As we head in to the new year, we thought we’d check in with Free Street Artist L’Oreal Jackson. In addition to her work at Free Street, L’Oreal is a yoga instructor, a solo performer, and a whiz at whipping up at home spa remedies. Over the summer, she co-directed Why Didn’t the Chicken Cross the Road, a show from the Little Village Ensemble (LiVE) that performed all over the city, including a Green Show for Shakespeare in the Park where Mayor Emmanuel was an audience member. (This was extra fun for all of us because the show talked explicitly about how school closings were impacting youth.) Now, L’Oreal is one of two facilitators working with our Resident Ensemble to develop a full-length original show scheduled to debut in May. “I’ve been interested in working with Free Street since I became a teaching artist in 2008,” she says. “It seems like a place for anything to happen.”
Every Saturday, L’oreal leads the ensemble in an hour long yoga session, a practice she believes has important overlap with the rest of Free Street’s training. “The essence of Yoga is connection and the I think the same is true of any art. Whether we’re trying to connect to an audience, to other artists, or trying to connect thoughts and ideas to an expression, there’s always an underlying attempt to bring something together.” Sound fun? She’ll be offering a free all-ages yoga class at Free Street this winter – stay tuned for the exact details.
Until then, you can catch her at Free Street, Moksha Yoga, or touring with About Face Theater’s show It’s For Real. And in May, she’ll be celebrating her 30th birthday with a new solo show based on journals and diaries she’s been keeping since middle school.