Harris Theater's Rising Stars Series Gives Local Youth Chance to Shine on Stage

Next week students from the Chicago High School for the Arts (ChiArts) will take the stage to perform a variety of dance and music pieces. But, it won't be just any stage for these high school students. Thanks to the Rising Stars Spring Series, the students will be in the spotlight at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, following in the footsteps of many other world-class performers who've entertained audiences right there in the heart of Chicago.

Rising Stars Put Local Youth in the Spotlight

The Rising Stars Spring Series showcases some of Chicago's most promising, rising talent on stage at the Harris Theater (205 E. Randolph Drive).

On Thursday, March 7, 70 ChiArts students will perform highlights from their 2012-2013 season as well as repertoire pieces form Chicago's top dance companies. Featured pieces include “Hm, Hm, Hm, Hm” from Mozart’s The Magic Flute and “Colored Women” from the Broadway musical Memphis.

This season, the Rising Stars Series also will bring student performers to the stage from the Music Institute of Chicago on April 10 and the Chicago Academy for the Arts on May 30.

It is part of the Harris Theater's Eat to the Beat Series, which presents 45-minute lunchtime performances starting at 12 p.m., and provides a way for anyone to squeeze in a bit of culture into their day during their lunch hour. On any given day, you can expect to see an audience of theater-goes of all ages, including people from nearby office buildings, local families and students from nearby colleges and participating high schools.

Guests can bring their own lunch into the theater. Or, you can opt to purchase food from a line-up of Chicago food trucks parked outside its entrance.

Tickets for individual performances are $5. A Lunchpass for all five Eat to the Beat Series performances for the current season is $15.

Proceeds Help Bring Arts Experiences to Underserved Youth

Proceeds from ticket sales for the ChiArts performance on March 7 will benefit the Harris Theater's Teen Arts Project, which offers in-depth and diverse arts experiences to underserved teenagers and those who typically wouldn't have access to those experiences.

The Teen Arts Project focuses on partnering with public and private high schools and community-based organizations to offer behind-the-scene access to the world-class arts who perform at the Harris Theatre. Project participants receive complimentary tickets to performances, access to artist discussions, open rehearsals and backstage tours.

A Lunchtime Cultural Infusion 

For local families, the Rising Stars Series offers an inexpensive and enjoyable way to introduce your children to music and dance - performed by students from across Chicago.

In addition to injecting some culture into our busy days, the performances offer another way to take advantage of a wonderful theater located in one of Chicago's most amazing and popular sights, Millennium Park. It also allows us to support the Harris Theater's efforts to bring arts experiences to  underserved teenagers. To me, that sounds like a great way to make the most of a lunch hour.

Do you plan to attend a Rising Stars Series performance? Have you enjoyed a previous one? How do you infuse your days with culture? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

ChiArts Performance at Harris Theatre

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