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Showing posts with label Ron OJ Parson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ron OJ Parson. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

OPENING: CHICAGO PREMIERE OF TOO HEAVY FOR YOUR POCKET VIA TIMELINE THEATRE APRIL 24 – JUNE 29, 2019

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar

TIMELINE THEATRE’S CHICAGO PREMIERE OF CIVIL RIGHTS DRAMA 
TOO HEAVY FOR YOUR POCKET, 
DIRECTED BY RON OJ PARSON, MARKS CHICAGO DEBUT OF PLAYWRIGHT JIRÉH BREON HOLDER, “TOMORROW’S MARQUEE NAME,” 
APRIL 24 – JUNE 29, 2019



Chicago premiere of Too Heavy for Your Pocket doubles as the Chicago debut of rising young playwright and TV writer Jiréh Breon Holder, recently named one of “Tomorrow’s Marquee Names, Now in the Making” by The New York Times.

Set during the height of the civil rights movement, Too Heavy for Your Pocket is a captivating and complicated tale about the intersection of family, responsibility, and progress. Previously seen at Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre and in an extended Off Broadway run at Roundabout Theatre, Holder’s riveting new play was hailed “an exceptional work, one that will dive-bomb into your head and your heart” (Talkin’ Broadway) and a story “that examines life on both the margins and at the epicenter of historic change” (Stage Left).


Preproduction Photos by Kenny Nakai

TimeLine Company Member Ron OJ Parson will direct TimeLine’s Chicago debut of Too Heavy for Your Pocket. Named one of Chicago’s most “in demand directors” by Chicago Magazine (February 2019), Parson’s credits at TimeLine include Brett Neveu’s To Catch a Fish, Dominique Morisseau’s Paradise Blue and Sunset Baby, and Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun. Right before helming TimeLine’s Too Heavy for Your Pocket, Parson is also directing back-to-back productions of August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom for Writers Theatre and Sweat by Lynn Nottage at Goodman.


Preproduction Photos by Kenny Nakai


The Too Heavy for Your Pocket cast, all making their TimeLine debuts, features Jalen Gilbert (he/him, playing Bowzie), Ayanna Bria Bakari (she/her, as Evelyn), Jennifer Latimore (she/her, as Sally Mae), and Cage Sebastian Pierre (he/him, as Tony). Gilbert was previously seen in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and East Texas Hot Links at Writers Theatre and Mies Julie at Victory Gardens. Bakari recently co-starred in How to Catch Creation at Goodman Theatre. She also has
Both Gilbert and Bakari are graduates of The Theatre School at DePaul University. Latimore was recently seen in The Importance of Being Earnest and as Viola in Twelfth Night Or What You Will at Writers Theatre. Other local credits are Court Theatre’s Harvey and Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s Love’s Labor’s Lost and Macbeth. Pierre also appeared in Macbeth, as well as Gardens, 16th Street Theatre, The New Colony, and in Stage Left’s Jeff-nominated Insurrection: Holding History. performed at Victory Q Brothers Christmas Carol and at Chicago Shakespeare, and A Short Shakes! Romeo and Juliet
Moon for the Misbegotten at Writers Theatre.

TimeLine’s production team for Too Heavy for Your Pocket includes José Manuel Díaz-Soto (Scenic Designer, he/him); Alexia Rutherford (Costume Designer, she/her); Maggie Fullilove-Nugent (Lighting Designer, she/her); Christopher Kriz (Sound Designer and Original Composition, he/him); Jermaine Hill (Music Director and Original Composition, he/him); Vivian Knouse (Properties Designer, she/her); Katie Cordts (Wig and Hair Designer, she/her), Regina Victor (Dramaturg, they/them); Dina Spoerl (Lobby Designer, she/her); Cara Parrish (Stage Manager, she/her); and Am’Ber D. Montgomery (Assistant Director, she/her).

Too Heavy for Your Pocket begins previews on April 24. Press Night is Wednesday, May 1 at 7:30 p.m. Opening Night is May 2. Performances run through June 29 at TimeLine Theatre, 615 W. Wellington Ave., Chicago. For tickets and information, visit timelinetheatre.com or call the TimeLine Box Office at (773) 281-8463 x6.



MORE ABOUT TOO HEAVY FOR YOUR POCKET
Too Heavy for Your Pocket “brings the early civil rights movement up close and personal” (Deadline), resulting in a powerful look at the tenuous balance between security and risk, the bonds of love and friendship, and the personal cost of progress. Holder’s story centers on Bowzie Brandon, his wife Evelyn, and their best friends Tony and Sally, who all see happiness on the horizon when Bowzie gets a college scholarship and a chance to improve his family’s life. However, when the opportunity to become a Freedom Rider arises, Bowzie leaves his obligations as a husband and friend behind to join the fight against racism in the Deep South.

Jiréh Breon Holder (Playwright) is currently a writer on NBC's new hit show New Amsterdam. He is an Atlanta-area playwright, director, and dramaturg. His sharp yet funny and often political plays frequently include wild visual metaphors and address the magic of everyday life in the South. From 2016-2019, Holder served as the Playwriting Fellow of the Department of Theater and Creative Writing at Emory University. In 2016, he received his MFA degree in Playwriting from the Yale School of Drama, where he studied with Sarah Ruhl. He is a co-founder of Pyramid Theatre Company in Des Moines, Iowa. From 2012-13, he served as the Kenny Leon Fellow at the Tony Award-winning Alliance Theatre. He graduated cum laude with a BA degree in Theatre from Morehouse College, where he served as the artistic director of Spelman College Playwrights’ Workshop and directed several productions. His play Too Heavy for Your Pocket was the recipient of the Laurents/Hatcher Foundation Award, winner of the Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition, and had an extended off-Broadway run at the Roundabout Theatre in 2017. He was a recipient of the 2016 Edgerton Foundation New Play Awards and honored as the Fellowship of Southern Writers' 2017 Bryan Foundation Award for Drama. His other plays have received productions at the Alliance Theatre, the Yale School of Drama and Yale Cabaret. He has also received readings at the Manhattan Theatre Club, the Roundabout Theatre, the Kennedy Center, and the Old Globe Theatre. Holder is under commission with the Old Globe Theatre, the Roundabout Theatre, and the Manhattan Theatre Club. For more, visit jirehbreonholder.com.



Ron OJ Parson (Director) became a TimeLine Company Member in 2016. His TimeLine credits include acclaimed productions of Brett Neveu’s To Catch a Fish, Dominique Morisseau’s Paradise Blue and Sunset Baby, and Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun. He is a native of Buffalo, New York, and
a graduate of the University of Michigan’s professional theater program. He is the co-founder and former Artistic Director of Onyx Theatre Ensemble of Chicago and a co-founder and co-director of Ripe ManGo Productions. Parson is a Resident Artist at Court Theatre and an Associate Artist with
Teatro Vista. Since moving to Chicago from New York in 1994, he has worked as both an actor and director. His Chicago credits include work with The Chicago Theatre Company, Victory Gardens, Goodman, Steppenwolf, Chicago Dramatists, Northlight, Court, Black Ensemble Theatre, Congo
Square, Northlight Theatre, Urban Theatre Company, City Lit Theater, ETA Creative Arts, and Writers. Regionally, Ron has directed shows at Studio Arena Theatre, Alliance Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Milwaukee Repertory, South Coast Repertory, Pasadena Playhouse, Geva
Theatre, Virginia Stage, Roundabout Theatre, Wilshire Theatre, The Mechanic Theatre, CenterStage,

SPONSORS
TimeLine’s Chicago premiere of Too Heavy for Your Pocket is sponsored in part by the Pauls Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional support from the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation.

