‘Dialog Across Borders’ at March 27 World Theatre Day

THE LEAGUE OF CHICAGO THEATRES finalizes its plans for celebrating World Theatre Day – Chicago being the first U.S. city to hold one) on Tuesday, March 27 at the Chicago Cultural Center, free and open to all.

The League calls World Theatre Day “an opportunity for Chicago theatre artists – and the city that loves them – to examine what it means to be art makers and thought leaders in a city ever-evolving as a global citizen.”  

Among the highlights is a discussion on “Artistic Dialogue Across Borders” at the Cultural Center’s Claudia Cassidy Theater at 4 p.m.

It features Henry Godinez, resident artistic associate and curator of the Goodman’s Latino Theatre Festival; Criss Henderson, executive director of Chicago Shakespeare Theater; and Peter Taub, director of performance programs at the Museum of Contemporary Art – all of whom have extensive experience in presenting international artists. Chris Jones of the Chicago Tribune moderates. 

Peter Taub, Henry Godinez, Criss Henderson, moderator Chris Jones

FROM THE WORLD’S STAGE to the local Fringe: The Chicago Fringe Festival names Vincent Lacey executive director. Lacey has been managing director of the festival, which runs in several locations each September in the Pilsen neighborhood, since its inception in 2010.

He replaces founding executive director Sarah Mikayla Brown, who will focus on patron and artist relations with the CFF.

NO MATTER HOW TEMPTING it is to be outdoors after the winter of our discontent (March 20 heralds spring), fans of Chicago’s pioneering Plasticene physical theater troupe should make sure to catch the company’s farewell engagement in Graphomaniax, running March 17-April 1 at the Chopin Theatre’s downstairs venue.

The piece focuses on how meaning and privacy become corrupted in a world flooded with data, and incorporates chalkboards (paging Glenn Beck!), video animation, live sound, and lighting along with Plasticene’s trademark mix of athletic and poetic physicality.

Regina Taylor BLACK ENSEMBLE THEATER presents the 7th Annual Black Playwrights Festival, featuring the best work created through the company’s Black Playwrights Initiative (BPI) program.

The festival opens on March 19 at 7 p.m. with an opening party and tribute to playwright Regina Taylor (whose gospel musical, Crowns, returns to the Goodman in June).

Readings of full-length and ten-minute plays run through March 24 in the new BET space at 4450 N. Clark.

UPSTAIRS AT THE CHOPIN, House Theatre of Chicago has sold out all remaining performances of Death and Harry Houdini – it would take magical powers to score a ticket at this point. But if you have some tax refund money after April 15, you might want to take a trip to Miami to catch the show during its run at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, where it will reappear April 26-May 20.

THEATRICAL CHANGES are afoot in Rosemont: the longtime Rosemont Theatre has been renamed the Akoo Theatre for Akoo International, Inc., the out-of-home television network. Akoo will create content around the artists who perform in the former Rosemont space as well as at the nearby Allstate Arena.

And a new venue, The Park at Rosemont, will open this spring at 5501 Park Place, offering a range of restaurants and bars, as well as a new outlet for Zanies Comedy Club.

Send harbingers of spring theater news to kerryreid@comcast.net.