Sunday, May 22, 2022

FREE Concert: Denise La Grassa Returns to Phyllis' Musical Inn on 5/27

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar 

Denise La Grassa 

Brings Her Soulful Blues to

Wicker Park’s Phyllis’ Musical Inn on

Friday, May 27, 8:30 p.m. 

Also Chronicling 2022 with “North of 40” Film

Critically acclaimed Chicagoland singer, songwriter and keyboardist Denise La Grassa will perform soulful blues originals and choice covers with bandmates John Kregor (guitar), Steve Manns (bass), and John Sergel (drums).

La Grassa is also documenting her 2022 dream of returning to Europe to perform with her new band and bluesy sound that will culminate with the film “North of 40.”

Videos for La Grassa’s latest songs, including the anthemic, soulful “Wide Eyes Wide High,” and the rocking blues “Amen to Happiness” are available at

WHEN/           Friday, May 27, 2022, 8:30 p.m. 

WHERE/         Phyllis’ Musical Inn, 1800 W. Division, Chicago, IL, 60622

TICKETS:       FREE, 773-486-9862

Denise La Grassa’s blend of blues, soul, and R&B and sophisticated yet melodic songwriting has been compared favorably with The Tedeschi-Trucks Band. She cites inspiration from R.L Burnside, Aretha Franklin, The Allman Brothers, Mavis Staples, Otis Redding, and Charlie Parker. La Grassa first played Europe in the 1990s, making stops in Scotland and Germany to support her original one-woman musical “Bite.”  

La Grassa released her first live CD Rockin’ in the Castle Theater in September 2019 to join her 2016 bluesy coming out The Blues Ain’t A Color, and the critically acclaimed April Dreams. 


Robert Rodi, Newcity, said, “She’s certainly got improvisatory chops; but she’s also sufficiently a woman of her time to pull in influences as diverse as funk and folk. And her compelling contralto owes more to Grace Slick than Sarah Vaughan.” 

Jim DeRogatis, Chicago Sun-Times, said, “An impressive but never showy range, a self-assured conversational delivery that brings to mind a jazzier Aimee Mann.” 

Rick Kogan, Chicago Tribune, said, “Poet-Preacher-Polemicist … brilliantly unconventional …  singular triumph.”

John Ziegler, Duluth News-Tribune, said “A serendipitous pop flavor … sultry voice and pithy compositional abilities.” 

John Kregor received a B.A. in composition at the University of Texas, and is a prized member of Chicago's jazz community. He has played in groups led by Jim Gailloreto, Rob Clearfield, Matt Ulery, and currently plays with Patricia Barber every Monday at the Green Mill when Barber is not touring the U.S. and Europe. Kregor also played on Barber’s critically acclaimed 2013 Blue Note Records album Smash.    

Wednesday, May 18, 2022


ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar 

(from left) Brian Quijada (book, lyrics and music) is the playwright and narrator of Teatro Vista’s world premiere musical, Somewhere Over the BorderDenise Yvette Serna directs. The cast features Andrés EnriquezAmanda Raquel MartinezGabriela Moscoso, Claudia Quesada and Teatro Vista ensemble member Tommy Rivera-Vega

Teatro Vista, Chicago’s leading Latine theater company, will return to the live stage this spring with Emmy-nominated artist Brian Quijada’s world premiere musical, Somewhere Over the Border, directed by Denise Yvette Serna.

Performances are May 12-June 12, 2022 at Windy City Playhouse, 3014 W. Irving Park Road in Chicago. Tickets, $15-$49.50, are on sale now at Fees not included.

Inspired by his mother’s real-life border crossing from El Salvador to the U.S., mashed up with The Wonderful Wizard of OzSomewhere Over the Border is an uplifting new work of musical theater that embraces fact and fantasy to depict one young girl's pursuit of the American dream. 

As Reina Quijada travels north to the Mexican border, she gathers friends, faces down dangers and holds tight to the memory of the little boy she left behind. Set in the 1970s and propelled by an original score including cumbia, Mexican mariachi boleros, American rock and hip hop, Somewhere Over the Border is both fable and family history – a testament to the determination born of love. 

Brian Quijada (book, lyrics and music), who created, starred and two-time Jeff Award winner for Teatro Vista’s 2016 hit world premiere hip hop show, Where Did We Sit on the Bus?, is back to narrate his newest work. 