TOO HEAVY FOR YOUR POCKET PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE/EVENTS
Previews of Too Heavy for Your Pocket are Wednesday, April 24 through Saturday, April 27 at 8 p.m.;
Sunday, April 28 at 2 p.m.; and Tuesday, April 30 at 7:30 p.m. Press Night is Wednesday, May 1 at 7:30 p.m.
Opening Night is Thursday, May 2 at 7:30 p.m.
Regular performances continue through June 29: Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m.; Fridays at 8 p.m.; Saturdays at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and Sundays at 2 p.m. Exceptions: No 4 p.m. show on Saturday, May 4. There is an added performance on Tuesday, June 25 at 7:30 p.m.

DISCUSSION & ACCESSIBILITY EVENTS:
Post-Show Discussions: A brief, informal post-show discussion hosted by a TimeLine Company Member and featuring the production dramaturg and members of the cast on Wednesday, May 8; Thursday, May 16; Wednesday, May 22; Thursday, May 30; Wednesday, June 5; and Sunday, June 23.
Pre-Show Discussions: Starting one hour before these performances, a 25-minute introductory conversation hosted by a TimeLine Company Member and the production dramaturg on Sunday, June 9, and Thursday, June 13.
Company Member Discussion: A post-show discussion with the collaborative team of artists who choose TimeLine’s programming and guide the company’s mission on Sunday, May 19.

Captioned Performance: An open-captioned performance with a text display of words and sounds heard during the performance on Saturday, June 1 at 4 p.m.
Sunday Scholars Panel Discussion: A one-hour post-show discussion featuring experts on the themes and issues of the play on Sunday, June 2.
All discussions are free and open to the public. For further details about all planned discussions and events, visit timelinetheatre.com.

BUYING TICKETS
Single tickets to Too Heavy for Your Pocket are now on sale. Preview tickets are $25. Single tickets to regular performances are $40 (Wednesday through Friday), $49 (Saturday evenings) and $54 (Saturday and Sunday matinees). Student discount is 35% off regular price with valid ID. TimeLine is also a member of TCG’s Blue Star Theatre Program and is offering $25 tickets to U.S. military personnel, veterans, first responders, and their spouses and family.
Discounted rates for groups of 10 or more are available. Ticket buyers age 18-35 may join TimeLine’s free MyLine program to obtain access to discounted tickets, special events and more. Visit timelinetheatre.com/discounts for more about Blue Star, MyLine and other available discounts.

To purchase a FlexPass, single tickets or for more information, visit timelinetheatre.com or call the Box Office at (773) 281-8463 x6.
St. Louis Black Repertory, Pittsburgh Public Theater, Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre, Signature Theatre, and Portland Stage, among others. In Canada, he directed the world premiere of Palmer Park by Joanna McClelland Glass at the Stratford Festival. He is a member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA, and
SDC. For further information, visit ronojparson.com.
    
LOCATION/TRANSPORTATION/PARKING
Too Heavy for Your Pocket will take place at TimeLine Theatre, 615 W. Wellington Ave., in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood, near the corner of Wellington and Broadway, inside the Wellington Avenue United Church of Christ building. TimeLine is served by multiple CTA trains and buses. TimeLine offers discounted parking at the Laz parking garage at Broadway Center ($8 with validation; 2846 N. Broadway, at Surf) or the Century Mall ($9 with validation; 2836 N. Clark), with other paid parking options nearby, plus limited free and metered street parking.

ACCESSIBILITY
TimeLine Theatre is accessible to people with disabilities. Two wheelchair lifts provide access from street level to the theatre space and to lower-level restrooms. Audience members using wheelchairs or who need to avoid stairs, and others with special seating or accessibility needs should contact the TimeLine Box Office in advance to confirm arrangements. See DISCUSSION & ACCESSIBILITY EVENTS above for information about the open-captioned performance for patrons who are deaf or hard of hearing.

ALSO AT TIMELINE
Currently on stage at TimeLine Theatre, through March 17, is the Chicago premiere of Cardboard Piano, Hansol Jung’s powerful story of faith, love, and the human capacity for forgiveness set amidst violent conflict in northern Uganda, directed by TimeLine Company Member Mechelle Moe.
Newcity hailed Cardboard Piano as “a delicate and priceless work of theater ... the first ‘Must-See’ show of 2019.” For tickets and information, visit timelinetheatre.com.

Already announced as the opening production of TimeLine’s upcoming 2019-20 season is the Chicago premiere of J.T. Rogers’ internationally acclaimed and Tony Award-winning play Oslo. Directed by TimeLine Associate Artistic Director Nick Bowling, Oslo will run September 10 – October 20, 2019 at Broadway In Chicago’s Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place, 175 E. Chestnut St., Chicago.

Three other productions of TimeLine’s 2019-2020 season, to be performed at the company’s home at 615 W. Wellington Avenue in Chicago, are still to be announced. The best way to secure seats to Oslo is to purchase a 2019-2020 TimeLine FlexPass Subscription. Four different tiers of 4-Admission FlexPasses, priced from $97 - $235, are now on sale. For more information and to purchase a TimeLine FlexPass Subscription, call (773) 281-8463 x6 or visit timelinetheatre.com.

Oslo will be part of the upcoming Broadway In Chicago season on sale in Spring 2019. Individual tickets for Oslo will go on sale in July 2019 (specific date to be announced) and will range in price from $30 - $75 with a select number of premium seats. Group tickets for 10 or more are now on sale by calling Broadway In Chicago Group Sales at (312) 977-1710.



2019 YEAR OF CHICAGO THEATRE
TimeLine Theatre Company is proud to be part of the 2019 Year of Chicago Theatre, presented by the City of Chicago and the League of Chicago Theatres. To truly fall in love with Chicago, you must go to our theatres. This is where the city bares its fearless soul. Home to a community of creators, risk-takers, and big hearts, Chicago theatre is a hotbed for exciting new work and hundreds of world premieres every year. From Broadway musicals to storefront plays and improv, there’s always a seat waiting for you at one of our 200+ theatres. Learn more at chicagoplays.com/year-of-chicago-theatre/.



ABOUT TIMELINE THEATRE COMPANY
TimeLine Theatre Company, recipient of the prestigious 2016 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions, was founded in April 1997 with a mission to present stories inspired by history that connect with today's social and political issues. Now in its 22nd season, TimeLine has presented 78 productions, including 10 world premieres and 34 Chicago premieres, and launched the Living History Education Program, now in its 12th year of bringing the company's mission to life for students in Chicago Public Schools. Recipient of the Alford-Axelson Award for Nonprofit Managerial Excellence and the Richard Goodman Strategic Planning Award from the Association for Strategic Planning, TimeLine has received 54 Jeff Awards, including an award for Outstanding Production 11 times. TimeLine is led by Artistic Director PJ Powers, Managing Director Elizabeth K. Auman and Board President Eileen LaCario. Company members are Tyla Abercrumbie, Will Allan, Nick Bowling, Janet Ulrich Brooks, Wardell Julius Clark, Behzad Dabu, Charles Andrew Gardner, Lara Goetsch, Juliet Hart, Anish Jethmalani, Mildred Marie Langford, Mechelle Moe, David Parkes, Ron OJ Parson, PJ Powers, Maren Robinson and Benjamin Thiem.
Major corporate, government and foundation supporters of TimeLine Theatre include Alphawood Foundation, Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, Bayless Family Foundation, The Crown Family, Forum Fund, The Joseph and Bessie Feinberg Foundation, Illinois Arts Council Agency, Laughing Acres Family Foundation, A.L. and Jennie L. Luria Foundation, MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince, the National Endowment for the Arts, The Pauls Foundation, Polk Bros. Foundation, and The Shubert Foundation.

For more information, visit timelinetheatre.com or Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram (@TimeLineTheatre).

Friday, February 1, 2019

OPENING: MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM at Writers Theatre February 6 – March 17, 2019

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar

Writers Theatre continues 2018/19 Season with 
MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM, 
Written by August Wilson, Directed by Ron OJ Parson


Featuring David Alan Anderson, Thomas J. Cox, Felicia P. Fields, Jalen Gilbert, Tiffany Renee Johnson, Blake Montgomery, Peter Moore, Kelvin Roston, Jr., A.C. Smith, and Alfred H. Wilson 

February 6 – March 17, 2019

February 13th I'll be ChiILin' with Chi, IL's Writers Theatre for the press opening of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. In Chicago, director Ron OJ Parson's name has become inextricably linked with playwright, August Wilson. I've seen him direct numerous Wilson productions over the years, so it's only fitting that he direct the only play of Wilson's American Century Cycle that is set in Chicago.

