Past Event

365 Days/365 Plays

Join The Public Square at the Illinois Humanities Council and Congo Square Theatre Company as we present seven short plays representing Week 32 of the 365 Days/365 Plays project before passing the cycle on to the next theater. This cultural relay race links hundreds of artists around the U.S. and beyond. The performance will be preceded by a reception including impromptu performancesfrom the series. A post-showconversation with Ilesa Duncan, Michael Warr , and Laura S. Washington will explorehow everyday life informs art, the notion of a global community, and the significance of Juneteenth.


On November 13, 2002, Pulitzer-prize winner Suzan-Lori Parks got an idea to writea play a day for a year. She began that very day, finishing one year later. The resulting play cycle, called 365 Days/365 Plays, is a daily meditation on an artistic life. Some plays are very short, less than a page. Others last forever.


Ilesa Duncan isthe Outreach Director at Chicago Dramatists, coordinating playwriting classesfor at-risk youth in Chicago Public Schools.She is also an accomplished stage director, having worked with Victory Gardens, The Goodman Theater, Pegasus Players, Chicago Theater Company, and Theatre on the Lake. She has also worked at Lincoln Center Theatre/HERE in New York, Arena Stage, Washington DC, the Alliance Theater in Atlanta and Contemporary American Theatre in Columbus, OH.

Michael Warr founded and directed the Guild Complex, Chicago’s award-winning literary arts center, for its first decade, and remains an Editor at its publishing wing, Tia Chucha Press. His awards for poetry include a NEA Creative Writing Fellowship for poetry and the Gwendolyn Brooks Significant Illinois Poets Award. His first book of poetry, We Are All The Black Boy, was honored by the Illinois Library Association. He is Principal at WarrConsulting and Project Director in the Executive Transitions Program at CompassPoint Nonprofit Servicesin San Francisco.

Laura S. Washington (moderator)is the Ida B. Wells-Barnett University Professor at DePaul University in Chicago, a columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times and a senior editor at In These Times. This multi-media journalist specializes in media-related issues, African-American affairs, local and national politics, race and racism, and social justice.

Congo Square Theatre Company is an ensemble dedicated to artistic excellence. By producing definitive and transformative theatre spawned from the African Diaspora, as well as other world cultures, Congo Square Theatre Company seeks to establish itself as an institution of multicultural theatre.


  • Father Comes Home from the Wars (Part 8)
  • In My House Today
  • Quiver
  • Paper Tomatoes
  • Back in the Day
  • Are We There Yet?
  • Hat Trick

The 365 Festival has put in motion a grassroots collaborative model that blows the top off the single-headed, biggest-theater-wins world premiere status quo. It is fiercely dedicated to the ethic of inclusion. In fact, we like to say we pursue inclusion to the point of discomfort. Meaning, we are pushing everyone to work outside their comfort zones.

Thisevent is free and open to the public.

Refreshments will be served.

Reservations are recommended and can be made via email or phone at 312.422.5580.