"I've been waiting to see a brown, Central-American Dorothy,” said Quijada, “and now, the American theater is being introduced to her." 

“When I was 18, I left my hometown on a Greyhound bus with two duffel bags, in search of a far away future I hoped existed for someone like me. It was one of the scariest times of my life, with ripple effects and traumas that follow me to this day," said director Denise Yvette Serna

"With Somewhere Over the Border, we have the privilege to come together in a theater again, to laugh, cry, dance, and celebrate those who leave their homes willingly, those who are displaced, the parents who did their best, and all the dreamers who take each day step-by-step.”

Somewhere Over the Border is the first production under new co-artistic directors, Lorena Diaz and Wendy Mateo. "Brian’s new musical is the most ambitious production Teatro Vista has endeavored to produce to date,” confirmed Diaz. “It brings us back to live theater and houses us in a large new space at Windy City Playhouse where anything is possible.” 

“Large scale productions like this one don't usually happen on a budget like ours, but we met the challenge to give the community a way to see themselves reflected in stories like these,” added Mateo. “We committed to employing mostly femme and people of color in key positions, led by an all Latine cast and Mexican-American femme-director. For our first production out of the pandemic gates, we mean to be true to our word, to be a model for inclusive and equitable practices in Chicago theater.” 
The cast is Andrés Enriquez (Silvano/Don Napo), Amanda Raquel Martinez (Antonia/Leona), Gabriela Moscoso (Reina), Brian Quijada (Narrator), Claudia Quesada (Julia) and Teatro Vista ensemble member Tommy Rivera-Vega (Cruz/Adan). Covers are Ulysses EspinozaLaura Quiñones and Karla Serrato. Music director is Thee Ricky Harris. Choreography by Kasey AlfonsoYendrys Cespedes (co-orchestrator/keyboards/percussion) leads the three-piece band with Roberto “Carpacho” Marin (upright bass) and Guido Acevedo (cajón). 

The production team includes Teatro Vista ensemble member Ayssette Muñoz (associate director), Yvonne Miranda (scenic design), Sarah Albrecht (costumes), Stefanie Senior (sound), Diane Fairchild (lights), Liviu Pasare (projections), Lonnae Hickson (props), Grace Needlman (puppets), Kristin Leahey (dramaturg), Adelina Feldman-Schultz (casting), Jennifer Aparicio(production manager), Johnnie Schleyer (technical director), Kyle Jensen(sound design assistant), Isaac Mandel (audio supervisor/sound engineer), Julián Mesri (co-orchestrator), Sara Pool Wilhelm (music copyist). Stage manager is Madeline Scott. Assistant stage managers are Maurilio Rodriguez and Olivia Sullam

Somewhere Over the Border premieres May 12-June 12, 2022 at Windy City Playhouse, 3014 W. Irving Park Rd., ChicagoShow times are Wednesdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.; Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 Teatro For All/$35 previews/$49.50 regular performances. Teatro For All is a new initiative to make theater accessible to everyone – students, artists, seniors, or folks on a tight budget. Ten $15 tickets are available for every performance on a first-come, first-served basis. 

For tickets and information, visit teatrovista.orgSign up for Teatro Vista’s e-newsletter, and follow Teatro Vista on  TwitterFacebook or Instagram

Teatro Vista’s production of Somewhere Over the Border is a rolling world premiere with Syracuse State and Geva Theatre Center.

Plan your trip to see Somewhere Over the Border 

Windy City Playhouse is located on Chicago’s northwest side, at the intersection of Irving Park Rd. and Sacramento Ave. It offers a high-end bar and snacks on-site, plus several dining partners within easy walking distance for pre- or post-show meals. 

Windy City Playhouse is easily accessible from both Lake Shore Drive and I-94. The CTA #80 bus runs right in front of the theater, with a stop at Sacramento. Metered street parking is available along Irving Park Road. Side street parking is free. All street parking is free on Sundays. For more details visit windycityplayhouse/visit-irving-park.

Already on play: Teatro Vista’s 2022 “must listen” virtual productions

Teatro Vista’s first, original new audio play, The Fifth World by ensemble member Gabriel Ruiz, co-directed with Lorena Diaz, dropped in December, has hit 15,000 streams, and is still available for free download via teatrovista.orgApple Podcasts and Spotify.

