If you don’t live under a rock, then you have heard all about Chicago public schools. From school closings to the teachers’ union strikes, it has been well covered in the news. Collaberaction Theatre Company takes a hard look at the issues in an intense 90-minute show.
Written by Sarah Moeller and Adam Joseph Seidel, Forgotten Future: the education project takes the audience through three classrooms, with teachers all at different stages of their career from brand new to 20+ years. The play focuses on three students and the pressures they face at school and at home, giving perspective to different facets of the problems facing our school system. It’s painfully clear that the children are the losers in the struggle between the teachers, the school, and the politicians holding the purse strings and the power.
Based on fact rather than drama, this powerful play drives home the current problem that is all too real and, quite frankly, frightening. Three students of Chicago public schools make their acting debut in this piece adding such undeniable realism you can’t help but squirm in your chair at the injustice of what they face every day.
Collaboraction Theatre is based in the Flat Iron Arts Building on Milwaukee and Damen, and is in its 18th year. According to their website, their mission is to “create original theatrical experiences that push artistic boundaries in order to explore critical social issues with a diverse community of Chicagoans.” The stage is set up in classroom format with the audience seated as part of the classroom, putting them up close and personal with the action. Clever use of projection and sound bites lays out some disturbing facts about the U.S. education system as a whole.
This show runs now through October 26: Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30pm, Sunday at 3:00pm at the Flat Iron Arts Building, 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave, Room 300. The performance is approximately 90 minutes, followed each night by a Town Hall Meeting. Tickets are $15-$30. Purchase tickets online at www.collaboraction.org or call 312-226-9633.