Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre, Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre, and The Musical Offering have joined forces to create the Evanston Performing Arts Collective, a consortium with the mission of “Celebrating Life, Community and the Arts.”
The collective’s members will collaborate on five multi-disciplinary performing art installations combining the resources of each company: acting, music, dance, puppetry, and circus arts. This artistic partnership project will include a diverse ensemble of local actors, singers, dancers, musicians, and multidisciplinary artists, both amateur and professional, who will perform in EPAC installations.
Each installation will have its own unique performance style and artistic bent, and the Collective hopes to eventually include all Evanston performing arts organizations into the Evanston Performing Arts Collective.
Fleetwood-Jourdain Producing Artistic Director Tim Rhoze says, “We want to serve the Evanston community by providing to all, at no charge, art that will be inspiring and healing during these challenging times.”
The first four installations will be recorded for streaming online during the winter and spring. The series will conclude with a grand live outdoor performance and celebration for the Evanston community in the summer of 2021.
A press release about the collective said, “There will be no charge for the virtual performances. However, prior to and during the broadcast, donations will be requested to cover cost of music rights and professional artists’ honorariums. Each partnering organization is also providing and donating significant resources to help make this dream of community healing and celebration through the performing arts a reality.”
The Collective’s initial installation, to launch on Jan. 1, will be a multi-disciplinary performance of the song “The New World,” from the theatrical song cycle “Songs for a New World” by Tony award-winning composer Jason Robert Brown.
Theo Ubique Resident Music Director Jeremy Ramey will be music director and accompanist for a cast of professionals and students from Evanston Township High School. Professional singers Harmony France, Kyrie Anderson, Averis I. Anderson, and Matthew Hunter will be backed up by Evanston Township High School students Rowan Leonard, Jacob Frischer, Alethea Koconis, and Howard Godfrey. Kara Roseborough will be the featured professional choreographer/dancer and Claire Rowan will be ASL interpreter.
Additional installations are planned to launch on March 1, May 1, and July 1. The Live Outdoor Performance will be given in August 2021. More information and links to the performance at the websites of the collective members’ websites (www.theo-u.org, www.fjtheatre.com, https://www.themusicaloffering.org/)
ABOUT THE MEMBER ORGANIZATIONS
Founded in 1979, Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre has been thrilling audiences with over three decades of unique, inspirational, and invigorating African American and African Diaspora-centered storytelling. From original plays to the best of Broadway, Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre remained committed to supplying the very best in theatre. “Umoja!! …Working Together in Unity” is the foundation from which FJT began and continues to thrive!
The Musical Offering
The Musical Offering is an educational institution committed to the growth and development of the individual and community through music instruction and performance. It is our goal to provide a supportive and nurturing environment in which students, teachers and all lovers of music can explore and deepen their relationship to music and self-expression. The Musical Offering also serves as a meeting place and forum for the musical community in Evanston and the surrounding area. The Musical Offering believes in the promotion of beauty, artistic freedom, and self-empowerment engendered by the shared musical experience.
Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre
Theo Ubique began producing in 1997, first at the Heartland Studio Theatre, and from 2004 to 2018 at the No Exit Café in Rogers Park, where it began focusing on musicals and revues, reigniting the cabaret theatre trend in Chicago. Since then, Theo Ubique has produced over 60 shows, and received nearly 60 Jeff awards and three After Dark awards. In the fall of 2018, the company moved to a new theatre at 721 Howard Street in Evanston. The Howard Street Theatre is a fully renovated and retrofitted storefront space that is owned by the City of Evanston and has been leased to Theo Ubique.