Music | Stage & Screen

The Chicago Sound

“Midway Documentary” aims to showcase the forgotten history of Chicago hip-hop

Photos Courtesy of Two Seven Eight Media

The creators of Midway Documentary, Ryan Brockmeier and Chad Sorenson, believe that behind the success of big names in Chicago hip-hop are many unheard stories of artists who built the genre.

Stage & Screen


Oscar Brown Jr.’s “In De’ Beginnin’” offers humor and healing

Oscar Brown, Jr. (Courtesy of eta Creative Arts Foundation)

The tree set in the middle of the eta stage is a riot of color. Its trunk, painted with streaks of neon, is strewn with vines and stamped with a variety of West African adinkra icons. Hanging from a branch is a lone, glittering red ornament—the apple in this retelling of the biblical origin story, and a nod to Christmas and the tradition of nativity plays, to which In De’ Beginnin’ pays slight homage with the timing of its current run. The prominent and idiosyncratic set piece, however, is the first clue that this retelling of the origin story will be anything but by The Book.

Stage & Screen

Drum On, Drummers

A film follows the Bucket Boys abroad

Courtesy of Siskel Film Center

Chicago’s so small,” marvels fifteen-year-old Dontay, poring over a world map with Damonte, Demetrius (Dre), and D’Quan. “I don’t see my street.” So begins a distinctly large journey: four teenage bucket drummers from Englewood have left the South Side, boarded their first airplane, and emerged among the driving drumbeats and crowded beaches outside Dakar, Senegal.

Greater Grand Crossing | Stage & Screen

New, Like It Used To Be

“The Colored Museum” and the Future of eta Creative Arts Foundation

Courtesy of Pulse Theater Company

If you ask Kemati Porter, the executive director of eta Creative Arts Foundation, about the future of her theater, she will first tell you about its past. It’s the only answer that makes sense. How could anyone understand what eta needs to be right now if they don’t know that Maya Angelou used to line-dance in its back room?

South Shore | Stage & Screen

Reinventing Ghosts

Erica Mott pays homage to the men who built Chicago

Courtesy of Erica Mott

A quartet of male performers walks solemnly onto dirt and rock, holding steel sheets above their heads. An aerial view of a flock of birds flying over the Calumet industrial corridor is projected onto two jagged concrete pillars with a break of open space at its center. The performers break away from formation and scrape the metal sheets in feverish circular motions, creating clouds of dust. Already the performers embody the spirit of steel mill workers and mimic the machines surrounding them.

Stage & Screen

Boxing as Memory

'The Man in the Ring' evokes the psychic pain of the physical realm

Courtesy of Court Theatre

In 1962, television viewers across the nation watched, mouths agape, as boxer Emile Griffith delivered blow after blow to the head of his opponent Benny Paret. The last blows ultimately proved fatal; Paret died after a ten-day coma. It was an event so shocking that the sport of boxing was barred from free television until the 1970s.

Stage & Screen

Accessing Home

The Chicago Home Theater Festival offers a remarkably intimate experience

Andrea Giugni

“CHTF advertises an entirely new dimension of accessibility.”