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Scratch Night 
February 17, 2022
Newport Theater

The Assimilation Project

by Anthony Hudson

The Assimilation Project began pre-pandemic as an immersive, sensorial piece of theatre and now is examining its existence in this new world. Through this work, Anthony addresses themes of queer identity, Southern culture, religion, masculinity and femininity, fluidity, food, and lineage with a binding knit of humor. In the moments of this one-man piece, a bearded grandma takes the witness by the hand and leads him to the wild. This work peels back the layers of taboo to assimilate A Truth.

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The First Day

by Vanessa Valliere

The First Day is the incredibly surprising story of what should have been a very ordinary first day at a new job. Featuring a bit of puppetry, a little dance and four old school landline telephones.

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The Blump

by Connor Konz

The Blump is a short performance piece about identity, existence, and the luxury of putting in a custom pool. 

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Above the Water

by Chih-Jou "Roro" Cheng

Above the Water is a deep dive into the complex emotional landscape of grief. At what point does loss cause loneliness so vast that you drown in an ocean of despair? When you are flooded with feelings you can no longer bear, is it easier to simply numb the pain...

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by Cristal Sabbagh, Erin Peisert


Cristal Sabbagh and Erin Peisert are interdisciplinary and performance artists. Their movement practice is influenced by Butoh, performance art, and improvisation. For this work in progress, Interpellation, they will explore inequities, opposing social states, and an interdependent relationship.



by Chi-Clowns: Shay Turnage, Carmen Kingsley and Agnotti

Clownaborator collaborator: Char Lee Luckett

3 clowns + 1 obstacle = Mild anxiety


Artist Bios

Anthony Hudson is an actor and comedian with deep roots in Florida but global branches. He comes to Chicago by way of Berlin where he studied movement and performance at  Anthony makes a damn good biscuit.

Connor Konz is an interdisciplinary artist working in Chicago. He can frequently be seen on stages around the city performing as various fictional characters and melancholy objects. He likes popcorn, garage sales, and the infinite possibilities of hot glue. IG: ConnorKonz

Cristal Sabbagh’s performance practice, rooted in improvisation and Butoh, walks a line between the everyday, the divine, the personal, and the political. In embodying in her art transformational memories while simultaneously celebrating pop culture and the experimental, she challenges power structures and awakens viewers’ senses. Working both in a solo capacity and with collaborators, Sabbagh is equally attuned to individual perspectives and collective structures. In various configurations, these collaborators have regularly engaged in improvised performances, opening up new avenues for Sabbagh’s material and conceptual exploration. 


Erin Peisert is an interdisciplinary artist working in performance, video, installation, and sound. Her work has been shown at Duo Museum of Modern Art, Power Station of Art, and Ying Art Center, Shanghai. She utilizes time, body, and place to consider conscious awareness and the mystery of Being. 

Tom Borax is a musician, multi-media artist and Baltimore native.  His work centers on complex systems, and the absurdities and complexities of relying on technology.  He is a founder of the High Zero Festival, a 24 year old international festival highlighting musical improvisation and experimentation.

Vanessa Valliere creates clown inspired solo work that has been featured across the country. She has toured with Manual Cinema and Theater Unspeakable and for six years she was a performer and deviser with Tour De Fat. During lockdown she made a puppet film funded by Heather Henson's Handmade Puppet Dreams and for the last fourteen years she has been a nerd-cheerleader for the 30-piece circus punk marching band, Mucca Pazza. 

Chih-Jou Cheng is a physical theatre artist, director, and puppeteer from Taiwan. The projects she’s conceived include, "Hold your hand," "Above the Water," and "Arriving at Dawn." Please check out her work at Chih-Jou will be collaborating with Harmony Zheng, who is an incredible actress and voiceover artist working in both Los Angeles and Chicago.

The Chi Clowns envisions a world where the complexity of the human experience is honored through laughter, tears, joy and grace. The Chi Clowns found each other while frolicing the streets of Chi-town. They like melted ice cream, consensual hugs, floating feathers, Queen Bey, and they dislike the patriarchy, soggy carbs, and haters.

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