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Tekki Lomnicki is an acclaimed writer, performer and director. (Photo provided)

Tellin’ Tales Theatre presents "Six Stories Up, Up & Away" the next two weekends in Chicago. The troupe's founder and artistic director is Elmhurst native Tekki Lomnicki. Superman, Spiderman and Wonder Woman – move over, says Lomnicki. Six middle school kids discover what makes a true superhero in the original musical set against the backdrop of a wacky superhero circus. The show is completely written, performed and produced by adults and children with and without disabilities.

As bullying, gang warfare and violent video games bombard the youth of today, "Six Stories Up, Up & Away" challenges the cast and audience members alike to examine family, compassion, and courage to speak up.

About the Mentoring Program
"Six Stories Up, Up & Away" is the final product of an annual mentoring program developed by Tellin' Tales Theatre, now in its 16th year. In August, six storytellers were paired with six middle school students with and without disabilities. Each team was given the mission to explore heroes in their own lives. In early September, mentors and their apprentices came together to link the six vignettes and draft a final script. All 12 participants will perform under the direction of Lomnicki, assisted by Sue Nunamaker and Ben Saylor.

About the troupe
Tellin’ Tales Theatre’s mission is to build community through the art of story. Lomnicki has led storytelling programs for Gallery 37 and After School Matters for more than a decade. The idea for the initial "Six Stories Up" came from her work with these programs, which included students with and without disabilities. Lomnicki, herself a person with a disability, took the process a step further to include adult mentors with disabilities. "Six Stories Up, Up & Away" is a result of this mix, and strives to remove all barriers between artists, including age, ethnicity, gender and ability.

The show is geared toward adults and children ages 6 and older. The show runs about 90 minutes with one intermission.

Performances start at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday through Nov. 16, and 2 p.m. Sundays, Nov. 10 and 17. The Nov. 10 show will be sign-language interpreted and audio described.

The show is presented in Athenaeum Theatre's Studio Two, 2936 N. Southport Ave., Chicago. Tickets cost $22 for adults, $17 for students; ticket prices include $2 Athenaeum restoration fee. For tickets, call 773-935-6875 or visit