Steppenwolf Addresses Youth Violence, Gang Leaders of Chicago with “How Long Will i Cry?”

(left to right) Jesse David-Perez, Gabriel Ruiz, Celeste Williams, J. Salomé Martinez Jr. and Tara Mallen rehearse a scene for Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s production of How Long Will I Cry?: Voices of Youth Violence by Miles Harvey, directed by Edward Torres. How Long Will I Cry? runs February 26 – March 23, 2013 in Steppenwolf’s Upstairs Theatre (1650 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL).

(left to right) Jesse David-Perez, Gabriel Ruiz, Celeste Williams, J. Salomé Martinez Jr. and Tara Mallen rehearse a scene for Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s production of How Long Will I Cry?: Voices of Youth Violence by Miles Harvey, directed by Edward Torres. How Long Will I Cry? runs February 26 – March 23, 2013 in Steppenwolf’s Upstairs Theatre (1650 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL).

Voices of Youth Violence are Heard at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre
by Diane Dombrowski, Berkshire on Stage Midwest Correspondent

Woven together from interviews gathered by journalist Miles Harvey and his students at DePaul University, How Long Will I Cry? provides raw, truthful insight into the problem of youth violence. By giving voice to those who know the tragic consequences of violence first-hand—families of the victims, residents of crime-ridden neighborhoods and especially young people—How Long Will I Cry? inspires all of us to join together in search of a solution.

Public performances of How Long Will I Cry? are March 2, 4, 9, 18 and 23 in Steppenwolf’s Upstairs Theatre (1650 N Halsted St.) Tickets are available through Audience Services (1650 N Halsted St), 312-335-1650 and steppenwolf.org. School performances are Tuesday – Friday at 10am and are on sale now through SYA Education Assistant Lauren Sivak at 312-654-5643.

How Long Will I Cry?: Voices of Youth Violence is a culmination for me of more than three years of thinking about youth violence in the city of Chicago,” comments Hallie Gordon, Artistic and Education Director for Steppenwolf for Young Adults. “It is a concern that both the playwright, Miles Harvey, and his students from DePaul University shared and over the past two years have investigated with compassion and honesty. It is why Now Is The Time was started, a city wide initiative to stop youth violence and intolerance. This piece shows the power the arts can have on very real issues. This piece is a call to action to stop the trend of youth violence in Chicago. Now is the time.”

Now Is The Time is a year-long conversation about how young people can make positive change in their communities and stop the trend of youth violence and intolerance. Through major projects taking place throughout 2012/13, Chicago Public Library, Facing History and Ourselves, and Steppenwolf Theatre Company join forces to activate this conversation in our city’s many neighborhoods. They are joined by dozens of other organizations and institutions around the city, including a coalition of Chicago’s finest theater companies, Now is the Time to ACT. Learn more atnowisthetimechicago.org.

How Long Will I Cry? also tours select Chicago Public Library branches and partner locations, March 11 – 16, 2013.

Journalist, playwright and DePaul University professor Miles Harvey participates in a post-show discussion with filmmaker of The Interrupters and author of There Are No Children HereAlex Kotlowitz, and Founder and CEO of Kids Off The Block, Inc., Diane Latiker, whose story is featured in the play following the performance on Monday, March 4. Miles Harvey also participates in a post-show discussion following the performance on Monday, March 18. On Saturday, March 23, Steppenwolf is pleased to welcome award-winning author of Gang Leader for a Day andFreakonomics contributor Sudhir Venkatesh for a post-show discussion following the performance. Mr. Venkatesh has written extensively about Chicago’s urban poor and gang culture.

The cast of How Long Will I Cry? features Carlos Rogelio Diaz (Berly Valladares/Ernie Purnell, March 11 – 23),

Charles Gardner (Deshon), Tara Mallen (Joy McCormack),  J. Salomé Martinez, Jr. (Berly Valladares/Ernie Purnell, February    26 – March 10; Frankie Valencia/Max Cerda, March 11 – 23), Shannon Matesky(DaisyCamacho/Ora), Jessie David Perez (Narcisco Gatica/Jamie), Gabriel Ruiz (Frankie Valencia/Max Cerda,February 26 – March 10), Mark Smith (Pastor Brooks), March Ulrich (Narrator) and Celeste Williams (Diane Latiker/T-Awannda Piper).

The production team for How Long Will I Cry? includes: William Boles (scenic design), Sally Dolembo (costume design), J.R. Lederle (lighting design), Gregor Mortis (sound design) and Michael Fernandez (projection design). Additional credits include: Erica Daniels (casting), Terrence Mosely (assistant director), Kelli Simpkins (artistic consulting), Megan Shuchman (dramaturgy) and Tess Golden (stage manager). Photos and bio information for all artists are available upon request.

Tickets to public performances of How Long Will I Cry?: Voices of Youth Violence ($20) are currently on salethrough Audience Services (1650 N Halsted St), 312-335-1650 and steppenwolf.org. Tickets to the performances on Saturday, March 2 and 9 are 2-for-1. Student Discounts: a limited number of $15 student tickets are available through Audience Services (1650 N Halsted St) or by calling 312-335-1650. Must present a valid student ID for each ticket. School Performances are currently on sale. Contact SYA Education Assistant Lauren Sivak at 312-654-5643.Adult Groups: all groups of 10 or more receive a discounted rate for any performance throughout the season. For additional information, visit steppenwolf.org/groupsTour Performances: admission to the tour performances March 11 – 16 is free, though a reservation is required. Please call the library branch as listed to reserve tickets.

How Long Will I Cry? will tour to the following Chicago Public Library branches and the Gary Comer Youth Center, March 11 – 16. Please visit Chicago Public Library for specific branch information or call the number listed below to reserve your tickets.

All performances listed are free to members of the public but reservations are required. Following each tour performance, audience members are invited to participate in an interactive conversation.

March 11 at 11:00am
Woodson Regional Library
9525 S. Halsted Street
312-747-6900
March 11 at 5:00pm
West Englewood Library
1745 W. 63rd Street
312-747-3481
March 12 at 11:00am
Austin Branch
5615 W Race Ave
312-746-5038
March 13 at 11:00am
Little Village Branch
2311 S. Kedzie Avenue
312-745-1862
March 13 at 5:00pm
Gary Comer Youth Center
7200 S. Ingleside Avenue
773-358-4100
March 14 at 11:00am
Harold Washington Library Center
400 S. State Street
312-747-4300
March 14 at 5:00pm
Whitney Young Branch
7901 S. King Drive
312-747-0039
March 16 at 11:00am
Humboldt Park Branch
1605 N. Troy Street
312-744-2244

Schedule is subject to change.

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