ChiArts Seniors Sarah Bonds & Victor Garcia Featured in The Chicago Sun-Times

Sarah Bonds (Theatre Conservatory) and Victor Garcia (Visual Arts Conservatory) are two rising senior artists, multifaceted leaders, and both wise beyond their years. This fall, Sarah and Victor were accepted into Chicago’s 2019 Rising Star Honor Roll and featured in The Chicago Sun-Times. We’re so proud of all they’ve accomplished and the knowledge they continue to share in our communities. Click the links or images below to learn more about their work and watch video features! 
 
 
 
These profiles are part of a series made possible by Allstate as part of its commitment to support young artists in Chicago and to empower the next generation of rising stars.

ChiArts Theatre Alumni Making Major Moves

Theatre alumni Taylor Blackman will be originating the role of “Emmett Till” in the new Musical adaption of his life titled “Till” at the New York Musical Festival! Taylor shares in a Facebook post,“I am so eager to tell the truth this story holds and implement the importance and tragic loss of this young black child in America. I always had the hope that my art would allow me to tell stories that matter specifically to me and my brown body while also help push the narrative and storyline of humanity itself.” For ChiArts friends in NYC, the show will run from July 23rd-28th at the The Pershing Square Signature Center, click here for tickets.
 
On June 30, theatre alumna Kyrie Courter finished her final performance as Natalie Goodman in Next to Normal at the acclaimed Writers Theatre. And the understudy for Natalie Goodman throughout the show’s run? None other than fellow Theatre alumna Ariana Burks! Ariana also has a featured role in the new Netflix film BEATS, along with ChiArts alumni Evan J Simpson and stars previous scholar-artist Khalil Everage!

Congrats ChiArts Class of 2019! What’s next?!

The Chicago High School for the Arts’ 7th class of graduates are off on their next adventure. We’re honored to have been a stepping stone for these future leaders of our world. Did you know that the ChiArts class of 2019 spans universities in 20 states, three countries, and 66 of our scholar-artists are attending local universities in-state?! Get to know more about our recent graduates below:
 

ChiArts Theatre Presents BRING IT ON: THE MUSICAL

This March, ChiArts presents Tony Award nominated, BRING IT ON: THE MUSICAL. With music by Tom Kitt and Lin-Manuel Miranda, and lyrics by Lin-Manuel and Amanda Green, BRING IT ON: THE MUSICAL will be a vocally explosive experience. In addition to a “Best Musical” Tony nomination, the show received a nod for “Best Choreography” which is showcased through incredible cheerleading routines and high energy musical numbers. BRING IT ON: THE MUSICAL will run March 2, 3, and 7-10, with performances beginning at 7:00 PM and Sunday matinees at 3:00 PM. All performances are in the ChiArts Auditorium.

ChiArts aims to create content that pushes boundaries and we cannot wait to show audiences the versatility of our scholar-artists in this spectacular production. TICKETS ON SALE NOW! We’d HIGHLY recommended purchasing in advance as we are expecting to sell out.

Presenting the 2019 ChiArts National YoungArts Winners

Since 1981, the National YoungArts Foundation recognizes “the most accomplished young artists in the visual, literary, design and performing arts, and assist them at critical junctures in their educational and professional development.” This year, four amazing ChiArts scholar-artists are joining the ranks of internationally recognized YoungArts alumni such as Viola Davis, Tarell A. McCraney, Josh Groban, Camille A. Brown, and Daniel Arsham to list a few.
Huge congratulations to Creative Writer, Damayanti Wallace for her Honorable Mention for Play or Script, Creative Writer Aureane Roullier for Merit for Novel, Visual Artist, Janessa Soliveras for receiving the highest recognition as a 2019 YoungArts Finalist, and Theatre Major, Nia Sarfo knocking it out of the park as a 2019 YoungArts Finalist in Theatre as well. Watch Nia’s incredible performance from Tuesday, January 8 at the 2019 YoungArts Week in Miami (monologue begins at 48:18)!
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Tracy Letts Visits ChiArts

On February 27th, the ChiArts’ Creative Writing and Theatre conservatories spent the afternoon with acclaimed playwright, screenwriter, Steppenwolf ensemble member, and actor, Tracy Letts. With a Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award under his belt, Mr. Letts is also having a stand-out year on screen with roles in two 2018 Academy Award Best Picture nominees, Lady Bird and The Post. As Mr. Letts walked into the ChiArts Black Box Theatre, scholar-artists filled every seat, floor space, with little to no standing room available. Theatre Major and 2018 August Wilson Monologue winner, Nia Sarfo, welcomed Mr. Letts and conducted a memorable interview covering topics such as mastering nerves to the value of finding confidence as an artist. When asked for advice he’d give to young actors and writers, Mr. Letts reinforced the importance of creating your own opportunities; “Do it yourself. You shouldn’t ever feel like someone should give you permission to work.”

When you first meet Mr. Letts, his authenticity and curiosity captivates. Throughout the question and answer portion, scholar-artists seemed to appreciate his honest and humorous advice. In response to questions on winning the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Mr. Letts said “I think it changed people’s perception of me. I feel like people think I’m smarter than I am. But, I hope you all win one! It’s fun to have.” On a more serious note, Letts connected success with tenacity and patience. “Stick to it. Just keep doing it. Outlast them. It took me a long time to value what it means to be an artist in this city. To call yourself an artist is a very valuable thing.” After taking the time to personally interact with scholar-artists after the interview, Mr. Letts met with ChiArts’ improv troupe and joined in games that included conga lines, Shakespeare lines, and lots of laughter. After the improv games and to begin Mr. Lett’s tour of ChiArts, Nia Sarfo performed her winning monologue from the August Wilson Monologue Competition finals.

