Tale of the Lychee Woman
by Tsehaye Geralyn Hébert • directed by Ilesa Duncan
April 15, 2019 at 7pm
Green Line Arts Center • 329 E Garfield Blvd, Chicago, IL 60637
Free & Open to the public
Escaping high up the Lychee Woman’s branches, the giant tree in her grandmother’s yard, provides solace to twelve-almost-thirteen-year-old MNO Boucheron. Dougeut Boucheron wants to get his family resettled; his tour of duty in Vietnam started and finished. Evette wants to hang onto every moment with her husband until he returns. All Lynette, their rebellious daughter wants is to go to California and college as planned. Their matriarch’s health failing, their relocation plans scuttled, they are stuck in the small town they vowed never to return. As already fragile MNO’s world disintegrates, she becomes more and more a part of Miss Lychee.
Tale of the Lychee Woman explores war – the one fought in their tiny Civil Rights era town and the one fought in Vietnam. It explores secrets and the price we all pay when we choose to follow our paths.
by Sara Jean Accuardi • directed by Claire Reinhart
April 22, 2019 at 7pm
Vagabond School of the Arts • 4001 N Ravenswood Ave #504, Chicago, IL 60613
Free & Open to the public
17-year-old Randi has lived off the grid with her father on a decrepit houseboat for as long as she can remember. She knows not to question things, but though she’s been taught that the world of average people is fake, hollow, and brimming with things that will damage her spirit, she can’t help but yearn for what she sees in the glossy pages of the teen magazines she keeps carefully stashed away. When Spencer, a local college student, stumbles into Randi’s story, the narrative begins to change as long-hidden truths start to surface.
The Storyteller is a riff on The Tempest that explores the magic and power of the stories we tell ourselves.
by Josh Wilder • directed by Sydney Chatman
June 7 - 16, 2019
Athenaeum Theatre, Studio One • 2936 N Southport Ave, Chicago, IL 60657
Jalil and Kwamaine just want their family to be “Cosby Show happy,” but that kind of life doesn’t seem to be in the cards—until an enormous dandelion sprouts in front of their South Philly home and wishes start falling from the sky. Seizing the possibility of no longer feeling like the city's leftovers, the brothers begin to dream their way out of the cycle of poverty that has governed their lives, and find themselves on an adventure they never could have imagined.
Josh Wilder (Playwright) is a playwright from Philadelphia. His work has been developed and produced at various regional theaters and festivals across the country including The Fire This Time Festival, New York Theatre Workshop, True Colors Theatre Company, The Kennedy Center , Oregon Shakespeare Festival, 2015 O'Neill National Playwrights Conference, PlayPenn, Milwaukee Rep, Company One, and InterAct Theatre Company. Recent commissions include, LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST for Play On! at Oregon Shakespeare Festival; and SHE A GEM for The Kennedy Center. He is the recipient of the Holland New Voices Award, The Lorraine Hansberry Award, and an ASCAP Cole Porter Prize. Josh is a former 2014 Jerome Fellow and the first national recipient of the 2015 Jerome Many Voices Fellowship at The Playwrights’ Center. Josh has been in residence at The Royal Court Theatre in London; Sundance at UCross; and served as Co-Artistic Director at The Yale Cabaret for its 50th season. MFA: Yale School of Drama. Member of The Dramatist Guild.
Sydney Chatman (Director) is the 2019 Goodman Theatre Maggio Directing Fellow. Chatman is a director, educator, mentor, producer, writer, and founding director of The Tofu Chitlin’ Circuit featuring the self-pinned and directed award-winning play, Black Girls (Can) Fly!
Ms. Chatman is an African-American Arts Alliance Award and 3Arts Make a Wave winner. Her credits include: New York: Tony Nominated-The Trip to Bountiful and a directing fellow with the Lincoln Centers Director’s Lab. The Goodman Theatre: Associate Director for the World Premiere of How to Catch Creation, Assistant Director for Father Comes Home from the Wars Parts 1, 2, and 3, and Stage Management intern for Gem of the Ocean, Associate Director for The Last Wife (TimeLine Theatre Company), Assistant Director for Sunset Baby (TimeLine Theatre Company), Jitney (Court Theatre), St. James Infirmary (Congo Square Theatre Company), and Drip! (eta Creative Arts).
Rooted in her community, she passionately bridges the divide between the audience and the stage through creative theatrical performances and collaborations with the Adler Planetarium, Hyde Park Jazz Festival/Back Alley Jazz, The Reva and David Logan Center, Court Theatre and Victory Gardens Theatre.
In 2008 she created innovative programming called The A La Carte (a monthly thought-provoking theater discussion for South side audiences) and the Tuxedo Junction (community field trips to see plays and other artistic performances). She is a featured artist in Black Theater is Black Life; An Oral History of Black Theater in Chicago 1997-2000.
Chatman has been a theater leader; writing a theater directing blog, featured panelist at The Goodman Theatre and board member for the African-American Arts Alliance of Chicago. She is a community partner with the Green Line Performing Arts Center in the Washington Park neighborhood, an arts cohort member with the Community Program Accelerators with the University of Chicago. Sydney is also committed to servicing in her home town of Gary, Indiana as a committee member for the Gary International Black Film Festival.
Sydney has been a theater teacher for sixteen years, at the University of Chicago Charter School, where she writes and directs countless plays rooted in social justice and empowerment for the youth. Her arts integration has made her a mainstay in the arts education community and a unique voice in creating stories for Black children.
She is a champion for new work that seeks to support, challenge, empower, and make space for Black women and girls.
Earlier This Season:
Night of New Works: Reflections
In a cup of tea. In a bit of inclement weather. Something glimmering in a mirror. We encounter the most stunning and startling visions everyday. Our annual Night of New Works debuts 6 short plays by 6 playwrights, ready to show you a glimpse of yourself (or something else) you didn't expect...
October 16, 2018 at 7:30pm
The Edge Theater • 5451 North Broadway, Chicago, IL 60640
by J. Joseph Cox
directed by Heather Bodie
featuring Brian Huther and Justine C. Turner
by Maday Favela
directed by Debbie Baños
featuring Abigail Piñon, Dani Mauleon, Ricardo Melendez, and Cristy Calderon
LOOKS LIKE RAIN
by Maeli Goren
directed by Cary Shoda
featuring James Munson, Valentina Fittipaldi, Harmony Zhang, and Dwight Sora
by Nina Ki
directed by Cage Sebastian Pierre
featuring Dyllan Rodrigues-Miller, Kim Fukawa, Dwight Sora, and Ayana Strutz
by Nancy Garcia Loza
directed by Ana Velazquez
featuring Wendy Mateo, Ilse Zacharias, and Jazmín Corona
by Shannon Pritchard
directed by Claire Reinhart
featuring Alex Dauphin