Cast and production team were announced today for Promethean Theatre Ensemble’s Joint World Premiere production BLISS (OR EMILY POST IS DEAD!) by Jami Brandli. Promethean’s staging, to be directed by Anna Bahow, is part of a rolling world premiere for the play, along with San Diego’s Moxie Theatre and Los Angeles’s Moving Arts at Atwater Village Theatre. BLISS (OR EMILY POST IS DEAD!) is a dramedy in which four women of Greek tragedy – Clytemnestra, Medea, Antigone, and Cassandra – become New Jersey neighbors in the year 1960. The SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE called it “a hilarious, sharply written and fast-paced comedy-drama.”
Director Bahow, an Associate Artist with The International Voices Project and Chicago Dramatists and the 2011-2012 Michael Maggio Directing Fellow at Goodman Theatre, announced her cast today. Ensemble member Jamie Bragg, who starred as Oscar Wilde in Promethean’s GROSS INDECENCY: THE THREE TRAILS OF OSCAR WILDE and appeared with the company this season in THE MADWOMAN OF CHAILLOT and MARISOL, will play Clementine, a character inspired by Clytemnestra. Maddie (a modern-day Medea) will be played by Alice Wu, who recently appeared in THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH as Ivy with Remy Bumppo and performed with Actor’s Theatre of Louisville.; Antonia (Antigone) will be Kellen Marie, who appeared in SIR GAWAIN AND THE GREEN KNIGHT for Pearl Poet and played Sally Bowles in CABARET at the Dunes Summer Theatre in Michigan City, Indiana. Cassandra will be played by Kaci Antkiwicz, who recently played Anita in WEST SIDE STORY for The Drama Group. The lone male actor of the cast will be ensemble member Jared Dennis, who will play the dual roles of Apollo and Dr. Smith. Dennis was Richard in THE LION IN WINTER and the Nasty and Interesting Man in EURYDICE, both for Promethean. Ensemble member Anne Lentino will understudy Clementine.
The production team will include ensemble members Jeremiah Barr (Set Designer), Brendan Hutt, (Violence Designer), Nicole Hand (Assistant Director/Dramaturg) and Alexa Berkowitz (Stage Manager); along with Stefanie Sajib Johnsen (Costume Designer) and Rachel Watson (Properties Designer). Brian Pastor is Artistic Director for Promethean Ensemble Theatre. BLISS (OR EMILY POST IS DEAD!) will play the Atheneaum Theatre’s Studio One at 2936 N. Southport, from July 21 – August 25, 2018. Press opening will be Saturday, July 28 at 7:30 pm.
In BLISS (OR EMILY POST IS DEAD!), it's 1960 in North Orange, NJ. Clementine (Clytemnestra) and Maddie (Medea) are now housewives with a pill addiction, and Antonia (Antigone) is the teenage girl next door who is in love with a black boy. On the surface, they're seemingly blissful to follow the "rules” of Emily Post, the American author famous for writing on etiquette. But that's just the surface. Then Cassandra, a working girl, moves into their neighborhood and all routines are interrupted. Cassandra is determined to finally break the curse of Apollo, the gorgeous and egotistical god who gave her this “gift” of prophecy but made it so no one would ever believe her. He makes it clear his curse is practically indestructible: yet all she must do is convince someone to believe her. Can Cassandra convince them they now have a choice in this modern era? That they don't have to live a doomed existence? Can all four women escape their ongoing fate?
Jami Brandli (Playwright): Brandli’s plays also include TECHNICOLOR LIFE, S.O.E., M-THEORY, ¡SOLDADERA!, SISTERS THREE, THROUGH THE EYE OF A NEEDLE and MEDUSA’S SONG. Her short plays are published with Smith & Kraus. Her work has been produced and developed at New Dramatists, WordBRIDGE, The Lark, New York Theatre Workshop, Great Plains Theatre Conference, The Aurora Theatre Company, Launch Pad, The Anteus Company, ChalkRep, Milwaukee Rep, Rogue Machine Theatre, among other venues. BLISS (OR EMILY POST IS DEAD!) was named in The Kilroy’s THE LIST, which highlights the 46 most recommended new female-authored plays for 2014. A proud member of the Playwrights Union and Moving Arts, Jami teaches dramatic writing at Lesley University’s low-residency MFA and is represented by the Robert A. Freedman Agency and Fourth Wall Management and is currently developing a TV project with Quaker Moving Pictures.
Anna Bahow (Director): Committed to the development of new work and a diversity of voices, Bahow is an Associate Artist with The International Voices Project and Chicago Dramatists. She served as the 2011-2012 Michael Maggio Directing Fellow at Goodman Theatre. Her productions have received JEFF Awards for New Work and Use of Multi-Media. Bahow's work has appeared on many best of the year lists including 2013's INVASION! for Silk Road Rising. In 2016 she developed ZIRYAB with writer, musician and actor Ronnie Malley for Silk Road Rising. She also traveled to Italy to study with master directors at La Mama Umbria with a grant from the City of Chicago and directed and traveled with MY SWEET LAND, by Amir Nizar Zuabi, for Silk Road Rising, which was presented at London's Nour Festival in 2016, Toronto's Aga Khan Museum and in Vancouver spring 2017. She is a recipient of a 2017 3ARTS WAVE Grant and a 2018 City of Chicago Individual Artist Grant and was a finalist for SDCF 2018 Kurt Weill Fellowship. More about her work at AnnaBahow.com
BLISS (OR EMILY POST IS DEAD!)
by Jami Brandli
directed by Anna Bahow
Athenaeum Studio 1
2936 N. Southport Ave., Chicago
July 21-August 25, 2018
Performances Thursdays-Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 2 pm
Previews Saturday, July 21 – Friday, July 27
Press opening Saturday, July 28 at 7:30 pm
Regular run July 29 through August 25, 2018
Tickets: General $27.00, Seniors (65+) $22.00, Students/Children $17.00
Available at www.athenaeumtheatre.org or by phone at 773-935-6875.
More information at www.prometheantheatre.org
our most recent top picks
Blue Man Group ★★★