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ANTONIO EDWARDS SUAREZ STARS IN
I WAS DREAMING OF A SON
HIS TOUR-DE-FORCE SOLO WORK, CO-WRITTEN WITH PULTIZER PRIZE FINALIST DAEL ORLANDERSMITH
***MARK CLEMENTS DIRECTS THE CHICAGO PREMIERE OF THIS “DEEP AND PERSONAL DIVE INTO THE FORMATION OF A MAN” (MILKWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL) IN THE OWEN THEATRE, APRIL 28 – MAY 28***
Poetry, music and movement unite on the Owen Stage to bring an “honest and empathetic look at fatherhood” amidst the implications of identity, art and culture in Dael Orlandersmith and Antonio Edwards Suarez’s Antonio’s Song/I Was Dreaming of a Son, directed by Mark Clements. Following an accomplished run at Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, the acclaimed solo piece makes its Chicago debut and features Antonio Edwards Suarez as he considers—using his own lived experiences—the immense weight of raising a son in a world rife with ethnic and gender stereotypes. Antonio’s Song/I Was Dreaming of a Son appears April 28 – May 28, 2023 in the 350-seat flexible Owen Theatre.
I'll be out for opening night, Monday, May 8th, so check back shortly after for my full review. Tickets ($15 –$50, subject to change) are available at GoodmanTheatre.org/Antonio or by phone at 312-443-3800. The Goodman is grateful for the support of The Elizabeth Morse Charitable Trust (Lead Funder of IDEAA Programming).
“Having my son, I thought to myself, 'this is going to be tough, raising a boy in today’s world'," said Antonio Edwards Suarez. “So much of what is shown on television and the news are boys and men struggling and acting out many of those struggles in destructive ways. My son’s birth also made me start to reflect and examine how I was raised, my mother and father’s hopes and dreams, how were they raised, the boys, girls, men and women who influenced me and the generations of neighborhoods we all grew up in. Am I going to pass some of the destructive behaviors I experienced on to my son? Will he, my son, go through what I went through?”
Dael Orlandersmith, Goodman Artistic Associate and Alice Center Resident Artist who co-wrote the piece with Suarez, said, “We rarely see men portrayed vulnerably. We rarely see men question themselves and grapple with parenting the way this character does—recognizing how he must break the chains of the past.”
From Brooklyn to Massachusetts to Russia, Antonio struggles to reconcile multiple ethnic identities. He wrestles with the legacy of stereotypes of masculinity while discovering there is beauty in manhood and becoming a father. Powerful poetry intermixed with original movement, music and projected imagery creates an evocative, wholly unique performance. The creative team includes Luciana Stecconi (Set Design); Peggy McKowen (Costume Design); John Ambrosone (Lighting Design); Andre Pluess (Sound Design); Jared Mazzocchi (Projection Design); Alexandra Beller (Movement Direction). Malkia Stampley is the Line Producer and Patrick Fries is the Production Stage Manager.
Dael Orlandersmith’s plays include Stoop Stories, Black n’ Blue Boys/Broken Men, Horsedreams, Bones, The Blue Album, Yellowman, The Gimmick, Monster and Forever. Orlandersmith was a Pulitzer Prize finalist and Drama Desk Award nominee for Yellowman and the winner of the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for The Gimmick. Dael is the recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts grant, The Helen Merrill Award for Emerging Playwrights, a Guggenheim, along with several other awards and honors. Her play, FOREVER, was commissioned and performed at the Mark Taper Forum/Kirk Douglas Theatre in Fall 2014, followed by performances at the Long Wharf Theatre in Winter 2014/15, New York Theatre Workshop in Spring 2015 and at Portland Center Stage in Winter 2016. Her play Until the Flood appeared at St Louis Repertory in Fall 2016, Rattlestick Theatre in 2018, Milwaukee Rep in 2019, Portland Center Stage, ACT Seattle, the Arcola Theatre in London, the Galway Arts Festival at the Druid Theatre and the Traverse at Edinburgh Festival. The play was performed in Berlin at the Schaubuhne Theatre in April 2022 and at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC in June 2022. Ms. Orlandersmith is working on a commission for Rattlestick Theatre called Watching the Watcher and had two plays opening at Milwaukee Repertory Theatre in 2022: New Age directed by Jade King Carroll and Antonio’s Song/I Was Dreaming of a Son, directed by Mark Clements. Orlandersmith‘s new play Spiritus/Virgin’s Dance, commissioned by Merrimack Theater in Massachusetts will be appear at CATF Theatre in West Virginia in Summer 2023 and Rattlestick and Merrimack Theaters in 2024. Orlandersmith is currently working with writer/performer David Cale and director Robert Falls on a play called You Don’t Know the Lonely One. Ms. Orlandersmith received a Doris Duke Award in 2020. She is currently working on two commissions for Artists Repertory Theatre in Portland and Milwaukee Repertory Theatre.