Set in a small desert town in modern day Arizona, but rooted in Aztec mythology, The Fifth World is full of mystery, intrigue and the supernatural. It’s voiced by a nine-member, all-ensemble cast, the most ever in a Teatro Vista production, called The Fifth World an “incredible work…a triumph in the realm of mystery/horror audio fiction. Tense, suspenseful, horrifying, gorgeous, and evocative…a must-listen.”  

Also newly released is Detective QTeatro Vista’s world premiere moving graphic novel, written and created by ensemble members Marvin Quijada and Gabriel Ruiz. Ten micro-episodes dropped over the first five days in May exclusively on  Instagram feed and YouTube feeds.

Film noir meets mime in Detective Q, a fast-action, funny, genre-defying digital episodic about the misadventures of an urban, animated private eye. Each chapter, like “Episode 2: How Not to Do a Stakeout'' and “Episode 3: How to Get Hit by a Car,” runs under a minute, combining comic adventure animation, live action, video, urban locales, and because it’s from Teatro Vista, an all-Latine cast. Already, Detective Q is gaining fans, attracting more than 2,500 views in the show’s first week alone. 

If you haven’t figured it out already, Brian "Somewhere Over the Border" Quijada and Marvin “Detective Q” Quijada are brothers, and they’re having quite a spring. Just as Teatro Vista is releasing Marvin’s new moving graphic novel on the digital stage, Brian’s world premiere musical about their mother, Somewhere Over the Border, is debuting live at Windy City Playhouse.
Still coming in 2022 is La Vuelta, a new digital experience commissioned by Teatro Vista, devised by its ensemble members, written by Isaac Gómez and directed by Monty Cole

Teatro Vista’s live and digital projects signal the company’s new direction under Co-Artistic Directors Lorena Diaz and Wendy Mateo: to propel the company and its ensemble to create a new definition of theater, both live and virtual, that centers its own members, encompasses many disciplines of art, genres and expression, and spurs new forms of storytelling. 

About Teatro Vista

Teatro Vista is Chicago’s largest, Equity-affiliated professional Latine theater company and one of the nation’s premier Latine arts organizations.The company’s primary focus is producing new works by Latine theater artists from its own ensemble, a group of multi-generational, multi-ethnic and multi-disciplinary artists. 

Teatro Vista ensemble members include Charín ÁlvarezMax ArciniegaDesmín BorgesCheryl Lynn BruceRamón CamínIvonne CollLaura DahlSandra DelgadoLiza FernándezKhanisha FosterCruz Gonzalez-CadelIsaac GómezRicardo GutiérrezErik JuárezJon LyonSandra MárquezEddie MartinezSalome MartinezJoe MinosoAyssette MuñozChristina NievesMarvin QuijadaTommy Rivera-VegaGabriel RuízNate SantanaCecilia Suarez and co-founder Edward Torres

In July, 2021, following a national search, Lorena Diaz and Wendy Mateowere appointed Co-Artistic Directors of Teatro Vista. 

Lorena Diaz (left) and Wendy Mateo, Co-Artistic Directors, Teatro Vista. 

“We are deeply energized by Teatro Vista and its ensemble, with its tapestry of talent, innovation and unique perspectives,” said Mateo. “There is a depth to the American Latine experience that has fueled our 20 years of storytelling and collaboration together. With this particular ensemble, we’ll be able to deepen that storytelling and bring in a kind of nuance and complexity to our stories that our audiences will be inspired by.”

Diaz added, “the opportunities in an ensemble-led theater company are many and Teatro Vista has an abundance of thought-provoking artists who are exploring different genres of creative expression, from writing for television, to audio plays with visual components, to full-fledged plays with music like Somewhere Over the Border. Expect that kind of excitement going forward.”

Teatro Vista’s Board of Directors includes Adela Cepeda, President, Joan Pantsios, Secretary, Julieta LaMalfa, Treasurer, and Rosa EscareñoKareem MohamednurCarina Sanchez and Jose Vasquez.

