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"They don't know how bad they need to feel small again."

“[Colón’s work] is Chicago style for a new generation: one that’s younger, more diverse, and woke as hell.” - Time Out Chicago

 

Tilikum was a king, and the oceans of the world were his. Now, he is a captive in a marine amusement park, doomed to live merely as an opportunity for profit. Alone behind bars he forgets the feel of freedom, but when fellow prisoners ignite the fires of his memory, he starts down a path that threatens to consume everything. Ripped from the headlines, Kristiana Rae Colón’s Tilikum explores captivity, violence and rebellion in a vital and visceral blend of theatre, drumming and dance. Poetic and lyrical, Tilikum calls out the power structures--both corporate and human--that ensure continued oppression, and the complicity of those willing to stand by and do nothing.

 

Approximate run time: 90 minutes, without intermission

 

June 22 - July 29, 2018

Richard Christiansen Theatre at Victory Gardens

2433 N Lincoln Avenue

 

Production Sponsors

Tom Bergin and Cortney Zaret

 

This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

 

ACCESSIBLE PERFORMANCES

Sideshow is happy to provide the following accessible services for the performances listed:

 

Audio Description and Touch Tour:

Sunday, July 22: 1pm Touch Tour; 2:30pm performance

 

Open Captioning:

Saturday, July 14: 8pm performance

Sunday, July 15: 2:30pm performance

Friday, July 20: 8pm performance

Saturday, July 21: 8pm performance

CAST

PRODUCTION TEAM

PHOTOS

PRESS

★★★★!

"Stunning... An unforgettable drama about the devastating effects of a system where monetary gain depends on keeping anyone in captivity... it’s pure poetry-in-motion."

Catey Sullivan, Chicago Sun-Times

 

I could talk about how great Tilikum is all day... Greg Geffrard is charming, tragic, funny, a generous and physically dynamic Tilikum... Sigrid Sutter, as his trainer, deftly illustrates the nefarious layers of well-intentioned white people... pitch-perfect sound design and brilliant performances by multi-instrumentalists, Coco Elysses, Melissa F. DuPrey and Joyce Liza Rada Lindsey... I could mention how quotably beautiful Colón’s writing is, every other line dropping poetic wisdom and questions about story, identity, myth and performance."

Jay Van Ort, New City

 

Reader Recommended!

"Why should a black whale evoke more sympathy than a black man when he's taken from what he loves and kept in untenable circumstances? Sideshow Theatre's production, under the direction of Lili-Anne Brown, demands consideration of these questions."

Irene Hsiao, Chicago Reader

 

"A profound and gorgeous world premiere... in a very profound way, Tilikum is not about sea life. It’s about mass incarceration, the effects of trauma and enslavement on humans, and the injustices being dealt to incarcerated men, women, and children of color as we speak... I couldn’t give Tilikum a higher recommendation."

Sean Margaret Wagner, Theatre by Numbers

 

"Tilikum is a game-changer, a masterfully written, sophisticated play full of subtleties and brutalities told in a refreshingly unique method, performed by a cast of talented actors that clearly trust each other enough to tackle such electrifying material... I guarantee that you will not see anything else like it this year."

Sheri Flanders, PerformInk

 

★★★★!

"We need to be clear that Tilikum is not just good. It’s more than good. And it’s not just great. It’s more than great. For right now, for where we are right now, Tilikum is essential... The considerable trick of pulling off this double backflip script is executed flawlessly by Lili-Anne Brown."

Joe DeRosa, Chicago Onstage

 

"It takes a remarkable actor to manifest Colón’s vision, and Gregory Geffrard is nothing short of virtuosic in the title role... Director Lili-Anne Brown has brought us yet another do-not-miss production."

Emma Couling, Rescripted

 

"A poetic, percussive fantasy that demands that we pay attention to a range of social justice issues. Paul Deziel’s projection designs are quite remarkable and beautiful."

Nancy Bishop, Third Coast Review

 

"A visual and aural feast for the senses."

Brent Ervin-Eickhoff, Picture This Post

 

"Tilikum is beautifully humanized through Gregory Geffrard’s powerful performance... A wonderful, thought-provoking production."

Mary Crylen, Chicago Stage Standard

 

"So much of this achievement is owing to the holistically phenomenal work of actor Gregory Geffrard as the titular orca whale struggling with confinement and a slowly encroaching forgetfulness. The dissociation from freedom and majesty that comes from long-term entrapment and lack of stimulation is heartbreakingly expressed in Geffrard’s poetic expression, comedic timing, fluid and pained movement. He is perfectly cast in a role that demands awareness of a shared history of land and sea."

Becky Sarwate, The Broadway Blog

 

"Noelle Simone’s choreography is breathtaking, practically the star of the piece, [and] all three actors turn out incredible performances... Tilikum will likely reach the highest of heights as a force to be reckoned with in American theater."

Lauren Whalen, Chicago Theater Beat

by Kristiana Rae Colón

directed by Lili-Anne Brown

 

June 22 - July 29, 2018

Richard Christiansen Theatre at Victory Gardens

2433 N Lincoln Avenue

 

Run time: 90 minutes, without intermission

“[Colón’s work] is Chicago style for a new generation: one that’s younger, more diverse, and woke as hell.” - Time Out Chicago

 

Tilikum was a king, and the oceans of the world were his. Now, he is a captive in a marine amusement park, doomed to live merely as an opportunity for profit. Alone behind bars he forgets the feel of freedom, but when fellow prisoners ignite the fires of his memory, he starts down a path that threatens to consume everything. Ripped from the headlines, Kristiana Rae Colón’s Tilikum explores captivity, violence and rebellion in a vital and visceral blend of theatre, drumming and dance. Poetic and lyrical, Tilikum calls out the power structures--both corporate and human--that ensure continued oppression, and the complicity of those willing to stand by and do nothing.

 

Production Sponsors

Tom Bergin and Cortney Zaret

 

This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

 

 

ACCESSIBLE PERFORMANCES

Sideshow is happy to provide the following accessible services for the performances listed:

 

Audio Description and Touch Tour:

Sunday, July 22: 1pm Touch Tour; 2:30pm performance

 

Open Captioning:

Saturday, July 14: 8pm performance

Sunday, July 15: 2:30pm performance

Friday, July 20: 8pm performance

Saturday, July 21: 8pm performance

“[Colón’s work] is Chicago style for a new generation: one that’s younger, more diverse, and woke as hell.” - Time Out Chicago

 

Tilikum was a king, and the oceans of the world were his. Now, he is a captive in a marine amusement park, doomed to live merely as an opportunity for profit. Alone behind bars he forgets the feel of freedom, but when fellow prisoners ignite the fires of his memory, he starts down a path that threatens to consume everything. Ripped from the headlines, Kristiana Rae Colón’s Tilikum explores captivity, violence and rebellion in a vital and visceral blend of theatre, drumming and dance. Poetic and lyrical, Tilikum calls out the power structures--both corporate and human--that ensure continued oppression, and the complicity of those willing to stand by and do nothing.

 

Production Sponsors

Tom Bergin and Cortney Zaret

 

This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

 

 

ACCESSIBLE PERFORMANCES

Sideshow is happy to provide the following accessible services for the performances listed:

 

Audio Description and Touch Tour:

Sunday, July 22: 1pm Touch Tour; 2:30pm performance

 

Open Captioning:

Saturday, July 14: 8pm performance

Sunday, July 15: 2:30pm performance

Friday, July 20: 8pm performance

Saturday, July 21: 8pm performance