Monday, November 7, 2016

OPENING: World Premiere Roz and Ray at Victory Gardens Theater

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

Victory Gardens Theater announces casting for 
The World Premiere of 
Roz and Ray
By Karen Hartman
Directed by Artistic Director Chay Yew

November 11-December 11, 2016

Victory Gardens Theater continues its 42st season with the world premiere of Roz and Ray, written by Karen Hartman and directed by Artistic Director Chay Yew. Roz and Ray features Mary Beth Fisher (Roz) and James Vincent Meredith (Ray). This World Premiere runs November 11 - December 11, 2016, with the press performance on Friday, November 18, 2016, at 7:30 pm at Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue.

"Karen Hartman’s searing Roz and Ray is an intimate and epic play about an ambitious doctor and a father who fight for the lives of his hemophiliac boys against the backdrop of the AIDS epidemic and pharmaceutical malpractice," states Artistic Director Chay Yew. "Karen is one of American Theatre's foremost political playwrights and I'm proud to give a home to this relevant and moving new play at Victory Gardens."

In 1976, Ray, a newly single parent of twin hemophiliac boys, has only one goal: keep his sons alive. His days are filled with endless trips to the hospital, rigorous testing, and frequent blood transfusions. This all changes when Ray meets Roz, an optimistic and caring doctor with a miracle drug. Roz appears to be Ray’s savior until the miracle turns into a nightmare. Roz and Ray tells the profound story of love, trust, sacrifice, and forgiveness between two friends. Victory Gardens Theater’s Artistic Director Chay Yew (The Gospel of Lovingkindness, Death and the Maiden) pairs with playwright Karen Hartman to unearth a tragic and little-known event in medical history.

Full Performance Schedule
Previews for Roz and Ray are November 11 - 17, 2016. Previews are $15-$40. The Press opening is Friday, November 18 at 7:30pm. Regular performances run November 19 – December 11, 2016: Tuesday — Friday at 7:30pm; Saturday at 3pm and 7:30pm; Sunday at 3:00pm.  Regular performances are $15-$60. Box Office: The Box Office is located at 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago.
Victory Gardens has partnered with mobile theater ticketing app TodayTix to offer free tickets for the first preview of Roz and Ray. Free Tickets will be available via TodayTix mobile lottery, launching one week before the first preview. Winners will be notified by email and push notification between 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. on the day of the first preview.

Performances are at the Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue, in the heart of Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood. For tickets and information, call the Victory Gardens Box Office, 773.871.3000, email, or visit Ask the Box Office about student tickets ($15), senior, and Access. For group discounts, call 872.817.9087.

The creative team includes Timothy Mackabee (Scenic Design), Christine Pascual (Costume Design), Diane Fairchild (Lighting Design), Chris Kriz (Sound Design), Alec Long (Properties Design), Arianna Soloway (Assistant Director),  and Isaac Gomez (Dramaturgy). The Production Stage Manager is Amanda Davis. 

About the Artists
Karen Hartman (Playwright) 
Karen Hartman has four productions of three world premieres next season: Roz and Ray at Seattle Rep and Victory Gardens, The Book of Joseph at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and Project Dawn at People’s Light. In 2014-15 she held the Playwright Center’s McKnight Residency and Commission. Some other works: Goldie, Max, and Milk (Steinberg and Carbonell nominations), Goliath (Dorothy Silver New Play Prize), Gum, Leah’s Train, Going Gone (N.E.A. New Play Grant); Girl Under Grain (Best Drama in NY Fringe); Wild Kate, ALICE: Tales of a Curious Girl (Music by Gina Leishman, AT&T Onstage Award); Troy Women; and MotherBone, score by Graham Reynolds (Frederick Loewe Award). Publications: Theater Communications Group, Dramatists Play Service, Playscripts, Backstage Books, and NoPassport Press. Awards: Hedgebrook, Sustainable Arts, Rockefeller Foundation at Bellagio, the N.E.A., Helen Merrill Foundation, Daryl Roth "Creative Spirit" Award, Hodder Fellowship, Jerome Fellowship, Fulbright Scholarship. Her prose has been published in the New York Times and The Washington Post. Alumna of New Dramatists and longtime Brooklynite, now Senior Artist in Residence at the UW School of Drama.