Teatro Vista is supported by Alphawood Foundation, the Arts Work FundPaul M. Angell Family FoundationThe Bayless FoundationChicago Community TrustChicago Cultural TreasuresChicago Filmmaker GrantCLATA (Chicago Latino Theater Alliance)DCASE (Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events)The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley FoundationIllinois Arts CouncilThe Joyce FoundationThe MacArthur Fund for Culture, Equity, and the Arts at the Richard H. Driehaus FoundationPritzker FoundationThe Shubert FoundationThe Shuttered Grant and the Tide-Venturous Foundation

Playwright/Director Biographies
Brian Quijada (playwright and composer) is an actor, playwright, and composer whose original work has been developed and produced all across the country. His hip hop solo show, Where Did We Sit on the Bus? has been produced at Victory Gardens, Geva Theatre (Emmy Nomination for digital stream), Teatro Vista (Jeff Award), Ensemble Studio Theatre (Drama Desk Nomination), Boise Contemporary, 1st Stage, City Theatre Pittsburgh, and a digital production at Actors Theatre of Louisville (Drama League Nomination). His play Kid Prince and Pablo premiered at The Kennedy Center in 2019. His plays have been developed at The Kennedy Center, Pittsburgh CLO’s Spark Festival, Victory Gardens’ Ignition Festival, New Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Festival and The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Musical Theatre Conference. Commissioning institutions include Hero Theatre, A.R.T., 1st Stage, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Woolly Mammoth and The Kennedy Center. His song “The Always Song” was the 2021’s Hispanic Heritage Month Song for Nickelodeon. He is a two-time Jeff Award winner in Chicago and a two-time Drama Desk Nominee. Acting credits include Bobbie Clearly at Roundabout, Oedipus El Rey at The Public Theater, My Mañana Comes(original cast) at Playwrights Realm, How We Got On (original cast) and Airness (original cast) at Actors Theatre of Louisville's Humana Festival. TV credits include Blue BloodsManhattan Love Story and Search PartyQuijada is a member of The Ensemble Studio Theatre in New York City. As an educator, he teaches solo performance at Harvard University. 
Denise Yvette Serna (director) is an international theater practitioner raised in San Juan, Texas and Associate Artistic Director of Chicago’s Rivendell Theatre Ensemble. Chicago credits include 45 Plays for America’s First Ladies (The Neo-Futurists), Nine Lives of a Cat (MCA Chicago/Prop Thtr), La Ruta(Steppenwolf Theatre Company), HIR (Steppenwolf Theatre Company), Cambodian Rock Band (Victory Gardens Theater), Richard & Jane & Dick & Sally (LTC Carnaval 2018), Earthquakes in London (Steep Theatre Company). International credits include L I M P I A: Nuestrxs Hechizos… (Global Hive Labs), and MEDUSA (Global Hive Labs, Fusion Theatre Company, La Compagnie Certes, Teatro Trieste Trentaquattro, Pop Magic Productions).

Teatro Vista's world premiere musical Somewhere Over the Border by Brian Quijada, directed by Denise Yvette Serna, runs through June 12, 2022 at Windy City Playhouse, 3014 W. Irving Park Rd., Chicago

For tickets and information, visit  
or call (773) 281-8463 x6.

Thursday, May 12, 2022

SAVE THE DATES: TimeLine Theatre Company Announces 26th season for 2022-2023

Pictured (from left): TimeLine 2022-23 season artists Will Allan, Nick Bowling, Alice Childress, Ron OJ Parson, Malkia Stampley, and LaDarrion Williams.

TimeLine Theatre Company, acclaimed for presenting plays that explore today’s social and political issues through the lens of the past, is thrilled to announce its 26th season.

After celebrating its 25th Anniversary in residence at Theater Wit—a season that featured the world premiere, acclaimed hit Relentless, which went on to an extended run at Goodman Theatre—the company will return to its longtime home in Chicago’s Lakeview East neighborhood, located at 615 W. Wellington Avenue, for three productions.
TimeLine’s 2022-23 season will feature two previously announced plays that were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including a world premiere developed through the same TimeLine Playwrights Collective that nurtured Relentless and a landmark classic that recently enjoyed a Tony Award-nominated production on Broadway. The third is an exciting world premiere from a Los Angeles-based playwright new to Chicago.

TimeLine’s 2022-23 subscription season includes three riveting plays that link past, present and future:
  • The world premiere of Campaigns, Inc. by TimeLine Company Member Will Allan, developed through TimeLine’s Playwrights Collective and directed by TimeLine Associate Artistic Director Nick Bowling, is a hilarious and timely true story about the power that persuasion, deceit, and perception hold in the U.S. electoral system.

