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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!



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: Friday, June 24, 2016
  • Time: 6pm
  • Location: Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St., Dance Studio


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: 1-5pm. This performance is durational. Audience may arrive at any time during the four hours and come and go as they please.
  • Location: Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St., South Staircase (Washington side of the building)


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: Wednesday, June 29, 2016
  • Time: 6-8pm
  • Location: Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St., Dance Studio


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


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

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: Wednesday, July 20 & Wednesday, October 5, 2016
  • Time: 1-2pm
  • 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


Lucky PlushLucky Plush

Lucky Plush Productions is an ensemble dance-theater company based in Chicago, led by founder and Artistic Director Julia Rhoads. Lucky Plush’s work is recognized for its layered choreography, nuanced dialogue, surprising humor, socially relevant content, and for provoking a palpable live-ness that is shared in real time among performers and audiences. The company has presented work in 40 US cities from Maine to Hawaii, and international partners span from New Zealand to Cuba. Commissioners include Harris Theater for Music and Dance, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Krannert Center at University of Illinois, Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, and Links Hall. Lucky Plush is the only dance company to receive the prestigious MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions, recognition of the company’s exceptional creativity and impact and a major investment in its reserves. Additional awards include National Dance Project, National Performance Network, National Endowment for the Arts, and MacArthur International Connections Fund, among others.

Rooming House

Rooming House is the next evening-length work of Lucky Plush Productions, and the third collaboration between artistic director Julia Rhoads and collaborating director Leslie Danzig. The work sheds contemporary light on the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice while revealing mythic storytelling as a dynamic map that invites ongoing revision. Lucky Plush will approach the story as a porous architectural blueprint, offering thresholds through which the performers enter, linger, exit and, along the way, reject and revise this enduring myth. Told through contemporary circumstances, multiple and diverse viewpoints, and an unrelenting drive of dialogue and choreography, the story takes numerous twists and turns based on the physical and emotional conditions of performing the work. Central to the process are two creative exchanges with Cuban-based Danza Teatro Retazos that will allow Lucky Plush’s creative team to deepen their process and inform their approach to Rooming House, particularly as they call into question the universality of myths, the modes of their interpretation, and how they function both personally and culturally. The material that emerges is available to both companies for distinct performances, but will not be a co-production.

  • Date: Friday, August 19, 2016
  • Time: 6:30pm
  • Location: Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St., Dance Studio




Directed by Keith Parham

Keith Parham works primarily as a Lighting Designer and company member of TUTA. Design credits include BROADWAY: Roundabout Theatre Company. OFF-BROADWAY: 2econd Stage Theatre, Atlantic Theater Company, Barrow Street Theatre, St. Ann's Warehouse, Classis Stage Company, Lincoln Center Theatre. INTERNATIONAL: Sydney Opera House, National Theatre of Belgrade. AWARDS: Obie, Lortel.

Pagliacci is a journey into the beauty and darkness of human nature. This famous opera is being reconstructed into a contemporary form, which utilizes actors, singers, and musicians searching for a new way to experience the contemplation of who we are.

  • Date: Saturday, August 20, 2016
  • Time: 5pm
  • 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


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


View Past Showings