Showing posts with label Lynn Nottage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lynn Nottage. Show all posts

Thursday, February 7, 2019


ChiIL Live Shows on our radar

(MARCH 29 – APRIL 28)

Goodman Theatre proudly announces the casts for its Chicago premiere of the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Sweat by Lynn Nottage, directed by Ron OJ Parson, as well as its world premiere of Lottery Day—Ike Holter’s final work in his seven-play “The Rightlynd Saga,” directed by Lili-Anne Brown. Tickets are now available for both productions at, by telephone 312.443.3800 or at the box office (170 N. Dearborn). The Goodman is grateful for the support of its sponsors: for Sweat, American Airlines and JPMorgan Chase & Co. are Major Corporate Sponsors; ComEd is the Official Lighting Sponsor; Conagra Brands Foundation is the Production Sponsor; and ITW is the Corporate Sponsor Partner. For Lottery Day, Laurents/Hatcher Foundation is the Institutional Partner.

By Lynn Nottage
Directed by Ron OJ Parson

Cynthia……...Tyla Abercrumbie
Oscar………..Steve Casillas
Jason………..Mike Cherry
Evan…………Ronald Conner
Jessie………..Chaon Cross
Tracey……….Kirsten Fitzgerald
Stan………….Keith Kupferer
Chris…………Edgar Sanchez
Brucie………..André Teamer

Sweat marks the fourth Nottage play to be produced at the Goodman, following Crumbs from the Table of Joy (2006), Ruined (a 2008 world-premiere Goodman commission that earned the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Drama) and By the Way, Meet Vera Stark (2013). A group of friends in a Rust Belt town has spent their lives sharing secrets and laughs on the factory floor. But when layoffs begin to chip away at their trust, they’re pitted against each other in a heart-wrenching fight in this collision of race, class and friendship at a pivotal moment in America. The creative team includes Kevin Depinet (Set Design), Mara Blumenfeld (Costume Design), Keith Parham (Lighting Design) and Richard Woodbury (Sound Design). Alden Vasquez is the Production Stage Manager.

Lottery Day
By Ike Holter
Directed by Lili-Anne Brown

Tori……………...Aurora Adachi-Winter
Mallory………....J. Nicole Brooks
Zora…………….Sydney Charles
Cassandra….....McKenzie Chinn
Robinson……....Robert Cornelius
Avery…………...James Vincent Meredith
Ezekiel………....Tommy Rivera-Vega
Nunley………....Tony Santiago
Vivien…………..Michele Vazquez
Ricky…………...Pat Whalen

“Thrilling Chicago writer” (Chicago Tribune) Holter concludes his acclaimed seven-play cycle, "The Rightlynd Saga,” by assembling his vibrant characters for a raucous theatrical bash. Long the matriarch of a quickly gentrifying neighborhood, Mallory invites the lonely residents, hardcore activists and starving artists of her block to what she hopes will go down as a legendary barbeque—thanks to a special surprise. But her mysterious plan to revitalize her community may be the very thing that tears it apart. Centering on a fictitious Chicago ward, Holter’s seven-play cycle also includes plays Red Rex (on stage through March 16 at Steep Theatre), Rightlynd, Exit Strategy, Sender, Prowess and The Wolf at the End of the Block. The creative team includes Arnel Sancianco (Set Design), Samantha C. Jones (Costume Design), Jason Lynch (Lighting Design) and Andre Pluess (Sound Design). Nikki Blue is the Production Stage Manager.


Lynn Nottage (Playwright, Sweat) is the first woman in history to win two Pulitzer Prizes for Drama. Her plays have been produced widely in the United States and throughout the world. Sweat (Pulitzer Prize, Obie Award, Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, Tony Award nomination, Drama Desk Award nomination) moved to Broadway after a sold-out run at The Public Theater. It premiered and was commissioned by Oregon Shakespeare Festival American Revolutions History Cycle/Arena Stage. Her other plays include By The Way, Meet Vera Stark (Lilly Award, Drama Desk Nomination), Ruined (Pulitzer Prize, OBIE, Lucille Lortel, New York Drama Critics’ Circle, Audelco, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards), Intimate Apparel (American Theatre Critics and New York Drama Critics’ Circle Awards for Best Play), Fabulation, or The Re-Education of Undine (OBIE Award), Crumbs from the Table of Joy, Las Meninas, Mud, River, Ston, Por’knockers and POOF! In addition, she is working with composer Ricky Ian Gordon on adapting her play Intimate Apparel into an opera (commissioned by The Metropolitan Opera/Lincoln Center Theater). She is also developing This is Reading, a performance installation based on two years of interviews, which opened at the Franklin Street, Reading Railroad Station in Reading, PA in July 2017. She is the co-founder of the production company Market Road Films, whose most recent projects include The Notorious Mr. Bout directed by Tony Gerber and Maxim Pozdorovkin (premiere at Sundance Film Festival 2014), First to Fall directed by Rachel Beth Anderson (premiere at International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, 2013) and Remote Control (premiere at Busan International Film Festival 2013, New Currents Award). She has also developed original projects for HBO, Sidney Kimmel Entertainment, Showtime, This is That and Harpo. She is writer/producer on the Netflix series She's Gotta Have It directed by Spike Lee. Nottage is the recipient of a MacArthur "Genius Grant" Fellowship, Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award, PEN/Laura Pels Master Playwright Award, Arts and Letters Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Columbia University Provost Grant, Doris Duke Artist Award, The Joyce Foundation Commission Project & Grant, Madge Evans and Sidney Kingsley Award, Nelson A. Rockefeller Award for Creativity, The Dramatists Guild Hull-Warriner Award, the inaugural Horton Foote Prize, Helen Hayes Award, the Lee Reynolds Award and the Jewish World Watch iWitness Award. She is a graduate of Brown University and the Yale School of Drama.