Chay Yew (Director/Artistic Director) Chay joined Victory Gardens as Artistic Director in July 2011. Victory Gardens Theater: The House That Will Not Stand, Hillary and Clinton, Death and the Maiden, An Issue of Blood, The Gospel of Lovingkindness, Mojada, Oedipus el Rey, Universes’ Ameriville. Chicago: Dartmoor Prison, Black N Blue Boys/Broken Men (Goodman Theatre); Po Boy Tango (Northlight Theatre); work at The Public Theater, Playwrights Horizons, The Playwrights Realm, New York Theatre Workshop, National Asian American Theatre Company, Ma-Yi Theatre Company. Regional: Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, The Kennedy Center; Mark Taper Forum, American Conservatory Theater, Huntington Theatre Company, Long Wharf Theatre, Denver Center Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Empty Space Theatre, Portland Center Stage, Cornerstone Theatre Company, Singapore Repertory Theatre, Boston Court, East West Players amongst others. His opera credits include world premieres of Osvaldo Golijov and David Henry Hwang’s Ainadamar (co-production with the Tanglewood Music Center, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic); and Rob Zuidam’s Rage of d’Amours (Tanglewood Music Center). Chay is a recipient of the Obie Award and DramaLogue Award for Direction. As a playwright, his plays include Porcelain, A Language of Their Own, Red, A Beautiful Country, Wonderland, Question 27 Question 28, A Distant Shore, 17, and Visible Cities. His other work includes adaptions of A Winter People (based on Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard) and Lorca’s The House of Bernarda Alba, and a musical Long Season. His performance works include Viven and Her Shadows and Home: Places between Asia and America. His plays have been produced at The Public Theater, Mark Taper Forum, Manhattan Theatre Club, Long Wharf Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Intiman Theatre, Wilma Theatre, Dallas Theatre Center, Portland Center Stage, amongst many others. Overseas, his plays have been produced by the Royal Court Theatre (London), Fattore K and Napoli Teatro Festival (Naples, Italy), La Mama (Melbourne, Australia), Four Arts (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), Singapore Repertory Theatre, Toy Factory, Checkpoint Theatre, and Theatre-Works (Singapore). He is also the recipient of the London Fringe Award for Best Playwright and Best Play, George and Elisabeth Marton Playwriting Award, GLAAD Media Award, Made in America Award, AEA/SAG/AFTRA Diversity Honor, and Robert Chesley Award. His plays Porcelain, A Language of Their Own, and The Hyphenated American Plays are published by Grove Press. He recently edited Version 3.0: An Anthology of Contemporary Asian American Plays for TCG Publications. He was the founding director of the Taper’s Asian Theatre Workshop and producer of Taper, Too. Chay is also an alumnus of New Dramatists and serves on the Executive Board of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, and Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events’ Cultural Advisory Council.

Mary Beth Fisher (Roz) Chicago: Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Angels in America, Three Tall Women, The Year of Magical Thinking (Jeff Award), The Wild Duck, What the Butler Saw, Arcadia, Travesties, The Importance of Being Earnest (Court Theatre); Domesticated (Jeff Nomination), Dead Man’s Cell Phone, The Dresser and The Memory of Water (Steppenwolf); Marvin’s Room, The Night of the Iguana, Light up the Sky, Design for Living, Spinning Into Butter, Boy Gets Girl, The Guys, The Rose Tattoo, Heartbreak House, Dinner with Friends, The Clean House, Frank’s Home, Rock ‘n’ Roll, The Seagull, God of Carnage, Luna Gale, The Little Foxes, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (Goodman Theatre); The Taming of the Shrew (Chicago Shakespeare Theater); The Laramie Project, The Little Dog Laughed, Theatre District (About Face Theatre); The Marriage of Figaro (Remy Bumppo Theatre Company); My Own Stranger (Writers Theatre); White Guy on the Bus, Away (Northlight Theatre). TV/Film: Sense8, Chicago Justice, Chicago Fire, Chicago Code, State of Romance, Without a Trace, Numb3rs, Prison Break, NYPD Blue, Profiler, Early Edition, Formosa Betrayed, Dragonfly, Trauma.

