First Floor Theater is pleased to launch its seventh season with the Chicago premiere of Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm’s wild, social commentary HOODED, OR BEING BLACK FOR DUMMIES, directed by Mikael Burke, playing October 20 – November 17, 2018 at FFT’s resident home, The Den Theatre (2B), 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago. Tickets are currently available at firstfloortheater.com.
HOODED, OR BEING BLACK FOR DUMMIES will feature Company Member Andrew Cutler with Jalen Gilbert, Caroline Hendricks, Jayson Lee, Lauren Pizzi Montgomery, Casey Morris, Brian Nelson Jr. and Maggie Scrantom.
Marquis and Tru are both fourteen year old black boys, but they exist in two totally different worlds. Marquis is a book smart prep-schooler living in the affluent suburb of Achievement Heights; while Tru is a street savvy kid from deep within the inner city of Baltimore. Their worlds overlap one day in a holding cell. Tru decides that Marquis has lost his “blackness” and pens a how-to manual entitled “Being Black for Dummies.” He assumes the role of professor, but Marquis proves to be a reluctant pupil. They butt heads, debate, wrestle and ultimately prove that Nietzsche and 2pac were basically saying the same thing.
The production team for HOODED, OR BEING BLACK FOR DUMMIES includes Sotirios Livaditis (scenic design), Olivia Engobor (costume design), Eric Watkins (lighting design), Grover Holloway (sound design), Jennifer Wenau (properties design), Sid Branca (video and projections design) and Kayla Menz (stage manager).
Title: HOODED, OR BEING BLACK FOR DUMMIES
Playwright: Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm
Director: Mikael Burke
Cast: (in alphabetical order) Company Member Andrew Cutler (Fielder, et al.) with Jalen Gilbert (Tru), Caroline Hendricks (Clementine), Jayson Lee (Marquis), Lauren Pizzi Montgomery (Prairie, et al.), Casey Morris (Hunter, et al.), Brian Nelson Jr (Officer Borzoi, et al.) and Maggie Scrantom (Meadow).
Location: The Den Theatre (2B), 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago
Dates: Previews: Saturday, October 20 at 7:30 pm, Sunday, October 21 at 3 pm and Tuesday, October 23 at 7:30 pm
Press Performance: Wednesday, October 24 at 7:30 pm
Regular Run: Friday, October 26 – Saturday, November 17, 2018
Curtain Times: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm; Sundays at 3 pm. Please note: There will be an added 3 pm performance on Saturday, November 17.
Industry Nights: Monday, October 29 at 7:30 pm and Monday, November 12 at 7:30 pm.
Tickets: Previews: $8. Regular Run: $25. Students $20. Tickets are currently available at firstfloortheater.com.
About the Artists
Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm’s (Playwright) plays include Hooded, Or Being Black for Dummies (Helen Hayes winner: Charles MacArthur Award), Br’er Cotton (NNPN Rolling World Premiere, Theatre 503), PYG (upcoming at Studio Theatre; Magic Theater’s Virgin Play Festival), Anacostia Street Lions (Pacific Playwrights Festival) and Black Lady Authority (Sundance Theater Lab). Tearrance received the 13th Smith Prize for Political Theater, a commission through NNPN that encourages emerging playwrights to tackle the pressing issues of our times. He will use the commission to write an adaptation of Uncle Vanya through a gentrification lens. Tearrance was a finalist for the Inaugural Relentless Award. He received two 2016 National KCACTF awards, the Rosa Parks Playwriting Award and the Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award. Tearrance just completed the Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program at Julliard, and holds an MFA from Catholic University of America. He is a Sundance Institute and Time Warner Foundation Fellow and a 2050 Fellow at NYTW.
Mikael Burke (Director) is a Chicago-based director, deviser and educator. A Princess Grace Award winner and graduate of The Theatre School at DePaul University (MFA Directing), Mikael most recently worked with About Face Theatre, American Theatre Company and Strawdog Theatre Company in Chicago, and regionally with Asolo Repertory Theatre, GEVA Theatre Center and Indiana Repertory Theatre. He currently serves as the Artistic Fellow at Northlight Theatre and is a Directors Inclusion Initiative fellow at Victory Gardens Theater. Recent and upcoming credits include This Bitter Earth (About Face Theatre), Native Son (The Theatre School) and Stupid F##king Bird (National High School Institute).
About First Floor Theater
Founded in 2012, First Floor Theater stages stories of individuals facing moments of radical change. Through a process of collaborative dramaturgy, FFT expands these stories to ask urgent social questions. For more information on First Floor Theater, visit firstfloortheater.com.
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