Ron OJ Parson (Director, Sweat) returns to Goodman Theatre, where he previously directed Let Me Live. As an actor, he last appeared at the Goodman in Romance. He is a resident artist at Court Theatre, and former co-founder and artistic director of The Onyx Theatre Ensemble. Recent directing credits include Skeleton Crew and Detroit 67 at Northlight Theatre; Fences at Kansas City Repertory Theatre; Five Guys Named Moe, Gem of the Ocean, Seven Guitars, The Mountaintop and Waiting For Godot at Court Theatre; East Texas Hot Links at Writers Theatre (where he is an associate artist); Paradise Blue, A Raisin in the Sun and Sunset Baby at TimeLine Theatre Company (where he is an associate artist), Apt. 3 A at Windy City Playhouse and The Who & The What at Victory Gardens Theater. Additional Chicago credits include Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Black Ensemble Theater, ETA Creative Arts, Congo Square Theatre Company, Teatro Vista (where he is an associate artist), Chicago Dramatists, UrbanTheater Company, Chicago Theatre Company, American Blues Theater and City Lit Theater. Regional and New York credits include Virginia Stage Company, Paul Robeson Theatre, Portland Stage, Studio Theatre, Studio Arena Theatre, Roundabout Theatre Company, Morris A. Mechanic Theatre, Baltimore Center Stage, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, The St. Louis Black Repertory, Pittsburgh Public Theater, Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company, Geva Theatre Center, Signature Theatre (New York), Alliance Theatre, South Coast Repertory and Pasadena Playhouse. In Canada, he directed the world premiere of Palmer Park at the Stratford Festival. Parson is a member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA and SDC. Parson hails from Buffalo, New York and is a graduate of the University of Michigan’s professional theater program.

Ike Holter (Playwright, Lottery Day) is a 2017 winner of the Windham-Campbell Prize, one of the highest awards for playwriting in the world. Holter is a resident playwright at Victory Gardens Theater, and has been commissioned by The Kennedy Center, The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, South Coast Repertory and The Playwrights’ Center. His work has been produced at the Steppenwolf Garage, The Philadelphia Theater Company, off-Broadway at Barrow Street Theatre and Cherry Lane Theatre, The Lily Tomlin Center in Los Angeles, True Colors in Atlanta, Forward Theater in Wisconsin, Water Tower Theater in Dallas, 3oaks in Michigan and Jackalope Theatre Company, Teatro Vista, A Red Orchid and The Inconvenience in Chicago. He is the artistic director of The Roustabouts and is a regular performer at Salonathon in Chicago.

Lili-Anne Brown (Director, Lottery Day) is a native Chicagoan who works as a director, actor and educator, both locally and regionally. She is the former artistic director of Bailiwick Chicago, where she directed Dessa Rose (Jeff Award), Passing Strange (BTA Award and Jeff nomination for Best Director of a Musical), See What I Wanna See (Steppenwolf Theatre Garage Rep) and the world premiere of Princess Mary Demands Your Attention by Aaron Holland. Other directing credits include The Wolf at the End of the Block (16th Street Theatre), Marie Christine (Boho Theatre), Peter and the Starcatcher (Metropolis Performing Arts), The Wiz (Kokandy Productions),  Xanadu (American Theatre Company), Jabari Dreams of Freedom by Nambi E. Kelley (Chicago Children’s Theatre), American Idiot (Northwestern University); the national tour of Jesus Snatched My Edges; and Little Shop of Horrors, Hairspray, Unnecessary Farce, Cabaret, Sweet Charity, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story at Timber Lake Playhouse. She is a member of SDC, SAG-AFTRA and a graduate of Northwestern University.