  • Trouble in Mind by Alice Childress, directed by TimeLine Company Member Ron OJ Parson, a scathingly funny backstage drama about interracial politics and the complex, difficult, and often emotional way people talk about race.

  • The world premiere of Boulevard of Bold Dreams by LaDarrion Williams, directed by Malkia Stampley, set on the night in 1940 that Hattie McDaniel made history at the Oscars, is a story of dreamers striving to overcome considerable obstacles and fighting for recognition amidst the racism and inequity of Hollywood.
Save on tickets to TimeLine’s 2022-23 season with a 
3-Admission FlexPass Subscription. Four different tiers, priced from $74.50 to $178, are now on sale. For more information and to purchase, call (773) 281-8463 x6 or visit
“These quintessential American stories, set in the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s, explore the intersection of politics, race, and entertainment and brim with humor and poignancy about our culture today,” Artistic Director PJ Powers said. “Following the success of TimeLine’s homegrown play Relentless, we’re proud to feature another new work developed during the same cohort of our Playwrights Collective—Will Allan’s Campaigns, Inc. This hilarious political comedy was originally planned to coincide with the 2020 presidential election. Following a COVID delay, it hasn’t lost any of its resonant irony as we head into a contentious midterm election season.”
Powers continued: “Another previously delayed play finally makes it to our stage—Alice Childress’ Trouble In Mind. It’s a story that is both funny and searing in its exploration of power and representation both within the American theatre and outside its walls. And we’ll further that conversation with the world premiere of Boulevard of Bold Dreams, shining a light on the trailblazing Hattie McDaniel on the historic night she won her Oscar for Gone With the Wind, introducing the powerful voice of LaDarrion Williams to Chicago through his play about dreamers, obstacles, and the not-so-changing landscape of Hollywood from the 1940s to today.”

TimeLine's 2022--23 Season!


World Premiere
Campaigns, Inc.
by TimeLine Company Member Will Allan
directed by TimeLine Associate Artistic Director Nick Bowling
August 11 – September 18, 2022 (previews 8/3 – 8/10)
Based on the true story of Leone Baxter and Clem Whitaker, who formed the first political consulting firm in U.S. history, Campaigns, Inc. is a hysterical and jaw-dropping inside look at the underbelly of politics through the lens of two of the undeniable founders of “fake news.”
It is 1934, and famous novelist Upton Sinclair is all but guaranteed to become the first Democratic governor of the state of California—until a young, unknown pair of consultants from the shadows of the challenger’s campaign attempt to take him down. As Frank Merriam and Sinclair battle it out in the spotlight—seeking endorsements from the likes of Charlie Chaplin and FDR—Baxter and Whitaker work behind-the-scenes to methodically construct one of the most spectacular, unbelievable, and star-studded smear campaigns ever.
Previously announced as the season opener for TimeLine’s 2020-21 season, this world premiere play was developed through TimeLine’s Playwrights Collective, launched in 2013 to support Chicago-based playwrights in residence and create new work centered on TimeLine’s mission of presenting plays inspired by history that connect to today’s social and political issues. Campaigns, Inc. is the third play developed through the Collective to receive a full production, following Brett Neveu’s To Catch a Fish, presented at TimeLine in 2018; and Tyla Abercrumbie’s Relentless, presented in an acclaimed world premiere run at TimeLine followed by an extended sold-out run at Goodman Theatre in 2022. Campaigns, Inc. received its first public reading as part of TimeLine’s inaugural First Draft Playwrights Collective Festival in December 2018.

Trouble in Mind
by Alice Childress
directed by TimeLine Company Member Ron OJ Parson
November 10 – December 18, 2022 (previews 11/2 – 11/9)
Acclaimed by The New York Times as “a rich, unsettling play that lives up to its title [and] lingers in one’s memory long after its conclusion,” this scathingly funny backstage drama about interracial politics explores the complex, difficult, and often emotional way people talk about race.
On stage at a Broadway theater in New York City in the mid-1950s, a group of actors has gathered for their first day rehearsing a new play called Chaos in Belleville, an anti-lynching Southern drama. But as the cast rehearses, tensions flair between Wiletta, the Black actress in the starring role, and her white director about his interpretation of the play. The result is an explosive conversation about equality, power, and how race is portrayed in the American theatre.
Written by Alice Childress (the first Black woman to have a play professionally produced in New York City) and featuring a play-within-a-play structure, Trouble in Mind is a groundbreaking
backstage satire of egos and attitudes and an insightful look at the importance of honest representation. It was previously announced to take place in TimeLine’s 2020-21 season, and most recently enjoyed an acclaimed Broadway production nominated for four 2022 Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Play. The critics raved that this “masterpiece of astonishing power” (New York Magazine) is “the play of the moment” (The New York Times) and “will take your breath away” (Associated Press).

