ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar
DEFINITION THEATRE PRESENTS
THE CHICAGO PREMIERE OF
BY DEFINITION ENSEMBLE MEMBER JAMES IJAMES,
DIRECTED BY ERICKA RATCLIFF
Definition Theatre opens its 10th anniversary season with the Chicago premiere of WHITE by ensemble member James Ijames and directed by Ericka Ratcliff. Produced in partnership with Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s LookOut Series, WHITE will run in Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theater from March 10 – April 10, 2022. I'll be out for the press opening March 17th so check back shortly after for my full review. Tickets are on sale now and may be purchased at steppenwolf.org or in person at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company box office.
“After much anticipation, we are elated to present this incredible piece of theatre from Definition ensemble member James Ijames,” shared Artistic Director Tyrone Phillips. “I am also looking forward to collaborating with director and Chicago theatre treasure Ericka Ratcliff, who is embarking on this new journey with us. Much like America V2.1, the theatrical film production Definition released in fall 2021, WHITE invites the audience to grapple with themes of power and authorship. This hilarious, thought-provoking piece holds our society accountable to artists as it is asks, ‘Who is allowed to create art? And how do we decide what creative work is worth?’”
Gus is a painter expecting his big break with a prestigious contemporary art museum in 'The New America' exhibition. When he's told by the museum's new curator that "white dudes" aren't a part of New America, he enlists the help of Vanessa, a black actress, and together they create Balkonae Townsend, a bold, young radical artist to serve as the face of his work. But when things start to spiral out of control, Gus is left to deal with the mess he created and Vanessa must come to terms with her own agency as an artist. Audacious and bitingly funny, WHITE explores white privilege, racial politics and the fine line between appropriation and opportunity.
*The cast of WHITE includes ensemble member Carley Cornelius with Jonathan Allsop, Kierra Bunch, and Niko Kourtis.
The production team for WHITE includes Joey Stone (Associate Director), Yeaji Kim (Scenic and Projections Designer), Rea Brown (Costume Designer), Levi Wilkins (Lighting Designer), Willow James (Sound Designer), Lonnae Hickman (Properties Designer), Gaby Labotaka (Intimacy Director), Kayla Menz (Assistant Intimacy Director), JQ (Original Composition), ensemble member Jared Bellot (Dramaturg), Evan Sposato (Technical Director), Emmy Weldon (Assistant Lighting Designer), AJ Links (Casting Director), Ariel Beller (Floor Manager), Julie Jachym (Production Stage Manager), and Jennifer Aparicio (Production Manager).
Previews: Thursday, March 10 at 8:00pm; Friday, March 11 at 8:00pm;
Saturday, March 12 at 3:00pm; Saturday, March 12 at 8:00pm;
and Wednesday, March 16 at 8:00pm
Regular run: March 18 – April 10, 2022
Ticket prices: $20 - $40
Box Office: Ticket orders will be processed at steppenwolf.org and in person at Steppenwolf
ABOUT DEFINITION THEATRE
Definition Theatre is a culturally diverse theater dedicated to telling language-driven, relationship-oriented, socially relevant stories about and created with underrepresented communities in Chicago. Our ensemble is a collective of artists, art administrators, educators, and designers who prioritize working towards and representing a more equitable theatre industry.
Deﬁnition has built its reputation on work that reﬂects its unique voice. It shared the words of Academy Award- Winner Tarell Alvin McCraney in The Brothers Size; it grooved with Amiri Baraka’s whirlwind story of a chance meeting on a train in Dutchman. In partnership with, The New Colony staged the world premiere of Byhalia, Mississippi, which starred Academy Award nominee ensemble member Kiki Layne. In association with the Goodman Theatre, Definition staged the Chicago premiere of Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ An Octoroon, a subversive take on race in America that captivated audiences. Most recently, Definition sent us all to the moon with ensemble member James Ijames’s Moon Man Walk, explored the challenges of America’s public-school system through Nilaja Sun’s No Child… and highlighted the first- generation experience in the world premiere of Sam Kebede’s ETHIOPIANAMERICA.
Ensemble members include: Owais Ahmed, Jared Bellot, Carley Cornelius, Ari Craven, Danielle Davis, Martasia Jones, Slick Jorgensen, Kristy Hall, James Ijames, Kiki Layne, Kelson Michael McAuliffe, Neel McNeill, Sophiyaa Nayar, Karyn Oates, Alexandra Oparka, Julian Parker, Tyrone Phillips, Jacqueline Rosas, Christopher Sheard, and Dujon Smith. Artistic Advisory Board members include: director May Adrales, Steppenwolf ensemble member Alana Arenas, actress Shannon Cochran, Erica Daniels, actor Brandon Dirden, actor Jason Dirden, director Pam Mackinnon, Equity Quotient CEO Keryl McCord, professor JW Morrissette, director Ron OJ Parson, professor/lighting designer Kathy Perkins, Tony Award-winning actress and stage director Phylicia Rashad, and Goodman Theatre director in residence Chuck Smith. Tyrone Phillips is the Artistic Director and Neel McNeill is the Executive Director. For additional information, visit definitiontheatre.org and @definitiontheatre on Facebook and Instagram #stayinit
ABOUT STEPPENWOLF’S LOOKOUT SERIES
LookOut is Steppenwolf’s performance series that presents the work of artists and companies across genre and form, emerging artists and performance legends, quintessential Chicago companies and young aspiring ensembles, familiar Steppenwolf faces and new friends. Patrick Zakem and Lauren Steinberg are the Producers for the series. For more information, visit steppenwolf.org/lookout. Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theater is a flexible and intimate venue connected to Steppenwolf’s own Front Bar: Coffee and Drinks at 1700 N Halsted St., an inviting space to grab a drink, have a bite, or meet up with friends and collaborators, day or night.