Goodman Theatre proudly announces the casts for its Chicago premiere of the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Sweat by Lynn Nottage, directed by Ron OJ Parson, as well as its world premiere of Lottery Day—Ike Holter’s final work in his seven-play “The Rightlynd Saga,” directed by Lili-Anne Brown. Tickets are now available for both productions at GoodmanTheatre.org, by telephone 312.443.3800 or at the box office (170 N. Dearborn). The Goodman is grateful for the support of its sponsors: for Sweat, American Airlines and JPMorgan Chase & Co. are Major Corporate Sponsors; ComEd is the Official Lighting Sponsor; Conagra Brands Foundation is the Production Sponsor; and ITW is the Corporate Sponsor Partner. For Lottery Day, Laurents/Hatcher Foundation is the Institutional Partner.
By Lynn Nottage
Directed by Ron OJ Parson
Sweat marks the fourth Nottage play to be produced at the Goodman, following Crumbs from the Table of Joy (2006), Ruined (a 2008 world-premiere Goodman commission that earned the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Drama) and By the Way, Meet Vera Stark (2013). A group of friends in a Rust Belt town has spent their lives sharing secrets and laughs on the factory floor. But when layoffs begin to chip away at their trust, they’re pitted against each other in a heart-wrenching fight in this collision of race, class and friendship at a pivotal moment in America. The creative team includes Kevin Depinet (Set Design), Mara Blumenfeld (Costume Design), Keith Parham (Lighting Design) and Richard Woodbury (Sound Design). Alden Vasquez is the Production Stage Manager.
By Ike Holter
Directed by Lili-Anne Brown
Mallory………....J. Nicole Brooks
Avery…………...James Vincent Meredith
“Thrilling Chicago writer” (Chicago Tribune) Holter concludes his acclaimed seven-play cycle, "The Rightlynd Saga,” by assembling his vibrant characters for a raucous theatrical bash. Long the matriarch of a quickly gentrifying neighborhood, Mallory invites the lonely residents, hardcore activists and starving artists of her block to what she hopes will go down as a legendary barbeque—thanks to a special surprise. But her mysterious plan to revitalize her community may be the very thing that tears it apart. Centering on a fictitious Chicago ward, Holter’s seven-play cycle also includes plays Red Rex (on stage through March 16 at Steep Theatre), Rightlynd, Exit Strategy, Sender, Prowess and The Wolf at the End of the Block. The creative team includes Arnel Sancianco (Set Design), Samantha C. Jones (Costume Design), Jason Lynch (Lighting Design) and Andre Pluess (Sound Design). Nikki Blue is the Production Stage Manager.
ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHTS AND DIRECTORS
Lynn Nottage (Playwright, Sweat) is the first woman in history to win two Pulitzer Prizes for Drama. Her plays have been produced widely in the United States and throughout the world. Sweat (Pulitzer Prize, Obie Award, Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, Tony Award nomination, Drama Desk Award nomination) moved to Broadway after a sold-out run at The Public Theater. It premiered and was commissioned by Oregon Shakespeare Festival American Revolutions History Cycle/Arena Stage. Her other plays include By The Way, Meet Vera Stark (Lilly Award, Drama Desk Nomination), Ruined (Pulitzer Prize, OBIE, Lucille Lortel, New York Drama Critics’ Circle, Audelco, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards), Intimate Apparel (American Theatre Critics and New York Drama Critics’ Circle Awards for Best Play), Fabulation, or The Re-Education of Undine (OBIE Award), Crumbs from the Table of Joy, Las Meninas, Mud, River, Ston, Por’knockers and POOF! In addition, she is working with composer Ricky Ian Gordon on adapting her play Intimate Apparel into an opera (commissioned by The Metropolitan Opera/Lincoln Center Theater). She is also developing This is Reading, a performance installation based on two years of interviews, which opened at the Franklin Street, Reading Railroad Station in Reading, PA in July 2017. She is the co-founder of the production company Market Road Films, whose most recent projects include The Notorious Mr. Bout directed by Tony Gerber and Maxim Pozdorovkin (premiere at Sundance Film Festival 2014), First to Fall directed by Rachel Beth Anderson (premiere at International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, 2013) and Remote Control (premiere at Busan International Film Festival 2013, New Currents Award). She has also developed original projects for HBO, Sidney Kimmel Entertainment, Showtime, This is That and Harpo. She is writer/producer on the Netflix series She's Gotta Have It directed by Spike Lee. Nottage is the recipient of a MacArthur "Genius Grant" Fellowship, Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award, PEN/Laura Pels Master Playwright Award, Arts and Letters Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Columbia University Provost Grant, Doris Duke Artist Award, The Joyce Foundation Commission Project & Grant, Madge Evans and Sidney Kingsley Award, Nelson A. Rockefeller Award for Creativity, The Dramatists Guild Hull-Warriner Award, the inaugural Horton Foote Prize, Helen Hayes Award, the Lee Reynolds Award and the Jewish World Watch iWitness Award. She is a graduate of Brown University and the Yale School of Drama.