World Premiere
Boulevard of Bold Dreams
by LaDarrion Williams
directed by Malkia Stampley
February 16 – March 26, 2023 (previews 2/8 – 2/15)
It is February 29, 1940, the night of the Academy Awards in Hollywood, California. Bartender Arthur Brooks, an ambitious Black man from rural Alabama, dreams of becoming a movie director. His best friend, Dottie Hudson, is a maid at the Ambassador Hotel who finds herself to be a cynic of all dreams. But when the actress Hattie McDaniel stops in at the bar and decides not to attend the biggest event in show business, Arthur and Dottie must do everything in their power to convince her to go and claim her historic win—all while confronting their dark past and making their own dreams come to life.
This play about race, class, gender, and the ever-changing landscape of Hollywood has previously had public readings at The Echo Theatre Company (featuring TimeLine Company Member Mildred Marie Langford) and Morgan-Wixson Theatre’s New Works Festival. TimeLine’s production will be its world premiere.
Casting for all plays will be announced at a later date.

TimeLine is currently requiring proof of vaccination for entry and mask-wearing to attend. Patrons are asked for their vaccination card or a picture of their vaccination card when they arrive along with valid photo ID, and are asked to wear a mask over their nose and mouth throughout their visit. These protocols are subject to change as the pandemic continues to evolve. For more information about TimeLine’s Health & Safety policies, visit

TimeLine Theatre Company, recipient of the prestigious 2016 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions, was founded in April 1997 with a mission to present stories inspired by history that connect with today's social and political issues. Currently celebrating its 25th Anniversary season, TimeLine has presented 82 productions, including 11 world premieres and 38 Chicago premieres, and launched the Living History Education Program, which brings the company's mission to life for students in Chicago Public Schools. Recipient of the Alford-Axelson Award for Nonprofit Managerial Excellence and the Richard Goodman Strategic Planning Award from the Association for Strategic Planning, TimeLine has received 58 Jeff Awards, including an award for Outstanding Production 11 times.

The company has long been bursting at the seams of its current leased home located at 615 W. Wellington Avenue in Chicago’s Lakeview East neighborhood, where the theatre has been in residence since 1999. In December 2018, TimeLine announced the purchase of property at 5033-35 North Broadway in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood to be the site of its new home. Plans feature an intimate black box theatre seating up to 250 audience members, expanded area for the immersive lobby experiences that are a TimeLine hallmark, new opportunities for education and engagement, room to allow audience members to arrive early and stay late for theatergoing experiences that extend far beyond the stage, and more. TimeLine is working with HGA as architect for its new home project, which is expected to be completed in 2024.
TimeLine is led by Artistic Director PJ Powers, Executive Director Mica Cole, and Board President John Sterling. TimeLine Company members are Tyla Abercrumbie, Will Allan, Nick Bowling, Janet Ulrich Brooks, Wardell Julius Clark, Behzad Dabu, Charles Andrew Gardner, Lara Goetsch, Juliet Hart, Anish Jethmalani, Mildred Marie Langford, Mechelle Moe, David Parkes, Ron OJ Parson, PJ Powers, and Maren Robinson.

Major corporate, government and foundation supporters of TimeLine Theatre include the Abe and Ida Cooper Foundation, Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, Arts Consulting Group, Bayless Family Foundation, The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, City of Chicago, Crown Family Philanthropies, Joseph and Bessie Feinberg Foundation, Forum Fund, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, Illinois Arts Council Agency, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Laughing Acres Family Foundation, MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince, National Endowment for the Arts, Polk Bros. Foundation, Pritzker Traubert Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, United States Small Business Administration, and Walder Foundation.

For more information, visit or FacebookTwitter, or Instagram (@TimeLineTheatre).


