Collaborations | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Writer-musician Paul McComas and his former student Emile Ferris, a writer and visual artist, are both fascinated by monsters--he began making his own monster movies at 11, and in 2003 she published a story called "My Favorite Thing Is Monsters by Karen Reyes." Now, for this program of collaborations organized by Jamie Horban, they've created Backyard Monsters, which combines McComas's edited childhood movies and live musical accompaniment with a monologue by Ferris: drawing on her short story, it focuses on the impact of the Vietnam war. Ferris also sketches dancers live in another piece on the program, which includes some 20 five- to ten-minute cross-genre collaborations, many of them movement oriented. CM2-4PK, traveling here from England, performs "parkour," an urban art form that involves jumping over or through or around whatever objects are nearby. It looks like skateboarding without the boards. Elijah Gibson choreographed a piece for dancer and tightrope, Horban combines dance and aerial acrobatics, and Vance Smith and Greg Silva tell a story through juggling. Fri-Sun 5/19-5/21, 7:30 PM, Bailiwick Repertory, Bailiwick Arts Center, 1229 W. Belmont, 773-883-1090, $17.

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