Jeff Helgeson

Jeff Helgeson is a playwright and novelist who has had several plays produced in Chicago, St. Louis, Milwaukee, and New York. He is an adjunct faculty member and full-time program administrator at Roosevelt University, and he has also taught at Columbia College, The Art Institute of Chicago, Robert Morris College, and The Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture. He is a co-founder of both The Boxer Rebellion Ensemble and The Backstage Theatre Company, as well as the founder of Collage Productions, a grassroots organization devoted to affordable access to the visual and performing arts. This is the second year that he has participated in Chicago Calling, and he is extremely pleased to have had the opportunity of collaborating with Clay Horath on the development and presentation of Sign of The Times.

Sign of the Times is a paradoxical post-modern chamber opera composed by Clayton Horath based upon a libretto by Jeff Helgeson. The piece is set within a stark, art gallery like environment containing only a large mirror, a vanity table, a short flight of stairs, and a painter's easel. Exploring a wide range of musical motifs derived from the text itself, the piece seeks to both explore and comment upon notions that are central to the sense and sensibilities of a highly technological era within which virtually all ideas are thought be both derivative and non-referential.

Sign of the Times is being performed at Peter Jones Gallery on October 25.