Will Allan (Playwright, Campaigns, Inc.), a TimeLine Company Member and member the 2017-18 Playwrights Collective, is a former Chicago actor and playwright who is now based in Los Angeles. His Chicago debut was as a member of the original cast of TimeLine's Chicago premiere of The History Boys (directed by Nick Bowling, Equity Jeff Awards—Production and Ensemble). Campaigns, Inc. is his first full-length play, and he is thrilled that the place he got his start as an actor is the place he'll get his start as a professional playwright. During his decade in Chicago, he performed in numerous productions with Steppenwolf, Goodman, Chicago Shakespeare, Victory Gardens, Remy Bumppo, Theater Wit, and more. Regionally, he has performed with Milwaukee Repertory, Indiana Repertory, Cardinal Stage, and The Human Race Theatre Company. A native of Dayton, Ohio, Allan studied at Moscow Art Theatre School in Russia and earned his BA degree in Theatre Performance from North Central College in Naperville, Illinois.

Nick Bowling (Director, Campaigns, Inc.) was the founding Artistic Director and is now Associate Artistic Director and a Company Member of TimeLine Theatre, where he has directed more than 30 productions. He is the recipient of eight Jeff Awards for Outstanding Direction (The History Boys, The Normal Heart, Fiorello!, This Happy Breed, and The Crucible at TimeLine, Ragtime at Marriott Theatre, Sondheim on Sondheim at Porchlight Music Theatre, and Another Part of the Forest at Eclipse Theatre) and also received Jeff Award nominations for Oslo, Blood and Gifts, The Farnsworth Invention, Hauptmann, and The Lion in Winter at TimeLine; Closer Than Ever at Porchlight Music Theatre; and City of Angels, The King and I, and Man of La Mancha at Marriott Theatre. Other recent credits at TimeLine include the Chicago premiere of J.T. Rogers’ Oslo at Broadway In Chicago’s Broadway Playhouse, Master ClassThe Audience, A Disappearing Number, The Last Wife, and Blood and Gifts. Other Chicago credits include Marriott’s The Sound of Music, Oliver!, and The Bridges of Madison County; Paramount's A Christmas Story, Northwestern University’s Guys and Dolls and CabaretPorchlight’s A Catered Affair, Writers Theatre's Bach at Leipzig, and Shattered Globe Theatre's Time of the Cuckoo and Frozen Assets.

Alice Childress (Playwright, Trouble in Mind, 1916–1994) was raised during the Harlem Renaissance under the watchful eye of her beloved maternal grandmother and grew up to become first an actress and then a playwright and novelist. A founding member of the American Negro Theatre, she wrote her first play, Florence, in 1949. The script was written in one night on a dare from her close friend, the actor Sidney Poitier, who had told Alice that he didn’t think a great play could be written overnight. She proved him wrong, and the play was produced Off-Broadway in 1950. In 1952, Childress became the first African American woman to see her play (Gold Through the Trees) professionally produced in New York. In 1955, Childress’ play Trouble in Mind opened Off-Broadway at the Greenwich Mews Theatre. The production was a critical and popular success and immediately drew interest from producers for a Broadway transfer. In an ironic twist echoing the tribulations of the characters in the play itself, the producers wanted changes to the script to make it more palatable to a commercial audience. Childress refused to compromise her artistic vision, and the play never opened on Broadway, ending her chance of being the first African American woman playwright to have a play on Broadway. Trouble in Mindreceived a well-reviewed Off-Broadway revival in 1998 by the Negro Ensemble Company and has since been produced by a multitude of prestigious theatres such as Yale Repertory Theatre, Centerstage, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, and Arena Stage, and in a Tony Award-nominated revival in 2022. Childress is known for A Hero Ain’t Nothin’ But a Sandwich, her 1973 novel about a 13-year-old Black boy addicted to heroin, which was subsequently made into a movie in 1978. Her other plays include Just a Little Simple (1950), Wedding Band: A Love/Hate Story in Black and White (1966), and Gullah(1984). Throughout her career, Childress examined the true meaning of being Black, and especially of being Black and female. As she herself once said, “I concentrate on portraying have-nots in a have society.”