 Set in the 1920s, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom chronicles the twentieth century African American experience and deals with issues of race, art, religion and the historic exploitation of black recording artists by white producers. Ma Rainey's Black Bottom is the only play in August Wilson’s ten-play American Century Cycle that is set in Chicago. 

Writers Theatre, under the leadership of Artistic Director Michael Halberstam and Executive Director Kathryn M. Lipuma, continues its 2018/19 season with August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, directed by Writers Theatre Resident Director Ron OJ Parson. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom runs February 6 – March 17, 2019 in the Alexandra C. and John D. Nichols Theatre at 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe. 




Director Ron OJ Parson returns to Writers where he previously directed East Texas Hot Links, The Caretaker, The Old Settler, and The MLK Project: The Fight for Civil Rights for Writers Theatre.
Ma Rainey is considered the Mother of the Blues and essentially launched Paramount records, recording almost 100 records from 1923-1928.

This visceral American classic serves as the 1920s chapter of August Wilson's epic American Century Cycle. What begins as a routine recording session becomes more strained as tensions rise between the members of a blues band and the owners of the recording studio. The white producers mean to exploit the talents of the band—especially the gifted and impulsive Levee—but when Ma insists on having things her way, tensions are enflamed and the play builds to an unexpected and searing climax. 

Inspired by the real-life Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, this groundbreaking work is the only play by American icon August Wilson to be set in Chicago. Directed by Writers Theatre Resident Director Ron OJ Parson (East Texas Hot Links, The Caretaker, The Old Settler), Ma Rainey will envelop you in a vision of the Roaring Twenties defined by Wilson’s remarkably beautiful language and an extraordinary dramatic conflict between ambition, desperation and love for The Blues. 

The real life Gertrude “Ma” Rainey on whom August Wilson based his character was very open about her sexuality despite the law, as was somewhat common for blues mavens of the time. Songs such as “Prove It On Me” detail going out on the town with various women, and the cover of the album shows her hitting on two young women while a policeman looks on.  

“Ron OJ Parson’s productions of plays by August Wilson have been some of the theatre-going highlights of my life,” said Artistic Director Michael Halberstam. “When the opportunity to present this play at Writers Theatre came about, I leapt at the chance.  Ron has assembled a brilliant cast, all of whom are passionate about exploring this magnificent and towering piece of writing as staged by arguably the nation’s foremost interpreter of Mr. Wilson’s work.  As Ron has proved time and time again, he has an unwavering ability to direct his productions straight into the audience’s hearts, minds and souls. Writers Theatre audiences have been fortunate to experience the full extent of his gifts with stagings like Harold Pinter's The Caretaker and Eugene Lee's East Texas Hot Links.  Taking full advantage of the Nichols Theatre’s ability to encompass both epic and intimate canvases simultaneously, Ron’s design team draws us dramatically into a 1920’s impromptu recording studio where the explosive events of the play will reach their searing climax. Although there are a hundred years between the imagined events of Wilson’s play and the present day, the themes and circumstances feel terrifyingly familiar."

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom first opened at the Yale Repertory Theater in April 1984, and then moved to Broadway's Cort Theatre. The original cast included Charles S. Dutton as Levee, Joe Seneca as Cutler, Leonard Jackson as Slow Drag, Robert Judd as Toledo, and Theresa Merritt as Ma. Dutton and Merritt were nominated for Tony Awards for their performances.

The cast includes: David Alan Anderson (Toledo), Thomas J. Cox (Sturdyvant), Felicia P. Fields (Ma Rainey), Jalen Gilbert (Sylvester), Tiffany Renee Johnson (Dussie Mae), Blake Montgomery (Policeman), Peter Moore (Irvin), Kelvin Roston, Jr. (Levee), A.C. Smith (Slow Drag), and Alfred H. Wilson (Cutler).

The creative team includes: Todd Rosenthal (scenic), Myrna Colley-Lee (costumes), Jared Gooding (lighting), Ray Nardelli (sound), Regina Victor (dramaturg), Joe Faust (fight director), and Sasha Smith (intimacy director). The production stage manager is Rebecca Pechter.

Tickets are priced $35 - $80. Subscriptions and individual tickets may be purchased online at www.writerstheatre.org, by phone at 847-242-6000 or in person at the box office at 325 Tudor Court in Glencoe.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

August Wilson (Playwright) authored Gem of the Ocean, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, The Piano Lesson, Seven Guitars, Fences, Two Trains Running, Jitney, King Hedley II and Radio Golf. These works explore the heritage and experience of the descendants of Africans in North America, decade-by-decade, over the course of the twentieth century, forming the complication entitled THE AMERICAN CENTURY CYCLE. His plays have been produced on Broadway, at regional theaters across the country and all over the world. In 2003, Mr. Wilson made his professional stage debut in his one-man show, How I Learned What I Learned. Mr. Wilson’s works garnered many awards including Pulitzer Prizes for Fences (1987); and for The Piano Lesson (1990); a Tony Award for Fences; Great Britain’s Olivier Award for Jitney; as well as seven New York Drama Critics Circle Awards for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Fences, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, The Piano Lesson, Two Trains Running, Seven Guitars, and Jitney. Additionally, the cast recording of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom received a 1985 Grammy Award, and Mr. Wilson received a 1995 Emmy Award nomination for his screenplay adaptation of The Piano Lesson. Mr. Wilson’s early works included the one-act plays The Janitor, Recycle, The Coldest Day of the Year, Malcolm X, The Homecoming, and the musical satire Black Bart and the Sacred Hills. Mr. Wilson received many fellowships and awards, including the Rockefeller and Guggenheim Fellowships in Playwriting, the Whiting Writers Award, 2003 Heinz Award, was awarded a 1999 National Humanities Medal by President Bill Clinton, and received numerous honorary degrees from colleges and universities, as well as the only high school diploma ever issued by the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. He was an alumnus of New Dramatists, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a 1995 inductee into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and on October 16, 2005, Broadway renamed the theater located at 245 West 52nd Street—The August Wilson Theatre. New York Public Radio recorded all ten plays in the THE AMERICAN CENTURY CYCLE at the Greene Space, casting many of the actors that worked on the original productions. PBS aired a documentary on Mr. Wilson entitled, The Ground On Which I Stand, as part of the American Masters series. Mr. Wilson was born and raised in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and lived in Seattle, Washington at the time of his death.

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom received the 1985 New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best American Play and was nominated for the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding New Play and the Tony Award for Best Play.

Ron OJ Parson (Director) previously directed East Texas Hot Links, The Caretaker, and The Old Settler for Writers Theatre. Mr. Parson hails from Buffalo, New York and is a graduate of the professional theatre program of the University of Michigan. He is the former co-founder and artistic director of Chicago's Onyx Theatre Ensemble and is currently a resident artist at Chicago's Court Theatre. Ron has worked as both an actor and a director at various theatres in Chicago and regionally. Ron also directed the world premiere of Palmer Park at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Ontario, Canada.

David Alan Anderson (Toledo) previously appeared at Writers Theatre in Witch. Other Chicago credits include Gem of the Ocean (BTAA winner) and The Mountaintop (Jeff Nominee), both with Court Theatre. David is a recipient of the Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship sponsored by the Ten Chimneys Foundation. He has over twenty-five seasons with The Indiana Repertory Theatre in Indianapolis, where his many credits include Looking Over the President’s Shoulder, What I Learned in Paris, Julius Caesar, The Whipping Man, Romeo and Juliet, A Christmas Carol and many others. Recent works include Troy in Fences (Indiana Rep, Denver Center, Arizona Theatre Company and Milwaukee Rep), Morning After Grace (Asolo Rep), Radio Golf (Cleveland Playhouse) and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime (Indiana Rep and Syracuse Stage). Other regional credits include The Guthrie, Baltimore Center Stage, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, KC Rep, Geva Theatre and many others. Directing credits include MVP, The Color of Justice (Indiana Rep), Topdog/Underdog and Two Trains Running (Phoenix Theatre in Indianapolis). He is a company member with Penumbra Theatre in St. Paul, MN. Recent television works include Showtime’s new hit series The Chi. 

