Showing posts with label 33rd season. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 33rd season. Show all posts

Thursday, October 6, 2022

Midwest Premiere of MARYS SEACOLE Via Griffin Theatre Company October 1 – November 6, 2022 at Raven Theatre

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar

Midwest Premiere!

Griffin Theatre Company Launches 33rd Season with


By Jackie Sibblies Drury

Directed by Jerrell L. Henderson and Hannah Todd

October 1 – November 6, 2022 at Raven Theatre

Griffin Theatre Company is pleased to launch its 33rd season with the Midwest premiere drama Marys Seacole by Pulitzer Prize winner Jackie Sibblies Drury, directed by Jerrell L. Henderson and Hannah Todd, playing October 1 – November 6, 2022 on Raven Theatre’s Schwartz Stage, 6157 N. Clark St. in Chicago. Tickets now on sale at or by calling (773) 338-2177. I'll be out for the press opening, October 9th, so check back soon for my full review.

Marys Seacole is a dazzling tribute to the 19th century British-Jamaican nurse who crossed battle and race lines to chart her own course in history. Moving from past to present, through space and time, Drury's kaleidoscopic new play follows one woman's extraordinary journey from the battlefields of the Crimean War to a modern-day nursing home. From the acclaimed writer who won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Fairview, comes this Midwest premiere that challenges us to question our notions of sacrifice and selfishness, and the cherished perception of women as caregivers. The New York Times hailed Marys Seacole as "breathless and radiant" and The New Yorker Magazine called it "revelatory."

The production features Izzie Jones, Stephanie Mattos, RjW Mays, Jesi Mullins, India Whiteside and Mackenzie Williams. Understudies include Madeline Bunke, Sierra Coachman, Laura Coover and Liv J. Wilson.

  PHOTO CREDIT: The creative team for Griffin Theatre Company’s Midwest premiere of Marys Seacole includes (left to right) playwright Jackie Sibblies Drury and directors Jerrell L. Henderson and Hannah Todd.

The production team to date includes Joe Johnson (Scenic Design), Anna Wooden (Costume Design), Matt Sharp (Lighting Design), L. J. Luthringer (Sound Design), Ivy Treccani (Properties Design), Adam Goldstein (Dialect Coach), Jesi Mullins (Fight Choreography, Violence Design), Matthew Chase (Production Manager), Danny Halminiak (Technical Director), Karen Wallace (Assistant Lighting Design, Head Electrician) and Anna Walker (Stage Manager).

Cast (in alphabetical order): Izzie Jones (Miriam), Stephanie Mattos (Mary), RjW Mays (Duppy Mary), Jesi Mullins (May), India Whiteside (Merry) and Mackenzie Williams (Mamie). Understudies: Madeline Bunke, Sierra Coachman, Laura Coover and Liv J. Wilson.

Location: Raven Theatre’s Schwartz Stage, 6157 N. Clark St., Chicago

Dates: Previews: Saturday October 1 at 7:30 pm, Sunday, October 2 at 3 pm, Thursday, October 6 at 7:30 pm, Friday, October 7 at 7:30 pm and Saturday, October 8 at 7:30 pm

Press performance: Sunday, October 9 at 7 pm

Regular run: Thursday, October 12 – Sunday, November 6, 2022

Curtain Times: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm; Sundays at 3 pm. Please note: there will not be a 3 pm performance on Sunday, October 9.

Tickets: Previews $30. Regular run $40. Students/active military and veterans $15. Group discounts are available for groups of ten or more. Tickets available at or by calling (773) 338-2177.


About the Artists

Jackie Sibblies Drury (Playwright) plays include Marys Seacole (Obie Award), Fairview (2019 Pulitzer Prize), Really, Social Creatures and We Are Proud to Present a Presentation About the Herero of Namibia, Formerly Known as Southwest Africa, From the German Sudwestafrika, Between the Years 1884–1915. Her work has been produced at Lincoln Center Theater, Soho Rep., Berkeley Rep, New York City Players & Abrons Arts Center, Victory Gardens, Trinity Rep, Woolly Mammoth, Undermain Theatre, InterAct Theatre Company, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Company One and Bush Theatre. Drury has developed her work at Sundance, the Bellagio Center, The Ground Floor at Berkeley Rep, the Soho Rep. Writer/Director LAB, New York Theatre Workshop, the Bushwick Starr, The Lark, and The MacDowell Colony, among others. She has received the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, a Jerome Fellowship at The Lark, a United States Artists Fellowship, a Helen Merrill Playwriting Award and a Windham–Campbell Literary Prize in Drama.

