Exploring Moby-Dick at the Logan Center

Blair Thomas & Co, Lookingglass Theatre, and The House Theatre of Chicago are featured in EXPLORING MOBY-DICK – a night of three different adaptations of Herman Melville’s novel, in various sites of performance within the new Logan Center for the Arts in Hyde Park, Chicago. The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place on Tuesday, September 18 at 6:30pm at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, 915 East 60th Street, Chicago. Audiences will move from space to space to experience the three adaptations, and are invited to join the artistic staff in the courtyard following the performance to discuss the work. Free advance tickets may be reserved at www.mobydickatlogan.eventbrite.com

These three companies are all sharing mid-process works that explore this seminal American narrative from richly different artistic perspectives. According to Chelsea Keenan of the House Theatre: “What’s so exciting for the audience is to see that process, to get in on something rare and fleeting. What frames the three works at this stage will be not a traditional collaboration, but the source material and the astonishingly disparate directions the three groups will take them — we’ll likely witness surprising overlaps.”

This event takes place as a part of the Summer Inc Residencies with Theater and Performance Studies at The University of Chicago. This project is supported by a grant from the Boeing Corporation.

Blair Thomas & Company is a national and international touring puppet theater company that was founded in 2002 by puppeteer and director/designer Blair Thomas.  They have made over a dozen original puppet theater pieces including: Cabaret of Desire, a staging of short works by Federico Garcia Lorca; The Ox-herder’s Tale an interpretive staging of the Buddhist parable of 10 painting of enlightenment; A Kite’s Tale a collection of piano pieces staged with silent narratives including Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition and Chopin’s Scherzo in b minor.   They have also toured with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.  They have made collaboration productions with other companies such as Pierrot Lunaire a staging of Arnold Schoenberg’s song cycle with the chamber music ensemble eighth blackbird; an original adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s The Selfish Giant and an adaptation of Brian Selznick’s The Houdini Box both with the Chicago Children’s Theatre.  Twice Blair Thomas & Company has received the international UNIMA awards for excellence in the art of puppetry.  Twice the company has performed at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, once during when Blair was the first artist chosen to fill the Jim Henson Artist-in-Residence position at the University of Maryland. www.blairthomas.org

Lookingglass Theatre Company, recipient of the 2011 Regional Theatre Tony Award, was founded in 1988 by eight Northwestern University students.  2012-2013 marks the company’s 25th anniversary season. Lookingglass is home to a multi-disciplined ensemble of artists who create story-centered theatrical work that is physical, aurally rich and visually metaphoric. Lookingglass has staged 58 world premieres at 23 venues across Chicago, and garnered 52 Joseph Jefferson Awards and Citations. Work premiered at Lookingglass has been produced in New York City, Los Angeles, Seattle, Berkeley, Philadelphia, Princeton, Hartford, Kansas City, Washington D.C., and St. Louis.  Lookingglass original scripts have been produced across the United States. The Lookingglass Theatre in Chicago’s landmark Water Tower Water Works opened in June 2003.  In addition to developing and presenting ensemble work, Lookingglass Education and Community programs encourage creativity, teamwork and confidence with thousands of community members each year. Lookingglass Theatre Company continues to expand its artistic, financial and institutional boundaries under the guidance of Artistic Director Andrew White, Executive Director Rachel Kraft, Producing Artistic Director Philip R. Smith, Artistic Director of New Work Heidi Stillman, a 22-member artistic ensemble, 15 artistic associates, 11 production affiliates, an administrative staff and a dedicated board of directors led by Chairman Richard Ditton of Incredible Technologies and President Joe Brady of Jones Lang LaSalle. www.lookingglasstheatre.org.

The House Theatre of Chicago is Chicago’s home for original works of physical and spectacle storytelling. Founded and led by Artistic Director Nathan Allen and driven by an interdisciplinary ensemble of Chicago’s next generation of great storytellers, The House aims to become a laboratory and platform for the evolution of the American theatre as an inclusive and popular artform. The House was founded in 2001 by a group of friends to explore connections between Community and Storytelling through a unique theatrical experience. In 2002 The House was hailed by the Chicago press as “The Next Big Thing.” In early 2007, following dozens of world premiere productions, and national attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, Variety, and American Theatre Magazine, The House achieved even greater success with “The Sparrow,” which Chicago Tribune theater critic Chris Jones called, “Among the very best original theater pieces I’ve ever seen.”  Since becoming eligible in 2004, The House has been nominated for 49 Joseph Jefferson Awards (18 wins) and became the first recipient of Broadway in Chicago’s Emerging Theater Award in 2007. Now celebrating its 10th year of original work, The House continues its mission to unite Chicago in the spirit of Community through amazing feats of Storytelling. www.thehousetheatre.com.