Thomas J. Cox (Sturdyvant) is making his Writers Theatre debut. As an ensemble member with Chicago’s Lookingglass Theatre Company, he has appeared in many productions since 1988, most recently in 20,000 Leagues Under the Seas, as well as The Jungle, The Odyssey, West, Arabian Nights, The Great Fire, Nelson Algren: For Keeps, Single Day (Joseph Jefferson Nomination, Solo Performance), Old Curiosity Shop (Joseph Jefferson Nomination, Supporting Actor), Winston Smith in 1984 and Hook in Peter Pan (a play), among many others. He has appeared regionally at the Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Court Theatre, The House Theatre of Chicago, The Gift Theatre and Milwaukee Repertory Theatre. Thom also worked for ten years at the Weston Playhouse Theatre in Vermont, performing in productions ranging from Tartuffe to Urinetown, and directing Weston’s Young Company. Film/TV: Chicago Fire (NBC), Brotherhood (Showtime) and Since You’ve Been Gone (Miramax).



Felicia P. Fields (Ma Rainey) returns to Chicago having recently starred in Low Down Dirty Blues (Lone Tree Arts Center) in Colorado. Other theatre credits include productions at The Marriott Theatre, Court Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Drury Lane Oakbrook Terrace, Theatre at the Center, Northlight Theatre, Milwaukee Rep, The Broadway Playhouse and the Goodman Theatre. Ms. Fields earned a Tony Award nomination for her portrayal of Sofia in The Color Purple on Broadway and a 2006 Theatre World Award, two Broadway.com awards, an NAACP nomination and the award for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance in Sophisticated Ladies. Television/film credits include Slice with Chance the Rapper, Save the Last Dance, Who Gets the Dog, Chicago PD, Chicago Fire, Bad Judge (NBC), Sense 8 (Netflix), Early Edition (CBS), The Knights of Prosperity (ABC) and many commercials/voice-overs to date. She is the recipient of a Clarence Dewitt Award, many Joseph Jefferson nominations and won the Jeff award for her performances in Sophisticated Ladies.

Jalen Gilbert (Sylvester) previously appeared at Writers Theatre in East Texas Hot Links. He will appear as Bowzie in Too Heavy for Your Pocket (TimeLine Theatre). Recent credits include Tru in Hooded (First Floor Theater), John in Mies Julie (Victory Gardens Theater) and Dontrell in Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea (First Floor Theater). Television and Film credits include Chicago Med (NBC), As with Knives and Skin, The Exorcist (Fox) and Solo. Jalen is a proud graduate of The Theatre School at DePaul University BFA Acting program. 

Tiffany Renee Johnson (Dussie Mae) is a Chicago native with a BFA from Howard University, and is represented by Gray Talent Group. Her theatre credits include: Flyin’ West (American Blues Theater), Red Velvet (Chicago Shakespeare Theater), Saint Joan (Poetic Forum Collective), the US premiere of truth and reconciliation (Sideshow Theatre Company), the world premiere of VANYA (or, “That’s Life!”) (Rasaka Theatre Company), Coming Home (Erasing the Distance), Hairspray (Drury Lane Theatre) and The Nativity (Congo Square Theatre). Regional credits include Race (Next Act Theatre) and The Bluest Eye (Environmental Theatre Space). Television credits include: Chicago Med, Chicago P.D., Chicago Fire (NBC), APB (Fox) and Embeds (Go90). 

Blake Montgomery (Policeman) has previously appeared in What The Butler Saw (Court Theatre), Animal Farm (Steppenwolf Theatre Company), The Life of Galileo (Remy Bumppo), The Crownless King, The Nutcracker (The House Theatre of Chicago) and Seagull, Nina, and Salao (Redmoon Theater). Most recently, he's worked as an understudy at both Chicago Shakespeare and Northlight Theatre. From 2005 to 2013, Blake ran The Building Stage, where he created over a dozen original theatrical pieces, including the Joseph Jefferson Award-winning Moby-Dick and his solo performance in Charles Dickens Begrudgingly Performs ‘A Christmas Carol.’ Again.

Peter Moore (Irvin) is a founding member and the Artistic Director of Steep Theatre in Chicago, where his credits include Linda, Birdland, Hinter, Earthquakes in London, Wastwater, The Few, The Cheats, Brilliant Adventures, The Life and Sort of Death of Eric Argyle, If There is I Haven’t Found it Yet, Love and Money, Festen, A Brief History of Helen of Troy and Harper Regan, among many others over the last 17 years. Other theatre credits include Steppenwolf’s 2017 production of The Crucible, Route 66 Theatre’s The Downpour and Jackalope Theatre’s In the Canyon. TV & Film credits include Chicago Fire, Chicago Justice (NBC), the pilot Convergence and the Bollywood hit Dhoom 3. Pete is a graduate of Bowdoin College and The School at Steppenwolf.

Kelvin Roston, Jr. (Levee) has previously appeared at Writers Theatre in East Texas Hot Links and The Old Settler. Other Chicagoland theater credits include work with Congo Square, Court Theatre, Paramount Theatre, Marriott Theatre, Goodman Theatre, ITC, eta Creative Arts, Black Ensemble Theatre, TimeLine Theatre, Northlight Theatre and Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Regional theatres: The Black Rep, The Fulton Theatre, New Theatre Restaurant, MSMT and Baltimore Center Stage. International: Tokyu Theatre Orb and The Royal Festival Hall. Television: Chicago Med, Chicago PD (NBC), KFC and Instant Care commercials. Film: Get a Job, Princess Cyd and Breathing Room. He is a four-time Jeff Award nominee, three-time BTA Award winner and two-time Black Excellence Award winner. He is the winner of the Light in the Darkness Public Education Award from NAMI for his play, Twisted Melodies, written and performed by himself. Kelvin is an Artistic Associate of Congo Square.

A.C. Smith (Slow Drag) has previously appeared at Writers Theatre in A Moon for the Misbegotten and East Texas Hot Links. In Chicago, Smith considers the Court Theatre to be his home where he has worked for the past eight years or so in productions ranging from Moliere to the great August Wilson and a host of other classic works. Smith received the Joseph Jefferson Award for his portrayal of Troy Maxson in Court Theatre’s production of Fences. Regional credits include Clarence Brown Theatre (Knoxville, TN), Portland Stage Company, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Geva Theatre Center, Peninsula Players Theatre and The Black Rep, where he has been a company member for 21 years and is a nine-time Woodie King, Jr. Award winner. National tour credits include The Piano Lesson directed by Lloyd Richards. Off-Broadway credits include the title role in Jelly Belly (Audelco Award Nomination—New Federal Theatre). Smith has appeared on film, television, radio, voice-over, commercials and in Ebony and Jet magazines.

