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Drama troupes to partner on two plays, workshop

Two cutting-edge theater companies – one in Louisville, one in Chicago – will collaborate this coming year to bring plays with Jewish elements to the Derby City.
They also are offering a series of workshops to groom artists, including theater artists.
Louisville-based Bunbury Theatre and the ShPIeL Performing Identity of Chicago, who worked together earlier this year on the production of Red, will continue their collaboration on Sunday, July 15. The all-day workshop is designed to “deepen” local theatre, engage the community, while helping local artists create, using their own unique identities.
The workshop runs from 9-5 at the Henry Clay Theatre, downtown. Cost to register is $50.
David Chack, artistic director of the ShPIeL and professor of dramatic arts at The Theatre School at DePaul University, and Juergen K. Tossmann, producing artistic director of the Bunbury, expect to hold other workshops this coming season.
“We’re giving you the space and the programming to find that [identity],” Chack said.
Tossmann said the participants may not leave the workshop with fully developed ideas for projects, but they might discover a “seed of an idea” that can awaken a memory or inspiration from the artist’s past. From there, ideas for projects will come.
Chack and Tossmann also announced that their companies will collaborate this season on two productions with distinct Jewish threads:
• The Jewish Joke, which runs from October 4 to 22, is described as a “drama about comedy.” The story deals with the Hollywood blacklisting of the 1950s, in which many Jewish artists were caught up.
• The Green Book, which runs from February 8 to 24, 2019, is based on a book of the same title developed by a New York mailman, Victor Hugo Green, which became an indispensable guidebook for African-American travelors through the Jim Crow South. In the play, a Holocaust survivor, who was liberated from Buchenwald, uses the book to meet up with an African-American G.I. who liberated him.
Both productions, which were previously staged by the ShPIeL and Pegasus theaters in Chicago, are being made possible here by the Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence and the New World Foundation.

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