A Chicagoan’s Love Letter to Conversation Makers
Photo Credit: Andrea Klohn
We haven’t had a lot of sunshine here in Chicago.
We’ve had so little of it in the last month that we broke records. It’s been a long few weeks here in the Windy City without the sun to life our spirits. For me, it’s been harder than ever to get out of the house to go see theater.
It must be kismet then that so many shows in Chicago right now spur on the conversations we’re undoubtedly having at length. These conversation makers are well-received gifts in a season of many dreary skies. They remind us that, while the world often lives in the grey, we can light up our own lives by talking things out with people we love.
Take Labyrinth for example. A show about the financial collapse of other countries spurred on by overindulgent American banks. Broken Nose Theatre’s play takes place decades ago but feels present because, well, not a lot has changed.
Or How to Defend Yourself at Victory Gardens. This show is achingly painful at times, but an important glimpse into our rampant rape culture. How trauma impacts people differently and how we all have to live on despite our fears. This is a show with a lot to unpack. One that should be viewed by every man so they can understand the kind of underlying fear so many women, non-binary and femme people live with every single day.
There is a plethora of important work happening on Chicago’s stages right now.
We have performers combating issues that aren’t necessary “polite family dinner conversations” in a lot of circles and we should be ever grateful that they’re being done. They’re initiating these conversations so we can carry them onward. Let’s talk about police brutality with Sheepdog, women’s reproductive rights with Roe or homophobia/toxic masculinity with The Leopard Play. I’m so grateful that these artists are willing to do such taxing emotional labor to ensure that these topics are talked about.
So long as the weather is uncooperative we need these pieces of theater to keep our conversations alive. To make the world a little better and brighter for everyone as we dig into the less comfortable.
So long as we have Chicago theater we will make these conversations last.
That’s the best way we can change the world.