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A Letter from Theatre Seven of Chicago's Artistic Director

by Brian Golden

LETTER FROM THE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR Brian Golden, Managing Artistic Director, Theatre Seven of Chicago A difference between seeing and recognizing. Between watching and looking. That distinction, drawn in a line from Christina Anderson’s BLACKTOP SKY, says it all about both tonight’s production and our body of work as a community arts organization. When Theatre Seven first read BLACKTOP SKY, we felt an instant visceral connection with the three characters portrayed in Christina’s script. Ida, Klass and Wynn are vastly different individuals, but they each carry big dreams, dreams that shove at the boundaries of the world their holders have inherited, demanding to be heard and yearning to be fulfilled. Although this piece was not written about Chicago, we felt immediately that it had been written for Chicago. Our artistic company connected deeply with the rich spirits of each character and the passionate interrogation offered by Christina’s lyrical writing of the very meaning of words like neighborhood and community. That idea of community is at the heart of Theatre Seven of Chicago’s mission and purpose. Because in big, busy, broad-shouldered Chicago, we don’t always recognize one another, do we? We see our neighbors, our fellow Chicagoans, but do we offer recognition to them? Do we recognize their hopes, their struggles, their dreams? We watch out for danger, but do we really look out for one another? Are we passive witnesses or active participants in the life of our city and its people? Those questions are just a few of the ones asked by Christina in the work you’ll see tonight, and they are fundamental to Theatre Seven and our mission to tell Chicago stories on stage. With all the work we do, we hope to offer you the opportunity to recognize and connect with the stories of our city. MISSION We tell Chicago stories. HISTORY Since 2007, the company has produced seventeen standout offerings, greeted 13,000 audience members, paid 200+ artists for their contributions, earned nominations for three Jeff Awards and two Black Theatre Alliance Awards and won the League of Chicago Theatres’ 2012 Emerging Theater Award. The company’s noted world premieres include THE CHICAGO LANDMARK PROJECT, WE LIVE HERE, DIVERSEY HARBOR, YES, THIS REALLY HAPPENED TO ME and COOPERSTOWN. Theatre Seven also hosts a robust menu of auxiliary programming, including a monthly reading series, Shikaakwa, featuring new-to-Chicago plays and one of the best post-show discussions in town. GET INVOLVED Please join us in our commitment to support our city through one-of-a-kind Chicago storytelling. Visit us on the web at or give us a call at 773-853-3158 to find out how you can help!