International engagement work,
a local performance lab,
and
the Theatre of the Hummingbird

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residencies, and links to past events

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In addition to performing, we are engaged with communities locally and in South Korea in projects that bring young people through the process of imagining, creating and performing their own theatre. We have been conducting residencies at the Haja Center (Seoul Youth Factory for Alternative Culture) and their Haja Production School in Seoul, South Korea, beginning in 2007 and in 2009 we were featured artists and teachers for Haja in the 2nd international Seoul Youth Creativity Summit and Festival.  We've conducted other projects for a week in Seoul for twenty professional actors in 2013 and 2014, a week in Jeju on Jeju Island in Korea with a community theatre group, and in Chicago this February for actors, directors and writers over two weekends.

We have been artists-in-residence at Haja in 2007, 2009, 2012, 2013, and 2014.  Each residency of 1-4 weeks has been built on daily workshops with a selected group of teens, with Haja Production School faculty involvement, sometimes with the Haja middle-school, and in 2013 for young children from low-income backgrounds.  Haja Center and its Haja Production School were established in 1999 as an experimenting and innovating youth center by Yonsei University and the City of Seoul, in an effort to address the obstacles to opportunities for teens and youths resulting from the financial disaster among the "asian tigers" in 1997.  The emphasis is on invention, creativity, community, and resourcefullness.  Each time our workshops culminated in a public performance by the group, who perform their own original theatre compositions of movement, gesture and dialogue on themes of importance to them. 

In 2014, we conducted a 9-week in-depth laboratory to teach our methods and create an evening of new works with a dedicated group of five semi-professional actors from Chicago and Champaign-Urbana, in Champaign-Urbana.  The Experimental Performance Lab has a long history with us beginning in 1991, going through several incarnations.  Although conceived only to be a laboratory showing, the resulting production was performed four times to full houses in town, then went to Chicago for performances in the Rhino Festival at The Prop Thtr. 

At home in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois this year, we designed and convened the pilot project for Theatre of the Hummingbird, a project in which we gathered a group of teenagers from local high schools and home schooling backgrounds to come together on Friday and Saturday nights for four weekends in a row to write, direct and perform their own original work.  Participation was free of charge, supported partly by the Illiinois Arts Council, and held at the independent Community Center for the Arts.  This culminated in two full-house public performances on the fifth weekend.  Based on this success, we are in the process of expanding the project into what it can become: an ongoing teen-driven theatre company for Champaign-Urbana in which the teens write, direct and perform their own original works.


Our vision is to bring together the dynamic teenagers we work with in Urbana with the dynamic teenagers we work with in Seoul, to have them share their work and life experiences with each other, at first through social media and video work, and maybe someday through travel, under the umbrella of Theatre of the Hummingbird.  We hope to  foster that exchange. 

INTERVIEW for SMILE POLITELY, about Theatre of the Hummingbird, conducted by MATHEW GREEN
webzine Smile Politely:
http://smilepolitely.com/arts/theatre_of_the_hummingbird/


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Meeting and interview with Yu Jin Gyu, Seoul

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Public Workshop, Seoul


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Board of Producers residency, Krannert Center

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Theatre of the Hummingbird, workshop scores

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Haja Center residency

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Experimental Lab, Urbana, Quintets for a Quartet, The Wedding

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Experimental Lab, Urbana, Quintets for a Quartet, The Cafe

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Haja Center residency, Seoul

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