Jerrell L. Henderson (Director) is a Theatre Director, Puppeteer, and African American Theatre Historian and Archivist. Through the mediums of theatre and/or puppetry and film, Jerrell seeks to disrupt generational curses of self-hate (i.e. racism, homophobia, religious intolerance, etc.). Intellectually curious and emotionally dexterous, Jerrell is at home in a number of wide-ranging genres including, but not limited to, American Realism, Magical Realism, Traditional and Contemporary Musical Theatre, Poetic Black-Queer Narratives and Live Spectacle Events. He is the League of Chicago Theatres recipient of the 2022 Samuel G. Roberson, Jr. Resident Fellowship. He will present an original shadow play titled, AmericanMYTH: Crossroads with Free Street Theatre in Fall 2023. Recent directing credits include Reverie by James Ijames (2022 Pulitzer Prize recipient for Fat Ham) with Azuka Theatre and Mlima’s Tale with Griffin Theatre (Jeff Award nomination for Direction and Best Play). Others credits include The River with BoHo Theatre and Untitled with Inis Nua (Barrymore Award nomination for Outstanding Direction of a Play). Puppet short films include a filmed version of his signature puppetry piece, I Am The Bear with The Chicago International Puppet Theatre Festival. Other puppet short films include, Hamlin: La Revue Sombre with Heather Henson’s Handmade Puppet Dreams and Diamond’s Dream with Chicago Children’s Theatre. His Juneteenth Puppet Protest: The Welcome Table was featured in the New York Times (June 2020) and his Fall 2020 puppetry celebration of the lives of John Lewis and C.T. Vivian titled, Black Butterfly was later expanded into an educational performance piece with Tria Smith of Guild Row and a student collective working with Urban Growers Collective on Chicago’s South Side. As an assistant director, Jerrell has worked with The Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre and Lookingglass Theatre. He received his MFA in Theatre Directing from Northwestern University (2015), is an artistic associate with Black Lives, Black Words, and was a Henson Foundation sponsored participant at the Eugene O’Neill National Puppetry Conference (2020). He is on the board of Directors Gathering. (DG) is a national organization based in Philadelphia, PA which offers theatre directors consistent community, resources and elevation. As a theatre historian and archivist, Jerrell contributed to the recently released Fifty Key Musicals (Routledge Press). He authored the chapter on Shuffle Along (1921) and co-authored the chapter on The Wiz (1975). He also serves as the creator and curator of black_theatre_vinyl_archive on Instagram. black_theatre_vinyl_archive is an extensive collection of vinyl albums which highlight the contributions of members of the African Diaspora in Theatre/Musical Theatre History. He is represented by the Gurman Agency (

Hannah Todd (Director) is a Chicago-based director, where she has directed Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins (Strawdog Theatre, 2021 and upcoming in 2022), Thrones! A Musical Parody (Apollo Theater Chicago), associate directed Cambodian Rock Band (Victory Gardens/Merrimack Repertory Theater, dir. Marti Lyons) and assistant directed at Chicago Shakespeare, Lookingglass Theatre Company and Northlight Theatre. Prior to moving to Chicago, Hannah was based in Washington, DC, where she co-founded We Happy Few Productions ( In DC, Hannah served as Artistic Fellow at Shakespeare Theatre Company, assistant directed at Folger Theater, Shakespeare Theatre and Studio Theatre, and directed for Theater Alliance, the Capital Fringe Festival, Lean & Hungry Theatre/WAMU 88.5 and the Source Festival. With We Happy Few, Hannah directed critically acclaimed productions of Hamlet, The Tempest, Romeo and Juliet, The Winter’s Tale, The Dog in the Manger and Macbeth. Hannah holds a BA from Hampshire College and an MFA in Directing from Northwestern University.

The Griffin Theatre Company is partially supported by the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, The Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, The MacArthur Funds for Culture, Equity, and the Arts at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation and the American Rescue Plan.

The Griffin Theatre Company is a Blue Star Theater and is proud to support our military enlisted and veterans. 


About Griffin Theatre Company

Established in 1988. the mission of the Griffin Theatre Company is to create extraordinary and meaningful theatrical experiences for both children and adults by building bridges of understanding between generations that instill in its audience an appreciation of the performing arts. Through artistic collaboration the Griffin Theatre Company produces literary adaptations, original work and classic plays that challenge and inspire, with wit, style and compassion for the audience.

