Join the new Free Street Collective

In 1969, Patrick Henry founded Free Street Theater with a vision of making theater that anyone could participate in. Free Street was one of the first racially integrated theater companies in Chicago, and performed in parks, on streets, and diverse community spaces. For 44 years, Free Street has been committed to finding ways to create work that is inclusive and accessible, and that challenges ideas of where theater belongs and who belongs in a theater. Now, in our 2013/2014 season, we are celebrating our history with a renewed investment in asking:


WANT TO JOIN US AS WE FIGURE IT OUT? Starting in January, we’re kicking off a brand new FREE STREET COLLECTIVE, a multi-generational project that will share ideas, develop a fresh approach to grassroots practice, facilitate community-based residencies, and create original ensemble performance together. 

To start, the collective will meet SATURDAYS from 2-5, JANUARY 11 – MARCH 22. 

We’re looking for 15 people who are interested in exploring the ways in which theater/performance can be used to build community, compliment grassroots movements, celebrate strengths, and facilitate difficult conversations. It is NOT NECESSARY to be an experienced theater-maker! Writers, activists, organizers, visual artists, musicians, builders, bakers, moms, dads, abuelas, aunties, cousins, and that guy down the block are all welcome to apply. It IS important to be someone who genuinely wants to participate in an ensemble process, and who believes in a vision for a way of making work that includes many different people in many different spaces.

Interested? Send an email to coyapaz at gmail dot com with the subject line: Free Street Collective. Tell us about yourself, what interests you in the project, and we’ll take it from there.


Is this a paid opportunity? While there ARE paid opportunities at Free Street, this is not one of them. However, we do offer a stipend for artists who are facilitating community residencies.

Can I bring my kid(s)? YES! Free Street is a multigenerational company, and we don’t believe that childcare should be a barrier to participating in our work.

Will there be snacks? YES! We like to eat!

What if I can’t make Saturday afternoons? Are there other ways to get involved? YES! This is the earliest phase of a much bigger project, so look for more information around March. And in the meantime, check out our IN/HOUSE series or come to one of our FREE community workshops on the 2nd Saturday of every month.

I don’t want to join the collective, but I DO want Free Street to come to my organization/group/center to do a workshop. How can I make that happen? Email coyapaz at gmail dot com. Free Street offers a range of community-based collaborations, from an afternoon workshop to a longer residency process. All of our work is sliding-scale, starting at $0.

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