Showing posts with label Boo Killebrew. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Boo Killebrew. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

OPENING: World Premiere of Lettie at Victory Gardens Theater Through 5/6/18

Chi IL Live Shows On Our Radar:

Victory Gardens Theater Presents the World Premiere of
By Boo Killebrew 
Directed by Chay Yew

April 6 – May 6, 2018

I'll be spending Friday the 13th ChiILin' at Chi, IL's Victory Gardens Theater at  the press opening of the World Premiere of Lettie, written by Boo Killebrew. Victory Gardens Theater continues its 43rd season with the World Premiere of Lettie, written by Boo Killebrew and directed by Artistic Director Chay Yew. Lettie runs April 6 – May 6, 2018.

After serving seven years in prison, Lettie is released and struggles to make a fresh start. Her children, who have been cared for by her half-sister, want little to do with her. Her re-entry job is anything but gentle as she takes on the dark, harsh world of welding. Trying again and again to create a non-criminal life, Lettie is confronted by her past and must make impossible choices to protect her future. Lettie, directed by Artistic Director Chay Yew (A Wonder In My Soul, The House That Will Not Stand) marks playwright Boo Killebrew’s Victory Gardens Theater debut.

​“I'm thrilled to be collaborating with playwright Boo Killebrew on this new work,” said Artistic Director Chay Yew. “Lettie is a moving and profound play that accurately captures the portraits of working-class women dealing with issues of recidivism and challenges in re-entry employment from incarceration, gender and race in the work place, poverty, and motherhood. One of most unique voices in the American Theatre, Boo possesses a remarkable ability to address relevant and difficult social issues through the prism of recognizable and deeply resonant personal relationships." 

The cast of Lettie includes Charin Alvarez (Minny), Matt Farabee (River), Kirsten Fitzgerald (Carla), Ryan Kitley (Frank), Caroline Neff (Lettie) and Krystal Ortiz (Layla).

The creative team includes Andrew Boyce (scenic design), Melissa Ng (costume design), Lee Fiskness (lighting design), Mikhail Fiksel (sound design) and Jesse Gaffney (props design). Jerrell L. Henderson is the assistant director, Cassie Calderone is the production stage manager and Skyler Gray is the dramaturg. 

About the Artists
CHAY YEW (Director) Chay Yew is the Artistic Director at Victory Gardens Theater. Victory Gardens Theater: A Wonder in My Soul, Roz and Ray, 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); Where Did We Sit On The Bus? (Teatro Vista/Victory Gardens, Boise Contemporary Theatre); Po Boy Tango (Northlight Theatre). Productions at The Public Theater, Playwrights Horizons, The Playwrights Realm, New York Theatre Workshop, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Rattlestick, National Asian American Theatre Company, Ma-Yi Theatre Company. Regional: Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, The Kennedy Center, Mark Taper Forum, American Conservatory Theater, South Coast Rep, Long Wharf Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Huntington Theatre Company, Denver Center Theatre, Playmakers Rep, Empty Space Theatre, Mosaic Theatre Company, Curious Theatre Company, Cincinnati Playhouse, Round House Theater, Portland Center Stage, Southern Rep, Geva Theatre Company, Pillsbury Theatre, Gala Hispanic Theatre, Cornerstone Theatre Company, Singapore Repertory Theatre, Theatre at 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 d’Amors (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 adaptations of A Winter People (based on Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard), Lorca’s The House of Bernarda Alba, and a musical Long Season. His performance works include Vivian 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, Theatre-Works (Singapore), amongst others. 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 and 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 Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events’ Cultural Advisory Council and League of Chicago Theatres.

BOO KILLEBREW (Playwright) Boo Killebrew is a playwright, actress, and co-founder of CollaborationTown Theatre Company.  Boo was a Lila Acheson Playwriting Fellow at The Juilliard School and the recipient of The Paula Vogel Award at The Vineyard Theater. She is a resident of The SPACE Working Farm, an alumni of the Emerging Writers Group at The Public Theater, a recipient of a NYFA Fellowship, an alumni of TerraNova's Groundbreakers, an Affiliated Artist and Kitchen Cabinet Member with New Georges, and a Usual Suspect with New Theater Workshop.  Her plays include MILLER, MISSISSIPPI (The Leah Ryan Prize 2015, Dallas Theater Center 2017); ROMANCE NOVELS FOR DUMMIES (Williamstown Theater Festival, 2016), DAYS LIKE DIAMONDS, THE PLAY ABOUT MY DAD (59e59 Theatres), THE d LIFE, CAVEAT EMPTOR and THE MOMENTUM (NYC Fringe Festival Excellence Award for Overall Production of a Play; GLAAD Media Award Nominee).  Her work has been presented at The Roundabout Theatre, The Public Theater, Williamstown Theater Festival, The Atlantic, New York Theater Workshop, New York Stage and Film, Perry Mansfield, Portland Center Stage, New Georges, Clubbed Thumb, The Huntington Theatre Co., 59e59 Theatres, The New Ohio, The Labyrinth, The Alley Theatre, and Boston Playwright's Theatre. Boo was an Edward F. Albee Foundation Fellow, an Artist in Residence at NYFA, Robert Wilson's Watermill Center, New York Theater Workshop, The MacDowell Colony, Williamstown Theater Festival, and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.  Boo has received two New York Innovative Theater Awards, two Fringe Excellence Awards, and The Bette Davis Foundation Award. She is currently commissioned by Victory Gardens, The Dallas Theatre Center, and Manhattan Theatre Club. Boo is a writer for Longmire on Netflix and created the television pilot Aim High, which is currently in development at AMC.  

