The Public Square at the IHC hosts a special performance of scenes from this highly-acclaimed new play in Humboldt Park.
CHICAGO – What does it mean to be a political prisoner in the United States? Join the Public Square at IHC, Café Teatro Batey Urbano, and the Juan Antonio Corretjer Puerto Rican Cultural Center for a special evening featuring scenes from Crime Against Humanity, the new play based on the experiences of 14 Puerto Rican political prisoners. After the performance,Michael Reyes Benavides,playwright and director of Crime Against Humanity, Michele Morales from the National Boricua Human Rights Network, and actor Sammy Vega will engage the audience in a question-and-answer session.This event will take place on Thursday, March 20 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Café Teatro Batey Urbano (2620 W. Division St., Chicago). This event is free and open to the public. Reservations are recommended to ensure admission and can be made by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 312.422.5580.
MORE ABOUT CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY AND MICHAEL REYES BENAVIDES
Imagine 27 years of your life living in a space six feet by nine feet. Imagine being confined in isolation with no human contact. Imagine the shakedowns, the strip searches and the complete disregard for your humanity. Written by poet and activist Michael Anthony Reyes Benavides and former Puerto Rican political prisoner Luis Rosa, Crime Against Humanity confronts the physical and mental torture these prisoners endured for more than 27 years. We see them as they refuse to be victimized and objectified, confronting their hardships and adversities while maintaining their dignity, and upholding their humanity. Crime Against Humanity is produced by the National Boricua Human Rights Network in collaboration with Batey Urbano.
For the last five years, much of Michael Reyes Benavides’ work has been dedicated to Café Teatro Batey Urbano. He has been involved in a variety of youth-lead projects, including the founding of Zócalo Urbano, a Chicago-Mexicano/Latino youth space located in the neighborhoods of Pilsen and Little Village. He has also sharted the stage with many poets, artists, and activists such as Lolita Lebrón, Roy Brown, Tato Laviera, and Delores Huerta. As an actor, he played the role of Cat Eyes in Miguel Pinero’s play, The Sun Always Shines for the Cool, produced by Chicago’s Urban Theater Company. He acted in and served as associate director of Spark, written and directed by world-renowned Nuyorican poet, Tato Laviera.
ABOUT THE PUBLIC SQUARE AT THE IHC
The Public Square at the Illinois Humanities Council fosters debate, dialogue, and exchange of ideas about cultural, social and political issues with an emphasis on social justice. Programs promote participatory democracy by creating space for public conversations.
This program is part of the “Know More: Conversations That Matter” series. Art, issues, and dialogue—these are the key components to this exciting set of programs sponsored by The Public Square at the IHC. This series is a way to bridge the gap between the arts and social issues that are of current concern to Chicago’s Englewood and Humboldt Park communities. Performances and presentations by top artists and activists are a prelude to community-based discussions.
This series is made possible by a grant from The Joyce Foundation. Chicago Public Radio is the media sponsor. More information about “Know More: Conversations That Matter” and The Public Square at the IHC is available at www.thepublicsquare.org.
The Illinois Humanities Council is an educational organization dedicated to fostering a culture in which the humanities are a vital part of the lives of individuals and communities. Through its programs and grants, the IHC promotes greater understanding of, appreciation for, and involvement in the humanities by all Illinoisans, regardless of their economic resources, cultural background, or geographic location. Organized as a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities in 1973, the IHC is now a private nonprofit (501 [c] 3) organization that is funded by contributions from individuals, corporations, and foundations; by the Illinois General Assembly; and by the NEH.
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