ALBANY PARK — In the midst of all the hoopla surrounding a certain Broadway musical's Chicago run, tickets quietly sold out in a day for the newest production from one of the city's most exciting ensembles.
“We are humbled and invigorated to know that people feel the theater Albany Park Theater Project makes is vital to their lives and to Chicago,” David Feiner, the troupe's co-founder and artistic director, said in a statement.
"Learning Curve" is an immersive performance set inside the fictional Ellen Gates Starr High School (actually Avondale's St. Hyacinth Basilica, which closed in 2015). The theater company's teen ensemble places audience members in the shoes of students, teachers and parents as they experience challenges and triumphs on the road to obtaining a high school diploma.
Founded in 1997 by Feiner and his late wife Laura Wiley, Albany Park Theater Project and its teen ensemble have been lauded for creating original works, based on real-life stories, related to social justice issues. In February, the theater received a MacArthur Foundation Award grant of $400,000, which Feiner called a "game-changer."
"It gives us the seed money to pilot new collaborations," Feiner said. "It allows us to be bold and experimental."
"Learning Curve" is the first collaboration between the theater and Brooklyn-based Third Rail Projects. The show is being produced in association with Goodman Theatre, where Albany Park Theater Project has taken up a summer residence the last several years.
The show is not recommended for audience members who are not comfortable standing, walking or climbing stairs. Children under 14 will not be admitted.
A wait-list is available for "Learning Curve"'s initial run, July 27 through Aug. 28 (click here).
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