CHARIN ALVAREZ (Minnie) Theatre credits include: The Scene (Writer’s Theatre); 2666, Pedro Paramo, El Nogalar, Dollhouse, Electricidad (The Goodman Theatre); Mojada, Oedipus El Rey, Anna in the Tropics, A Park in the House (Victory Gardens Theater);  In the time of the Butterflies, Our Lady of the Underpass,  I put the fear of Mexico in ‘em, Dreamlandia, Another Part of the House (Teatro Vista); Water by the Spoonful (Court Theatre);  Work of Art (Chicago Dramatists); The Clean House (Remy Bumppo); What We Once Felt (About Face Theatre); Kita & Fernanda (16th Street theatre); Esperanza Rising (Chicago Children’s Theatre); Two Sisters and a Piano (Apple Tree Theatre); Generic Latina (Teatro Luna); La Casa de Bernarda Alba (Aguijon Theatre). Film/TV credits include: Easy; Shameless; Chicago Fire; Mob Doctor; Boss; Chicago Code; Approach Alone; Rooftop Wars; Arc of a Bird; Were the World Mine; Chicago Overcoat; First and Only Lesson; Eric’s Haircut; Dogwalker; Rogers Park; Olympia: Manual on how to live your life, Signature Move; En Algun Lugar; Princess Cyd; Single File; Teacher; Hala.

MATT FARABEE (River) Rest (Victory Gardens). Chicago credits include:  Dry Land (Rivendell Theatre), The Burials (Steppenwolf), The Skin of Our Teeth (Remy Bumppo), Bruise Easy (American Theater Company), Mud Blue Sky (A Red Orchid Theatre), punkplay (Steppenwolf Garage Rep), Skylight (Court Theater), Milk Milk Lemonade (Pavement Group), Elizabeth Rex (Chicago Shakespeare), Tigers Be Still (Theater Wit), Abraham Lincoln was a F*gg*t (AboutFace Theatre), The Sweeter Option (Strawdog), and The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek (Eclipse Theatre Company).  Off-Broadway: A Bright New Boise (Partial Comfort).  Regional: Lord of the Flies, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Round House Theatre).

KIRSTEN FITZGERALD (Carla) Victory Gardens: Appropriate (world premiere). A Red Orchid Theatre: Traitor (world premiere), Evening at the Talk House, Pilgrim's Progress (world premiere), Abigail's Party, Mud Blue Sky, The Sea Horse (Jeff Award), etc.  Steppenwolf: Mary Page Marlowe (world premiere), The Qualms (world premiere), Clybourne Park, A Streetcar Named Desire. Other theatres: Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Goodman, Shattered Globe, Remy Bumppo, Plasticene, Prop, Next, Famous Door, Defiant Theatre and more.  Television: The Exorcist, Sirens, Chicago Med, Chicago Justice, Chicago Fire, Underemployed, ER.  Kirsten is the Artistic Director and a member of the Ensemble at A Red Orchid Theatre.

RYAN KITLEY (Frank) Recent credits: Romeo and Juliet (Chicago Shakespeare), Objects in the Mirror (Goodman Theatre), Support Group for Men (Goodman Theatre) Assassination Theater (MBC), Burn This (Shattered Globe) A Few Good Men (Theatre at the Center), Travels With My Aunt (Writers Theatre) Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Shattered Globe) The Big Funk (Clock Productions) Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Meadowbrook Theatre) Amy’s View, Things We Do For Love, King O’ the Moon (Organic Theatre) Dig Two Graves, Guidance, Barbershop II, Hunter, Soul Survivors, Miss March, Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Empire, BOSS, Detroit 187, Early Edition, Turks, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Other People’s Children, Embeds.

