NON:op Presents: L’sGA: Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address

NON:op Presents: L'sGA: Lincoln's Gettysburg Address

sun10mar7:30 pmsun9:00 pmNON:op Presents: L'sGA: Lincoln's Gettysburg Address


(Sunday) 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm


Epiphany Center For The Arts: The Sanctuary

201 S Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 60607

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Event Details

NON:op Open Opera Works Presents: L'sGA: Lincoln's Gettysburg Address

Date: Sunday, March 10, 2024

Doors: 6:30PM 

Showtime: 7:30PM

Tickets: $20 - Advanced | $25 - At door 

‘Service charges apply to ALL ticket purchases (online and box office)’ - Credit card only at door


What does the Gettysburg Address Mean to You? NON:op Open Opera Works presents commissioned responses to the Gettysburg Address by award-winning artists and performers.

On November 19, 1863, President Lincoln spoke at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery and described the United States as a nation “conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”

As we continue to witness disproportionate brutality against Black Americans, NON:op Open Opera Works presents a concert tour of three commissioned works by Black artists that re-interpret and represent Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and Sal Martirano’s 1967 antiwar classic, L’sGA.

Hip hop artist Kao Ra Zen, 3Arts awardee and multidisciplinary artist A.J. McClenon, and Urbana poet laureate Ja Nelle Davenport-Pleasure explore themes of liberty, oppression, patriotism, racism, and revolution. Chicago Emmy winner, actor, and playwright, Willie “Prince Roc” Round, will be featured in a new production of Martirano’s L’sGA.

All concerts will be preceded by a reading of the Gettysburg Address and poetry by L’sGA collaborator M.C. Holloway.


AJ MCCLENON, multidisciplinary artist, 3Arts awardee
All the Pretty Little Horses

All The Pretty Little Horses is a visual and sonic conversation about the expansion of oppression in the guise of a free state founded on free and inhumane labor and mass genocide. From the liminal and empty spaces of freedom that Black soldiers moved within while being classified as contraband to the estimated 1.2 million horses and mules that died during the U.S. Civil War, this work questions the hierarchical structures of humanness throughout the foundations of the western world within and beyond our own species. Who becomes less human in the fortification of expendable life? [photo by Eryka Dellenbach]

KAO RA ZEN, hip-hop artist, poet, performance artist

FATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS is a spoken word and musical multimedia happening. Utilizing a piecemeal combination of poetry, song, audio samples, and video projection, Kao weaves through time and space to examine the past, present, and possible futures of the United States of America and the world at large. FATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS features set components created in collaboration with artist Penelope Thrasher and details histories of colonization, slavery, police brutality, war, and the ever-prevalent socio-economic disparities between Black and white Americans. This Hip-Hop-centric prophetic protest party with a touch of sci-fi flavor rebels against the powers that be to create a brave new world order. [photo by Javier Enriquez]

JA NELLE DAVENPORT-PLEASURE, 2023 Urbana poet laureate, fashion designer, dancer
The Score

The Score is an immersive interactive piece that takes you on a journey of one African American woman’s thoughts of living in the tumultuous times of Lincoln’s era. Facing the speech that was supposed to be free for all but left her and her people imprisoned mind, body and spirit. You will walk beside me as we begin to shine a light on and settle the score that has left so many of us in the dark. [photo by Rachel Lauren Storm]

WILLIE “PRINCE ROC” ROUND, Chicago Emmy winning playwright, hip-hop artist, actor
L’sGA (2023)

For this new production of L’sGA, Willie “Prince Roc” Round reflects on his life as a Black American Artist and growing up in Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood. Willie plays some of the same characters that appear in the original production, adding a few of his own to the mix. This production, similar to Martirano’s original, reflects the political, cultural, and social times. Rather than protesting and commenting on the war, Round addresses police violence against Black bodies. [photo by Kramer Photography] 

L’sGA is a 1967 composition for Gas-Masked Politico, Helium Bomb, 3-16mm Movie Projectors, and 2- Channel Tape Recorder by Salvatore Martirano (concept and tape composition), Ronald Nameth (films), and M.C. Holloway (gas-masked politico performance and poetry). The script is from Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and excerpts from “Dance Wreck” by M.C. Holloway.

ABOUT NON:op Open Opera Works

NON:op strengthens ties across communities by producing immersive, interactive, and multi-disciplinary performances and installations for virtual, indoor, and outdoor public spaces, pairing them with complementary discussions and salons. Collaboration is fundamental to NON:op’s evolving programming and organizational vision as a facilitator for artistic experimentation and creativity. NON:op centers community in its programming and organization structure, and reflecting its core values, deploys innovative artistic platforms where people may collectively work towards a more just society.

NON:op strives to be a leading, multi-arts presenting organization, embedded in Chicago communities through its commissioned artists and productions, while engaging with citizenry regionally as well as internationally. The vision is dependent on valuing anti-racist work, on collaboration across the arts and with individuals and organizations external to the field, and on humility and recognition that understanding and radical access come from the de-centering of our inherent decision making power and resources. Link here for more on NON:op 

For accessibility questions and requests please contact

AJ McClenon: 
Kao Ra Zen: 
Ja Nelle Davenport-Pleasure:,
Willie “Prince Roc” Round:
Salvatore Martirano: 

MORE INFORMATION: For more information go to
Media Contact: Christophe Preissing, NON:op Open Opera Works
773.418.0119 /

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