Redmoon’s Jim Lasko receives Harvard Loeb Fellowship

Redmoon Theatre’s Jim Lasko

JIM LASKO, REDMOON THEATRE’S co-artistic director, has received a prestigious 2013 Loeb Fellowship from Harvard University. The Loeb program brings together ten mid-career individuals in architecture, art, urban design, and other related fields for a one-year residency at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design.  There they they will focus on issues of sustainability, accessibility, and creativity in urban centers.

Lasko hopes to use his time in Cambridge to develop two different projects: “The Great Chicago Fire Festival” that will unite community groups in a collaborative art process culminating in a “fire spectacle” on the Chicago River, and a community arts center for the impoverished North Lawndale neighborhood.

Lasko’s work with Redmoon has focused on numerous public “spectacles” celebrating various locales around Chicago, and he was named the first-ever “artist in residence” by the city of Chicago.

John ConroyACCLAIMED READER ALUM, investigative journalist John Conroy, makes the leap to playwriting with TimeLine Theatre, which just opened Conroy’s debut play, My Kind of Town. The fictionalized look at the real events runs through July 29.

Conroy based his first play on his decades-long reporting in the Reader of the police torture scandal in the South Side Area 2 station involving Commander Jon Burge, who is now serving a jail sentence for perjury and obstruction of justice related to charges that police officers under his command tortured suspects to coerce confessions.

NO WORD YET about the Goodman Theatre’s current high-profile production of Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh (starring Nathan Lane and Brian Dennehy) getting a Broadway transfer — but another show that premiered in Chicago will hit New York.

Ayad Akhtar’s Disgraced, which got its first production at American Theater Company under Kimberly Senior’s direction this past winter, will open in October at the Lincoln Center as part of the LCT3 new-works program.

The Lincoln Center production of Akhtar’s play about cross-cultural confusion and xenophobia will be re-cast with New York actors, though it will provide Senior, long a local favorite, with her New York debut, according to the Tribune’s Chris Jones.

THERE’S A SPECIAL EVENT of the League of Chicago Theaters for Take Her to See the Maco Lights at Prologue Theatre Thursday, May 17.  Bekah Brunstetter’s Maco Lights, directed by artistic director Margo Gray, follows a pair of young lovers along a dark railroad tracks in North Carolina where the past and future converge

Gerard CharlesTo begin the evening, guests will take a walking tour of a neighborhood cemetery led by paranormal researcher and historian Ursula Bielski, author of “Chicago Haunts” books series and owner of Chicago Hauntings Ghost Tours.   The walking tour begins at 7 p.m. and the show at 8 p.m. Tickets are $22 and available at www.prologuetheatreco.org

DANCE NEWS: THE JOFFREY BALLET has named Gerard Charles as ballet master. Charles comes to Chicago from BalletMet Columbus of Ohio, where he worked for 26 years – the last ten as artistic director. He’s noted for his collaborations with a wide range of other cultural institutions, including Jazz Arts Group and the multi-disciplinary performance venue Shadowbox Live. As ballet master, Charles will help oversee the daily rehearsals and classes for the world-renowned Joffrey while working closely with artistic director Ashley C. Wheater and his fellow ballet masters, Nicolas Blanc and Graca Sales.

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