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PAC/edge Performance Festival

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Performing Arts Chicago and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago present this self-styled "convergence of Chicago artists," running March 28-April 26. Boasting Chicago first lady Maggie Daley as its honorary chair, the avant-garde festival features more than 100 multidisciplinary presentations; participants include Plasticene Physical Theater, Theater Oobleck, the Curious Theatre Branch, Blair Thomas, Lucky Pierre, Free Street, David Kodeski, Sandra Binion, and others. All shows take place at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport; the sprawling building will be a hive of activity, with simultaneous performances and installations in its four studio theaters as well as the lounges, hallways, stairwells, and other spaces. The fest also includes workshops and panels with participating artists at other venues as shown below. Prices for individual events range from $5 to $15, though workshops generally cost more and some events and installations are free; see listings for details. For tickets and more information, and to register for workshops, call Performing Arts Chicago at 773-722-5463. Tickets can also be purchased from Ticketmaster by calling 312-902-1500 or logging on to www.ticketmaster.com.

Following is the schedule through March 30; a complete schedule is available on-line at www.chicagoreader.com.

FRIDAY, MARCH 28

Goat Island--Spring Intensive Workshop

Goat Island, Performing Arts Chicago's resident ensemble, conducts a workshop in performance art. The workshop continues March 29-30 (see listings below). Fine Arts Building, Curtiss Hall, 410 S. Michigan, 10th floor, 773-722-5463. 7-9 PM; $60.

Bianco Veneziano

Sandra Binion's video installation brings the sights and sounds of Venice to the Athenaeum stairwell. 7-11 PM; free.

StareWell

Free Street's touring youth ensemble MadJoy Theatrics (formerly known as TeenStreet) presents a performance piece in the Athenaeum stairwell. 7 PM; free.

Chumpstrap: A Madras Parable

and Refracting Rainbows

The Curious Theatre Branch presents a pair of world premieres. Jenny Magnus and Beau O'Reilly explore friendship in the "cabaret collaboration" Chumpstrap: A Madras Parable; Marianne Fieber's one-woman show, Refracting Rainbows, is a meditation on grief and recovery. Athenaeum Studio 2. 7:30 PM; $15.

The Palmer Raids: A Theatrical Construction

Plasticene Physical Theater remounts its telling of a U.S. attorney general vs. the Bill of Rights. "The Palmer Raids: A Theatrical Construction is a 90-minute mix of text and movement that tells the true story of our country's first great Red scare....[It] wisely sticks to the raids and the events immediately surrounding them, laying out a narrative that...finds resonance in a steady accretion of facts, figures, press stories, character portraits, and eyewitness accounts," said Reader critic Tony Adler when he reviewed the show's run last year. Athenaeum Studio 4. 7:30 PM; $15.

500 Clown Frankenstein

The troupe that skewered Shakespeare in 500 Clown Macbeth takes on Mary Shelley's creation in this world premiere. Athenaeum Studio 1. 8 PM; $15.

Interference

Leslie Buxbaum-Danzig and her theater company DOG based this performance piece on The Birds by Aristophanes. Athenaeum Studio 4. 10 PM; $15.

Wax and Wayne

Local Infinities uses 200 pounds of candle wax "as the matrix for an intriguing, smart, wholly accessible meditation on creative identity, power, transformation, and sacrifice....I had to admire the stamina of both performers in slathering themselves with hot wax. But what really lifts this piece above the level of a junior high science experiment is the tremendous sympathy between [Meghan] Strell and [Larry] Underwood, whose puppy-dog desire to please, melded with growing impatience at Strell's meddling, owes a debt to Charlie Chaplin....Wax and Wayne is breathtaking in its intertwined intelligence and emotional openness," said Reader critic Kerry Reid when she reviewed this production last summer. Athenaeum Studio 2. 10 PM; $15. Local Infinities member Charlie Levin, billed as "girlCharlie," will be showing her "interactive wax paintings" in the Athenaeum hallway during the course of the festival. Free.

SATURDAY, MARCH 29

Goat Island--Spring Intensive Workshop

See listing for 7-9 PM Friday, March 28. Fine Arts Building, Curtiss Hall, 410 S. Michigan, 10th floor, 773-722-5463. 10 AM-4 PM; $60.

Bianco Veneziano

See listing for 7-11 PM Friday, March 28. Athenaeum stairwell. 7-11 PM; free.

StareWell

See listing for 7 PM Friday, March 28. Athenaeum stairwell. 7 PM; free.

Chumpstrap: A Madras Parable and Refracting Rainbows

See listing for 7:30 PM Friday, March 28. Athenaeum Studio 2. 7:30 PM; $15.

Interference

See listing for 10 PM Friday, March 28. Athenaeum Studio 4. 7:30 PM; $15.

A Little Thing

This dance/theater piece, presented by the Albany Park Theatre Project, features a "postmodern Greek chorus and a percussive score performed with knitting needles." Athenaeum Studio 3. 8 PM; $15.

500 Clown Frankenstein

See listing for 8 PM Friday, March 28. Athenaeum Studio 1. 9:30 PM; $15.

The Palmer Raids: A Theatrical Construction

See listing for 7:30 PM Friday, March 28. Athenaeum Studio 4. 10 PM; $15.

Wax and Wayne

See listing for 10 PM Friday, March 28. Athenaeum Studio 2. 10 PM; $15.

SUNDAY, MARCH 30

Goat Island--Spring Intensive Workshop

See listing for 7-9 PM Friday, March 28. Fine Arts Building, Curtiss Hall, 410 S. Michigan, 10th floor, 773-722-5463. 1:30-4:30 PM; $60.

500 Clown: Workshop I--Taking Risks

The clown troupe invites participants to "expose themselves physically and emotionally." Athenaeum Studio 1. 2-6 PM; $50; $100 for all three 500 Clown workshops (see listings for 2-6 PM Sunday, April 6 and 13).

The Palmer Raids: A Theatrical Construction

See listing for 7:30 PM Friday, March 28. Athenaeum Studio 4. 4 PM; $15.

Interference

See listing for 10 PM Friday, March 28. Athenaeum Studio 4. 7 PM; $15.

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