Katrina: the Girl Who Wanted Her Name Back

April 8, 2009 10:23:29 AM PDT
The devastating hurricane that hit New Orleans nearly 4 years ago is the inspiration for an exuberant new work from playwright Jason Tremblay. Katrina: the Girl Who Wanted Her Name Back is being presented by Adventure Stage Chicago. www.adventurestage.org The family-friendly play, featuring a live, six-piece jazz band, follows Katrina, a young girl from New Orleans forced to face the powerful hurricane that shares her name. Separated from her beloved father during the storm, Katrina must journey to safety with only ghosts, sweet N'awlins music and her own bravery as companions. Despite enormous obstacles, Katrina is determined to reclaim her name and recover the magic and fire that lie within the city and herself. With musicians serving as both bystanders to catastrophe and heralds of hope, Katrina: the Girl Who Wanted Her Name Back celebrates the indomitable spirit of one of America's most historical cities.

Playwright Jason Tremblay grew up just hours away from New Orleans in southeast Arkansas, and the historic city became his urban refuge by exposing him to art and music - particularly jazz. After Hurricane Katrina, many of Tremblay's musician friends rendered homeless by the storm stayed with him in Austin, TX, where he currently lives.. These experiences and friendships inspired him to write Katrina: the Girl Who Wanted Her Name Back. Tremblay recently received his MFA in playwriting from the University of Texas and is an exciting new voice in the world of theater for young audiences.

Katrina: the Girl Who Wanted Her Name Back has already received three major honors. It was one of only seven plays from around the world selected as part of the 2008 New Visions/New Voices festival at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Tremblay, the author, also received the 2008 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Playwriting for Young Audiences Award. L Katrina: the Girl Who Wanted Her Name Back also received an Access to Artistic Excellence grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Katrina: the Girl Who Wanted Her Name Back is recommended for ages 8 and up (4th thru 8th grades), and all performances include a brief post-show Curtain Conversation with the cast. The show runs on weekend through May 9 and weekdays through May 21 at Vittum Theater, 1012 N. Noble St., in the heart of Chicago's West Town neighborhood. Free parking is available, and the theater is close to the Noble St. stop on the #56 Milwaukee bus line and the Division stop on the CTA Blue Line. The theater is wheelchair accessible.

Tickets are $17 for adults, $12 for children aged 14 and under, and $8 for school groups. Other group discounts, including birthday party packages, are also available. For tickets or more information, call (773) 342-4141 or visit www.adventurestage.org.

Adventure Stage Chicago's mission is to create dynamic theatre for young audiences that activates the imagination, inspires dialogue and celebrates community among families, educators and artists. ASC is Chicago's only professional theatre company dedicated solely to theatrical programming for young people ages 8-14 and the adults in their lives. As artists, ASC seeks to produce renowned stories as well as cultivate new work. As educators, Adventure Stage Chicago endeavors to be a model for professional development through workshops, residencies and other resources that offer concrete ways to infuse theatre in the classroom. This is ASC's fifth season.

ASC (under the former name of Vittum Theater) received the prestigious 2007 Zeta Phi Eta-Winifred Ward Outstanding New Children's Theatre Company Award from The American Alliance for Theatre and Education. The award, given by Zeta Phi Eta, a national arts fraternity, honors a theatre company serving young audiences which has been in operation at least two full years, but not more than five years. The company must have attained a high level of artistic production, sound management practices, and must have stimulated community interest in its endeavors.

Adventure Stage Chicago is a program of Northwestern University Settlement House, the oldest continually operating settlement house in Chicago. Throughout its 118-year history, the Settlement has remained committed to providing resources that empower our neighbors to overcome the obstacles of poverty. ASC extends this mission by presenting Chicago's young audiences, educators and families with an affordable artistic experience rooted in performance. Last season, ASC served over 10,000 students from 95 schools throughout the Chicagoland area.

SPRING FLING BENEFIT

The Saturday, April 25 showing of Katrina: the Girl Who Wanted Her Name Back is part of an ASC benefit "Spring Fling: A Celebration of New Orleans."

The performance is followed by food from Dixie Kitchen; live music by Jazz Links, the Jazz Institute of Chicago's youth performers; a silent auction; and numerous kids' activities. Tickets for this benefit are $50 adults, $25 kids 14 and under.

SATURDAY WORKSHOP SERIES

Saturdays at 1pm
Saturday workshops begin one hour before the performance and are recommended for children ages 10-14. Tickets are $5 per participant, and adults are encouraged to join their smaller companions in a creative art project, dramatic activity and discussion related to the origin and meaning of their name and the role their name plays in shaping their identity.

SUNDAY PERFORMANCE EXTRAS

Raffle Day! Sun., April 19: Audience is automatically entered in a free raffle to win an ASC Gift Pack.
Backstage Day! Sun., May 3: Audience is invited onstage after the show to examine the set and props and receive a backstage tour of Adventure Stage.

"KATRINA: the Girl Who Wanted Her Name Back "
Spring Fling
Saturday, April 25 from 2 to 6 pm
1012 North Noble Street, Chicago. 773-342-4141
www.adventurestage.org.

ABOUT HURRICANE KATRINA

Most destructive natural disaster in American history (greater than the Chicago Fire (1871), San Francisco earthquake (1906) and Hurricane Andrew (1992) 770,000 people were displaced, the largest migration since the 1930s dustbowl Over 1.1 million people evacuated Statistics as of third anniversary of catastrophe (August, 2008) Just over 50% of hospital facilities have reopened Student enrollment in New Orleans public schools 50% of pre-Katrina levels. Barely 30% of public school facilities have reopened Metro population not quite 80% of pre-Katrina levels


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