then a cunning voice, photo by Paula Court.

then a cunning voice, photo by Paula Court.

Emily Johnson
Then a Cunning Voice and A Night We Spend Gazing at Stars

off-site at Calumet Park

September 28, 2019
All Night Performance
5:00 p.m. - September 29, 2019 8:00 a.m.

Calumet Park Cultural Center
9801 S Ave G, Chicago

Free Parking
Available at Calumet Park


$1 to $125

We want this performance to be accessible to everyone who wants to participate.

Instead of a standard ticket price, in order to reserve your spot, please make a donation that you feel is appropriate for this once-in-a-lifetime performance experience.

Reserve your spot and donate by calling the Dance Center box office at 312-369-8330 Or through An Online Donation. To reserve a free ticket or for any other questions, please call the box office.

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"It’s a sleepover to beat all sleepovers.” — New York Times

Then a Cunning Voice and A Night We Spend Gazing at Stars weaves together stories and performance with the exchange of ideas, the sharing of food, and the endurance of spending a night together outside under the stars and sky at Calumet Park. Beginning at dusk and continuing until after sunrise, and including supper, breakfast, and snacks, Then a Cunning Voice… invites audience members into a multilayered, participatory work that focuses attention on the space we share and on envisioning the future.

Throughout the night, the audience will be guided through a series of richly crafted events—part ritual, part lyrical adventure—created by Johnson in collaboration with performers Tania Isaac and 14-year-old Georgia Lucas. The performance will begin with an opening ceremony and a group walk that arrives at the shores of Lake Michigan and unfolds on 4,000 square feet of quilts. Designed by textile artist Maggie Thompson, each quilt has been hand-made by volunteers at community sewing bees. The quilts serve as audience seating, performance area, resting area, and “home” for the duration.

The night creates space for connection.

It is celebratory, to come together like this.

Join us around the campfire and under the stars.


Check out Answers to some common questions about this unique event.

View the menu of food that will be experienced at the event here.

Read More

Under the Stars and Quilts, With Randalls Island as Her Stage

Artist Website


The Dance Center presentation of Emily Johnson is made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts’s National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This engagement is also supported by the Arts Midwest Touring 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 and the Crane Group. Additional support comes, in part, from a grant from the Western Arts Alliance Advancing Indigenous Performance Touring Fund and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Additional support and partners include the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, the Chicago Park District, the American Indian Center, the Chicago Architecture Biennial, and The Field Museum.