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On Stage

On Stage: Frictions

Apr 06, 2023 - Jun 18, 2023

About the Series

Each spring the MCA presents On Stage, a suite of performance works connected by a rigorous and relevant curatorial theme. In 2023, the series focuses on the frictions that exist in a society shaped by race—and the transformative power of productive resistance.

Frictions presents performances by three artists—Will Rawls, Shamel Pitts | TRIBE, and Barak adé Soleil—who explore blackness through bodily movement. Through in-person performances as well as performance-driven video installations, their works engage themes including queer intimacy, disabled bodies in motion and at rest, and the relationship between animation, race, and history. Defying conventional notions of blackness, queerness, movement, dance, and performance, Frictions invites both audiences and performers to engage with the productive tensions that emerge through each work.

Save 20% when you buy a package to all three On Stage: Frictions performances. Buy tickets now.



Shamel Pitts and Tushrick Fredericks, Touch of RED. Performed at MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA, October 22, 2022.Photos: The Adeboye Brothers

Shamel Pitts | TRIBE, Touch of RED

Apr 6–8, 2023
Edlis Neeson Theater

Set inside a contemporary boxing ring, this duet for two Black men explores Black multiplicity and human connection.

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Photo by Will Rawls.

Will Rawls, [siccer]

Apr 27–30, 2023
Edlis Neeson Theater

Encompassing dance, photography and sound, [siccer] addresses the relationship between blackness and image-making.

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A Brown-skinned large-bodied black person with shaved head & beard, wearing glasses, black shirt and grey jeans, with one hand on a rail and the other holding a wheelchair, seemingly floating above a set of stairs.

Performance view, Barak adé Soleil, a series of movements, Claremont, California. Photo: Marcus Polk.

Barak adé Soleil, SHIFT

May 6, 2023
MCA Plaza

This newly commissioned work amplifies the presence of Black neurodiverse and disabled bodies by occupying the museum’s spaces both digitally and physically.

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Closed captioning provided.ASL provided.Audio description available.Haptic elements used.


Lead support for the 2022–23 season of MCA Performance and Public Programs is provided by Elizabeth A. Liebman.

Major support is provided by the Alphawood Foundation and by Julie and Larry Bernstein.

Generous support is provided by Lois and Steve Eisen and The Eisen Family Foundation; Ginger Farley and Bob Shapiro, Martha Struthers Farley and Donald C. Farley, Jr. Family Foundation; N.A., Trustee; Susan Manning and Doug Doetsch; and Carol Prins and John Hart/The Jessica Fund.

The MCA is a proud member of the Museums in the Park and receives major support from the Chicago Park District.

Alphawood Foundation Chicago logo

Barak adé Soleil’s engagement at the MCA is supported by the Arts Midwest GIG Fund, a program of Arts Midwest that is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional contributions from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

National Endowment for the Arts Logo 2023/01/Arts-Midwest-Logo.jpg

Program Notes

English Program Notes

Spanish Program Notes