CAROLINE NEFF (Lettie) Broadway: Airline Highway. Steppenwolf: You Got Older, Linda Vista,The Fundamentals, The Flick, Airline Highway, The Way West, Three Sisters. Goodman: Uncle Vanya. Steep: Wastwater, The Knowledge, Harper Regan, A Brief History of Helen of Troy, In Arabia We’d All Be Kings, Pornography. Northlight: 4000 Miles. Route 66: The Downpour. Griffin: Port. Next: The Metal Children. Yale Rep: Peerless. Film and TV: Chicago PD, Chicago Fire, Public Housing Unit, Open Tables, Older Children.
KRYSTAL ORTIZ (Layla) Chicago credits: La Havana Madrid (Teatro Vista, Goodman Theatre), Thumbelina (Lifeline Theatre), In Love and Warcraft (Halcyon Theatre), Failure: A Love Story, In the Heights (The Theatre School at DePaul University). New York credits: Kid Prince and Pablo (NYSAF, Ars Nova). Film & TV:  Manifest Destiny, The Exorcist. Krystal is represented by Stewart Talent Chicago.

Full Performance Schedule
Previews for Lettie are April 6-12, 2018. Previews are $15-$45. The Press opening is Friday, April 13 at 7:30pm. Regular performances run April 14 – May 6, 2018: Tuesday — Friday at 7:30pm; Saturday at 3pm and 7:30pm; Sunday at 3pm.  Regular performances are $15-$60.

Victory Gardens has partnered with mobile theater ticketing app TodayTix to offer free tickets for the first preview of Lettie. Free Tickets will be available via TodayTix mobile lottery, launching one week before the first preview on Friday, March 30, 2018. Winners will be notified by email and push notification between 12:00pm and 3:00pm on the day of the first preview, Friday, April 6, 2018. To enter, download the TodayTix app on your iOS or Android device.

Accessible Performance Schedule
Word for Word (open captioning): Friday, April 20 at 7:30pm, Saturday, April 21 at 3:00pm, and Wednesday, April 25 at 2:00pm

ASL Interpreted Performance: Friday, April 20 at 7:30pm

Audio Description/Touch Tour: Friday, April 20 at 7:30pm (Touch tour at 6:00pm), Sunday, April 29 at 3:00pm (Touch tour at 1:30pm)

Performances are at Victory Gardens 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.

Public Programs
Public Programs is an event series designed to enhance your experience by exploring themes and issues within Victory Gardens’ productions. 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. Public Programs are composed of three distinct tracks:

SALON: A post-show performance series bringing local artists, students, and/or organizations into the conversation of the play through their own work. 

PANEL: A post-show conversation with community leaders, playwrights, activists, artists, and educators. These panels use the play's themes to ignite a conversation about our world and the people in it. 

CELEBRATION: Pre- and post-show events celebrating the themes of the play through art, food, and community. 

Post-Show Conversation
After every performance of LETTIE (unless otherwise noted)
Join us for one of our intimate post-show conversations. Led by members from the Victory Gardens community—artistic affiliates, artistic staff, and community partners— reflect on what you’ve seen and share your response.

Pre-Show Reception
April 7 | Saturday | 6:00pm
Support women breaking down equity barriers—and have a great time doing it! Join us for a night celebrating the work of women in traditionally male-dominated fields. Enjoy complimentary refreshments and engage in a discussion about women’s equity in the workforce as we celebrate women workin’ hard and gettin’ paid.

Post-Show Conversation
April 12 | Thursday | 9:30pm
Lettie follows one mother’s incarceration and reentry, but it wasn’t written by a formerly incarcerated mother. How do playwrights tell stories that aren’t their own? For playwright Boo Killebrew, it started with talking to people who lived the experiences she wanted to explore. From interviews to collaboration with these women, join Boo as she discusses her work and process with dramaturg Skyler Gray.

Post-Show Conversation
April 18 | Wednesday | 9:30pm
Since its opening in 1994, the Grace House residential program has provided interim housing, emotional and spiritual support, and professional counseling to women who are exiting the Illinois prison system. Women who have lived at Grace House share their stories of re-entry and how theatre played a role in their healing. 

Post-Show Conversation
April 20 | Friday | 9:30pm
Made possible by the support of The David Rockefeller Fund 
After the evening performance join members of Justis4Justus, an organization working to rebuild the lives of exonerees, as we discuss how we, as citizens, grapple with the U.S. prison system and what happens when it fails us. 

Post-Show Performance
April 27 | Friday | 6:30pm & 9:30pm
What do Michael Jordan, Natasha Lyonne, and Lettie from Lettie have in common? They all made a comeback. The journey is often difficult and often inspiring—and famous or not, we love it when the people we love bounce back. Join us after the evening performance of Lettie for a free post-show performances about coming back from adversity written, directed, and performed by college artists from DePaul University, Loyola University, Northwestern University, and Columbia College.

