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Around the Coyote

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The 11th annual edition of this multidisciplinary arts festival, which was founded by the late Jim Happy-Delpech to showcase artists in the Wicker Park and Bucktown neighborhoods, features a scaled-down, more selective, and more artistically diverse theater and performance component than in previous years. Local groups--including the Ma'at Production Association of Afrikan Centered Theatre, the Bumblinni Brothers, Asylum 137, Shakti Dance, and the Mammals--are joined this year by out-of-towners, including former Chicagoan Amy Seeley, New York director Nick Colt, and Seattle Mime Theatre member K. Brian Neel. The following listings are based on information provided by theater coordinator Jonathan Pitts; see listings elsewhere in this issue for information on poetry, dance, film, musical attractions, and visual art. Performances take place September 7 through 10 in the main-stage and studio spaces of the Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division, except where otherwise noted in the listings. Admission to all theater and performance events is free, but donations will be requested after each show. The admission price for the festival's main exhibition sites is $5 per day; the festival's "ground zero" is the intersection of North, Milwaukee, and Damen. For more information call 773-342-6777 or visit the festival's Web site at www.aroundthecoyote.org.

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 7

Sweet Chaos

The four-woman dance-theater collective She team up with a live jazz group for this performance piece about "the pursuits of love, life, and relationships." Chopin main stage, 7 PM.

Scratch

Kansas writer-performer Christopher Piatt performs his solo show about a PBS intern who fantasizes about eloping with the 12-year-old runner-up of a national geography bee. Stephanie McCanles directs for Hungermark Productions. Chopin studio, 7 PM.

Free Beer! All You Can Drink! B.Y.O.B.!

The Bumblinni Brothers, an all-male ensemble that specializes in circus arts and physical comedy, showcase their skills at tumbling, fire juggling, and audience-interactive clowning.

Chopin main stage, 8 PM.

The Improv Highway

The Annoyance Theatre's Joe Bill directs an evening of improvisation by a new ensemble, Long Form Overdrive.

Chopin studio, 8 PM.

The Silent Movie

One Reel Productions' improvised show, directed by Around the Coyote's theater coordinator and Chicago Improv Festival producer Jonathan Pitts, features actors creating live silent short films--a melodrama and a slapstick comedy--based on audience suggestions, lit only by a movie projector and accompanied by a pianist. Free popcorn will be available.

Chopin main stage, 9 PM.

aVersion of Creation and The Jungle

Shakti Dance & Friends presents two movement-based performance pieces. The first, created by Michael J. Taylor and Jennifer Savarirayan, is based on creation mythology drawn from gnostic gospels discovered in Egypt in 1945; the second is a remounting of Holy Goat Ensemble's portrait of what the world was like just after its creation. Chopin studio, 9 PM.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 8

Sweet Chaos

See listing for 7 PM Thursday.

Chopin main stage, 7 PM.

Scratch

See listing for 7 PM Thursday.

Chopin studio, 7 PM.

Free Beer! All You Can Drink! B.Y.O.B.!

See listing for 8 PM Thursday.

Chopin main stage, 8 PM.

The Improv Highway

See listing for 8 PM Thursday.

Chopin studio, 8 PM.

The Silent Movie

See listing for 9 PM Thursday.

Chopin main stage, 9 PM.

aVersion of Creation

and The Jungle

See listing for 9 PM Thursday.

Chopin studio, 9 PM.

Amy! Amy! Amy!

Former Factory Theater stalwart Amy Seeley, now based in LA, returns to Chicago with a one-woman show created for this festival. Chopin studio, 10 PM.

KidnapGirl

Nick Colt's rock and roll musical, previously produced by New York's Collective: Unconscious Theatre, is inspired by comic-book superheroes and carnival sideshows. A local cast performs the work under Colt's direction for NoLeash Productions; the show also features a live band and puppets. Chopin main stage, 10:30 PM.

