‘Shelter’ Immerses Audience in the Experience of Homelessness at Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department Sept. 8-12


Hella Theatre Company, an interdisciplinary ensemble of Columbia College Chicago artists with the common goal of creating relevant and meaningful theatre in uniquely collaborative ways, launches the 2015-16 school year at the Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department with Shelter, an immersive performance designed to share the experience of homelessness with audiences.

Shelter takes the audience through an evening at a homeless shelter. “Come pack in tight and let the regulars show you around. We welcome you to have a bowl of soup and share a blanket,” says a statement from the company on its Facebook page.

Shelter will be presented September 8-12 at the Columbia College Chicago Theatre Center, 72 E. 11th, in room 511 (fifth floor). Performance times are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 7 PM; Friday at 4 and 8 PM; and Saturday at 4 PM.

Admission to this environmental work is free, but donations are welcome. Non-perishable foods are especially welcome and will be donated to local food pantries. Tax-deductible donations will also be accepted for Pacific Garden Mission.

The entire cast and creative/production team consists of Columbia College students. The performance is written by Aaron Lockman and directed by Sara Ann Dickey. Others involved in the production are actors Melodi Thomas, Zac Chamberlain, Sarah Cohen, Ellen Fuller, Tristin Hall, Natalie Savoy, Jackie Pojasek, Kyla Norton, and Brian Nunez; administrative manager Carolyn Nicole Moe; stage manager Devon Green; props mistress Josie Wilson; scenic designer Evan Frank; costume/makeup/lighting designer Ben Witt; musical director Kari Betton; and rehearsal assistant Ivy Anderson 

Shelter was first produced in February 2015. The work has been revised and developed for this new incarnation. The show contains depictions of sexual assault and PTSD and may be considered triggering.