Adventure Stage Chicago once again shows there are heroes


Janice (Sara Cartwright) is surrounded by brothers Zeph (Matt Daniels) and Kegan (Al Evangelista)

Creating and telling heroic stories about young people is how Adventure Stage Chicago (ASC) follows the mission of the 125 year old Northwestern Settlement, 1400 W. Augusta. The professional ensemble's latest production, Sight Unseen, is yet another well created, produced and performed example of how well they fulfill their mission. 

This latest production is Chapter Two of the Prometheus Project. Titled Sight Unseen, it tells the background story of Chapter One, Spark, which was performed in 2014. Both were performed in the Vittum Theatre, 1012 N. Noble St.

Engaging the West Town youth and neighbors, The Prometheus Project, lead by playwright Tom Arvetis and director Rives Collins, used the Greek myths of Prometheus and Pandora as starting points for a series of story circles. 

What came out of those interactions were themes that focused on power, violence, sacrifice and hope. From there Spark was created using archetypes of the Hero’s Journey

In that production, ASC asked the audience to think critically about the responsibility we have to our neighbors and the courage it will take to move our communities toward a more imaginative, healthy and tolerant status quo. 

SPARK's heroine was Pandora, who lived in an underground community. She got in all kinds of trouble as she fought back against Amin, a tyrannical dictator. That story ended with her leading her friends up a ladder, climbing into the sunlight, where she would be reunited with her mother, Janice. 

In Sight Unseen, we meet the young Janice and learn the reasons why a brave community of people were underground in the first place. 

Collins explains it what the world looked like, "The super-rich live in a protected place called 'the Tower' while everyone else survives as well as they can in the tumble-down remnants of civilization now known as 'the Shambles.' It is hard to be a young person in this world--scavenging among the rubble, avoiding roving bands of trouble makers, finding shelter from the acid rain, and especially, keeping clear of the bounty hunters who would gladly turn you in for profit. To make matters worse, a virus is spreading that leaves its victims blind." 

The story filled with truths and it raises questions. ASC engaged the audience to talk about them. For example, what is it to be courageous? Is it possible for a blind person to see more clearly than those who are sighted? How do we cope with big changes in our lives? 

Once again ASC, well done! 

ASC will be in the Polish Triangle during the Polish Triangle Coalition's 4th summer of Tuesdays in the Triangle.

Photos courtesy of Johnny Knight 



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