Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Chicago Public Library and Facing History and Ourselves partner for youth anti-violence initiative
Officials from the Chicago Public Library, educational organization Facing History and Ourselves and Steppenwolf Theatre Company this morning announced Now Is The Time, a joint initiative to combat trends of youth violence and intolerance in the 2012–13 school year.
Major projects announced this morning in a press conference at the Harold Washington Library Center, aimed at prompting conversations about activism and civic responsibility among the city's youth, include the selection of Australian author Markus Zusak's The Book Thief as the fall 2012 selection for One Book, One Chicago. Steppenwolf for Young Adults will also stage a new adaptation by Heidi Stillman of Zusak's 2006 novel, about a foster child in World War II Germany. Facing History and Ourselves will mount a free multimedia exhibit called "Choosing to Participate" at HWLC. In the spring, oral histories about youth violence, collected from across Chicago by DePaul University students, will be used by Steppenwolf to create a play to be performed at library branches around the city.
Additionally, Steppenwolf says more than 15 other Chicago-area theaters have signed on to participate in Now Is The Time to A.C.T.: Affect Change through Theater. About Face Theatre, American Theatre Company, Lookingglass Theatre Company, Victory Gardens Theater, Writers’ Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Congo Square Theatre, Free Street Theater, A Red Orchid Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Adventure Stage Chicago, Chicago Children’s Theatre, The House Theatre of Chicago, Storycatchers Theatre, Lifeline Theatre and Raven Theatre will present teen-focused performances, panel discussions and other programming centered on issues of youth violence.