The Griffin Theatre Company is the recipient of 125 Joseph Jefferson Award nominations for theater excellence in Chicago. The Griffin was honored with four 2018 Jeff awards for Ragtime including Best Ensemble, Best Musical, Best Director-Musical and Best Performer in a Supporting Role-Musical. Additionally, the company was the repeat winner of the 2016 Jeff Award for Best Production of a Play for London Wall having won the same award in 2015 for its production of Men Should Weep.

In addition, the Griffin is a nationally recognized producer of youth touring theatre in the United States. The Griffin’s national audience exceeds 100,000 young people and adults each year. Tours have included such prestigious venues as Cleveland Playhouse Square, Tribeca Performing Arts Center in New York City, Tennessee Center for the Performing Arts in Nashville and the Cerritos Center for the Arts in Cerritos, California. Touring productions have included both youth focused plays, Frindle and The Stinky Cheese Man and the Griffin’s hit adult production of Letters Home—a production that pays tribute to the men and women in the US military, In to America, a play that traces America’s 400 year immigrant history and Ghosts of War. Most recently, the Griffin produced the world premiere production of the Emmy Award-winning children’s television show, Innovation Nation-LIVE. Overall, Griffin’s touring productions have been performed in 45 of our United States.

For additional information, visit

COVID-19 safety: Raven Theatre will require patrons to wear a face mask at all times inside the building (when not eating or drinking in the lobby). The theatre will no longer require patrons to provide proof of vaccination to attend a production. If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, please contact the box office to reschedule your tickets free of charge. For all of Raven’s current COVID-19 protocols, visit

Monday, July 10, 2017

SAVE THE DATES: ATC Announces 12 New CORE Projects Throughout Season 33

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

American Theater Company’s 
Chicago Open Residency Experiment (CORE) workshops 12 new projects throughout Season 33

Public CORE performances (free/suggested $15 donation) 
throughout season from August to June

American Theater Company’s (ATC) Chicago Open Residency Experiment (CORE) program, a series of week-long residencies for artists of all disciplines, continues its second year with 25 artists workshopping 12 new projects throughout Season 33

"At ATC, we are invested in exploring unique ways of making new plays for the American theatre,” says Artistic Programs Manager Sarah Slight. “The artists who've received residencies this year are looking at new work from a variety of perspectives and approaches. On the presentation date, you might experience anything from a movement sequence to a staged reading to a guided design tour. For us, the anticipation of cutting-edge artistry is incredibly exciting. We've spread the residencies out this season to ensure that ATC’s space is filled with as many artists as possible throughout the year. Please join us in celebrating their tremendous work all season.”

CORE awards a free week of rehearsal space and a presentation of the work to groups of artists and works in progress. CORE artists will receive space to work and present, as well as basic artistic, technical and box office support. 

Tickets to CORE performances are free with a suggested donation of $15. To make a reservation, please visit  


Black Like Me – Monday, August 7, 2017
Adapted and directed by Monty Cole
Based on the book by John Howard Griffin

In 1959, John Howard Griffin--a white man from Texas--began the process of dyeing himself black. Two pills and regular sessions under a sun lamp made Griffin’s skin “black enough” to pass, and he set out on a journey through the South to discover what it was like to be a black man. His book, Black Like Me, was published in 1961 and made into a movie in 1965. Now Cole, working with an ensemble of actors, will explore the question “What does it mean to be black in America?” and, ultimately, create a script that depicts Griffin’s experience against the contemporary black experience.

Kissing – Monday, August 14, 2017
Conceived by Abigail Boucher
Co-created by Abigail Boucher and Carolyn Defrin
With Brock Alter

Kissing is a multidisciplinary piece which explores cultural customs and personal stories around kissing. It explores how this simple gesture might invigorate our current world order with more joy, love and tenderness.

About Face Theatre’s Untitled Project Inspired by James Baldwin's Giovanni's Room– Monday, August 21, 2017
by Benjamin Sprunger and Paul Oakley Stovall
Directed by Cheryl Lynn Bruce

Presented in conjunction with About Face Theatre's First DrAAFT Series - a program designed to feature the artistic work of AFT's Artistic Associates - playwrights Sprunger and Stovall will workshop and present an adaptation of Baldwin's 1956 novella Giovanni's Room.

Dig – Monday, August 28, 2017
By Theodore Germaine
Directed by Gina Marie Hayes
With Avi Roque

Dig is a new work in development which explores the themes of romantic love, non-monogamy, trans identities, mental illness, and how to overall exist within, challenge, and/or fight the flawed legal system within this country. On the night after their lover's funeral - a trans-masculine person from a highly conservative and religious small-town family - 2/3rds of the remaining romantic triad sneak into their deceased partner's apartment to try to come to terms with the tragedy at hand, but the night takes another-worldly, empowering, and illegal turn as they piece together the truth around their partner's death. 