Post-Show Presentation and Q&A
April 29 | Sunday | 5:00pm
Made possible by the support of The David Rockefeller Fund 
While Lettie's experiences and trials are singular, it is important to remember the many hardships faced by her children during her years in prison. As the child of a parent who is incarcerated, there is a unique set of challenges and emotions that accompany that trauma. Victory Gardens Theater has partnered with Storycatchers Theater to share the stories and struggles of young people with current or formerly incarcerated parents. Join us for a short performance and panel discussion with adolescents who have lived this experience and the amazing staff of Storycatchers Theater who help them share their stories, make sense of their world, and heal.

Post-Show Conversation
May 5 | Saturday | 5:00pm
Made possible by the support of The David Rockefeller Fund 
In Boo Killebrew’s Lettie, we follow the journey of two mothers trying to do their best as they begin the process of mending relationships with their kids, families, and themselves after incarceration. What is the mother’s journey in that process? How can we better support them? Join us for this riveting post-show conversation as we are joined by the Chicago Legal Advocacy for Incarcerated Mothers as we unearth what it means to reclaim space and time.

The Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation Commissioning Program Award Recipient
Special support provided by The Edgerton Foundation

April 6 – 12, 2018
Press opening:
Friday, April 13, 2018 at 7:30pm
Regular run:
April 14 – May 6, 2018

Tuesdays - Fridays: 7:30pm 
Saturdays: 3:00pm; 7:30pm
Sundays: 3:00pm

Accessible Performances: Word for Word (open captioning): Friday, April 20 at 7:30pm, Saturday, April 21 at 3:00pm, and Wednesday, April 25 at 2:00pm

ASL Interpreted: Friday, April 20 at 7:30pm

Audio Description/Touch Tour: Friday, April 20 at 7:30pm (Touch tour at 6:00pm), Sunday, April 29 at 3:00pm (Touch tour at 1:30pm)

Victory Gardens Theater is located at 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue, 
in the heart of Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood

Previews: $15 - $45 
Regular run: $15 - $56

Box Office: The Box Office is located at 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago.

2017/18 Women’s 
Series Major 
Production Sponsors: 
Janice Miller 

2017/18 Women’s 
Series Production 
Sponsors: Doris Conant; Marcelle McVay and Dennis Zacek; Jeffrey Rappin and Penny Brown; Jane M Saks, Nathan Cummings Foundation; and Bill and Orli Staley Foundation 

Major Production Sponsor: Edgerton Foundation, The Venturous Theater Fund of Tides Foundation, Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation

Production Sponsors: Betty Bradshaw, Charles E. Harris, II, Mayer Brown LLP

Playwright’s Society Sponsor: Janice Feinberg, Joseph and Bessie Feinberg Foundation, Jared Kaplan and Maridee Quanbeck

Major Season Support: Allstate, Alphawood Foundation, David Rockefeller Fund, Doris Duke Charitable Trust, Exelon, Harold & Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, Paul M Angell Foundation, The Joyce Foundation, The Mellon Foundation, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The Prince Charitable Trust, The REAM Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, Time Warner Foundation  Inc., and The Wallace Foundation

Travel Sponsor: Southwest Airlines 

About Victory Gardens Theater
Under the leadership of Artistic Director Chay Yew and Managing Director Erica Daniels, 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. 

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

Victory Gardens Theater receives sustaining support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Joyce Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The REAM Foundation, Shubert Foundation, Venturous Theater Fund of the Tides Foundation, and Wallace Foundation. It receives major funding from Crown Family Philanthropies, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, and Polk Bros. Foundation. Major funders also include:Allstate Insurance, Alphawood Foundation, Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, Edgerton Foundation, Exelon, Field Foundation of Illinois, Illinois Arts Council Agency, David Rockefeller Fund, Bill and Orli Staley Foundation, Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, Time Warner Foundation Inc., Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation. Additional funding this season is provided by: Alliance Bernstein, Charles H. and Bertha L. Boothroyd Foundation, Capital Group Private Client Services, Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, The Chicago Foundation for Women, ComEd, Nathan Cummings Foundation, Golden Country Oriental Foods, John R. Halligan Charitable Fund, ITW, JCCC Foundation, Mayer Brown LLP, The McVay Foundation, Metropolitan Capital Bank & Trust, National Endowment for the Arts, Negaunee Foundation, Roberta Olshansky Charitable Fund, Origin Ventures, Pauls Foundation, PNC Financial Services Group, Prince Charitable Trusts, Seabury Foundation, Charles & M.R. Shapiro Foundation, Wrightwood Neighbors Association. In-kind support is provided by:  Dimo’s Pizza, Fiesta Mexicana, Italian Village Restaurants, Southwest Airlines, Roy’s Furniture, Suite Home Chicago, and Whole Foods Market. This project is partially supported by an Incent Ovate Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events.

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