AMERICA’S “BEST REGIONAL THEATRE” (Time magazine), Goodman Theatre is a premier not-for-profit organization distinguished by the excellence and scope of its artistic programming and civic engagement. Led by Artistic Director Robert Falls and Executive Director Roche Schulfer, the theater’s artistic priorities include new play development (more than 150 world or American premieres), large scale musical theater works and reimagined classics (celebrated revivals include Falls’ productions of Death of a Salesman and The Iceman Cometh). Goodman Theatre artists and productions have earned two Pulitzer Prizes, 22 Tony Awards, over 160 Jeff Awards and many more accolades. In addition, the Goodman is the first theater in the world to produce all 10 plays in August Wilson’s “American Century Cycle;” and its annual holiday tradition A Christmas Carol, which marks its 41st production this season, has created a new generation of theatergoers. The Goodman also frequently serves as a production partner with local off-Loop theaters and national and international companies by providing financial support or physical space for a variety of artistic endeavors.

Committed to three core values of Quality, Diversity and Community, the Goodman proactively makes inclusion the fabric of the institution and develops education and community engagement programs that support arts as education. This practice uses the process of artistic creation to inspire and empower youth, lifelong learners and audiences to find and/or enhance their voices, stories and abilities. The Goodman’s Alice Rapoport Center for Education and Engagement is the home of such programming, most offered free of charge, and has vastly expanded the theater’s ability to touch the lives of Chicagoland citizens (with 85% of youth participants coming from underserved communities) since its 2016 opening.

Goodman Theatre was founded by William O. Goodman and his family in honor of their son Kenneth, an important figure in Chicago’s cultural renaissance in the early 1900s. The Goodman family’s legacy lives on through the continued work and dedication of Kenneth’s family, including Albert Ivar Goodman, who with his late mother, Edith-Marie Appleton, contributed the necessary funds for the creation of the new Goodman center in 2000.

Goodman Theatre leadership also includes the distinguished members of the Artistic Collective: Brian Dennehy, Rebecca Gilman, Henry Godinez, Dael Orlandersmith, Steve Scott, Chuck Smith, Regina Taylor, Henry Wishcamper and Mary Zimmerman. David W. Fox, Jr. is Chair of Goodman Theatre’s Board of Trustees, Denise Stefan Ginascol is Women’s Board President and Megan McCarthy Hayes is President of the Scenemakers Board for young professionals.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

OPENING: CRUMBS FROM THE TABLE OF JOY at Raven Theatre East Stage October 4 – November 18, 2018

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar

Raven Theatre Presents 
By Lynn Nottage
Directed by Tyrone Phillips
October 4 – November 18, 2018

I'll be out for the press performance October 8th, so check back soon for my full review. We're eager to see two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner, Lynn Nottage's period piece set in 1950's Brooklyn.

Raven Theatre is pleased to launch its 2018-19 season with CRUMBS FROM THE TABLE OF JOY by two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Lynn Nottage, directed by Tyrone Phillips. This sharp and boisterous drama about family, faith and revolution will play October 4 – November 18, 2018 on Raven’s 99-seat East Stage, 6157 N. Clark St. (at Granville) in Chicago. Tickets are currently available at or by calling (773) 338-2177.

CRUMBS FROM THE TABLE OF JOY will feature Chanell Bell, Brianna Buckley, Brandi Jiminez Lee, Terence Sims and Emily Tate.

Brooklyn, 1950. Ernestine and Ermina Crump have moved to New York with their father, Godfrey, who is seeking spiritual guidance from a man called Father Divine. In the swirling, glamorous commotion of this new city, with calls for equal rights and communist rebellion hanging in the air, the girls begin a turbulent journey toward independence and a challenging future.

Comments Raven Theatre Artistic Director Cody Estle, “Lynn Nottage is a prolific writer and her work is a gift to all who encounter it. This is the first time Raven Theatre has produced one of her plays. As a theatre known for producing the classics of Tennessee Williams and Arthur Miller, it seems only fitting to include Lynn’s voice among these greats. Set in 1950, Crumbs from the Table of Joy examines a family experiencing change in a country filled with racial and social turmoil. Audiences will connect with the struggles of this family, while getting a glimpse into a time in our past whose complexity resembles that of today.”

The production team for CRUMBS FROM THE TABLE OF JOY includes: Arnel Sancianco (scenic design), Christine Pascual (costume design), Kathy A. Perkins (lighting design), Matt Test (sound design), Mealah Heidenreich (props design), Jon Martinez (choreography), Eva Breneman (dialect coach), Megan Pirtle (wig design), Kanomé Jones (casting director), Alexis Taylor (assistant director), Cole von Glahn (production manager), Bobby Huggins (technical director), Wilhelm Peters (stage manager) and Sapier Weinglass (assistant stage manager).

