Descendants of American Slaves Forge New Lives in World Premiere Ten Square, in Chicago

Kenneth Jones, Playbill (New York), September 8, 2009

MPAACT and Pegasus Players, two acclaimed Chicago theatre companies, will collaborate to present the fall world premiere of Shepsu Aakhu Ten Square, a play about reparations to African-Americans whose roots are in slavery.

Performances of the future-set play will be at Pegasus Players’ home at 1145 W. Wilson Avenue in the O’Rourke Center at Truman College, Sept. 25-Nov. 22. Opening is Oct. 8.

Mignon McPherson Nance directs ” a tale of what America could be, and much of what America has already become, in the not-too-distant future.”

According to the companies, “On the heels of the government’s apology to African-Americans for slavery, the Reparations Movement was born. The movement was successful, checks were written to the descendants of slaves, and the seeds for a new America were sown. Ten Square is one of the cities that emerged in ‘New America’ and the life of the African-American community has been forever altered. Roosevelt, a resident of Ten Square and a soldier duty-bound to protect the new world order, must negotiate between his obligations to his lover, his family and his government.”

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“Both MPAACT and Pegasus Players have always held a common interest in producing theatre that is as socially relevant and provocative as it is entertaining, inviting the audience into an active conversation about the issues that shape us today,” stated Pegasus Players executive/artistic director Christopher Schram. “Ten Square focuses on the African-American community as a vehicle for exploring issues that matter to everyone, regardless of race, nationality or culture. The concerns in the play are human concerns, and we’re thrilled to partner with MPAACT to present this powerful work of theatre.”

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Tickets may be purchased by calling Pegasus Players box office at (773) 878-9761 or online at www.pegasusplayers.org.

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Ma’at Production Association of Afrikan Centered Theatre (MPAACT) was founded in 1991 by a group of like-minded individuals who shared an artistic vision and who “wanted to develop, nurture, and sustain Afrikan Centered Theatre, which is grounded in the many cultures and traditions of the African continent and its Diaspora.” With a vision focused on creating new work and collaborative art, MPAACT “produces and educates with the goal of increasing understanding and appreciation of Afrikan Centered Theatre and its interrelated disciplines, including not only main stage and standing productions but also a playwright’s laboratory, original music, a publishing company (Sakhu Publications), an arts education program, and many workshops and master classes.” For more information, visit www.mpaact.org.

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