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Lemieux Library
Lemieux Library

Arts Leadership Book Club

February 2020 Book Club, Ensemble-Made Chicago: A Guide to Devised Theater, by Chloe Johnston and Coya Paz Brownrigg

Event Date & Time: Sunday, February 23, 5:00 – 6:00 pm dinner; 6:30 – 8:30 pm devising workshop

Location: Stuart T. Rolfe Community Room, Admission & Alumni Building (ADAL), 12th & Marion, Seattle University

See the Facebook event page to learn more

Written by Chloe Johnston and Coya Paz Brownrigg, "Ensemble-Made Chicago brings together a wide range of Chicago theater companies to share strategies for cocreating performance. Cocreated theater breaks down the traditional roles of writer, director, and performer in favor of a more egalitarian approach in which all participants contribute to the creation of original material. Each chapter offers a short history of a Chicago company, followed by detailed exercises that have been developed and used by that company to build ensemble and generate performances. Companies included range in age from two to fifty years, represent different Chicago neighborhoods, and reflect both the storefront tradition and established cultural institutions. The book pays special attention to the ways the fight for social justice has shaped the development of this aesthetic in Chicago.” 

“Featuring the work of: About Face Youth Theatre • Albany Park Theater Project • Barrel of Monkeys • Every house has a door • FEMelanin • 500 Clown • Free Street Theater • Honey Pot Performance • Lookingglass Theater • The Neo-Futurists • The Second City • Southside Ignoramus Quartet • Teatro Luna • Walkabout Theater • Young Fugitives”

“Assembled from interviews and firsthand observations, Ensemble-Made Chicago is written in a lively and accessible style and will serve as an invaluable guide for students and practitioners alike, as well as an important archive of Chicago’s vibrant ensemble traditions. Readers will find new creative methods to enrich their own practice and push their work in new directions.”

-- Language from Northwestern University Press


The Program in Arts Leadership presents Ensemble-Made Chicago: A Guide to Devised Theater, written by artists, playwrights, and authors Chloe Johnston and Coya Paz Brownrigg. The event will take place on the evening Sunday, February 23, 2020, 5:00 – 9:00 pm during the Theatre Program's run of 45 Plays for 45 Presidentsa play in which Chloe Johnston co-authored. 

Chloe Johnston and Coya Paz Brownrigg will engage the community in an early evening dinner discussion (from 5:00 to 6:00 pm) about their careers as artists, authors, and professors and then lead an evening devising activity (6:30 to 8:30 pm). Attendees are welcome to come to some or all of the event. Dinner provided. 

This February 2020 Arts Leadership Book Club event is curated by Jasmine Mahmoud, Assistant Professor, Arts Leadership, Seattle University. See the Facebook event page to learn more.

This Book Club event is made by possible by support from the Pigott Family Endowment for the Arts, Theatre Program, Endowed Mission Fund, Arts & Sciences College Events Committee, and Pathways to Professional Formation.


Email Arts Leadership Graduate Assistant, Linnea Ingalls,, by Monday, February 17 to reserve your spot. 

Get a Copy

Lemieux Library has two (2) hard copies available for check out.

Print: forthcoming

The Arts Leadership Department has ten FREE (10) copies available. First come, first served. Contact Linnea Ingalls ( to request a copy. 

Purchase it through your favorite online or local seller. Average price is $20 for a hardcover. 

If you are not able to obtain a copy, please email Linnea Ingalls ( to obtain a scanned version of several key sections of the text.