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Chicago Cultural Center
78 E. Washington St.
Chicago, IL 60602

Storefront Theater
66 E. Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 60601

Millennium Park
201 E. Randolph St., between Michigan Ave. & Columbus Ave. Chicago, IL 60602

Theater and Dance Residencies

DCASE Homepage  >  DCASE Theater and Dance  >  Chicago Cultural Center  >  Theater and Dance Residencies


Victoria Eleanor Bradford and Todd Mattei, Hiding Lost Things

 (click on images to enlarge)


The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events' Theater and Dance Residencies give emerging and established performing artists the opportunity to test-drive new work in a public setting. Each residency is tailored to the needs of the artist or company and their project and takes place in the most suitable DCASE space. Each showing is a unique opportunity for audiences to get a behind-the-scenes look at new work by Chicago artists. To view past showings, click here.


Upcoming Showings

All Showings are FREE Admission!


Margi Cole and Onye OzuzuMargi Cole, Photo by: William Frederking

Margi Cole, founder and Artistic Director of The Dance COLEctive, received a BA in dance from Columbia College Chicago and an MFA in dance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. As a teacher, she has taught for many educational and professional organizations nationally and internationally. As a performer, Margi has danced with many well-known choreographers and companies. In 2011, Cole traveled to Findhorn, Scotland to join 19 international performers participating in the Deborah Hay Solo Commissioning Project. Margi has received two Illinois Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowships, a 2005 Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist Award, a 2015 Individual Arts Program Creative Project Grant from the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events Grants Department and an American Marshall Memorial Fellowship. Margi is active in the Chicago dance community, having served as a Chicago Dancemakers Forum Consortium Member, on grant panels and in public forums as an arts administrator, dancer and choreographer. Currently Cole is on faculty at Columbia College Chicago, where she has served as a Lecturer and Associate Chair. Cole is also the Series Program Manager of the Dance Center Presenting Series. She was named one of The Players in New City’s “Fifty People Who Really Perform in Chicago” in 2012 and recognized by Today’s Chicago Woman among its 2014 “100 Women of Inspiration.”Onye Ozuzu

Onye Ozuzu is a dance administrator, performing artist, choreographer, educator and researcher currently serving as Chair of the Dance Department and interim Dean of the School of Fine and Performing Arts at Columbia College Chicago. She has been actively presenting work nationally and internationally since 1997. She has recently been commissioned by Links Hall Constellation to create a new work with composer, Greg Ward, based on Charles Mingus’ album The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady. The new work, of the same name premiered at the Pritzger Stage in Millenium Park, Chicago as a part of the “Made in Chicago” festival August 13, 2015. Her group improvisational score, The Technology of the Circle was a featured presentation in Chicago Artist Month this fall.

One on One Solo Swap

Margi Cole and Onye Ozuzu will create new solos for each other over the residency period with the goal of creating unique solos for each other that value and challenge our indivdual creative process, knowledge and assets.

  • Date: Wednesday, June 15, 2016
  • Time: 6:30pm
  • Location: Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St., Dance Studio


Victoria Eleanor Bradford and Todd MatteiVictoria Eleanor Bradford and Todd Mattei

Victoria Bradford is an artist invested in image-making, public performance, and text-based systems for movement. Todd Mattei is an artist working in music, animation, and video. Bradford and Mattei have each shown work extensively, including recent engagements at the MCA Chicago and Les Rencontres Internationales, Paris.

Hiding Lost Things 

A collaborative endeavor—a duet between media and persons—Hiding Lost Things cultivates movement vocabulary from Bradford’s daily public practice and sound vocabulary from Mattei’s ongoing music compositions. Bradford and Mattei seek to apply the form and function developing to psychographic unravellings revealed in the work and in our lives.

  • Date: Saturday, June 18, 2016 & Saturday, October 22, 2016
  • Time: 7pm
  • Location: Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St., Studio Theater


Sara ZalekSara Zalek, Formidable Dreams

Sara Zalek is an artist obsessed with the intentional act of transformation. She uses Butoh training, poetry, drawing, and object-making as starting points, igniting dialog with the public using unexpected encounters; always with unknowns, often with humor, with an intentional focus on the moment when the self is limitless potential. 

Formidable Dreams

A series of movement-based short films exploring the search for identity through the "shadow self." Working in partnership with Eugene Park of Full Spectrum Features, we draw from Novellas-in-Flash as inspiration for portraying trickster in contemporary performance. Films will be exhibited as Expanded Cinema with live sound and performance elements.

  • Date: Sunday, June 26, 2016
  • Time: 12 Noon-5pm
  • Location: TBD


Ocho Ojos (Photo credit: JI Yang)

Photo credit: JI Yang

Ocho Ojos

Performance artist Holly Chernobyl and dance-maker Adam Koan met at a Butoh festival in Germany in 2015, subsequently forming Ocho Ojos. Holly and Adam have trained and presented work nationally and internationally. Their work together explores relationships, the grotesque, anthropomorphism, and evolution. Ocho Ojos most recently performed at THAW X.