James Vincent Meredith (Ray) Broadway: Superior Donuts (Music Box). Off-Broadway, The Bluest Eye (Duke). National Tour: 3 years as Mafala Hatimbi in Book of Mormon. Chicago: Between Riverside and Crazy, The Crucible, Clybourne Park, Hot L Baltimore, Tempest, The Pain and the Itch (Steppenwolf, ensemble member); Othello, Julius Caesar, Measure for Measure, Much Ado About Nothing (Chicago Shakespeare Theater); Othello, The Duchess of Malfi (Writers Theatre). TV: Betrayal, Chicago Code, Law and Order SVU, BOSS.

Accessible Performances
Word for Word (open caption) performances Friday, November 25 at 7:30pm, Saturday, November 26 at 3:00pm, and Wednesday, November 30 at 2:00pm
Audio Description performances Friday, November 25 at 7:30pm (Touch tour at 6:00pm), Sunday, December 4 at 3:00pm (Touch tour at 1:30pm)
ASL Interpreted and Word for Word (open caption) performance Friday, November 25 at 7:30pm. 

Public Programs
A full and updated schedule of special events, post-show discussions and presentations centered on performances of Roz and Ray is available at . All events are free unless otherwise noted. For more information, call 773.871.3000 or visit the Victory Gardens website.

Public Programs is an event series designed to enhance your experience by exploring themes and issues in Victory Gardens’ plays. Connecting our theater to the world beyond the stage and rehearsal room, Public Programs bridge ideas, provoke dialogue, and deepen the relationship between our audiences and our productions.

Season Sponsors: Allstate, Alphawood Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Doris Duke Charitable Trust, Exelon, Harold & Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, The Joyce Foundation, The Mellon Foundation, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The Prince Charitable Trust, The REAM Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, and The Wallace Foundation. Travel Sponsor: Southwest Airlines 

Under the leadership of Artistic Director Chay Yew, Victory Gardens is dedicated to artistic excellence while creating a vital, contemporary American Theater that is accessible and relevant to all people through productions of challenging new plays and musicals.  Victory Gardens Theater is committed to the development, production and support of new plays that has been the mission of the theater since its founding, set forth by Dennis Začek, Marcelle McVay, and the original founders of Victory Gardens Theater.

Victory Gardens Theater is a leader in developing and producing new theater work and cultivating an inclusive Chicago theater community. Victory Gardens’ core strengths are nurturing and producing dynamic and inspiring new plays, reflecting the diversity of our city’s and nation’s culture through engaging diverse communities, and in partnership with Chicago Public Schools, bringing art and culture to our city’s active student population.  

Since its founding in 1974, the company has produced more world premieres than any other Chicago theater, a commitment recognized nationally when Victory Gardens received the 2001 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. Located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, Victory Gardens Biograph Theater includes the Začek-McVay Theater, a state-of-the-art 259-seat mainstage and the 109-seat studio theater on the second floor, named the Richard Christiansen Theater.

Victory Gardens Ensemble Playwrights include Luis Alfaro, Philip Dawkins, Marcus Gardley, Ike Holter, Samuel D. Hunter, Naomi Iizuka, Tanya Saracho and Laura Schellhardt. Each playwright has a seven-year residency at Victory Gardens Theater. 

The Playwrights Ensemble Alumni includes Claudia Allen, Lonnie Carter, Steve Carter, Gloria Bond Clunie, Dean Corrin, Nilo Cruz, Joel Drake Johnson, John Logan, Nicholas Patricca, Douglas Post, James Sherman, Charles Smith, Jeffrey Sweet and Kristine Thatcher.

For more information about Victory Gardens, visit  Follow us on Facebook at, Twitter @VictoryGardens and Instagram at

Victory Gardens Theater receives major funding from The Wallace Foundation, Alphawood Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Shubert Foundation, The REAM Foundation, The Joyce Foundation, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Allstate Insurance, Polk Bros. Foundation, Crown Family Philanthropies, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The William and Orli Staley Foundation, and The National Endowment for the Arts. Additional funding is provided by: Abbot Downing & Wells Fargo, Alliance Bernstein, The Charles H. and Bertha L. Boothroyd Foundation, Exelon, The Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, John R. Halligan Charitable Fund, Illinois Arts Council, Illinois Tool Works, Italian Village Restaurants, Mayer Brown LLP, The McVay Foundation, LLP, The Prince Charitable Trusts, The Saints, Charles & M.R. Shapiro Foundation, Southwest Airlines, The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, Whole Foods Market, and Wrightwood Neighbors Conservation Association.

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