(saliva) things that i like about my partner that are not their mouth or genitals – Monday, September 18, 2017
By Jasmine Jordan and Valerie Gallucci

(saliva) is about sex, about discovering sex and sharing every detail with a best friend, about keeping score, about discretion, about bodies, about lust, about shame, about exes, about celebration. It is by two friends who don't have sex the same way or make art the same way and are figuring that out. It requires those two friends to learn how to dance, learn how to give a lecture, and learn how to work together for the first time since they were sixteen.

Untitled Project – Monday, December 11, 2017
Directed by Jess McLeod

Any of my Enemies – Monday, December 18, 2017
Molly Brennan (Lead Artist)

Through a series of performance pieces called Any of my Enemies, using a shared title, themes, and devising techniques, an assembly of performers and designers will collaborate to build a series of short performance scenes. This will be a radically inclusive project that incorporates multiple modes of accessibility.

Diagram of a Paper Airplane – Monday, March 12, 2018
By Carlos Murillo
Directed by Bonnie Metzgar

Javier C. is dead, and in his wake are fragments and scraps of his magnum opus mailed mysteriously from New Mexico to his group of ex-friends in New York. Carlos Murillo's Diagram of a Paper Airplane is the first in a trilogy of plays that examine the capacity of friendships to withstand the unimaginable.

As part of their process leading up to production, Metzgar and Murillo will receive a CORE pre-production week to explore a key element(s) of the play.

To The Moon – Monday, March 19, 2018
Written by Beth Kander
Artistic collaborators: Allyce Torres, Amanda Long, Arian Thigpen, Sallee Murphy

To The Moon is a clear-eyed, unapologetic, fierce and tender portrayal of domestic abuse and its survivors. Knowing that such abuse impacts people from all walks of life, five diverse women collaborated to interview survivors and weave together their narratives - stories of strength and wit and loss and hope. Led by playwright Beth Kander, these collaborators' efforts yield a tough and touching true-stories-inspired stage play, which documents and dramatizes the tragic realities of domestic abuse in America.

La Ronde – Monday, March 26, 2018
A reimagining based on the play by Arthur Schnitzler
Directed by Dani Wieder
Choreography by Andy Slavin

This re-imagining explores Arthur Schnitzler's play from 1900 that, while innovative in its form, imagines intimacy as limiting us from reaching our fullest potential - a closed circle, la ronde. Through a combination of his original text and choreography by Andy Slavin, Dani Wieder and the ensemble ask how we can grow wider and become more as we move through and around the lives of others.

FARMED: The Orwell Radio – Monday, June 18, 2018
A song-setting by Trevor Bachman
Inspired by George Orwell's “Animal Farm”

FARMED is a socio-political musical by composer and singer Trevor Bachman. Inspired by the text of George Orwell’s Animal Farm, FARMED combines song, literature, and interview to examine race and class structures in America. Continuing in the tradition of artists like Liz Swados and Joe Papp, Bachman sews a soul-stirring patchwork of fabrics from a diverse and divided country.

Soot & Linen – Monday, June 25, 2018
By BrittneyLove Smith

A young black woman enters the house of a ruined tobacco plantation, as an indentured servant, two years after the Civil War. She is swept away in the world of this South Carolina grand plantation, now reduced to nothing more than a farm, and finds herself entangled in a triangle of both love and lust between herself, the misses of the house, and the misses’ husband. Soot & Linen is a historical and daring TV series that explores the prominent ways black women were desired, hated, loved and abused during slavery and in many ways still are.

Season subscriptions for Season 33 are on sale now and range from $40-$114, with special pricing available for members under the age of 35. To purchase a subscription or for more information, visit or call the ATC Box Office at 773-409-4125.

About American Theater Company
American Theater Company (ATC) challenges and inspires its community by exploring stories that ask the question, "What does it mean to be an American?" ATC’s Ensemble includes Patrick Andrews, Kareem Bandealy, Jaime Castañeda, Kelly O’Sullivan, Tyler Ravelson, and Sadieh Rifai.

American Theater Company is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, the Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, Polk Bros. Foundation, the MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince, the Shubert Foundation, ArtsWork Fund, Lagunitas Breweing Co, Actors’ Equity Foundation,
The Pauls Foundation and Robert & Isabelle Bass Foundation.

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