As part of Victory Gardens’ initiatives to bridge the gap between their plays, their audiences, and the world outside these productions, Victory Gardens curates a series of events to especially enhance your Victory Gardens experience. Their Public Programs event series explores themes and issues presented in their plays – sparking ideas and provoking meaningful dialogue. Through film screenings, play readings, town hall meetings, spoken word performances, post show discussions, and many more, Victory Gardens invites you to join them and be a part of that conversation.
at Victory Gardens Theater | 2433 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL 60614
After every performance of A Wonder in My Soul (unless otherwise noted). Join Victory Gardens for one of their intimate post-show conversations. Led by members from the Victory Gardens community—artistic affiliates, subscribers, Artistic staff, Teen Arts Council members, and community partners—reflect on what you’ve seen and share your response. Free, but tickets needed for all A Wonder in My Soul performances.
A CONVERSATION WITH MARCUS GARDLEY
Post-Show Conversation | Saturday, February 11, 2017 | Following the evening performance of A Wonder in My Soul
The new play process is an exciting one and the collaboration with a living playwright is electric. How are artists empowered when creating new plays? In what ways are they challenged? Join VG Ensemble Playwright Marcus Gardley as he and Director of New Play Development, Isaac Gomez, shed light on the new play process in this post-show conversation.
AIN'T I A WOMAN?
Post-Show Performance | Sunday, February 12, 2017 | Following the matinee performance of A Wonder in My Soul
In a culture of censorship and silence, the voices of Black women continue to pervade the national conversation. Spoken word remains a powerful tool amongst women artists of color. Join vg for an afternoon in which local Black women artists share poetry and essays by their favorite Black women artists of all time. Save room for a sampling of appetizers provided by Black-owned restaurants from all over Chicago.
THE DIVINE NINE & MORE
Pre-Show Celebration | Wednesday, February 15, 2017 | 6:30pm
It’s the Victory Gardens House Social, so grab your Big and your Little and step on over to the theater’s Historically Black Fraternity and Sorority night. In celebration of Marcus Gardley’s A Wonder in My Soul, join vg for a pre-show reception for Black Greek organization members and alumni. Complimentary wine and refreshments with the purchase of your ticket.
Pre-Show Celebration & Healing | Thursday, February 16, 2017 | 6:30pm
Celebrate the tenacity, beauty, and creativity of Black women in Marcus Gardley’s A Wonder in My Soul, in Chicago, and around the world. For this very special public program, join VG for pre-show #blackgirlmagic healing and spiritual self-love rituals, including guided meditation and divination. Additionally, experience free food and live art and performances in the lobby that highlight the power and potency of #blackgirlmagic.
THE HEART OF BLACK AMERICA
Pre-Show Celebration & Post-Show Conversation | Thursday, February 23, 2017 | 6:30pm
While Chicago is one of the most segregated cities in the country, its Black community has a long political and economic legacy. With historical icons like congressman Oscar DePriest, journalist Ida B. Wells, gospel great Mahalia Jackson, and many others all rooted historically in Chicago, it’s no wonder Chicago is considered the heart of Black America. Enjoy Marcus Gardley’s A Wonder in My Soul and then stick around for this enlightening post-show conversations where historians, icons, and more talk about the beating heart of the Windy City.
BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL
Lobby Festival | Saturday, February 25, 2017: 12:00pm - 7:30pm | Sunday, February 26, 2017: 12:00pm - 3:00pm
While The Black is Beautiful movement started in the 1960s, this fight for equal rights and a positive perception of the Black body starts much earlier in American history and the fight continues today. What makes beauty and wellness such an essential part of Black culture? Join VG for a festival of Black owned and operated beauty and wellness products as we celebrate Marcus Gardley’s A Wonder in My Soul. Then, following the Saturday evening performance, stick around for a special post-show conversation featuring several business owners talking about their products and the evolution of Black beauty.
COLLEGE NIGHT: A WONDROUS SIGHT
Post-Show Performance | Thursday, March 2, 2017 | Following the evening performance of A Wonder in My Soul
In Marcus Gardley’s A Wonder in My Soul, expectations are shattered as characters are forced to stand their ground fervently in what they believe. To what lengths are we willing to stand our ground and at what expense? Join VG for a pre-show reception in the lobby featuring delicious drink specials & free pizza. Then, stick around for A Wonder in My Soul and stay for post-show performances featuring short scenes written by, directed by, and performed by college artists around the city.
OUR MISS BROOKS 100
Pre-Show Celebration & Post-Show Conversation | Sunday, March 5, 2017 | Reception begins at 2:00pm
“Everyday there is something exciting or disturbing to write about. With all that’s going on, how could I stop?” This year marks the centennial celebration of the life and literary legacy of the late, great Gwendolyn Brooks, the first African American author to receive a Pulitzer Prize. How do the works of Miss Brooks connect to the world of Birdie and Bell? How do they continue to illuminate the lives of Black Chicagoans? Experience music inspired by the works of Gwendolyn Brooks while enjoying complimentary light refreshments. Join VG after the performance of A Wonder in My Soul for a panel discussion, featuring poets who studied under Miss Brooks, as well as the poet’s very own daughter, Nora Brooks Blakely.
THE ART OF ACTIVISM
Pre-Show Spoken Word | Friday, March 10, 2017 | 7:00pm
Much like in many of Marcus’ plays, the intersection between art and activism is a recipe for social change. This recipe is potent but often comes with a cost. How do artists resist and protest with their art? Come hear Chicago spoken word and performance poets slay the mic in this special pre-show event. Then, stick around for free refreshments before enjoying Marcus Gardley’s A Wonder in My Soul.
Public Programs are free and open to the public. Tickets needed for all A Wonder in My Soul performances. For more information, click here.
"Behind the Curtain" is a special section of ChicagoPlays.com listing free events that enhance and complement your theatre-going experiences. Get an inside look at local Chicago theatre companies through forums, panel discussions, community events, and even parties. Planning to attend this "Behind the Curtain" event? Post about it on Twitter with the hashtag #BehindTheCurtain. For more upcoming events, visit http://bit.ly/behindcurtain.