After the featured interview, Mr. Letts had an opportunity to engage with Theatre and Creative Writing classes. The tour ended with a visit to the Visual Arts Sophomore Show in ChiArts Gallery. With Creative Writer, Damayanti Wallace, and Nia Sarfo leading the tour, along with Executive & Artistic Director, José Ochoa, and ChiArts Board Members Jim and Kay Mabie, ChiArts was grateful for Mr. Letts’ time and support of arts education. When asked by scholar-artists on why he was interested in visiting ChiArts, Mr. Letts responded with “I look around at your faces and I see the future. That’s why I’m here.” 

ChiArts would like to sincerely thank the private donor who provided this incredible learning opportunity for our scholar-artists and faculty.

 

 

ChiArts Presents Les Misérables

We’re incredibly proud to present our largest production yet, Les Misérables. With over 50 cast and crew members, join us for this unforgettable story of redemption, duty, and love.

Production Run- January 18, 19, and 20 at 7:00 PM
Final matinee on Sunday, January 21 at 3:00 PM

Click here for tickets!

Have you seen the ChiArts Les Mis flash mob? Check out our amazing cast! 

Share Les Misérables with your friends and family on Facebook- #JoinOurRevolution #WeAreChiArts

We’re hosting a food drive-
The cast of Les Mis invites audience members to bring a non-perishable food item to drop in the lobby with NHS volunteers before they see the show! This is not required but highly encouraged. The themes of the show, which center around the working class, have inspired this food drive donation.

Two Scholar-Artists Announced As 2018 YoungArts Winners

On November 29, The National YoungArts Foundation recognized Freedom Martin (Theatre ‘19) and Pierson Talbott (Visual Arts ‘17) as 2018 YoungArts Winners. This in an incredible accomplishment as Freedom and Pierson were selected from one of “the most competitive pool of applications to date” and are among the 171 young artists in the nation that were named Finalists, the organization’s highest honor. They are following the footsteps of YoungArts alumni such as Viola Davis, Josh Groban, Tarell A. McCraney, Doug Aitken, and Kerry Washington.

The National YoungArts Foundation provides winners with a lifetime of educational, financial, and professional development opportunities. From mentorship programs with well renowned artists, to showcasing work at institutions such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, we’re thrilled for Freedom and Pierson to grow with this amazing network of artists. As Finalists, both scholar-artists have the opportunity to attend the 37th annual National YoungArts Week in Miami from January 7-14. We look forward to following their artistic journeys and cheering them on every step of the way! For more information regarding the National YoungArts Foundation, click here.

Theatre Faculty and Scholar-Artists In Merit’s Into the Woods JR.

On August 19 and 20, the Merit School of Music was buzzing with Sondheim sounds! Seven of our scholar-artists and three ChiArts faculty members were a part of Merit’s wonderfully magical production of Into the Woods, JR. Directed by Theatre Conservatory’s A.J. Wester, alongside ChiArts’ Music and Theatre Conservatory’s Julian Chin as the Music Director and Cat Wilson on Lighting Design, the cast of 22 young artists brought the audience through the hilariously intertwined adventures of fairy tales.

Merit School of Music provides students from all over Chicago the opportunity to achieve their personal and musical potential by removing barriers to high-quality music education. Congrats to the following ChiArts faculty and scholar-artists on a successful run!

A.J. Wester, Stage Director

Julian Chin, Music Director

Cat Wilson, Lighting Design

Jordan Davis as Cinderella’s Mother

Miranda Dianovsky as Jack’s Mother

Michael Poulosophos as Wolf

Daniela Reyes as the Baker’s Wife

Aliah Robinson as Lucinda

Niani Soto as Cinderella’s Stepmother

Joanna Starr Poulos as Little Red Riding Hood

Photos courtesy of Merit School of Music.

Merit’s production of Into the Woods JR. was partially funded by Caerus Foundation, Inc., a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, and Shure Incorporated.

INTO THE WOODS JR was presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials were supplied by MTI.

 

Outstanding Alumni Working in Admissions, Theatre, and Visual Arts

With our first classes of scholar-artists graduating and pursuing professional development opportunities, ChiArts is thrilled to have hired four outstanding alumni in our Admissions, Theatre, and Visual Arts Conservatories! ChiArts is grateful for the knowledge, passion, and support our alumni community continuously gives back to our faculty and scholar-artists.

Sabina Valenica graduated ChiArts in 2013 and is now working as our Recruitment Coordinator in Admissions. Sabina is currently pursuing a double major at Northeastern Illinois University. Christian Helem and Janyce Caraballo (‘13) have joined our Theatre Conservatory as Teaching Assistants for the Musical Theatre and Stage Production courses. Christian is pursuing a degree in Theatre Performance at the University of Illinois- Chicago and Janyce graduated as a Posse Scholar with a Bachelor’s in Theatre and Music Performance from Denison University. The Visual Arts Conservatory is excited to have hired Moises Salazar (‘15) as a Teaching Assistant for AP Sculpture. Moises just graduated from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and focuses on painting, ceramics, and fabrications. We look forward to watching these young professionals grow and thrive at ChiArts!