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In 1988 Montreal's Carbone 14 performance company brought its rivetingly physical yet poetic Le rail to the International Theatre Festival of Chicago. That same year founding director Gilles Maheu unveiled Le dortoir ("The Dormitory"), which only now is receiving its Chicago-area premiere in a brief engagement by the touring troupe. Specializing in an emotionally expressive theater of images notable for its evocative use of crisp detail and its sharply focused movement (Maheu's teachers include the great mime Etienne Decroux), Carbone 14 in this piece focuses on the sexual turbulence of youth in relation to the volatile politics of the 1960s. Its source is autobiographical--Maheu's experiences in a Catholic institution for the children of troubled families as well as his memories of President Kennedy's assassination and the violence that followed during the next few years--but its theme is universal: the often rebellious search for love, purpose, and self-understanding that characterizes adolescence and young adulthood. Centre East, 7701 N. Lincoln, Skokie, 708-673-6300. Thursday through Saturday, October 15 through 17, 8 PM. $17.50-$20.50.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Yves Dube.

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