Showing posts with label Kaiser Ahmed. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kaiser Ahmed. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

REVIEW: Remy Bumppo Theatre Company's Passage at Theater Wit Through April 10, 2022

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar  

Remy Bumppo Theatre Company Presents


by Christopher Chen Directed by Kaiser Ahmed

March 2 - April 10, 2022 at Theater Wit


By Bonnie Kenaz-Mara

Passage breaks through the 4th wall and straight into the souls of the audience. Remy Bumppo's latest is a thought provoking journey that illuminates the chasm between different ethnicities, the complicated topography of colonialism, and the humanity that connects us all. I loved the use of letters to designate names and places, as it left a bit of mystery, but also made the content more universal. 

Patrick Agada, Carolyn Hu Bradbury, Adam Poss, Leyla Beydoun, Tiffany Renee Johnson, Charin Alvarez and Peter Sipla.  All photos by Nomee Photography

At the top of the show, with house lights still blazing, it was enjoyable to get to see the whole cast introduce themselves and share a bit of family background on where they've come from in life and how they got here, as in literally HOW they made the trek in to the performance space today. As the lights dimmed and the actors morphed into their characters, they did an amazing job of bringing the entire audience of newfound friends along for the ride.

This timely and timeless production is a must see as long as humans are still invading each other's countries, judging worth on the basis of ethnicity or physical characteristics, and reacting to others based on fears, stereotypes, and prejudices.

Peter Sipla and Carolyn Hu Bradbury

Kudos to Scenic Designer: Yeaji Kim for the unique set, that provides a powerful visual metaphor.

Carolyn Hu Bradbury

The entire cast was strong, whether connecting with one another or addressing and engaging the audience directly with rhetorical questions and visualization journeys. Charin Alvarez and Patrick Agada were particularly excellent in their respective roles.

Charin Alvarez and Patrick Agada 

Charin Alvarez, Peter Sipla, Tiffany Renee Johnson and Adam Poss

Cheers to Remy Bumppo Theatre Company for celebrating ageless, nearly universal traditions of spilling the tea, adding a flask for a bit of a spike, and both listening and engaging in meaningful dialogue with those different from ourselves even when we may end up with more questions than answers. This production is a lovely exploration of the subtle layers and nuances to the human condition, sacred spaces, and the ways we help and harm others intentionally or accidentally. 

Adam Poss

If clever tangents, multicultural friendships, anthropomorphic critters, mystical caves, and forging new ways to repair systemic racism are your jam, don't miss this. After seeing Passage, I'm eager to read  E. M. Forster's  1924 novel, A Passage to India, though it's certainly not a prerequisite to enjoy this production. Good theatre entertains while great theatre enlightens, encourages thought, and challenges ingrained thoughts and behaviors. Passage does just that. Highly recommended.

Bonnie is a Chicago based writer, theater critic, photographer, videographer, actress, artist and Mama. She owns two websites where she publishes frequently: (adult) & (family friendly). 

Leyla Beydoun and Adam Poss

Remy Bumppo Theatre Company is pleased to announce the casting and design team for the first show in its 2022 Season, 

PASSAGE by Christopher Chen and directed by Kaiser Ahmed. 

The show will run from March 2 through April 10, 2022 at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Avenue in Chicago.

Q is building a new life in Country X, having immigrated from Country Y. But it’s hard to make friends in Country X — the history between the two countries is fraught, and political tensions are running high. As Q tries to navigate interpersonal dynamics, the past and present collide in a complex geopolitical landscape. And no one is off the hook. Christopher Chen’s deeply humane, exquisitely theatrical play inspired by E.M. Forster’s A Passage to India is tense, fascinating, delicate, and dangerous.

PASSAGE will feature Patrick Agada, Charin Alvarez (Remy Bumppo Core Ensemble Member), Leyla Beydoun, Carolyn Hu Bradbury, Tiffany Renee Johnson, Adam Poss, Peter Sipla. Designs for this production will feature work by Himabindu Poroori (Dramaturg), Yeaji Kim (Scenic Design), Izumi Inaba (Costume Design), Liz Gomez and Mac Vaughey (Co-Lighting Design), Michael Huey (Sound Design and Original Music) and Rowan Doe (Properties Design).