Location: Raven Theatre East Stage, 6157 N. Clark St. (at Granville), Chicago

Dates: Previews: Thursday, October 4 at 7:30 pm, Friday, October 5 at 7:30 pm, Saturday, October 6 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, October 7 at 3 pm

Regular run: Thursday, October 11 – Sunday, November 18, 2018

Curtain Times: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm; Sundays at 3 pm. 

Tickets: Previews $32 ($29 if purchased online). Regular run $46 ($43 if purchased online). Seniors/teachers $41 ($38 if purchased online). Students/active military and veterans $15. 

Every Thursday is “Under 30 Thursday,” when patrons under age 30 can purchase tickets for $15. Single tickets and subscriptions for the 2018-19 Season are currently available at or by calling (773) 338-2177.

Touch Tour/Open Captioned performance: Sunday, November 4 at 3 pm. Touch tour begins at 1:45 pm.

Group tickets: Groups of 10 or more are $30 per person for Thursday and Friday performances and $35 per person for Saturday and Sunday performances. Student groups are $15 per person.

Plan Your Visit: 
Free parking is provided in a lot adjacent to the theatre – additional street parking is available. Nearest El station: Granville Red Line. Buses: #22 (Clark), #36 (Broadway), #151 (Sheridan), #155 (Devon), #84 (Peterson).

About the Artists:

Lynn Nottage (Playwright) received the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and three Tony Award nominations for her play Sweat. For her play Ruined, she received the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for drama, along with an Obie, the Lucille Lortel Award, New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award, Drama Desk Award, and Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Play (Manhattan Theatre Club, Goodman Theatre). Her other plays include Intimate Apparel (New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play; Roundabout Theatre, CENTERSTAGE, South Coast Repertory); Fabulation, Or the Re-Education of Undine (Obie Award; Playwrights Horizons, London’s Tricycle Theatre); Crumbs from the Table of Joy; Las Meninas; Mud, River, Stone; Por’Knockers and Poof! Nottage is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2007 MacArthur Foundation “Genius Grant,” the National Black Theatre Festival’s August Wilson Playwriting Award, the 2004 PEN/Laura Pels Award for Drama, and the 2005 Guggenheim Grant for Playwriting, as well as fellowships from the Lucille Lortel Foundation, Manhattan Theatre Club, New Dramatists, and New York Foundation for the Arts. She is a member of The Dramatists Guild, an alumna of New Dramatists and a graduate of Brown University and the Yale School of Drama, where she is a visiting lecturer. For additional information, visit

Tyrone Phillips (Director) is the founding Artistic Director of Chicago's Definition Theatre Company. Named one of the Chicago Tribune's “Hot New Faces of 2015” and Newcity's “Players 2016: The Fifty People Who Really Perform for Chicago,” he is a graduate of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where he received his BFA with honors. Directing credits include the critically-acclaimed production of Byhalia, Mississippi (Joseph Jefferson Awards nomination), which remounted to open the Steppenwolf 1700 Theatre, Dutchman (Definition Theatre), The MLK Project: The Fight for Civil Rights (Writers Theatre), 33 to Nothing (A Red Orchid Theatre), Dontrell, Who Kissed The Sea (Illinois Theatre), We the People, Our Town, Lord of the Flies, The Tempest (Niles North Theatre). You also may have seen his work as associate director for Red Velvet (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre) and as the assistant director for Trevor the Musical, Parade and The Mystery of Love and Sex (Writers Theatre). Tyrone also studied abroad at Shakespeare’s Globe and was an emerging professional resident at the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre where he worked on A Raisin in the Sun, The Mountaintop, and Clybourne Park. Tyrone is represented by Grossman and Jack Talent and was recently selected as one of Newcity's “Players—the 50 leaders of Chicago’s theater, dance, opera and comedy culture of 2018”. 

Quill Reading Series
Raven Theatre will present a staged reading of POOF! by Lynn Nottage, directed by Wardell Julius Clark on Wednesday, November 14 at 7:30 pm (reception at 7 pm). Quill is a series of four staged readings produced in tandem with each of the plays in Raven’s season. The readings provide an opportunity for audiences to engage further with the work of this season’s playwrights and explore their artistic voice on stage. Each Quill reading features a pre-show reception with complimentary wine provided by Income Tax. Admission is a suggested donation of $10.

About Raven Theatre

Raven Theatre tells stories of today and the past that connect us to our cultural landscape. Through its plays as well as its educational programming, Raven is committed to serving our communities’ needs through the arts.

Raven Theatre Company is funded in part by the Alphawood Foundation, Bayless Family Foundation, The MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince, Polk Bros. Foundation, S&C Electric Company Fund, The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, the PAV Fund and the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

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