From taking a stand in the cafeteria to taking a stand in the government, Free Streets youth artists present a new play that asks how do you make change when you can’t vote? Both a toolkit and a call to action, CHECKMATE explores the impact of youth-led movements on social change, and emphasizes the power of imagination in creating radical solutions to everyday problems.
Research for this project began during the election season, as youth artists participating in Free Streets after school and summer conservatory programs watched the country prepare to make decisions that will impact the longterm future of the country, but which youth themselves don’t get a say in. “From public school budgets to environmental policy, youth are deeply impacted by the decisions our politicians make”, notes director Katrina Dion. But they don’t get to vote on any of it. As youth began to research the history of elections and voting, they were struck by how many different populations are locked out of voting, whether due to active disenfranchisement or access to polls. “This project is important because it explores how activists of any age can get involved in fomenting change locally and abroad”, says Assistant Director Elijah Ruiz, a Free Street alum now heavily involved in activism and organizing.
Created and performed by youth age 13-18, CHECKMATE reminds us that change starts now, with us.
April 21-May 6
Fridays at 7pm
Saturdays at 3pm
(Free childrens co-programming offered during Saturday shows.)
Free Street Theater
1419 W. Blackhawk Ave
(Pulaski Park Field House, 3rd Floor)
All performances are pay-what-you-can at the door.