ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar:
Midwest Premiere of Traci Godfrey’s
SWEET TEXAS RECKONING,
opening June 7 at The Den
Comedy of a Texas native paying a visit home from New York
with her new African-American wife will play throughout the
Pride Month of June
In Traci Godfrey’s comedy, SWEET TEXAS RECKONING, Ellie is a lonely, bigoted alcoholic living in the small southeast Texas town of Sealy. She’s welcoming home her daughter Kate, now living in New York City, back for a visit. Ellie has hopes Kate will reconnect with and even marry Kate’s childhood sweetheart Alan John. Imagine Ellie’s surprise when Kate visits with her beautiful, African-American wife, Samantha. SWEET TEXAS RECKONING was the First Place Winner of the New Works of Merit International Playwriting Contest, the Artemisia Fall Festival 2016, and the Playwriting Contest of Panndora Productions in Long Beach, California, who produced the play’s world premiere in 2016. Julie Proudfoot, who has collaborated closely with Traci on developing the play, will direct Artemisia’s staging of this heartfelt comedy.
I'll be there for the press opening June 7th. Can't wait to check it out.
Top L-R: Molly Lyons, Scottie Caldwell
Lower L-R: Anita Kavuu Ng’Ang’A, John Wehrman
Appearing as Ellie will be veteran Chicago actress Molly Lyons, whose resume includes such disparate roles as the cabdriver in HELLCAB (Agency Theatre Collective), Kate Mayo in BEYOND THE HORIZON (Eclipse Theatre Company) and the title role in JULIUS CAESAR (Unbraced Theatre). Ellie’s daughter Kate will be played by Scottie Caldwell, who has worked in Chicago with Lookingglass Theatre Company, Windy City Playhouse, Strawdog Theatre Company, The Gift, Commission Theatre, First Floor Theatre, and Cor Theatre, among others, and most recently played Raina in City Lit Theater's ARMS AND THE MAN. Cast as Kate’s old flame Alan John is John Wehrman, who recently appeared in A Red Orchid Theatre’s TRAITOR under the direction of Michael Shannon, and as Pato in THE BEAUTY QUEEN OF LEENANE for Bluebird Arts. Ellie’s wife Samantha will be Anita Kavuu Ng’ang’a, who has worked with Red Tape Theatre and the Goodman.
Playwright Godfrey, whose career includes acting in feature films like GRAND THEFT AUTO IV and V and television shows including LAW AND ORDER CRIMINAL INTENT, AS THE WORLD TURNS and THE SOPRANOS; as well as writing for feature films and the stage, says she drew from personal experience for SWEET TEXAS RECKONING. “Having grown up closeted in Texas, I am acutely aware of the pain and isolation of dealing with one’s sexuality,” Godfrey says. She adds, “Whether we encounter differences in thoughts about race, religion, sexuality, or political views, I believe our best approach to healing is one person, one family, one Theater at a time.”
SWEET TEXAS RECKONING was the winner of Artemisia’s 2016 Fall Festival of new play readings. At that point, it had already enjoyed a fully staged production by Panndora Productions in Long Beach, California earlier that year. The ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER named that production one of the year’s 10 Best, calling it a “superbly crafted comedy-drama … very much along the lines of the great works of Horton Foote, known for his lifelike dialogue and realistic approach to characters whose roots are often in the Deep or Rim South.”
Since 2016, Proudfoot, who is a story analyst for HBO Films, has worked extensively with Godfrey to further develop and refine the script for this production. Proudfoot says, “I’m thrilled to see SWEET TEXAS RECKONING arrive at this stage of Artemisia’s process of developing new plays about women created as rich, nuanced characters who have agency,”
Artemisia will stage the Midwest Premiere of SWEET TEXAS RECKONING during Pride Month 2019 - from June 7-30, 2019 at The Den. Tickets for SWEET TEXAS RECKONING are $25 and are now on sale at www.artemisiatheatre.org. Windy City Times (www.windycitymediagroup.com) is the official media sponsor of
SWEET TEXAS RECKONING
Traci Godfrey (Playwright) has writing credits including the screenplays SPITTING IMAGE, THE PINK PERFECTION, and HOTTER THAN GEORGIA ASPHALT. Her stage play SWEET TEXAS RECKONING was the First Place Winner of the New Works Of Merit International Playwriting Contest, Artemisia’s Fall Festival 2016, and Panndora Production’s Playwriting Contest 2015 where it received exceptional reviews with the full production. SWEET TEXAS RECKONING was also a Finalist in both the NYC Thespis Festival 2015 and South Carolina’s CENTRE STAGE Playwriting Festival and was named “Best Of 2016 Theatre” in the Ocean County Register. Some of her acting credits include long-time roles on LAW AND ORDER CRIMINAL INTENT and AS THE WORLD TURNS as well as numerous stage roles in New York, London and regionally.
Julie Proudfoot (Director) is the founder and Executive Artistic Director of Artemisia, A Chicago Theatre, a story analyst for HBO Films and an adjunct professor in the creative writing program at Roosevelt University. Julie has 20 plus years of experience as a professional director and dramaturge developing and producing new work. Julie won critical and audience acclaim for her direction of BELFAST GIRLS by Jaki McCarrick, in 2015, which played to sold-out houses as Artemisia’s American Premiere at the Den Theatre. Julie curates Artemisia’s annual search for new feminist plays to be featured in its Fall Festival and selects from the festival a play to be developed into a world or regional premiere production in Chicago. Julie has worked extensively with Traci Godfrey over the past two years developing SWEET TEXAS RECKONING for full production after directing its staged reading for Artemisia Fall Festival 2016. Julie is thrilled to be nurturing feminist playwrights with Artemisia’s one-of-a-kind development process that culminates in remarkable and unforgettable productions.
June 7 – 30, 2019
Wednesdays – Saturdays at 7:30 pm and Sundays at 3 pm
The Den Theatre
1331 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago
All seats $25.00
More info & tickets at http://artemisiatheatre.org/plays/
ABOUT ARTEMISIA: A CHICAGO THEATRE
Founded in 2011, Artemisia is a professional theatre dedicated to the development and production of all new feminist plays that center on women who have agency, independence, and are the focal point of their own narratives. An annual search for cutting-edge and empowering stories culminates in a groundbreaking premiere production in Chicago. Artemisia is a 501 c 3 organization and relies on public support to fund theatre that promotes equality and social justice for all women and girls.
Artemisia Gentileschi was a Baroque artist whose paintings depicted violence with fierce honesty and elegance. For centuries after her death, her art was attributed to men. Feminist curators in the late 1970’s rediscovered Artemisia, who is now considered the greatest female painter prior to the modern period. A common theme in Gentileschi’s later work is women in moments of power, or triumph, which is why she is the perfect namesake for Artemisia.