Author Archives: Watson Zhou

  • Learning Curve Behind the Scenes with
    Third Rail Projects’ Jennine Willett

    I met David Feiner, artistic director of Albany Park Theater Project, in the fall of 2013 after he wrote to Third Rail Projects about his experience at our show Then She Fell and inquired about meeting to chat about sharing this format with the APTP youth ensemble. Working with teenagers is not exactly in my comfort zone, but faced with David’s enthusiasm and excitement, I found myself just saying “Well, how about we just come out to Chicago and teach a workshop with your company?”

  • Curtain Closed But Fight Against Foreclosure Continues

    Curtain Closed But Fight Against Foreclosure Continues

    Two years ago we brought you I Will Kiss These Walls, a play based on the real-life stories of Chicagoans swept into the foreclosure crisis. This Friday February 20, join APTP as we perform scenes from “Walls” in the liberated home of Maria and Jorge, whose lives we depicted in “Walls” (7 PM at 7245 N. Ridge, Chicago).

  • Beyond the Stage: APTP’s Tutoring Program

    It’s 7pm, and a swarm of company members surround APTP academic tutor, Brett Schneider. Questions bounce back and forth, covering everything from organic chemistry to U.S. History, and APTPians respond as though they are eager contestants on a game show.

  • APTP in School: Albany Park Multicultural Academy

    Less than a mile from Albany Park Theater Project’s doors, Albany Park Multicultural Academy (APMA) is buzzing with students and anticipation. Barbara Dillon’s 7th and 8th grade students are about to present their theater piece, devised by the students under the guidance of APTP directors Maggie Popadiak and Rossana Rodriguez-Sanchez, at the CPS middle school’s end-of-the-year assembly.

  • APTP and Third Rail Projects: Immersive Theater in 6 days or less

    Already in less than 72 hours, APTP’s home theater and ensemble has transformed—school desks fill the building, furniture is dispersed across the theater, APTP teens interact with rooms and objects as though they are fellow actors, and the entire Eugene Field Park field house (which houses APTP) is evolving into a multi-floor, multi-room performance space. This week, APTP hosts New York’s Third Rail Projects to learn the art of immersive theater. By Saturday (less than 72 hours from now), APTP and Third Rail will reveal the original 40-minute performance experience they have co-created in just five days.

  • Having a Profound Impact: Bob Hoyt is APTP’s Newest Board Member

    Bob Hoyt’s kindheartedness didn’t hit me right away. I was too busy letting myself be intimidated by his political opinions and his business savvy. Don’t get me wrong: I’ve been aware of his generosity since he and his wife invited me to live in their home for the duration of my APTP internship this summer. But it wasn’t until I heard him speaking in baby voice to his dog—as we shared a tub of mini peanut-butter cups—that I understood why he and Albany Park Theater Project were a perfect match.

  • Here for a Reason: Stephanie Castrejon

    Here for a Reason: Stephanie Castrejon

    Update: APTP alumna Stephanie Castrejon and her cast-mates from College of Wooster have been selected by the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) to perform “Women of Ciudad Juarez” at the annual Region III competition this January.

  • APTP Summer Camp: An Inside Look

    “I come from a river that starts downtown and ends up in Albany Park, a neighborhood that exposes me to the world.” In a circle, young teens tell each other where and what they come from, confiding in one another origins founded in laughter, pain, fear, and joy. Every statement is unique. Some are poetic, others more straightforward, but all are impressive and sincere. Seeing teenagers who were strangers to each other just a day ago find this level of trust is breathtaking. But this “I Come From” circle is just one example of the beauty of Albany Park Theater Project, a place of taking risks and not being afraid.

  • Chicago Reporter: “You Haven’t Seen Community Theater Like This Before”

    Chicago Reporter: “You Haven’t Seen Community Theater Like This Before”

    David Feiner met his future wife Laura Wiley at Yale School of Drama. They were drawn together by a shared desire to create meaningful art through community theater.

    “We wanted to transcend the boundaries you often find in theater and the arts in general; boundaries between life and art, audiences and artists, boundaries that too often keep us apart like race, ethnicity, religion, class and age,” says Feiner.

  • APTP’s God’s Work on Chicago Public Radio

    APTP’s God’s Work on Chicago Public Radio

    Sixteen year-old Kyra Mae Robinson makes an astonishing transformation to play the mother of 18 children in God’s Work. Kyra and APTP’s artistic director, David Feiner, recently appeared on Chicago Public Radio’s “Afternoon Shift” to talk with host Niala Boodhoo about God’s Work, running at Goodman Theatre from April 4 – 19, 2014. Listen to the story, and enjoy this photos of Kyra off stage and on.