CHECKMATE developed with Free Street Theater HQ Ensemble

Produced by Free Street Theater

"Katrina Dion has orchestrated the Youth HQ Ensemble in a way where the stories that are told are engaging and often hilarious...The most beautiful thing about “Checkmate” is that it brings to the forefront the youth, who suffer in the adult political battles of greed and power. What this play does is remind us that while they may suffer the most, the youth also hold the key to figuring this thing out." Loy Webb, New City

CHECKMATE // From taking a stand in the cafeteria to taking a stand in the government, Free Streets youth artists created a new play that asked how do you make change when you can't vote? Both a toolkit and a call to action, CHECKMATE explored the impact of youth-led movements on social change, and emphasizes the power of imagination in creating radical solutions to everyday problems all set in a future world where education has disappeared. 

Research for this project began during the election season, as youth artists participating in Free Streets after school and summer conservatory programs watched the country prepare to make decisions that will impact the longterm future of the country, but which youth themselves dont get a say in. This led them to create a piece inspired by youth led movements. Text was developed dialogues about action and activism and through interviews with activists around the world including Michael Gaylord James (Rising Up Angry), Kelly Hayes (Lifted Voices), Maria Pia Lopez (Ni Una Menos, Argentina) , Brenda Gonzalez (Pilsen Neighbors Community Council), as well as many others.  

Contact Katrina for video footage. 

Scenic Design by Caswell James

Sound Design by Damon Locks

Lighting Design by Simean Carpenter

Photos taken by Isabella Karina Coelho