SCRATCH NIGHT by Local Artists (Chicago, USA)
Scratch Night, co-produced by Physical Theater Festival and Links Hall, is a quarterly showcase that features new contemporary, visual, and physical theater by Chicago artists. Each show brings together different theater makers to present short previews that require an audience to further their development. Six separate pieces are curated for each show, each act lasting 10-15 minutes. The show’s mission is to foster growth of these new theater works, expose diverse forms of theater to Chicago audiences, and bring together different communities of Chicago artists for conversation and collaborations.
Upcoming Scratch Night Line-Up:
"Joie de Vivre" by Ray Gunn
"Lori and the Lovelies" by Fay Florence-Steddum
"The Squid Show" by Connor Konz
"Ella and Alle Alone" by Danielle Levsky (aka Ella the Clown)
"Cloudburst" by Anthony Sims
"The Outlaws of Bremen" by Grimm Without Grimm
Co-curated and hosted by Brittany Price Anderson and Scott Ray Merchant
Joie de Vivre by Ray Gunn
Ray Gunn is one-third of the award-winning Stage Door Johnnies and the reigning 2013 King of Burlesque. He's been headlining and touring internationally in the burlesque arena for 10 years and dancing professionally for 20 years thoughout Chicago and other major cities in the United States. In addition to dancing professionally himself, Ray has 14 years of experience as an artistic director and choreographer for professional dance companies. In 2006 was awarded “Choreographer of the year” by the Black Theatre Alliance and is the creator and Artistic Director of The Vertical Side Show
Lori and the Lovelies by Fay Florence-Steddum
Fay Florence-Steddum is an queer artist, poet, and youth educator from Texas. As an independent creator, Fay work often centers around absurdist characters & exploration of physical extremes to explore themes of social justice and inclusion. Her Bouffon-Drag Character QUEEF was last seen at the Free Philly Fringe in Queef: An Open Letter to MaDoNnA in Fall 2019. The work tonight is a part a digital QUEEF series still in development and Fay is looking for Femme and Queer Collaborators. Follow Fay on Instagram at bfsteddum or check our their website www.holyvessel. fun to learn more about projects and potential partnership.
The Squid Show by Connor Konz
Connor Konz is an actor, cosplayer, and drag performer based in Chicago. He can usually be seen performing online or in the city dressed as some sort of troll. He loves vampires, furbies, and anything free. The piece featured in Scratch Night is an excerpt from a larger solo show about squid, space, and adaptive identity, with the working title “Squid Show”. Special thanks to Hilary Williams helping dramaturg this work into existence! Follow Connor on Instagram for show updates and other stupid content @ConnorKonz.
Elle and Alle Alone by Danielle Levsky (aka Ella the Clown)
Danielle Levsky (she/her) is a Post-Soviet Jewish clown. During quarantine, she has been exploring the capabilities, limitations, and possibilities of the live-streamed performance, the camera, and the Zoom room through her clown personas. Based in Chicago, she performs in physical theatre-oriented productions and writes nonfiction and poetry for various publications. When not clowning or scribbling, she enjoys flamenco dance, tea tasting, forest bathing, yoga, French language, and Soviet culture. Learn more about her at criticturnedclown.com.
In this piece that she is developing, Ella the Clown is in quarantine, in isolation, without an audience or a friend, and well... she's been performing with herself. Audiences tune into an unbeknownst Ella, sparking a conversation with her other self, Alle. Once Ella and Alle discover the camera on the computer and the live-streamed performance, they try to one-up each other, until Ella suggests they sing a song together...
Cloudburst by Anthony Sims
Anthony Sims is a Chicago interdisciplinary time-based performance artist/ Theatre Maker whose mission is to embody black and queer experiences through performance. Being a queer man of color coming from the south, he looks for ways of pushing against existing norms of art to convey honesty through incongruity. He currently holds a BFA in Musical Theatre and recently attended The Theatre School at DePaul University in the MFA in Acting program. Realizing his passion for Contemporary Performance Practices, he then transferred to the School of the Art Institute for his MFA in Performance. His work has been seen at Links Hall, No Nation Art Lab, Dfbrl8r Performance Art Gallery, The Peace Studio, and several other locations.
Cloudburst is a performance piece that explores the identity of The Black Body through windows/frames of a systematic society. The Black Body is not the physical body of a black individual, but an imaginative body that is used as a classification of all black individuals. "The Black Body, whether on the auction block, the American plantation, hanged from a light pole as part of a lynching ritual, attacked by police dogs within the Civil Rights era, or staged as a "criminal body" by contemporary law enforcement and judicial systems is a body that has been forced into the public spotlight and given compulsory visibility. It has been made to be given to be seen."- Harvey Young.
The piece explores The Black Body through a Phenomenological approach, not by creating a universal story through movement, but exploring one's own identity in a society that only sees skin color.
The Outlaws of Bremen by Grimm Without Grimm
Grimm Without Grimm originated as a merger between members of the sketch comedy ensemble Uploose Odditorium and the neo-Commedia collective The Conspirators to explore social justice issues and literary themes through comedy. Coming together just as coronavirus hit society, we developed our play entirely through digital collaboration.
Our piece is an excerpt from THE OUTLAWS OF BREMEN, a reimagining of the Grimm fairy tale. A group of farm animals leave their home for greener pastures after realizing what will become of them once they outlive their usefulness. Meanwhile, out in the woods, a wolfpack claims an abandoned shack as their new home, sheltering from ever-encroaching human persecutors. The farm animals soon need shelter desperately, and upon discovering the same shack, decide to take it for themselves. Things come to a head as both groups struggle to claim the shack: Is one group more deserving? Or more alike than they think?
- @Home Ticket$3$30$0