Update from Cloudgate Theatre
At Cloudgate Theatre, we are taking a pause due to the coronavirus and using this time to reflect on the confluence of pandemics that we as a society are currently facing. We recognize that the American theatre has long upheld white supremacist cultural values that exclude, exploit, and misrepresent BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) individuals, communities, and cultures. The staff and board of Cloudgate Theatre are working through the We See You White American Theatre list of demands and developing plans to address them. We look forward to sharing those plans with our community soon.
Cloudgate produces work on the traditional homelands of the people of the Council of Three Fires - the Ojibwe, the Potawatomi, and the Odawa. The Sac, Fox, Myaamia, Ho-Chunk, and Menominee have also called this area home. It was also a site of trade, travel, gathering and healing for more than a dozen other Native tribes and is still home to over 100,000 tribal members in the state of Illinois who continue to serve as stewards of the land.
Furthermore, another focus for us at Cloudgate is addressing the climate crisis. We acknowledge that the technologies central to making theatre leave significant carbon footprints, worsening the climate crisis, and disproportionately affecting indigenous peoples worldwide.
We are committed to a path forward that is antiracist, sustainable, and fosters joyful resistance in the face of great injustice, uncertainty, and turbulence.
Tanuja Devi Jagernauth is an Indo-Caribbean playwright, dramaturg, arts administrator, and ceramic artist who believes in the necessity of creation during times of destruction. A former acupuncturist, Tanuja aspires to practice four frameworks for collective liberation and wellness through theatre: self/community care, harm reduction, trauma informed experience facilitation, and body positivity. Born in Guyana, raised in Arizona, and currently living in Chicago, Tanuja’s artistic work employs humor, expressionism and magical realism to explore diasporic identity, the violence of assimilation, sexual and domestic violence, family, spirituality, and the process walking between worlds and healing from generational trauma. As a non-Black person of color, Tanuja is dedicated to using her artistic and political work to challenge anti-Black racism in all communities and further the interests of prison abolition and Black liberation. Tanuja is honored to be an Associate Artist with Cloudgate Theatre and Prop Thtr, and she is the proud Operations Manager for Free Street Theater. She looks forward to workshopping Fuck Cancer and can’t wait to share it with her community as part of the Cloud Nine New Works Series in April 2020.
Cloud Nine New Works Series (Postponed)
F#CK CANCER by Tanuja Jagnernauth
Grace is an uninsured activist dedicated to the fight against climate change. Vandana is an uninsured fresh-out-of-school acupuncturist on a mission to prove herself as a healer. When Grace becomes Vandana's patient their shared struggle against Grace's cancer tests each of them in ways they never could have anticipated. F*ck Cancer is a meditation on the ways we see and treat power, the planet, and the patient-practitioner relationship.
Marisa Carr is a playwright who recently transplanted to Chicago after a decade in the Twin Cities. Her work has been presented and/or produced by theaters including: The Guthrie, Pillsbury House + Theater, the Playwrights’ Center, Intermedia Arts, and Pangea World Theatre. Selected recent awards and honors include: Scratchpad at the Playwrights' Realm (2019-2020), P73 Finalist (2019-20), Bay Area Playwrights’ Festival Finalist (2019), McKnight Fellowship in Playwriting Finalist (2019), Jerome Artist Fellowship Finalist (2019), Lila Acheson Wallace Playwriting Fellowship Semi-finalist (2019), Berkeley Rep Ground Floor Residency (2018), Forward Flux Three New American Plays Commission (2018), Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant (2017), Playwrights’ Center Many Voices Fellow (2016-17), Naked Stages Fellow at Pillsbury House + Theater (2015), and “Best New Political Playwright” (Lavender Magazine, 2014). Marisa is also Co-Founder/former Artistic Director of the Turtle Theater Collective, a Twin Cities-based company committed to producing high-quality, contemporary work that explores Native experiences and subverts expectations about how and when Native artists can create theater. She is Turtle Mountain Ojibwe from the Turtle clan.
PUNK ROCK MIX TAPE PLAY by Marisa Carr
Being a teenage girl is hard, and being a teenage brown girl is harder – but being a teenage brown girl in the punk scene during the post-9/11 Bush administration? That’s something else entirely. This coming-of-age play, loosely structured as a mix tape, sits at the intersection of race, gender, and youth, and explores the cost of finding your place in a world shifting rapidly in ways you barely understand.
Photos by Austin D. Oie