Sydney Chatman

Sydney Chatman (she/her), (Gary, Indiana/Chicago, Illinois) uses theater as her medium to conjure hope, justice, freedom, and joy. Led by ancestral guidance and intergenerational wisdoms; she directs, educates, produces, and writes work that seeks to heal her community. Chatman is the inaugural winner of the Golden & Ruth Harris Commission, 2020 Joyce Foundation Award, an African-American Arts Alliance Award and 3Arts Make a Wave winner. Her theater credits include New York fellowships with Stage Directors and Choreographers Workshop Foundation (SDC), the Lincoln Center’s Director’s Lab, and the Goodman Theatre Maggio Directing Fellowship. Chicago theater credits include the Goodman Theatre, TimeLine Theatre Company, Court Theatre, Congo Square Theatre Company, and eta Creative Arts; Louisville: StageOne Family Theatre; Indiana: Indiana University Northwest. Chatman has created theatrical performances and collaborations with the MCA of Chicago, Adler Planetarium, Hyde Park Jazz Festival/Back Alley Jazz, The Reva and David Logan Center, Court Theatre, Prop Theater, Victory Gardens Theater, and WakandaCon. In 2008 she founded The Tofu Chitlin’ Circuit and created innovative programming called the A La Carte and the Tuxedo Junction. She is a featured artist in Black Theater is Black Life: An Oral History of Black Theater in Chicago 1997-2010. Her plays, Black Girls (Can) Fly!, And Words Were Her Weapon: A Tribute to Ida B. Wells-Barnett, The Duty of the Youth, and Violence Just Don’t Understand are a testament to her admiration and respect for young people. She has been a theater teacher for 19 years, where she shares space with young people by providing a foundation of agency and love.

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