Alfred H. Wilson (Cutler) has previously appeared at Writers Theatre in East Texas Hot Links. Recent credits include: Old Joe in Radio Gold, Chorus in Agamemnon, Solly Two Kings in Gem of the Ocean, Estrogon in Waiting for Godot, Fielding in Jitney, Wining Boy in Piano Lesson (Court Theatre), Oldest Old Man in Father Comes Home From The Wars, Pullman Porter Blues (Goodman Theatre), Bono in Fences (Kansas City Rep, Nevada Conservatory), Simon in The Whipping Man (Cardinal Stage), Becker in Jitney (West Coast Black Theatre), Toledo in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (University of Wisconsin, Madison), Delbert Tibbs in The Exonerated (The Next Act Theatre), Toledo in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, Milwaukee Rep), Travis in The Etiquette of Vigilance (Steppenwolf Theatre), Holloway in Two Trains Running (Geva Theatre Center), Sam in Master Harold and the Boys (Timeline Theatre), Solly Two Kings in Gem of the Ocean, Old Joe in Radio Golf (Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati), and Old Joe in Radio Gold (Pittsburgh Public Theatre). Chicago credits include:  Charlie in Bourbon at the Border (Eclipse Theatre), Becker in Jitney, Memphis Lee in Two Trains Running (Joseph Jefferson Award—Best Actor, Pegasus Players), and Charles in Panther Burn (MMPAACT). He was also a co-founder of Onyx Theatre Ensemble. He has also worked at Victory Gardens Theater.

AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT
From Page to Stage:

BLUES 101 WITH FRUTELAND JACKSON
Sunday, February 10 at 2pm
Hosted by Glenview Public Library  |  1930 Glenview Rd., Glenview

In August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, a tight-knit blues band strives to maintain their artistic integrity against the forces of exploitation and ambition in a 1920s Chicago recording studio. Join us to learn more about the deep roots of the Blues with dynamic award-winning storyteller and musician Fruteland Jackson, who will share the history of blues music through song, lecture, and discussion from its origins to its current popularity. Seating is limited. RSVP at www.glenviewpl.org/programs.

Sunday Spotlight
Sunday, March 3, 2019 at 11:30am

Are you curious about the world that surrounds your favorite plays? Sunday Spotlight offers access to the finest speakers, scholars and cultural leaders. This one-hour event extends the conversation on our stages by featuring an expert in an area connected to the play. Seating is limited. RSVP is required. Save the date.

The Making of... Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
Monday, March 11, 2019 at 6:30pm

Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes of our productions? For each production, we will offer insight into a different aspect of creating theatre. Seating is limited. RSVP is required. Save the date!

Post-Show Conversation: The Word

Join us after every Tuesday evening performance (excluding First Week and any extension weeks) for a 15-minute discussion of the play, facilitated by a member of the WT Artistic Team.

Post-Show Conversation: The Artist
Join us after every Wednesday evening performance (excluding First Week and any extension weeks) for a 15-minute talk-back featuring actors from the production, facilitated by a member of the WT Artistic Team.

Pre-Show Conversation: Up Close
Join us at 6:45pm in the Atrium before every Thursday evening performance (excluding First Week and any extension weeks) for a 15-minute primer on the context and content of the play, facilitated by a member of the WT Artistic Team.

RIDE METRA TO WRITERS THEATRE

In an effort to promote taking public transit to the Theatre, Writers Theatre launched a new promotion in 2013. Any audience member who purchases a ticket to a Writers Theatre production and rides Metra’s Union Pacific North Line to the Theatre may snap a photo of themselves on the train and post it to their Facebook, Twitter or Instagram account with a tag of @WritersTheatre (@Writers_Theatre on Instagram) and #MaRaineyWT, and upon showing the post at the Writers Theatre Box Office, receive $5 in cash to put toward the cost of your fare as a thank you for going green.

This promotion is available for a limited time only and may end without warning. Ticket must have been paid for in advance. Not valid on comp tickets. More information available at writerstheatre.org/metra

WRITERS THEATRE PARTNERS
Writers Theatre is pleased to recognize BMO Harris Bank as the 2018/19 Season Sponsor and ComEd as the Official Lighting Sponsor of the 2018/19 Season. The Student Matinee Sponsor for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is Allstate. The Major Production Sponsors are Gail and Tom Hodges, and the Artists Council Sponsors are Laurie and Michael Petersen. Additional support for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is provided by the Director’s Society Sponsors.

For more information about Writers Theatre’s 2018/19 partners, visit writerstheatre.org/our-supporters.



ABOUT WRITERS THEATRE
For more than 25 years, Writers Theatre has captivated Chicagoland audiences with inventive interpretations of classic work, a bold approach to contemporary theatre and a dedication to creating the most intimate theatrical experience possible.

Under the artistic leadership of Michael Halberstam and the executive leadership of Kathryn M. Lipuma, Writers Theatre has grown to become a major Chicagoland cultural destination with a national reputation for excellence, being called the top regional theatre in the nation by The Wall Street Journal. The company, which plays to a sold-out and discerning audience of more than 60,000 patrons each season, has garnered critical praise for the consistent high quality and intimacy of its artistry—providing the finest interpretations of both classic and contemporary theatre in its two intensely intimate venues. 

In February 2016, Writers Theatre opened a new, state-of-the-art facility. This established the company's first permanent home—a new theatre center in downtown Glencoe, designed by the award-winning, internationally renowned Studio Gang Architects, led by Founder and Design Principal Jeanne Gang, FAIA, in collaboration with Theatre Consultant Auerbach Pollock Friedlander. The new facility has allowed the Theatre to continue to grow to accommodate its audience, while maintaining its trademark intimacy. The new facility resonates with and complements the Theatre’s neighboring Glencoe community, adding tremendous value to Chicagoland and helping to establish the North Shore as a premier cultural destination.

Find Writers Theatre on Facebook at Facebook.com/WritersTheatre, follow @WritersTheatre on Twitter or @Writers_Theatre on Instagram. For more information, visit www.writerstheatre.org.

Dates:   First performance: Wednesday, February 6, 2019
Press opening: Wednesday, February 13, 2019 at 7:30pm
Closing performance: March 17, 2019

Schedule: Tuesdays – Fridays: 7:30pm (except February 28 & March 7); Saturdays: 3:00pm (except February 9) and 7:30pm; Sundays: 2:00pm and 6:00pm (except February 10, March 3 & 17). Wednesday matinee performances on February 27 & March 13 at 3:00pm.

Open-Captioned performance: Thursday, March 14, 2019 at 7:30pm

ASL-Interpreted performance: Saturday, March 16, 2019 at 7:30pm

Location: The Alexandra C. and John D. Nichols Theatre; 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe

Prices: Prices for all performances range from $35 - $80; Purchase early for best prices   

Box Office: The Box Office is located at 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe;  847-242-6000; www.writerstheatre.org

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

OPENING: Radio Golf at Court Theatre Through September 30, 2018

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar

Court Theatre opens 64th Season with
August Wilson’s
Radio Golf
Directed by Resident Artist Ron OJ Parson
Featuring James T. Alfred, Allen Gilmore, Ann Joseph,
James Vincent Meredith, and Alfred H. Wilson



August 30 – September 30, 2018

I'll be out for the press opening on September 8th, reviewing for ChiILLiveShows.com. Check back shortly after for my full review. Although August Wilson is not one of my favorites, as playwrights go, I do enjoy the directing prowess of Ron OJ Parson. I also appreciate that Radio Golf is the tenth and final play in August Wilson’s American Century Cycle, and director Ron OJ Parson’s seventh production in the cycle at Court Theatre. What a rare treat for Chicago theatre lovers to be able to see the cycle in its entirety. 

Court Theatre, under the continuing leadership of Charles Newell, Marilyn F. Vitale Artistic Director, and Executive Director Angel Ysaguirre, opens its 2018/19 season with August Wilson’s Radio Golf, directed by Resident Artist Ron OJ Parson. Radio Golf runs August 30 – September 30, 2018 at Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis Ave. 

Real estate developer Harmond Wilks is determined to become the first black mayor of Pittsburgh, on a mission to revive his blighted childhood neighborhood. As Wilks confronts characters from the past, he is forced to question how pursuing change could put his neighborhood’s history at risk. 

The cast includes James T. Alfred (Sterling Johnson), Allen Gilmore (Harmond Wilks), Ann Joseph (Mame Wilks), James Vincent Meredith (Roosevelt Hicks) and Alfred H. Wilson (Elder Joseph Barlow).  

The creative team includes Jack Magaw (scenic design), Rachel Anne Healy (costume design), Claire Chrzan (lighting design) and Christopher M. LaPorte (sound design).

