley

A collaboration between Toronto-based musician/actor Ahmed Moneka, an internationally acclaimed artist from Canada, where he sought political asylum, and actor/writer Jesse LaVercombe with Chicago playwright and director Seth Bockley. This two-man epic reanimates the world’s oldest written narrative with maqam-style Iraqi music and 21st century biography, highlighting Moneka’s own exile from Baghdad. Gilgamesh and Enkidu fuses highly physical theatre, soul-filled musical expression, ancient text and intimate storytelling, illuminating the tale’s eternal mysteries of mortality and the universal balm of friendship.

Edge Off Broadway, 1133 W. Catalpa

June 7, 9 p.m.

Girasol: An Evening of Latinx Performances curated and hosted by Isaac Gomez and Nancy Garcia Loza:

Girasol is a 90-minute cabaret-style event featuring comedy, poetry, music and more in celebration of the robust and pivotal work of Latinx artists in Chicago. The lineup to date includes comedian Melissa DuPrey; poets Davon Clark, Keren Diaz de Leon and José Olivarez; and storytellers Jasmin Cardenas, Wendy Mateo and Karari Olvera, with musicians Mariachi Sirenas performing songs between sets.

Edge Theater, 5451 N. Broadway

June 8, 3 p.m.

TRIA Theatre presents Gilgamesh and Enkidu by Ahmed Moneka (U.S. debut), Jesse LaVercombe and Seth Bockley

A collaboration between Toronto-based musician/actor Ahmed Moneka, an internationally acclaimed artist from Canada, where he sought political asylum, and actor/writer Jesse LaVercombe with Chicago playwright and director Seth Bockley. This two-man epic reanimates the world’s oldest written narrative with maqam-style Iraqi music and 21st century biography, highlighting Moneka’s own exile from Baghdad. Gilgamesh and Enkidu fuses highly physical theatre, soul-filled musical expression, ancient text and intimate storytelling, illuminating the tale’s eternal mysteries of mortality and the universal balm of friendship.

Edge Off Broadway, 1133 W. Catalpa

June 8, 8 p.m.

Brittany Harlin presents Don’t Forget Your Mother:

Harlin’s choreographic memoir is dedicated to her mothers here on Earth and her ancestors beyond. Using storytelling, poetry, song and dance, accompanied by a live band, the performance by four dancers and four musicians connects Harlin’s personal experience with trauma to pieces of African Diasporic culture, granting herself the heritage that threatens to be erased over time.

Edge Theater, 5451 N. Broadway

June 8, 9:30 p.m.

Search Party by Erin Kilmurray

This live dance work by Kilmurray, creator of The Fly Honey Show, exists somewhere between a nightclub and a sports arena. Featuring a group of women, this performance relentlessly challenges and reconstructs the boundaries we face during this charged political moment by investigating agency, freedom and societal expectations.

Edge Off Broadway, 1133 W. Catalpa Avenue

June 9, 11 a.m.

In a special event for families, Storytown Improv presents Ice Cream and Improv! (Well, Custard...) featuring an interactive kids’ improv show plus custard and sweets for purchase.

Lickity Split Custard & Sweet Shop, 6056 N. Broadway

June 9, 6 p.m.

TRIA Theatre presents Gilgamesh and Enkidu by Ahmed Moneka (U.S. debut), Jesse LaVercombe and Seth Bockley

A collaboration between Toronto-based musician/actor Ahmed Moneka, an internationally acclaimed artist from Canada, where he sought political asylum, and actor/writer Jesse LaVercombe with Chicago playwright and director Seth Bockley. This two-man epic reanimates the world’s oldest written narrative with maqam-style Iraqi music and 21st century biography, highlighting Moneka’s own exile from Baghdad. Gilgamesh and Enkidu fuses highly physical theatre, soul-filled musical expression, ancient text and intimate storytelling, illuminating the tale’s eternal mysteries of mortality and the universal balm of friendship.

Edge Off Broadway, 1133 W. Catalpa

June 9, 8 p.m.

Search Party by Erin Kilmurray

This live dance work by Kilmurray, creator of The Fly Honey Show, exists somewhere between a nightclub and a sports arena. Featuring a group of women, this performance relentlessly challenges and reconstructs the boundaries we face during this charged political moment by investigating agency, freedom and societal expectations.

Edge Off Broadway, 1133 W. Catalpa Avenue

The Performing Arts Incubator Program, a partnership between Pivot Arts and Loyola University Chicago’s Department of Fine and Performing Arts now in its seventh year, awards artists the opportunity to develop new, multidisciplinary works during a three-week period at Loyola. Artists receive a stipend, mentoring and, for the second consecutive year, a showing of excerpts from their works-in-progress during the Festival. A post-performance discussion with the artists follows each showing. This year’s showings include:

June 5 at 7:30 p.m.

Jenni Lamb and Ethan Parcell

Lamb’s play Jumble of Bones uses movement and puppetry to tell the story of a friendship between a therapist-in-training and her client, exploring the ways we are all bound together on this planet. Parcell’s A Pleasant Come-Across, or A Dozen-or-so New Rags is a collection of new revisionist ragtime compositions, performed by an instrumental ensemble with a cartoonish commitment to silent-film slapstick and circus antics.

Loyola University Chicago’s Mundelein Center for the Arts, 1020 W. Sheridan Road

June 9, 3 p.m.

Po’Chop/Jenn Freeman and Courtney Mackedanz

Po’Chop/Freeman’s The People’s Church of the Ghetto is a multidisciplinary (dance, poetry and music) project that creates spaces to learn, edify and worship the legacies of black women. Clusterfuq, a new performance art piece by choreographer Mackedanz, portrays a group of friends who discover they change one another’s blood types as they disclose their personal traumas.

Edge Off Broadway, 1133 W. Catalpa Avenue

Ticket prices vary and are available at the Pivot Arts Festival website.

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