Hey, everybody! Season’s Greetings!

It’s Monday night – the longest night of the year! And it’s been a good couple months since the last blog entry, dear friends – there are some very exciting updates to catch up on now! While our doors have been closed, open hearts and minds are bringing special meaning to the year’s end and the spirit of the holidays! One of the ways Paramount’s commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion moves into action in 2021 is the announcement of The Inception Project: a new play development series “to create artist driven, courageous, thought provoking new work in a radically inclusive environment.” Led by Paramount’s New Works Development Director Amber Mak and Artistic Associate Paul-Jordan Jansen, two world premiere plays; Pretended written and directed by Lanise Antoine Shelley and Bull: a love story by Nancy García Loza and directed by Laura Alcalá Baker, will receive free online readings next month (but advanced registration for virtual seats is required to attend). This program has been made possible by The Healing Illinois Grant, a racial healing initiative of the Illinois Department of Human Services in partnership with The Chicago Community Trust. Paramount’s President and CEO, Tim Rater, is creating a plan “to make The Inception Project an annual event and a launch pad for future productions of new works developed through the program, including potentially full, world-premiere stagings as part of the BOLD Series.” You can register and read all about it here. Speaking of which, the BOLD Series’ home, the thrillingly renovated Copley Theatre, is coming along beautifully, phase by phase – you can check out the progress in photos on Paramount Theatre’s Facebook page.

Last month, Paramount School of the Arts’ Shannon Cameron announced receiving the National Endowment for the Arts’ nationwide BIPOC playwrights grant to develop a touring play with music for a Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) initiative – and you’ve got to enter by Jan. 5, 2021 – so get on it! Here’s the link.

Seeing all this materialize and become real has been giving me life and light during these times, as you can imagine. I can’t help think of how the stars are aligning, this winter solstice – seeing the “Great Conjunction” of Jupiter and Saturn glisten in the night sky over Aurora and the Fox – it feels like hope – nature giving us a sign, a signal – it’s a new world and the future looks bright –  thinking of everyone at Paramount, our audience, our patrons, our neighbors – wishing you health and happiness, comfort and joy these holidays and all through the Very New Year ahead!

Love & thanks,