Tickets, priced $50-$74 ($38-$56 for previews) are available at the Court Theatre box office (5535 S. Ellis Avenue, Chicago), by calling (773) 753-4472, or online at www.CourtTheatre.org.  

Three, four, and five-play subscriptions to Court’s 2018/19 season range from $96 to $300 and are on sale now. To purchase a subscription or to receive more information, call the Court Theatre Box Office at (773) 753-4472, or visit Court’s website at www.CourtTheatre.org



About the Artists

AUGUST WILSON (Playwright,1945–2005) authored Radio Golf, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, The Piano Lesson, Seven Guitars, Fences, Two Trains Running, Jitney, King Hedley II, and Gem of the Ocean. These works explore the heritage and experience of African Americans, decade-by-decade, over the course of the twentieth century. His plays have been produced at regional theatres across the country and all over the world, as well as on Broadway. In 2003, Mr. Wilson made his professional stage debut in his one-man show, How I Learned What I Learned. Mr. Wilson’s works garnered many awards including Pulitzer Prizes for Fences (1987) and for The Piano Lesson (1990); a Tony Award for Fences; Great Britain’s Olivier Award for Jitney; as well as seven New York Drama Critics Circle Awards for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Fences, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, The Piano Lesson, Two Trains Running, Seven Guitars, Jitney, and Radio Golf. Additionally, the cast recording of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom received a 1985 Grammy Award, and Mr. Wilson received a 1995 Emmy Award nomination for his screenplay adaptation of The Piano Lesson. Mr. Wilson’s early works included the one-act plays The Janitor, Recycle, The Coldest Day of the Year, Malcolm X, The Homecoming, and the musical satire Black Bart and the Sacred Hills. Mr. Wilson received many fellowships and awards, including Rockefeller and Guggenheim Fellowships in Playwriting, the Whiting Writers Award, the 2003 Heinz Award, a 1999 National Humanities Medal, and numerous honorary degrees from colleges and universities, as well as the only high school diploma ever issued by the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. He was an alumnus of New Dramatists, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a 1995 inductee into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and on October 16, 2005, Broadway renamed the theatre located at 245 West 52nd Street—The August Wilson Theatre. Additionally, Mr. Wilson was posthumously inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame in 2007. Mr. Wilson was born and raised in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and lived in Seattle, Washington at the time of his death. He is immediately survived by his two daughters, Sakina Ansari and Azula Carmen Wilson, and his wife, costume designer Constanza Romero.

Ron oj Parson (Director) hails from Buffalo, New York and is a graduate of the University of Michigan’s Professional Theatre Program. Ron is a Resident Artist at Court Theatre, the co-founder and former Artistic Director of The Onyx Theatre Ensemble, a company member of TimeLine Theatre, and associate artist at Writers and Teatro Vista. In Chicagoland, Ron has also worked with Black Ensemble Theatre, eta Creative Arts Foundation, Chicago Dramatists, Congo Square, Oak Park Theatre Festival, Goodman, Victory Gardens, Northlight, Chicago Dramatists, Urban Theater Company, Steppenwolf, and City Lit Theatre. Regional theatres include American Players Theatre, Virginia Stage Company, Portland Stage (Maine), Studio Arena Theatre, Roundabout, Studio Theatre (DC), Baltimore Center Stage, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Wilshire Theater, Coronet Theatre, The Mechanic Theatre, Milwaukee Rep, St. Louis Black Rep, Pittsburgh Public Theater, Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre, Geva, Signature (New York), The Alliance Theatre, South Coast Rep, Kansas City Repertory, and Pasadena Playhouse. In Canada, Ron directed the world premiere of Palmer Park at the Stratford Festival. He is a member of SAG-AFTRA, SDC, and Actors Equity. Ron dedicates this production to the memory of Claude Purdy and Steve Albert. Visit www.ronojparson.com.


James t. alfred (Sterling Johnson) is a native of Chicago, from the nearby Woodlawn community. He was last seen at Court Theatre as Levee Green in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Other Chicago Credits include Head of Passes (World Premiere), Hushabye (World Premiere) and The Glass Menagerie at Steppenwolf Theatre; Brothers of the Dust (world premier) at Congo Square Theatre; SOST at MPAACT; Sundown Names at Chicago Theatre Company; A Brown Tale at Beverly Arts Center; Conversations on a Dirt Road, and Killing Me Softly at ETA Theatre. Regional theatre credits include: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and Mountain Top at Guthrie Theatre; Two Trains Running, Redshirts, Jitney, Detroit ‘67 and A Brown Tale (World Premier) at Penumbra Theatre; Clybourne Park at Milwaukee Rep; April 4, 1968 at Indiana Rep; Fences at Denver Center; New York Theatre credits: Blood at National Black Theatre of Harlem; All’s Well that Ends Well at New York Public Theatre and Pipeline at Lincoln Center. Television credits include: Fox’s Empire and Prison Break, NBC’s Chicago PD and The Blacklist, and Starz’s Boss. James is a proud company member of Penumbra Theatre Company. He is a graduate of the Institute for Advanced Theatre Training and holds an M.F.A in acting from the Moscow Art Theatre School.

allen gilmore (Harmond Wilks) has appeared at Court Theatre in Man in the Ring, Scapin, Cyrano, Endgame, Sizwe Banzi Is Dead, Jitney, The Misanthrope, Tartuffe, Seven Guitars, Waiting for Godot, The Good Book, and One Man, Two Guvnors. Other Chicago performances: Joe Turner’s Come and Gone and The African Company Presents Richard the Third (Congo Square); Argonautika and Arabian Nights (Lookingglass); Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and Buried Child (Writers Theatre); Love’s Labor’s Lost (Chicago Shakespeare); The Matchmaker, Yasmina’s Necklace, An Enemy of the People, Objects in the Mirror, and three seasons as Scrooge (Alt.) in A Christmas Carol (Goodman). Originally from Houston, he is a U.S. Army Infantry veteran, a 2015 3Arts Award winner, a 2015 Lunt-Fontanne fellow, and a proud ensemble member of Congo Square. Allen dedicates his work in Radio Golf to his father, Gerald A. Gilmore Sr, and to the memory of his friend, Steve Albert.

ann joseph (Mame Wilks) is pleased to make her first appearance at the Court Theatre with Radio Golf. Ann is a founding ensemble member of Congo Square Theatre Company where she appeared in The Piano Lesson, Playboy of The West Indies, Stick Fly, From the Mississippi Delta, Seven Guitars (Jeff Award for Best Ensemble) and Elmina’s Kitchen. Other credits include: I Never Sang for My Father, Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Wedding Band, and Time of Your Life at Steppenwolf; Class Dismissed, Lost Boys of the Sudan, Wheatley, and Living Green at Victory Gardens Theatre; Doubt at Writers Theatre, and A Christmas Carol at Goodman Theatre. Regionally, Ann has worked at American Players Theatre, Milwaukee Rep, and Madison Repertory Theatre.  Film and television credits include Chicago Fire, Chicago Med, Early Edition, Hunter, and, more recently, the web series Becky’s World.

james vincent meredith (Roosevelt Hicks) made his Court Theatre debut in Blues for an Alabama Sky. Broadway: Superior Donuts. National Tour: three years as Mafala Hatimbi with Book of Mormon. Chicago credits: The Crucible, Carter’s Way, The Tempest, Clybourne Park, The Pain and The Itch, Superior Donuts, The Hot L Baltimore, The March, and Between Riverside and Crazy (Steppenwolf, ensemble member); Othello, Much Ado About Nothing, King John, Julius Caesar, The Merchant of Venice, and Measure for Measure (Chicago Shakespeare); Othello and The Duchess of Malfi (Writers); and Roz and Ray (Victory Gardens). TV credits: Prison Break, Chicago Code, Detroit 187, ER, BOSS, The Beast, Betrayal, Mob Doctor, Law and Order: SVU, The Exorcist, and Chicago Justice.

alfred h. wilson (Elder Joseph Barlow) has appeared at Court Theatre in Agamemnon, Gem of the Ocean, Waiting for Godot, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, and The Piano Lesson. Other credits include Holloway in Two Trains Running (Goodman Theatre); Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (University of Wisconsin–Madison); The Exonerated (Next Act Theatre); Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Actor’s Theatre of Louisville and Milwaukee Rep); The Etiquette of Vigilance (Steppenwolf); Two Trains Running (Geva Theatre); “Master Harold”…and the Boys (TimeLine); Gem of the Ocean and Radio Golf (Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati);  Radio Golf (Pittsburgh Public Theatre); Bourbon at the Border (Eclipse Theatre); Jitney and Two Trains Running (Jeff Citation–Best Actor, Pegasus Players); and Panther Burn (MPAACT. He was a co-founder of Onyx Theatre Ensemble.

