Congo Square Theatre Presents A World Premiere Production By Ensemble Member Javon Johnson: Hobo King
Congo Square will tackle homelessness, police brutality, resistance and the resilience of community
Chicago – January 2017 Congo Square Theatre Company is very proud to announce the World Premiere of HOBO KING written by Ensemble member Javon Johnson. The performance dates are January 27 – March 5, 2017 in Chicago.
In HOBO KING, inspired by true events, a homeless man is unjustly slain by city police. Enraged, the homeless community attempts to govern themselves in order to give voice to the voiceless. Hobo King mirrors the universal struggle for all the homeless communities across the nation, and addresses the social dilemma surrounding the current epidemic of homelessness among veterans, patience living with mental illness, and young adults.
Hobo King is the first full production for Congo Square’s seventeenth production season, titled Reflections. This season highlights several areas of concern for the African-American community such as: homelessness, youth violence, single parenting, and the resilience of African-Americans in their efforts to survive and thrive in the mist of adversity. These themes were present during the Great Migration, which currently is being celebrated across the City of Chicago, through arts and culture events sponsored by Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.
Executive Director TaRon Patton offers: “With all of the issues currently being faced by the African-American community, it’s clear that these topics are still considered controversial here Chicago. It is vital that Congo Square take the initiative to delve into the conversation and connect with our community around these issues.”
“This season we will focus on stories that speak to our strength, resilience and unrelenting ability to survive and thrive,” says Artistic Director, Sam Roberson. “We will also deepen our support of the Ensemble and the homegrown work that will carry Congo Square’s name beyond our initial staged productions.”
Hobo King features Artistic Associates Velma Austin and Edgar Sanchez, and is directed by Ensemble member, Anthony Irons. Both Velma and Edgar were last seen on Congo Square’s stage in Darren Canady’s Brothers of the Dust. Director Anthony Irons says, “This production has a funky urban drive that has something for all ages. It’s a play that has elements of Hip Hop, Tap, Jazz and compelling storytelling! It’s a CONGO show!”
This World Premiere of Hobo King will be performed at the Athenaeum Theatre, located at 2936 N. Southport in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. Previews are Friday, January 27 at 7:30pm, Saturday, January 28 at 2:00pm and 7:30pm, and Sunday, January 29th at 2:00pm. Opening night is Monday, January 30th at 7:30pm.
The regular run is February 3 – March 5, 2017; Thursdays 7:30pm, Friday 7:30pm, Saturdays 2pm and 7:30pm and Sundays 2pm, with the exclusion of several closed student matinees for Chicago’s schools. Closing is Sunday, March 5, 2017 at 2pm.
Congo Square Theatre’s 2016-2017 Season is made possible through funding provided in part by Target, the Joyce Foundation, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Bloomberg Philanthropies, The MacArthur Fund for the Arts and Culture at Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, Polk Bros Foundation, and the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation.