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This project was successfully funded on May 19, 2018

Curves and Edges

by Maeli Goren


UPDATE: Our team would like to shout out a big THANK YOU to the Michael and Mona Heath Fund for sponsoring Curves and Edges! Their support for storefront theatre in Chicago has made our city a more inclusive and accessible place to tell stories. We are truly honored to have them join us in bringing Curves and Edges to life.




The Play:

Curves and Edges, an original play written by Maeli Goren, tells the truly imagined story of the legendary Surya Bonaly’s infamous figure skating career. Steered by a demanding mother and a domineering coach on her path to Olympic immortality, our hero struggles to hold onto her authentic self through scandal, an impossible backflip, and definitely no m&ms ever. An athlete, a warrior of puberty, an accidental activist, a rebel icon, and a too-often-forgotten chapter in the history of a white-dominated sport, meet Surya: human girl.

The Project:

Curves and Edges is an intensely physical play, and to get it to its next stage of development will require intense collaboration with actors/movers, designers, and choreographers prepared to stretch their imaginations to the limit. We want to figure out how this thing works, so we are mounting a workshop of the play that will include 4 public performances over one weekend in June 2018! Playwright Maeli Goren will also direct, and re-writes and rehearsals will continue between performances. By the end of the workshop, we will have a production-ready script ready to share with the world, and a team of collaborators committed to championing it. 

At this stage, what we need most is an audience to share this story with us and respond to it. We will be performing for theater professionals as well as theatergoers representing a multiplicity of backgrounds, identities, and ages. Each performance will be followed by a moderated discussion, during which audiences will address specific questions regarding their personal experiences of the play. Outreach strategy will also involve contacting local Chicago schools and camps to invite young people to attend the workshop and give feedback.

The Playwright/Director:

Maeli Goren is a multidisciplinary theater artist and Chicagoland native. She is an Associate Artist at 16th Street Theater, a Core Ensemble Member and Facilitator at Imagination Theater, and an Artistic Associate at Barrel of Monkeys, because children are wise. She is also a Yale School of Drama MFA Directing Candidate class of 2021, beginning her training in fall 2018.  She plans to remain deeply connected to her artistic home in Chicago during grad school and looks forward to making a contribution to the community here with Curves and

Where Your Money Goes:

60% of our budget for this project goes directly into the hands of artists.  Five actors, a stage manager, a design team, a choreographer, and a directing team will work to bring this play to life for four workshop performances. We believe that artists are skilled workers who deserve to be paid fairly for their time and their expertise. The remainder of the budget will go towards renting space at the Den Theatre in Wicker Park, production expenses (including some fabulous costumes), and marketing expenses to get the word out there.

Why It Matters:

Curves and Edges is a new play featuring a young, female-identifying protagonist of color that tells a story of empowerment and the JOY of discovering one’s voice. The project invites artists to use their whole bodies, voices, and imaginations to tell a story that addresses issues of identity and fairness while flying, laughing, and celebrating the resilience of the human spirit. This story ought to be heard and heard loud because it uplifts even as it reckons with difficult realities. It raises a fist in triumph.

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