Free Street Theater Youth Ensemble Auditions
September 23 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Free Street’s Youth Ensembles are made up of 14-19 year olds looking to create original plays about issues affecting Chicago youth. They come to us with varying levels of theatrical experience, from none, to “I’ve been acting since I was 3.” We meet students where they are at, focusing on their individual strengths, while training our ensemble in performance, writing, critical thinking, and research skills. In the past, we’ve looked at water justice, a history of labor in Back of the Yards, environmental racism, to name a few. Our youth ensembles meet multiple times per week to rehearse and train in order to make this all possible. For our productions, Free Street hires professional designers to work with the ensemble and directors to create the play of their dreams.
Our youth ensemble is the chance to grow your artistic skills, collaborate with other youth interested in the intersections of the arts and social justice, and become part of a 50 plus year legacy of creating theatre by, for, about, with and in Chicago’s communities.
Free Street has two Youth Ensembles:
Pulaski Park: Located near Division and Ashland, our Pulaski Park Youth Ensemble brings youth
in from all across Chicago, focusing their plays on citywide issues.
The Storyfront: Our Storyfront space, located in Back of the Yards, is home to our Storyfront
Youth Ensemble, which is made up of students from Back of the Yards, McKinley Park, Gage
Park and Englewood, focusing on more hyperlocal issues.
During our 2021-2022 season these two youth ensembles are collaborating together.
What Youth Receive
By participating in our youth ensemble, ensemble members gain the following:
-Resume builders, and tips. FST can be put on your resume.
-Recommenders for colleges, jobs, and other programs
-MONEY! We pay our youth to be a part of the ensemble.
-Connections to a larger Chicago artistic community: Free Street brings in professional artists to lead guest workshops.
-Notoriety: Free Street’s Youth Ensemble is nationally recognized. We have been featured in local newspapers such as Southside Weekly, and national magazines like Teen Vogue.
-Connections to local grassroots organizations: Each year we partner with a local organization or individual who is fighting the injustice we are investigating. Youth will understand how to fit artistic work into an overall activist strategy, and work with these organizations to practice this.
Auditions are workshop style. Come and participate in a 60 minute workshop that gives you a sense of what a day at Free Street would be like. No preparation required, just bring yourself!