Dates:
Previews: August 30 – September 7, 2018


Press Opening: Saturday, September 8, 2018 at 7:30pm
Regular Run:  September 9 – 30, 2018

Schedule:
Wed/Thurs/Fri:7:30 p.m.
Sat/Sun: 2:00 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.

Location: Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis Ave.

Tickets: $38-$56 previews
$50-$74 regular run

Box Office: Located at 5535 S. Ellis Avenue, Chicago; (773) 753-4472 or www.CourtTheatre.org.

Parking: Free parking is available in the parking garage on the corner of 55th Street and Ellis Avenue. 

Radio Golf is sponsored by Allstate Insurance Company and The Joyce Foundation.



Court Theatre is guided by its mission to discover the power of classic theatre. Court endeavors to make a lasting contribution to American theatre by expanding the canon of translations, adaptations, and classic texts. Court revives lost masterpieces, illuminates familiar texts, and distinguishes fresh, modern classics. Court engages and inspires its audience by providing artistically distinguished productions, audience enrichment activities, and student educational experiences.

Monday, April 23, 2018

OPENING: World Premiere of Brett Neveu's To Catch A Fish Via Timeline Theatre 4/25-7/1/18

Chi IL Live Shows On Our Radar:

TIMELINE THEATRE COMPANY PRESENTS 
WORLD PREMIERE OF BRETT NEVEU'S 
TO CATCH A FISH, 
DIRECTED BY RON OJ PARSON, APRIL 25 - JULY 1


Here at ChiIL Live Shows, we're beyond excited to catch this world premiere. Brett Neveu and Ron OJ Parson are long time Chicago favorites of ours in writing and directing respectively. I'll be ChiILin' with Chi, IL's acclaimed Timeline Theatre for the press opening on May 2nd so check back soon for my full review. 


Inspired by true events, this compelling new play is the first to be produced that was written and developed through TimeLine's Playwright Collective

TimeLine Theatre Company announces casting and other details for the world premiere of TO CATCH A FISH by Brett Neveu, directed by Ron OJ Parson, May 3 – July 1, 2018 (previews 4/25 – 5/2) at TimeLine Theatre, 615 W. Wellington Ave., Chicago. For tickets and information, visit timelinetheatre.com or call (773) 281-8463 x6.

Inspired by true events, this compelling new play takes you inside a flawed search for justice that walks the line between good intentions and deceit, testing the bonds of family and community. In a low-income, residential neighborhood of Milwaukee, Terry Kilbourn has just begun a new job passing out flyers for a discount warehouse. When his bosses start asking more of him, the stakes rise quickly and his loved ones begin to question what is really going on. This play’s vibrant mix of family, romance, and danger swirls with mysteries about who to trust and what to believe. And its story confronts society’s fluid definition of justice—and the truth about who is allowed to benefit from it.

This world premiere play was developed through TimeLine’s Playwrights Collective, launched in 2013 to support Chicago-based playwrights in residence and create new work centered on TimeLine’s mission of presenting plays inspired by history that connect to today’s social and political issues. TO CATCH A FISH—the first play developed through the Collective to receive a full production—is inspired by headlines in Milwaukee and around the country about the conflict between intention versus implementation in law enforcement, and how often one may in fact run counter to the other.

“I get interviewed a lot and they ask, ‘what excites you about theatre right now?’” said director Ron OJ Parson. “And it’s doing new work, especially plays that are inspired by real events. In the climate we are living in today, we need to tell these stories to give people an idea that this stuff really happens—and people need to know about it. Theatre is active. And we are activists when we do it.”

Chicago-based playwright Brett Neveu is an alumnus of TimeLine’s Playwright’s Collective (2013-2016), and his play HARMLESS received its world premiere at TimeLine in 2007. A prolific writer who has been widely produced around Chicago and beyond, Neveu is particularly known for his work with A Red Orchid Theatre, where he is an Ensemble Member. Recent plays include TRAITOR, HER AMERICA, PILGRIM’S PROGRESS, DETECTIVE PARTNER HERO VILLAIN, and THE OPPONENT.

“It’s been a great conversation with TimeLine,” said Neveu. “Part of the research was meeting the Milwaukee journalists who reported a specific story there, meeting the subject of their story and hearing what happened to him, touring the city and going to the locations where this stuff took place. That deepened my involvement, my desire to get right a story inspired by these events, my connection to TimeLine and its mission.”

“We are thrilled to have TO CATCH A FISH in our 21st season after nurturing the play’s inception and development over the past few years as part of our Playwright’s Collective,” said TimeLine Artistic Director PJ Powers. “Under the leadership of Literary Manager Ben Thiem, the Playwright’s Collective is furthering our commitment to Chicago writers and to the creation of provocative new work inspired by history. This is the first of many more scripts that TimeLine audiences will see from this exciting new play incubator.”



TimeLine Theatre’s world premiere of TO CATCH A FISH by Brett Neveu (from left), directed by Ron OJ Parson, will feature Tiffany Addison, Linda Bright Clay, Al’Jaleel McGhee, Geno Walker, Stephen Walker, AnJi White, and Jay Worthington. 

The cast of TO CATCH A FISH (listed with pronouns each uses) features Linda Bright Clay (she/her) as Brenda Cameron; AnJi White (she/her) as Regina “G” Whitnall; Jay Worthington (he/him) as Ike Jeno; Tiffany Addison (she/her) as Rochelle Walker; Al’Jaleel McGhee (he/him) as Dontre Cameron; Geno Walker (he/him) as Terry Kilbourn; and Stephen Walker (he/him) as Dex Farwell.

The production team for TO CATCH A FISH includes Regina García (Scenic Designer, she/her); Christine Pascual (Costume Designer, she/her); Mike Durst (Lighting Designer, he/him); David Kelepha Samba (Sound Designer, he/him), Vivian Knouse (Properties Designer, she/her); Matt Hawkins (Fight Director/Intimacy Choreographer, he/him); Kristiana Rae Colón (Assistant Director, she/her); Gabriella Welsh (Production Assistant, she/her); Dina Spoerl (Lobby Designer, she/her); Regina Victor (Co-Dramaturg, they/them); Tanya Palmer (Co-Dramaturg, she/her); and Amalie Vega (Stage Manager, she/her).

PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE/EVENTS 
PREVIEWS: Wednesday 4/25 through Saturday 4/28 at 8 p.m.; Sunday 4/29 at 2 p.m.; Tuesday 5/1 and Wednesday 5/2 at 7:30 p.m.
PRESS NIGHT: Wednesday 5/2 at 7:30 p.m.
OPENING NIGHT: Thursday 5/3 at 7:30 p.m.
REGULAR RUN, through July 1: Tuesday (6/19 only), Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m.; Friday at 8 p.m.; Saturday at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. (except no performance 5/5 at 4 p.m.); and Sunday at 2 p.m. (except no performance 6/24).