The Circular Valley

Drawing upon US authors (e.g. Edgar Allen Poe, Paul Bowles, Flannery O’Connor), we embody stories and poetry concerning two connected characters. This project utilizes dance, theater, shibari, and storytelling. We hope our audience experiences nostalgia for something vital to humanity--the actions of one cannot be committed in isolation.

  • Date: Friday, July 8, 2016
  • Time: 6:30pm
  • Location: Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St., Dance Studio


The DilettantesThe Dilettantes

The Dilettantes craft distinctive, immersive experiences that contain both performance and participation. Their projects can be narrative‐based, structurally experimental, or anywhere in between -- exploring what’s joyful, unexpected and necessary about being in a room with other human beings.

The Dilettantes are Erika Grammel, Rebecca Stevens and Aaron Weissman.


Heist is an interactive experience that invites audience members to pull off a classic, cinema-style robbery. Employing game structures and techniques to place the audience at the center of the action, The Dilettantes will immerse you in all the hallmarks of a heist in a participatory, theatrical environment.

  • Date: Friday, July 29, 2016
  • Time: 7pm
  • Location: Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St., Studio Theater


Sindy Isabel CastroSindy Isabel Castro

Sindy Isabel Castro is an actress, educator, and theatre artist. She’s an Ensemble Member with Adventure Stage Chicago. Acting: The Brave Face Project (Auditorium Theatre), The Scarlet “S” Project, Ceci in Lydia (National Pastime Theatre), The Giver (Adventure Stage Chicago), and A Very Luna Christmas (Teatro Luna).

Stories from my Mother

When I lost my grandmothers, I watched as my parents wrestled with defining new relationships with their mothers now that they were gone. Stories from my Mother will explore relationships with mothers: What do they pass along? What do we take with us? What do we miss the most?

  • Date: Saturday, August 6, 2016
  • Time: 2pm
  • Location: Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St., Studio Theater



Creative Time/Links Hall Sponsored Artist J'Sun has been exhuming constellations from the flesh and framing it as dance in Chicago for over ten years. A Chicago Dancemaker's Forum Lab Artist, 2014, a recent High Concept Laboratory resident artist, he consistently dares you to reckon with this!

Working On Better Versions of Prayers

Sworn statement. Affirmation. Affidavit. Working On Better Versions of Prayers is embedded with the perpetual mind game of “describing the world as if I’m going to die at any moment,” finding embodied language to recontextualize violent crackery (cracker--euphemism for whip wielder historically from Black holocaust in North America).

  • Date: Thursday, October 20, 2016
  • Time: 12 Noon
  • Location: Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St., Dance Studio


Psalm OnePsalm One

Cristalle Bowen aka Psalm One is a veteran rap artist, mentor and a native of Chicago, Illinois. She gained notoriety for being the first lady of Rhymesayers, an influential recording label based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. She travels the globe performing her infectious music and runs her own mentoring program.

A Family Friendly Rapperchick Project

The Rapperchicks are a Chicago based supergroup of female artists / educators. They’re using the Cultural Center to create an inspiring stage performance and foster a space for kids of all ages. Also, they’re conducting a workshop and are preparing a set for Taste of Chicago!

  • Date: TBD
  • Time: TBD
  • Location: TBD


Free Street TheaterFree Street Theater

Founded in 1969, Free Street Theater is committed to creating original performance by, for, with, about, and in Chicago's diverse communities. From our early years performing out of a converted truck rig, to our current work in parks and other public spaces, we believe theater should be free and available to Chicagoans all across the city.

100 Hauntings

100 Hauntings draws on real people's stories from across the city to ask: what's haunting Chicago? From a mysterious shadow standing on a street corner to an elevator operator who doesn't know he's dead to the legacy of housing laws in Chicago, 100 Hauntings offers audiences a fun and spooky campfire experience that resurrects that which won't be forgotten. Performed by a multigenerational ensemble of storytellers, comedians, and actors from around the city.

  • Date: TBD
  • Time: TBD
  • Location: TBD


Nonop: open opera worksNonop: open opera works

Open Opera Works creates, produces and presents site-adaptive, intermedia works that expand the common conception of opera. We construct immersive environments and staged spectacles that challenge the traditional hierarchy of the proscenium stage and the performer-spectator relationship, inviting our audiences to become actively engaged in directing their own experience. While yet delivering themes, character, content, and structure, the result are works that expand the meaning of opera to a multi-arts, participatory, immersive spectacle.

  • Date: TBD
  • Time: TBD
  • Location: TBD


Joanna FurnansJoanna Furnans

Joanna Furnans is an independent dance artist based in Chicago. Her choreography has been supported by the Walker Art Center (MN), the University of Minnesota (MN), the Pleasure Rebel Series (MN), the Chicago Moving Company (Chicago), Links Hall (Chicago), and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (Chicago).

“Genuine Fake” Process/Performance Workshops

I will be holding three, three-day workshops open to experienced dancers to research new processes and theories for the development of a new work. We will be working with an idea of collective individualism and the conflicting desires of wanting acceptance and wanting to stand out from the crowd.

  • Date: TBD
  • Time: TBD
  • Location: Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St., Dance Studio


View Past Showings