Public Access Theatre is sponsored by members of The Forty 4, Oracle’s monthly sponsorship program.
These individuals have pledged their support to make art available to everyone. Major donors include: the Law Offices of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard, The Driehaus Foundation, The MacArthur Foundation, Million Dollar Round Table Foundation, Trust for Mutual Understanding, and Starbucks.
Admission is free to all of the performances and events.
Season 3 of Public Access Theatre
In 2013, Oracle will produce 3 mainstage theatre pieces, 3 touring performances of The Radio Movement for senior living communities and homeless shelters, 4 B*Sides productions in collaboration with various artistic collectives, 2 short films, and several film festivals and filmmaker showcases.
Under the Artistic Direction of Max Truax, Oracle’s 2013 mainstage season consists of three famous plays written to spark social change in their time. Public Access Theatre provides audiences with a different way to participate in the arts. Truax and company want to produce work that pushes this participation further. The 2013 lineup features dissention through art. Through Oracle’s unique style, each play will focus on how art is used to magnify a particular social or political situation, and how playwrights and performers engage audiences to mobilize reform. This season, Oracle will have a dialogue with artists and audiences that asks “How do we use art to make society better?”
ACCIDENTAL DEATH OF AN ANARCHIST
by Dario Fo
translated by Laskin & Aquilante
directed by Ben Fuchsen
January 19 – February 23, 2013
Oracle opens the season with ACCIDENTAL DEATH OF AN ANARCHIST by Dario Fo, directed by Executive Producer Ben Fuchsen. When this satirical farce premiered in Italy in 1970, the Nobel Prize winning playwright did not expect it to be so popular. Turns out everyone loved it and laughed their asses off. Before long, Fo and his play turned a real-life scandal into an infamous piece of agitprop art. And its hilarious potency keeps ANARCHIST popular to this day. After the 1969 bombing of the Piazza Fontana building in Milan, police arrested a known anarchist in suspicion of this terrorist activity. During his interrogation, the anarchist fell to his death from a 4th story window. Fo’s play picks up after these events when a character called The Maniac invades the police station to catch these corrupt cops in a lie. Was the death “accidental” or was the poor lad defenestrated? The Maniac plays a crazy cat-and-mouse game, and the cops bumble to keep up. Oracle will explore how this play works as a piece of agitprop art – complete with slapstick, choral explosions of “The Internationale”, and a little dash of audience participation.
by Bertolt Brecht
music composed by Jonathan Guillen
directed by Max Truax
April 20 – May 25, 2013
In April, Artistic Director Max Truax directs THE MOTHER by Bertolt Brecht. He is joined by Jonathan Guillen, who will compose original music using the lyrics by Brecht. From the team that brought you Trap Door’s smash hit HAMLETMACHINE, Truax and Guillen join forces again to stage Oracle’s first musical. In Tsarist Russia, a mother’s concern over her son’s subversive political activities entangles her in a growing labor movement. THE MOTHER follows the title character’s transformation from illiterate peasant to revolutionary leader. In the fading light of the Occupy movement, Brecht’s Lehrstucke shows how social reform is born from unity, and how a mother and son can be bound together through space and time by total devotion to a common cause. Oracle’s production will examine the true nature of sacrifice in bringing about social change. Truax’s immersive staging will place the audience at the feet of revolution.
WAITING FOR LEFTY
by Clifford Odets
directed by Matt Foss
June 29 – August 3, 2013
To close the mainstage season, Matt Foss makes his Chicago directing debut with WAITING FOR LEFTY by Clifford Odets. This famous American play was originally produced by the Group Theatre in 1935, when it “broke the fourth wall” by planting actors in the audience to incite the spectators to action. Written as a series of vignettes that spotlight characters trying to make their way in a torrid economy, the play is centered on a group of taxi drivers fighting both their Union leadership and their corporate bosses for better wages. In its time, LEFTY showed the little guys triumphing over corruption and greed. In 2013, Oracle will explore parallels between the current generation and the “the Greatest Generation” in the play – who’s debts are being paid off in the 21st century? Rather than recreate the tone and tenor of the Group Theatre’s production, Foss will explore the fragmented structure of Odet’s text in hopes of clarifying the nature of America’s current mess. It will be an avant-garde portrait of a country divided, and the people who struggle to see the future more clearly.
More Programs in 2013
In 2013, Oracle Film will continue expanding its programming. Currently on slate is a short film written by award winning writer/director Dusty Bias (Sundance selection “Prairie Love”). HOLE IN THE WALL is directed by Artistic Director Jeremy Clark, and features Company Member Stephanie Polt. Shooting begins later this Fall. Oracle Film will also host several filmmaker showcases as part of its ongoing Aperture Series. The community will also enjoy free screenings of films during several film festivals to be hosted by Oracle.
The Radio Movement will produce 3 touring performances of episodes from famous old-time radio shows. As part of Oracle’s outreach initiative, these performances will tour senior living communities, homeless shelters, and there are plans to bring it to Chicago’s Jesse Brown VA Medical Center. In the Fall of 2013, the company plans to put all 3 of the shows on Oracle’s mainstage for another installment of the popular RADIO GOGGLES series. The Radio Movement is made possible by a grant from Million Dollar Round Table Foundation.
Oracle B*Sides will continue offering other companies and artist collectives the opportunity to produce their work in Public Access Theatre. Coming up in October 2012, The Alluvium Group presents a world premiere musical HAPPINESS. Oracle is accepting submissions – more information is available on publicaccesstheatre.org.