Karl (Karlo) Seastone 1947-2022
Karl (Karlo) Seastone (aka Karl Meerstein) was a member of the groundbreaking Chicago Free Theater, known for non-traditional, avant-garde theatrical productions in Chicago from 1968 to 1974 - whose productions took on the politics of the time. As a performer, he is remembered for being a fine singer with an ethereal tenor, featured in Free Theater’s “The Civil War”, “David” and “Antigone”. Before joining the Free Theater, Karl was lead singer for The Other Half, a Chicago-area rock band that also includes Free Theater members Randy Chance and Kirby Bivans.
Karl was most known for his lead singing role in the milestone 1968 Chicago Free Theater production of "The Civil War", a blues-rock setting of Civil War poems using the improv game techniques of Paul Sills and Viola Spolin. Participating singers didn't have to read music; they learned the music by ear as well as basic musical improv games, and partially improvising the choral music during the show. Besides Chicago, the piece was performed in London, by the Baltimore and San Francisco Free Theaters (sister companies), and at college campuses around the US, where students were trained in improv in the afternoon and performed that night.