Ron OJ Parson (Director, Trouble in Mind) became a TimeLine Company Member in 2016. His TimeLine credits include Relentless(also at Goodman Theatre), Too Heavy for Your PocketTo Catch a FishParadise BlueSunset Baby, and A Raisin in the Sun. He is a native of Buffalo, New York, and a graduate of the University of Michigan’s professional theater program. He is the co-founder and former Artistic Director of Onyx Theatre Ensemble of Chicago and a co-founder and co-director of Ripe ManGo Productions. Parson is a Resident Artist at Court Theatre and an Associate Artist with Teatro Vista, and an Associate Artist at Writers Theatre. Since moving to Chicago from New York in 1994, he has worked as both an actor and director. His Chicago credits include work with The Chicago Theatre Company, Victory Gardens, Goodman, Steppenwolf, Chicago Dramatists, Northlight, Court, Black Ensemble Theatre, Congo Square, Northlight Theatre, Urban Theatre Company, City Lit Theater, ETA Creative Arts, and Writers. Regionally, Parson has directed shows at Studio Arena Theatre, Alliance Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Milwaukee Repertory, South Coast Repertory, Pasadena Playhouse, Geva Theatre, Virginia Stage, Roundabout Theatre, Wilshire Theatre, The Mechanic Theatre, CenterStage, St. Louis Black Repertory, Pittsburgh Public Theater, Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre, Signature Theatre (New York), Kansas City Rep, and Portland Stage, among others. In Canada, he directed the world premiere of Palmer Park by Joanna McClelland Glass at the Stratford Festival. He is a member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA, and SDC. For further information, visit

Malkia Stampley (Director, Boulevard of Bold Dreams) was born and raised in Milwaukee where she attended Marquette University for Theater Arts. She joined Goodman Theatre as Producer in October 2021 after serving as founding Artistic Producer for the Milwaukee Black Theater Festival. Directing credits include Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill (Farmer's Alley Theatre); The Gift of the Magi (American Players Theater); Black Nativity (Black Arts MKE, three years); Stew (Milwaukee Chamber Theatre); Nunsense(Milwaukee Repertory Theater); Five Guys Named Moe (Skylight Music Theatre); Antarctica, WI (First Stage), IN:FLUENCE/SPIRATION (University of Wisconsin-Madison) with workshops and readings at American Players Theatre, Northern Sky, Milwaukee Fringe Festival, #ENOUGH and Texas State University Black and Latino Playwright Celebration. As a budding playwright, Stampley co-authored Lines, commissioned by Theatre LILA in 2018. Stampley is a founder of Milwaukee Black Theater Festival and Bronzeville Arts Ensemble, a theater established in Milwaukee, where she served as Producing Artistic Director for three seasons. She is also an actor for television, film, and stage. She currently has a guest star recurring role on AMC's 61st Street and her last stage performance was 9 Circles at Next Act Theatre, directed by Michael Cotey.

LaDarrion Williams (Playwright, Boulevard of Bold Dreams) is a Los Angeles based-playwright, filmmaker, author, and screenwriter whose goal is to cultivate a new era of Black fantasy, providing space and agency for Black characters and stories in a new, fresh and fantastical way. His first play, Katrina, won first place at the Alabama State Thespian Conference. It was also a part of A Noise Within Theatre for their Noise Now Reading Series. His adaptation of the best-selling memoir, Feeding A Monster, was directed by award-winning actor and director Art Evans at the Hudson Theatre in Hollywood, CA. In 2019, he was invited to be a guest writer for Center Theatre Groups’ August Wilson Monologue Competition. His play Black Creek Risin’ was a part of the Great Plains Theatre Conference in Omaha, Nebraska. In September 2019, his play, Coco Queens, was a part of the Sundance Institute’s Playwriting Intensive and was also a semi-finalist for the 2020 Eugene O’Neill National Playwriting Conference. In 2021, his play Boulevard of Bold Dreamswas a part of the New Works Festival at the Morgan-Wixson Theatre in Santa Monica, California. After TimeLine’s production, it will also premiere at Greater Stage Boston in March 2023. Williams is currently a resident playwright/co-creator of The Black Creators Collective where his play UMOJA made its West Coast premiere in January 2022, and he also produced North Hollywood’s first Black playwrights festival at the Waco Theater Center. Serving as a writer-producer, Williams has curated three short films on YouTube. His viral and award-winning short film Blood at the Root is anticipated to become a Young Adult fantasy novel. 

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