Marti Lyons enthusiastically speaks to kicking off her first season as Artistic Director with PASSAGE: “I am thrilled to launch our 2022 season with this production. PASSAGE, written by one of my favorite playwrights, Christopher Chen, is a kaleidoscopic examination of power that could be anywhere and anytime, but feels intensely now. The Core Ensemble and I cannot wait to be back onstage and start our season with this show.”

Remy Bumppo Theatre Company’s production of PASSAGE will run from March 2 through April 10, 2022 at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Avenue in Chicago. Subscriptions and single tickets are on sale at or by calling the Theater Wit Box Office at 773.975.8150.

Remy Bumppo Theatre Company’s 2022 Presenting Sponsor is Geoffrey A. Anderson. Remy Bumppo Theatre Company’s 2022 Season Sponsors are Brenda and James Grusecki and Charlotte Toerber.

Cast (in alphabetical order): Patrick Agada (F); Charin Alvarez (B); Leyla Beydoun (Q); Carolyn Hu Bradbury (J/S/MOSQUITO); Tiffany Renee Johnson (D/M); Adam Poss (H/R/GECKO); Peter Sipla (G); Flavia Pallozzi (u/s D / M); Natalie Santoro (u/s J / S / MOSQUITO). Tina El Gamal (u/s B); Nathaniel Elfant (u/s H /R / GECKO); Aissa Guerra (u/s Q); Tulsi McDaniels (u/s F); Michael Mejia (u/s G);

Artistic Director: Marti Lyons 

Producer: Alexis Taylor

Intimacy and Culture Consultant: Greg Geffrard

Associate Intimacy and Culture Consultant: Courtney Abbott

Casting Director: Rachael Jimenez, CSA

Casting Associate: Emily Gruhl

Stage Manager: Jean E. Compton

Assistant Stage Manager: Cori Lang

 Technical Director: Harrison Ornelas

 Production Manager: Ellen Willett

Dramaturg: Himabindu Poroori 

Scenic Designer: Yeaji Kim 

Costume Designer: Izumi Inaba

 Assistant Costume Designer: Aija Moreno

 Co-Lighting Designer: Liz Gomez

 Co-Lighting Designer: Mac Vaughey

 Sound Designer and Original Music: Michael Huey

 Properties Designer: Rowan Doe

 Scenic Charge Artist: Emily Altman

 Wardrobe Supervisor: Stefani Azores-Gococo

 Head Electrician: Nick Chamernik

Leyla Beydoun, Adam Poss, Peter Sipla, Carolyn Hu Bradbury, Patrick Agada, and Tiffany Renee Johnson

Location: Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago, IL 60657

Dates: Previews: Wednesday, March 2 - Saturday, March 5, 2022 at 7:30pm; Sunday, March 6, 2022 at 2:30pm

Press Performance: Monday, March 7, 2022 at 7:30pm

Regular Run: Thursday, March 10 through Sunday, April 20, 2022

Curtain Times: Wednesdays – Saturdays at 7:30pm, Sundays at 2:30pm

Matinee Performances (other than Sundays): Saturday, March 19 at 2:30pm; Saturday, March 26 at 2:30pm; Saturday, April 2 at 2:30pm; Thursday April 7 at 2:30pm Audio Description/Touch Tour Performance: Saturday, March 19, 2022; Touch Tour starts at 1:00pm, and the performance starts at 2:30pm

Open Caption Performance: Saturday, April 2, 2022 at 2:30pm

Tickets: Previews: $30.00 - $40.00

Regular Run: $35.00 - $55.00

Industry Tickets: $20.00, available Wednesdays – Fridays

Student Tickets: $15.00, available day of

Group Discounts: Available for parties of 10 or more, call 773.244.8119


Remy Bumppo Theatre Company expands and enriches their community’s view of the world, and their own, by producing both the great plays of the past and the important plays of today. As an ensemble-driven theater company, Remy Bumppo authors a more humane culture that listens to, and seeks to understand, the voices, the ideas and the stories of one another. Since its inception in 1996, Remy Bumppo has produced a blend of modern classics and complex contemporary works, presented in an intimate setting with clarity, wit and passion. We invite audiences to engage directly with the art through conversation with the artists.

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