Antonio Edwards Suarez’ Broadway credits include American Buffalo, directed by Robert Falls. New York credits include Chaucer in Rome (Lincoln Center Theater), directed by Nicholas Martin; Entertaining Mr. Sloane; The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui; Dogg’s Hamlet, Cahoot’s Macbeth; The Trial (Phoenix Theatre Ensemble); This One Girl’s Story (New York Musical Theatre Festival, Award for Best Ensemble); Points of Departure (INTAR) and Richard III (National Black Theatre). Other credits include Food Acts (Lions Theatre); The Hamlet Project (Mac Wellman Theater); Trespass (Producers Club II); Fuente (Cherry Lane Alternative); Waiting for Godot (Chashama) and Mother (La MaMa E.T.C.). International and regional credits include Antonio’s Song/I Was Dreaming of a Son (Milwaukee Repertory Theater and Contemporary American Theater Festival); Leandro in the international tour of The King Stag (directed by Andrei Serban, choreographed by Julie Taymor); The Night is a Child (Milwaukee Rep); A Midsummer Night’s Dream; The Taming of the Shrew; The Tempest; Julius Caesar (Commonwealth Shakespeare Company); Havana is Waiting (Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park); Spinning into Butter (Repertory Theatre of St. Louis) and Idiots Karamazov (American Repertory Theater). Film and television credits include The EndGame; The Tested; Elementary; several episodes of Law & Order; The Good Wife; Rookie Blue; Person of Interest; One Life to Live; As the World Turns; Flight of the Conchords (HBO); Curb Your Enthusiasm and Stan the Orderly (recurring) on Royal Pains (USA Network).
Mark Clements is a multi-award-winning international theater director whose work has appeared in over 100 major theaters throughout Europe and the United States. He began his tenure as artistic director of Milwaukee Rep, with the 2010/11 season, by bringing musicals to the mainstage and introducing the John Jack D. Lewis New Play Development Program, a vibrant and eclectic new works initiative that seeks to produce one new work in each of the Rep’s three performance spaces per season. This includes Antonio’s Song, which he developed in collaboration with Contemporary American Theatre Festival. Milwaukee Rep directing credits include the world premieres of One House Over; his own adaptation of the current A Christmas Carol in the Pabst Theatre; Five Presidents and American Song; Things I Know To Be True; Junk; The Glass Menagerie; Of Mice and Men; Othello; Death of a Salesman; The History of Invulnerability; End of the Rainbow; Clybourne Park and Bombshells. Select New York and international work includes Speaking in Tongues for Roundabout Theatre Company and Hampstead Theatre in London; The Milliner; Blunt Speaking; Obie Award winning musical The Thing About Men, in addition to creating and directing the West End and UK National Tours of Soul Train. Prior to joining Milwaukee Rep, Mark served as an associate artistic director for several UK theater companies, but most notably, as artistic director for the award-winning Derby Playhouse in the UK from 1992-2002, where he directed over 40 productions. He has been nominated for an Olivier Award and several UK Theater Awards, and has won three Barrymore Awards from his time at Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia. Mark is currently working with Ayad Akhtar on adapting his critically acclaimed novel American Dervish for the stage to make its world premiere at Milwaukee Rep in an upcoming season, along with Run Bambi Run, an original new rock musical penned by Eric Simonson and Gordon Gano from the Violent Femmes.
THE COMPANY OF Antonio’s Song/I Was Dreaming of a Son
Antonio ……Antonio Edwards Suarez
Set Design by Luciana Stecconi
Costume Design by Peggy McKowen
Lighting Design by John Ambrosone
Sound Design by Andre Pluess
Projection Design by Jared Mazzocchi
Movement Direction by Alexandra Beller
Line Production by Malkia Stampley
Patrick Fries is the Production Stage Manager.
ENHANCED AND ACCESSIBLE PERFORMANCES
Visit Goodmantheatre.org/Access for more information about Goodman Theatre’s accessibility efforts.
Touch Tour and Audio-Described Performance: Sunday, May 21, 12:30pm Touch Tour; 2pm performance – The action/text is audibly enhanced for patrons via headset. NOTE: Touch Tours for the 2022/2023 Season will not have access to the stage due to current health and safety protocols, but will feature alternate pre-show sensory introductions.
ASL-Interpreted: Saturday, May 27 at 2pm – An American Sign Language interpreter signs the action/text as played.
Spanish Subtitles: Saturday May 27 at 8pm.
Open-Captioned: Sunday, May 28 at 2pm – An LED sign presents dialogue in sync with the performance.
ABOUT GOODMAN THEATRE
Chicago’s theater since 1925, Goodman Theatre is a not-for-profit arts and community organization in the heart of the Loop, distinguished by the excellence and scope of its artistic programming and community engagement. The theater’s artistic priorities include new play development (more than 150 world or American premieres), large scale musical theater works and reimagined classics. Artists and productions have earner two Pulitzer Prizes, 22 Tony Awards and more than 160 Jeff Awards, among other accolades. The Goodman is the first theater in the world to produce all 10 plays in August Wilson’s “American Century Cycle.” Its longtime annual holiday tradition A Christmas Carol, now in its fifth decade, has created a new generation of theatergoers in Chicago. The Goodman also frequently serves as a production and program partner with national and international companies and Chicago’s Off-Loop theaters.
Using the tools of the theatrical profession, the Goodman’s Education and Engagement programs aim to develop generations of citizens who understand the cultures and stories of diverse voices. The Goodman’s Alice Rapoport Center for Education and Engagement is the home of these programs, which are offered free of charge for Chicago youth—85% of whom come from underserved communities—schools and life-long learners.
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 on the new Goodman center in 2000.
Today, Goodman Theatre is led by Artistic Director Susan V. Booth and Executive Director/CEO Roche Schulfer. Theater leadership also includes the distinguished members of the Artistic Collective: Rebecca Gilman, Dael Orlandersmith, Henry Godinez, Steve Scott, Kimberly Senior, Chuck Smith and Mary Zimmerman. Jeff Hesse is Chairman of Goodman Theatre’s Board of Trustees, Fran Del Boca is Women’s Board President and Craig McCaw is President of the Scenemakers Board for young professionals.