The entrance to Family Focus, site of the former Foster School, located at 2010 Dewey Ave. Evanston, Illinois.


Mudlark Theater and its community partners are collaborating on a new play that will follow the lives of students during the desegregation of Evanston public schools. Specifically, it will chronicle the loss of Foster School, the district’s only all-black school, which was closed in 1976. The loss of this community cornerstone impacted the life of the neighborhood in ways that residents are still grappling with today. In bringing history to life, the play will ask difficult questions about our society today—and whether our nation’s public schools are any closer to racial equity now than they were then.

To conduct research for the show, Mudlark is partnering with Shorefront, a historical center that chronicles the black experience on Chicago’s North Shore. Our writers will explore Shorefront’s archives and conduct interviews with former Foster School students, parents, and teachers. The majority-black cast will combine youth actors from Mudlark and The Art of Evolution, a local theater company and enrichment program for children of color. The cast will also include a few professional adult actors to play teachers and parents. 

Courtesy, Shorefront photographic archives

Courtesy, Shorefront photographic archives

About Production Sponsorship

Mudlark invites interested community partners, including individuals, to join us in the creation of this original work devised from stories of Evanston residents.


  • Featured in press releases, and listed on show poster, website, and other promotional materials.

  • Opportunity to purchase group tickets before they go on sale to the general public.

  • Recognition at post show talkbacks and offstage exhibits.

  • Access to photos and videos of the rehearsal and production process.