Definition Theatre announces casting for the Chicago premiere of WHITE by newly-added ensemble member James Ijames, directed by Tasia A. Jones. WHITE will run from April 17 – May 24, 2020, with a press opening on Saturday, April 25 at 6:00pm. Definition Theatre presents WHITE in collaboration with Steppenwolf Theatre’s LookOut Series in the Steppenwolf 1700 Theatre. Tickets for WHITE are on sale and can be purchased online at steppenwolf.org or by calling 312-335-1650. The 1700 Theatre is located behind Front Bar at 1700 N Halsted.
The cast of WHITE features Ensemble Member Martaisa Jones (St. Diana), with Amira Danan (Vanessa), Niko Kourtis (Gus), Sarah Rachel Schol (Jane), and Nick Shoda (Tanner).
Gus is a painter expecting his big break with a prestigious contemporary art museum in 'The New America' exhibition. When he's told by the museum's new curator that "white dudes" aren't a part of New America, he enlists the help of Vanessa, a black actress, and together they create Balkonae Townsend, a bold, young radical artist to serve as the face of his work. But when things start to spiral out of control, Gus is left to deal with the mess he created, and Vanessa must come to terms with her own agency as an artist. Audacious and bitingly funny, WHITE, explores white privilege, racial politics and the fine line between appropriation and opportunity.
The WHITE production team includes Scott Penner (Scenic Designer), Sanja Manakoski (Costume Designer), Simean Carpenter (Lighting Designer), David Samba (Sound Designer), Sam Rosenfeld (Props Designer) and Maddie Martin (Production Manager). Additional credits include Jared Bellot (Dramaturg) and Ariel Beller (Assistant Stage Manager).
About Definition Theatre Company
Definition Theatre is a culturally diverse theater dedicated to telling language-driven, relationship-oriented, socially relevant stories about and created with underrepresented communities in Chicago. Our ensemble is a collective of artists, art administrators, educators, and designers who prioritize working towards and representing a more equitable theatre industry.
Deﬁnition has built its reputation on work that reﬂects its unique voice. It shared the words of Academy Award-Winner Tarell Alvin McCraney in The Brothers Size; it grooved with Amiri Baraka's whirlwind story of a chance meeting on a train in Dutchman; and staged its first world premiere production, Genesis, by Mercedes White and inspired by Lorraine Hansberry’s iconic masterwork A Raisin in the Sun. In partnership with, The New Colony staged the world premiere of Byhalia, Mississippi, which starred Academy Award nominee ensemble member Kiki Layne. In association with the Goodman Theatre, Definition staged the Chicago premiere of Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ An Octoroon, a subversive take on race in America that captivated audiences. Most recently, Definition sent us all to the moon with James Ijames’s Moon Man Walk and explored the challenges of America’s public-school system through Nilaja Sun’s No Child… and highlighted the first-generation experience in the World premiere of Sam Kebede’s ETHIOPIANAMERICA.
Ensemble members include Owais Ahmed, Jared Bellot, Carley Cornelius, Ari Craven, Danielle Davis, Martasia Jones, Slick Jorgensen, Kristy Hall, James Ijames, Kiki Layne, Maddie Martin, Kelson Michael McAuliffe, Neel McNeill, Sophiyaa Nayar, Alexandra Oparka, Julian Parker, Tyrone Phillips, Jacqueline Rosas, Christopher Sheard, Dujon Smith. Artistic Advisory Board members include director May Adrales, Steppenwolf ensemble member Alana Arenas, actress Shannon Cochran, Victory Gardens Theater Managing Director Erica Daniels, actor Brandon Dirden, actor Jason Dirden, Writers Theatre Artistic Director Michael Halberstam, director Pam Mackinnon, Equity Quotient CEO Keryl McCord, professor JW Morrissette, director Ron OJ Parson, professor/lighting designer Kathy Perkins, Tony Award-winning actress and stage director Phylicia Rashad, and Goodman Theatre director in residence Chuck Smith. Tyrone Phillips is the Artistic Director and Neel McNeill is the Executive Director. For additional information, visit definitiontheatre.org and facebook.com/definitiontheatrecompany #stayinit
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