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Little Carl

by Theater Y, Michael Montenegro & Marvin Tate (Chicago)

July 16 & 17  

60 min

This is the ensemble's fourth iteration of this play (Chicago International Puppet Festival 2024, Chicago Shakespeare Theater in May 2023, Firehouse Community Arts Center 2022).

In Little Carl, Theatre Y’s Youth Ensemble grapples with the difficult issue of gun violence by creating a dream play using puppets, masks, and poetry, making beautiful imagery as an antidote to despair. Members of Theatre Y’s youth program have steered this project, guided by an extraordinary set of tools and support from veteran masters of their craft including multidisciplinary artist and North Lawndale native Marvin Tate, puppetry artisan Michael Montenegro, and the Firehouse Community Arts Center. Youth from Chicago’s west side have created each aspect of the vision, while maintaining a critical distance from the work to protect them from re-traumatization or any feelings of exploitation. 

Theatre Y is a Chicago-based international incubator that creates connections between diverse artists seeking mutual growth through collaboration. ​​The company is in its 18th year of experimental productions, challenging international content, and employing a member-based FREE theater model, which helps it occupy a unique place in Chicago’s theater community. Theatre Y recently launched a new campus in North Lawndale as part of a revitalization concept that centers cooperative artistic residencies. At the helm of Theatre Y’s reinvention is the multidisciplinary artist, musician, and educator Marvin Tate. Originally from North Lawndale, Tate has brought his unique, futuristic genius to the direction of Theatre Y’s project, taking the lead on everything from the building’s aesthetic to Theatre Y’s programming. The company’s youth program encourages multidisciplinary, lateral thinking in young people and teaches the necessary hard and soft skills for successful careers in the arts and social justice fields.

For 25 years, Midwestern audiences have enjoyed Michael Montenegro’s solo performances, group projects, and puppetry design collaborations including Argonautica (Lookingglass Theatre), directed by Mary Zimmerman, The War With the Newts and The Long Christmas Ride Home (Next Theatre), and The Puppetmaster of Lodz (Writers’ Theatre), which won a Jeff Award for Puppet Design. He last performed in 2017 at the Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival, presenting his solo work Kick the Klown Presents a Konkatenation of Kafka.




Performances of 

Little Carl

are at Theater Wit 

1229 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL 60657 

Contact: (773) 975-8150

See Theater Wit's Health and Safety Guidelines

Script written by Michael Montenegro.

Prologue and epilogue written by Marvin Tate.

Block Club Chicago
Third Coast Review

Around The Town Chicago


Workshop Offering: 


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