About this show
NOT AMERICAN is the first stage performance piece created by Chicago-based visual artist Benjamin Larose. Inspired by his own immigration journey from French-speaking Québec to the American Midwest, this solo performance lays bare the desperate throes of a middle-aged artist who realizes he has not made it big. NOT AMERICAN is an assemblage of performative moments including drag, musical numbers, fashion fittings, endurance workouts and more. Embodying both male and female, Québecois and American and performing in both his native French and English, the writer, director, costume-maker and performer shares with the audience an intimately crafted exploration of his own cultural identity and his obsessive yearning to be American.
About Benjamin Larose
Benjamin Larose is a Québécois artist and Assistant Professor in Fashion Design at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, SAIC. Larose holds a Master of Design in Fashion, Body and Garment from SAIC and a Bachelor of Media Arts from Emily Carr University in Vancouver, Canada. After coming to Chicago in 2014, Larose was the recipient of the New Artist Society Scholarship and the RumChata Foundation Fellowship. In 2017-18, Larose participated in the BOLT residency program at the Chicago Artists Coalition. He subsequently presented three solo exhibitions in two years, including a solo booth at EXPO Chicago in 2018. His work was also presented in several group exhibitions across the Midwest at venues such as 6018|North, Ralph Arnold Gallery, Chicago Cultural Center, Illinois State Museum Art Gallery, Hiestand Gallery, Lubeznik Center and John Michael Kohler Art Center. In 2019, Larose was named Breakout Artist by Chicago’s NewCity Magazine. The same year, he won second prize in Miami University’s Young Sculptors Competition. Most recently, Larose was awarded a generous grant from the Canada Council for the Arts for his first live performance project: NOT AMERICAN. The Canada Council for the Arts is among the most prestigious awards for Canadian artists. Benjamin Larose acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts as well as the support from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.
Due to the high volume and wide breadth of work we present, we are often not able to proactively offer content advisories for individual performances. However, if you have specific concerns about stage effects (such as strobe lights or fog/haze) that might have a bearing on comfort or well-being, or if you would like to know more about the age appropriateness of the performance, please contact the box office at 312-335-1650.