Double Climax

Seattle Mime Theatre member K. Brian Neel portrays multiple characters in this "noir film on stage" about a man ensnared in an insurance scam and a love triangle. Chopin studio, 11 PM.

Clowns in the Vagina

The clown trio Asylum 137, fresh from a successful engagement at the New York Fringe Festival, offers a program of anarchic comedy. Chopin main stage, midnight.

Token to the Moon

The Common Breath Theater Company presents Brian Christopher Williams's play about two lonely people--a night wanderer and a U.N. interpreter--seeking to escape to a world without gravity or reasons to hide. Matthew Hahn directs. Chopin studio, midnight.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 9

Dream Play Distorted

The Mammals theater company presents Bob Fisher's adaptation of August Strindberg's A Dream Play, the epic tale of a Hindu goddess whose visit to earth "reveals misery, injustice, and ugliness. . . . This 1902 drama rejected the conventions of realism to embrace a free-associative expressionism that makes it historically influential [but] nearly impossible to stage. . . . Fisher pares down Strindberg's work to its bare essentials, which are delivered in the Mammals' trademark style: extravagant emoting, autoerotic choreography, Grand Guignol images, . . . seamless aural accompaniment, and a running time of just over an hour. This largely unknown company clearly has a knack for condensing elephantine pageantry into elegant, multisensory tone poems," said Reader critic Mary Shen Barnidge when she reviewed this production's original run. Chopin studio, 2 PM.

Bomb-time

The Ma'at Production Association of Afrikan Centered Theatre (MPAACT) presents William S. Carroll's solo show about the life of a black man. Chopin studio, 3 PM.

Chekhov-A-Go-Go

Prometheus Productions premieres its offbeat reinterpretations of two plays by Anton Chekhov. The group's staging of the one-act comedy The Bear, directed by Nick Jones, emphasizes physical humor; The Seagull Suite, directed by Eric Sydnor, is a dance-theater adaptation of The Seagull. Chopin main stage, 4 PM.

Sweet Chaos

See listing for 7 PM Thursday.

Chopin main stage, 7 PM.

Scratch

See listing for 7 PM Thursday.

Chopin studio, 7 PM.

Free Beer! All You Can Drink! B.Y.O.B.!

See listing for 8 PM Thursday.

Chopin main stage, 8 PM.

The Improv Highway

See listing for 8 PM Thursday.

Chopin studio, 8 PM.

The Silent Movie

See listing for 9 PM Thursday.

Chopin main stage, 9 PM.

aVersion of Creation

and The Jungle

See listing for 9 PM Thursday.

Chopin studio, 9 PM.

Amy! Amy! Amy!

See listing for 10 PM Friday.

Chopin studio, 10 PM.

KidnapGirl

See listing for 10:30 PM Friday.

Chopin main stage, 10:30 PM.

Double Climax

See listing for 11 PM Friday.

Chopin studio, 11 PM.

Clowns in the Vagina

See listing for midnight Friday.

Chopin main stage, midnight.

Token to the Moon

See listing for midnight Friday.

Chopin studio, midnight.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 10

Dream Play Distorted

See listing for 2 PM Saturday.

Chopin studio, 2 PM.

Bomb-time

See listing for 3 PM Saturday.

Chopin studio, 3 PM.

Chekhov-A-Go-Go

See listing for 4 PM Saturday.

Chopin main stage, 4 PM.

Sweet Chaos

See listing for 7 PM Thursday.

Chopin main stage, 7 PM.

Scratch

See listing for 7 PM Thursday.

Chopin studio, 7 PM.

Free Beer! All You Can Drink! B.Y.O.B.!

See listing for 8 PM Thursday.

Chopin main stage, 8 PM.

The Improv Highway

See listing for 8 PM Thursday.

Chopin studio, 8 PM.

The Silent Movie

See listing for 9 PM Thursday.

Chopin main stage, 9 PM.

aVersion of Creation

and The Jungle

See listing for 9 PM Thursday.

Chopin studio, 9 PM.

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