DISCUSSION & ACCESSIBILITY EVENTS:
— Post-Show Discussion: A brief, informal post-show discussion hosted by a TimeLine Company Member and featuring the production dramaturg and members of the cast on Wednesday 5/9, Thursday 5/17, Wednesday 5/23, Thursday 5/31, Wednesday 6/6, and Thursday 6/21.
— Pre-Show Discussions: Starting one hour before these performances, a 30-minute introductory conversation hosted by a TimeLine Company Member and the production dramaturg with members of the production team on Sunday 6/3 and Thursday 6/14.
— Captioned Performance: An open-captioned performance with a text display of words and sounds heard during the performance on Saturday 6/2 at 4 p.m. Partial support of open captioning is provided by Theatre Development Fund.
— Company Member Discussion: A post-show discussion with the collaborative team of artists who choose TimeLine’s programming and guide the company’s mission on Sunday 5/20.
— Sunday Scholars Panel Discussion: A one-hour post-show discussion featuring experts on the themes and issues of the play on Sunday 6/10.
All discussions are free and open to the public. For further details about all planned discussions and events, visit timelinetheatre.com.

SPONSORS
TimeLine's world premiere of TO CATCH A FISH is supported in part by The Pauls Foundation, with additional support provided by the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation.

BUYING TICKETS
Single ticket prices are $40 (Wednesday through Friday), $49 (Saturday evenings) and $54 (Saturday and Sunday matinees). Preview tickets are $25. Student discount is 35% off regular price with valid ID. TimeLine is also a member of TCG’s Blue Star Theatre Program and is offering $25 tickets to U.S. military personnel, veterans, first responders, and their spouses and family.
Discounted rates for groups of 10 or more are available. Ticket buyers age 18-35 may join TimeLine’s free MyLine program to obtain access to discounted tickets, special events and more. Visit timelinetheatre.com/discounts for more about Blue Star, MyLine and other available discounts.
Advance purchase is recommended as performances may sell out. For tickets and information, visit timelinetheatre.com or call the Box Office at (773) 281-8463 x6.

LOCATION/TRANSPORTATION/PARKING
TO CATCH A FISH will take place at TimeLine Theatre, 615 W. Wellington Ave., Chicago. TimeLine Theatre is located near the corner of Wellington and Broadway, inside the Wellington Avenue United Church of Christ building, in Chicago’s Lakeview East neighborhood.

The location is served by multiple CTA trains and buses. TimeLine offers discounted parking at the Standard Parking garages at Broadway Center ($8 with validation; 2846 N. Broadway, at Surf) or the Century Mall ($9 with validation; 2836 N. Clark), with other paid parking options nearby, plus limited free and metered street parking.

ACCESSIBILITY
TimeLine Theatre is accessible to people with disabilities. Two wheelchair lifts provide access from street level to the theatre space and to lower-level restrooms. Audience members using wheelchairs or who need to avoid stairs, and others with special seating or accessibility needs should contact the TimeLine Box Office in advance to confirm arrangements. See DISCUSSION & ACCESSIBILITY EVENTS above for information about the open-captioned performance for patrons who are deaf or hard of hearing.



BIOGRAPHIES
Brett Neveu (Playwright) is an alumnus of TimeLine’s Playwright’s Collective (2013-2016), and his play HARMLESS received its world premiere at TimeLine in 2007. Recent theatre productions include TRAITOR and PILGRIM’S PROGRESS (A Red Orchid Theatre), HER AMERICA (The Greenhouse Theatre), RED BUD (Signal Ensemble), and THE OPPONENT (Red Orchid; Bisno Productions; and 59e59, New York). A Sundance Institute Ucross Fellow, Neveu is also a recipient of the Marquee Award from Chicago Dramatists, the Ofner Prize for New Work, the Emerging Artist Award from The League of Chicago Theatres, an After Dark Award for Outstanding Musical (OLD TOWN), and has worked with companies including The Atlantic Theatre Company and The New Group in New York, The Royal Shakespeare Company and The Royal Court in London, and The Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, and Writers Theatre in Chicago. He is a resident-alum of Chicago Dramatists, a proud ensemble member of A Red Orchid Theatre, and an alumni member of the Center Theatre Group’s Playwrights’ Workshop in Los Angeles. Neveu has taught writing at DePaul University and The Second City Training Center and currently teaches at Northwestern University. A native of Newton, Iowa, Neveu has a BA degree in Acting and Playwriting from University of Iowa and has an MFA degree in Playwriting from Spalding University.

Ron OJ Parson (Director) is a Company Member of TimeLine, where he previously directed A RAISIN IN THE SUN, SUNSET BABY, and PARADISE BLUE, and will direct Jiréh Breon Holder’s TOO HEAVY FOR YOUR POCKET in the upcoming 2018-19 season. Other recent directing credits include FIVE GUYS NAMED MOE at Court Theatre and SKELETON CREW by Dominique Morisseau at Northlight Theatre. He is a native of Buffalo, New York, and a graduate of the University of Michigan's professional theatre program. He is the co-founder and former Artistic Director of Onyx Theatre Ensemble of Chicago. Parson is a Resident Artist at Court Theatre and an Associate Artist with Teatro Vista and Writers Theatre. Since moving to Chicago from New York in 1994, he has worked as an actor, director, and voiceover artist. His Chicago credits include work with The Chicago Theatre Company, Victory Gardens, Goodman, Steppenwolf, Chicago Dramatists, Northlight, Court, Black Ensemble Theatre, Congo Square, Northlight, Urban Theatre Company, City Lit, ETA Creative Arts, and Writers. Regionally, Ron has worked with Studio Arena Theatre, Alliance Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Milwaukee Repertory, South Coast Repertory, Pasadena Playhouse, Geva Theatre, Virginia Stage, Roundabout Theatre, Wilshire Theatre, The Mechanic Theatre, CenterStage, St. Louis Black Repertory, Pittsburgh Public Theater, Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre, Signature Theatre (New York), Portland Stage, and Kansas City Repertory Theatre, among others. In Canada, he directed the world premiere of PALMER PARK by Joanna McClelland Glass at the Stratford Festival. Acting credits on television and film include ER, CHICAGO P.D., EARLY EDITION, TURKS, AMERICAN PLAYHOUSE, VAMPING, BARBERSHOP 2, PRIMAL FEAR, DROP SQUAD, and BOSS. He is a member of AEA, SAGAFTRA, and SDC. 



ABOUT TIMELINE THEATRE COMPANY
TimeLine Theatre Company, recipient of the prestigious 2016 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions, was founded in April 1997 with a mission to present stories inspired by history that connect with today's social and political issues. To date over 21 seasons, TimeLine has presented 75 productions, including 10 world premieres and 33 Chicago premieres, and launched the Living History Education Program, now in its 11th year of bringing the company's mission to life for students in Chicago Public Schools. Recipient of the Alford-Axelson Award for Nonprofit Managerial Excellence and the Richard Goodman Strategic Planning Award from the Association for Strategic Planning, TimeLine has received 54 Jeff Awards, including an award for Outstanding Production 11 times.

TimeLine is led by Artistic Director PJ Powers, Managing Director Elizabeth K. Auman, and Board President Eileen LaCario. Company members are Nick Bowling, Janet Ulrich Brooks, Behzad Dabu, Lara Goetsch, Juliet Hart, Mildred Marie Langford, Mechelle Moe, David Parkes, Ron OJ Parson, PJ Powers, Maren Robinson, and Benjamin Thiem.

Major corporate, government and foundation supporters of TimeLine Theatre include Alphawood Foundation, Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, Bayless Family Foundation, The Chicago Community Trust, The Crown Family, The Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Science & Technology Project, Forum Fund, The Joseph and Bessie Feinberg Foundation, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, Illinois Arts Council Agency, Laughing Acres Family Foundation, A.L. and Jennie L. Luria Foundation, MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince, the National Endowment for the Arts, The Pauls Foundation, Polk Bros. Foundation, and The Shubert Foundation.
TimeLine is a member of the League of Chicago Theatres, Theatre Communications Group, Choose Chicago, Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce, Chicago Green Theatre Alliance, and Chicago’s Belmont Theater District.

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