Community Partner
Theatre Y’s

Little Carl

May 27 - 28, 2023

Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare

working from an original script by Michael Montenegro


Chicago Shakespeare partners with Theatre Y of North Lawndale to present this original work of puppet theater developed with youth from Chicago’s West side, Multidisciplinary Artist Marvin Tate (originally from North Lawndale), puppetry artisan Michael Montenegro, and the Firehouse Community Arts Center. Theatre Y is a Chicago-based international incubator that creates connections between diverse artists seeking mutual growth through collaboration. In Little Carl, the company’s Youth Ensemble grapples with the difficult issue of gun violence by creating a dream play using puppets, masks, and poetry, making beautiful imagery as an antidote to despair. With an extraordinary set of tools and support from veteran masters of their craft, members of the youth program have steered the project, creating each aspect of the vision, while maintaining a critical distance from the work to protect them from re-traumatization or any feelings of exploitation.

Instructors Michael Montenegro, Marvin Tate, and Bill MacKay present on the first day of the program

Theater Y Youth Incubator at the Firehouse with Michael Montenegro and Marvin Tate

More about Theatre Y

Theatre Y wants to participate in people’s lives in ways that matter, here and now. Rather than telling stories about a community, we seek to participate in our community’s story. Theatre Y serves to manifest imagined realities, living global citizenship to better understand our shared humanity. Artistic director Melissa Lorraine and the Theatre Y ensemble are committed to continuously re-thinking the practice of theater as a tool of liberation and a revolutionary practice, bringing Theatre Y to venues ranging from LaMaMa’s historical theater to Illinois prisons. As an organization committed to prison abolition, Theatre Y is in partnership with men serving natural life sentences on arts campaigns towards reparative justice for the incarcerated and continues to innovate in the fight for social justice. Theatre Y, which is now in its 17th year of experimental productions, challenging international content, and a member-based FREE theater model, occupies a unique place in Chicago's theater community.⁠y.⁠com

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