Director Explores Everyday 'Heroes' in EL Stories 22
"What should I do in this situation?"
A pretty casual question one might ask themselves as they go about their day. But a question that, within the confines of our bustling, curving, stalling Chicago public transportation system, takes on a bit of a heightened priority.
As I started to gather and adapt stories for El Stories 22, I began with the theme "Heroes", but with a very open definition of that word. I settled on this theme, mostly because, as I thought about the most memorable experiences I've had on public transit, the ones that have really stuck with me are those moments when someone decided to answer the question, "What should I do," in an active way. And that even by doing something nice...or totally out of the ordinary...for someone else, by creating those random moments of connection, of joy, you could, be a bit heroic. And with that, I began to remember those moments at the opposite end of the spectrum, missed opportunities, times when I myself, wish I had done something and still wrestle with the reasons I hadn't."If you see something, say something," we are encouraged aboard every train, but it is certainly not always that simple.
What I found in collecting stories for this edition were a few Chicagoan's' beautifully varied answers to the question, "What should I do?" The storytellers' answers may not have played out the way they had intended or imagined, or even successfully managed the situation, but sometimes they did. Sometimes they didn't know what to do, but tried something anyway. And sometimes something deep down inside let them know that singing the Red Hot Chili Peppers was, in fact, the way to save that train.
We're nearly through our run, with a truly fabulous and equally hilarious cast bringing these stories to life in the voices of the original storytellers, verbatim from the way they were told to myself and Waltzing Mechanics.
Join us as we celebrate a medley of answers to the question, "What should I do?"
Join us to cheer on folks who could have very easily answered it by going back to their phones, or their books, or their heads, but instead, did something else.
In El Stories: HEROES!, we get to take a few moments to toast some public transit protectors: flawed, triumphant, totally unsuccessful, quirky and everything in between.
-Sara Sawicki (Director, EL Stories HEROES)
EL Stories: HEROES runs at the Greenhouse Theater Center, Saturday nights at 11:00 pm, through November 21.
SARA SAWICKI is a Chicago-based theatre artist who has worked nationally with Sojourn Theatre, most recently as a performer/facilitator in the professional premiere of HOW TO END POVERTY in collaboration with Portland Playhouse. Sara is a founding company member and Co-Artistic Director of Buzz22 Chicago where she directed the professional premiere of Laura Jacqmin's GHOST BIKE as well as QUAKE and the company's premiere production, HOOTERS. Other directing credits include projects with Actors Gymnasium, Thirteen O'Clock Theatre and Pavement Group.