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“Lake Song” audio drama imagines a future Chicago where water is everything, brought to life by a cast of 23 Chicagoans

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In the world of Make Believe, you would think anything is possible, even in the midst of a pandemic. build trusting relationshipsis a five-year-old Chicago-based storytelling company that produces audio dramas. Or “play for your ears”.

However, according to founder and executive producer Jeremy McCarter, it was while preparing for the second season of production that the pandemic changed the trajectory of Make Believe’s storytelling. The interactive part of telling stories—recording them in front of a live audience and discussing the stories with the audience—has come to an end with the pandemic. But instead of closing, McCarter said the association has doubled.

“The whole world changed in 2020,” he said. “I felt the only reason to continue was to try something more ambitious…to try to find a way to make something more collaborative than what I had previously thought to do. ”

Result is”lake songis a 12-part episodic (4-hour) audio drama that intersects poetry, music, science fiction, and politics, centered in 2098 Chicago. The landscape of Chicago is now the Republic of Chicago. Climate change has transformed the land to the point where water is central to everyday life and life. The threats still abound, but like cultural pillars such as art and music, Chicago residents remain entrenched. The story unfolds through the eyes of Southside brothers Dee and Wade, who are coping with their individual growing pains and shared trauma.Episodes will air weekly starting on his October 12th, and December 21st. Exit.

“A lot of the stuff these days are adapted from the source material, but this is the other way around. We didn’t have a story. We only had each other. With very different backgrounds. The seven of us are trying to tell a story together about Chicago, and then something that the seven of us have been dreaming about for the last two and a half years,” McCarter said.

I don’t want to spoil it, but the pandemic and quarantine, the iconic landmarks, the late Harold Washington and Karen Lewis, the Golden Age of the 2040s, and how county jails are demolished to become fields to feed the city. There is a mention of what has changed.A short end to a long history of city segregation, and fictional poet named Esperanza What Chicago poet Nate Marshall embodied in his work. Marshall’s last work with Make Believe was a version of the Chicago-based trickster folklore character Blair Rabbit, called “Bull Rabbit and Remington Ellis, Esq.’s Fantastic Telling.” I was.

“I think a lot of what we were doing with the piece was really trying to think about what’s important in the cultural life of cities today and what they might look like in the future,” Marshall said. Told about fiction… the poet Esperanza. “Maybe I’m biased, but I think Chicago is a really important literary city, especially when it comes to poetry. And given who it is, who would embody it? That’s where the character was born.”

Marshall collaborated with McCarter, Laura Alcala Baker, Sidney Charles (who voices the character of Dee), Mikhail Fixel (2022 Tony Award Sound Design Winner), WBEZ journalists Natalie Moore, and Christina Valada on the 7 I am one of the co-creators of -Bears. The score for the series features 2022 Blues Hall of Fame inductee Chicago Blues and his harmonica legend, Billy Branch.

23 Chicago actors, including an Edgewater resident, round out the creative team Marcus Moore Who plays Wade. He joined the project because of the camaraderie, the idea of ​​overcoming something and discovering oneself as an individual and as a community.

Chicago actor Marcus Moore records scenes for Make Believe Association audio drama "song of the lake"

Why I’m Attracted to Wade He had some obstacles to overcome himself. More specifically, because I had to do it in my own personal life, Wade is queer and bisexual in real life, so I’m trying to find my identity as a bisexual black man. I had to. Black men, black adults, humans, it’s all the crossroads I’m going through right now,” Moore said. “It was my first time acting in this particular environment, and I’m really proud of what I’ve created in all my closets.”

According to Marshall and McCarter, the world-building was detailed, the nuances were intentional, and there was a sense of hope despite the ongoing daily challenges. He said he didn’t want the show to be a dystopia, but he couldn’t pretend climate change wasn’t an issue in a futuristic drama.

“I think our thinking was that this is how history happens. Hard things happen, people find new ways to navigate it, and then time moves on. , I think that’s a lot of what we really wanted to do with this piece. Whether you’re thinking about making yourself feel better or not, a lot of it is…find some kind of solution in the story.I think that was exciting for us.”

Moore believes the release of the series was perfectly timed given the recent election cycle. Moore said he firmly believes that things happen for a reason, and that “Lake Song” shows people have more power than they’re led to believe.

“That’s the theme of ‘Lake Song’: selected families and communities coming together to overcome obstacles,” he said. “I think this project came at the perfect time.”

Marshall agrees, saying he believes it may be time for temperatures to soar over social and cultural issues and concerns. He said that although this is a fictional Chicago, it is rooted in real things that people have in common, mostly cities. McCarter said the spirit of the project was to bring voices into the room, primarily black and Latino voices.

“There has always been a path to Make Believe,” says McCarter. “It started as a collaborative experiment to give different kinds of people the chance to find each other in a very divided city that wants to make it difficult. is the furthest thing I can think of to push…that experiment. It’s great to feel like there’s room in the world of podcasts for stories that make a big difference in the way we do things. I hope you’ll stick with episode 12 to hear how it goes. “

lake songis available for free on lakesong.fm and Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and other major podcast platforms. New episodes will be released on Wednesdays.

drockett@chicagotribune.com


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Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

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