Ron OJ Parson (Director, Sweat) returns to Goodman Theatre, where he previously directed Let Me Live. As an actor, he last appeared at the Goodman in Romance. He is a resident artist at Court Theatre, and former co-founder and artistic director of The Onyx Theatre Ensemble. Recent directing credits include Skeleton Crew and Detroit 67 at Northlight Theatre; Fences at Kansas City Repertory Theatre; Five Guys Named Moe, Gem of the Ocean, Seven Guitars, The Mountaintop and Waiting For Godot at Court Theatre; East Texas Hot Links at Writers Theatre (where he is an associate artist); Paradise Blue, A Raisin in the Sun and Sunset Baby at TimeLine Theatre Company (where he is an associate artist), Apt. 3 A at Windy City Playhouse and The Who & The What at Victory Gardens Theater. Additional Chicago credits include Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Black Ensemble Theater, ETA Creative Arts, Congo Square Theatre Company, Teatro Vista (where he is an associate artist), Chicago Dramatists, UrbanTheater Company, Chicago Theatre Company, American Blues Theater and City Lit Theater. Regional and New York credits include Virginia Stage Company, Paul Robeson Theatre, Portland Stage, Studio Theatre, Studio Arena Theatre, Roundabout Theatre Company, Morris A. Mechanic Theatre, Baltimore Center Stage, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, The St. Louis Black Repertory, Pittsburgh Public Theater, Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company, Geva Theatre Center, Signature Theatre (New York), Alliance Theatre, South Coast Repertory and Pasadena Playhouse. In Canada, he directed the world premiere of Palmer Park at the Stratford Festival. Parson is a member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA and SDC. Parson hails from Buffalo, New York and is a graduate of the University of Michigan’s professional theater program. RonojParson.com
Ike Holter (Playwright, Lottery Day) is a 2017 winner of the Windham-Campbell Prize, one of the highest awards for playwriting in the world. Holter is a resident playwright at Victory Gardens Theater, and has been commissioned by The Kennedy Center, The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, South Coast Repertory and The Playwrights’ Center. His work has been produced at the Steppenwolf Garage, The Philadelphia Theater Company, off-Broadway at Barrow Street Theatre and Cherry Lane Theatre, The Lily Tomlin Center in Los Angeles, True Colors in Atlanta, Forward Theater in Wisconsin, Water Tower Theater in Dallas, 3oaks in Michigan and Jackalope Theatre Company, Teatro Vista, A Red Orchid and The Inconvenience in Chicago. He is the artistic director of The Roustabouts and is a regular performer at Salonathon in Chicago.
Lili-Anne Brown (Director, Lottery Day) is a native Chicagoan who works as a director, actor and educator, both locally and regionally. She is the former artistic director of Bailiwick Chicago, where she directed Dessa Rose (Jeff Award), Passing Strange (BTA Award and Jeff nomination for Best Director of a Musical), See What I Wanna See (Steppenwolf Theatre Garage Rep) and the world premiere of Princess Mary Demands Your Attention by Aaron Holland. Other directing credits include The Wolf at the End of the Block (16th Street Theatre), Marie Christine (Boho Theatre), Peter and the Starcatcher (Metropolis Performing Arts), The Wiz (Kokandy Productions), Xanadu (American Theatre Company), Jabari Dreams of Freedom by Nambi E. Kelley (Chicago Children’s Theatre), American Idiot (Northwestern University); the national tour of Jesus Snatched My Edges; and Little Shop of Horrors, Hairspray, Unnecessary Farce, Cabaret, Sweet Charity, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story at Timber Lake Playhouse. She is a member of SDC, SAG-AFTRA and a graduate of Northwestern University.
ABOUT GOODMAN THEATRE
AMERICA’S “BEST REGIONAL THEATRE” (Time magazine), Goodman Theatre is a premier not-for-profit organization distinguished by the excellence and scope of its artistic programming and civic engagement. Led by Artistic Director Robert Falls and Executive Director Roche Schulfer, the theater’s artistic priorities include new play development (more than 150 world or American premieres), large scale musical theater works and reimagined classics (celebrated revivals include Falls’ productions of Death of a Salesman and The Iceman Cometh). Goodman Theatre artists and productions have earned two Pulitzer Prizes, 22 Tony Awards, over 160 Jeff Awards and many more accolades. In addition, the Goodman is the first theater in the world to produce all 10 plays in August Wilson’s “American Century Cycle;” and its annual holiday tradition A Christmas Carol, which marks its 41st production this season, has created a new generation of theatergoers. The Goodman also frequently serves as a production partner with local off-Loop theaters and national and international companies by providing financial support or physical space for a variety of artistic endeavors.
Committed to three core values of Quality, Diversity and Community, the Goodman proactively makes inclusion the fabric of the institution and develops education and community engagement programs that support arts as education. This practice uses the process of artistic creation to inspire and empower youth, lifelong learners and audiences to find and/or enhance their voices, stories and abilities. The Goodman’s Alice Rapoport Center for Education and Engagement is the home of such programming, most offered free of charge, and has vastly expanded the theater’s ability to touch the lives of Chicagoland citizens (with 85% of youth participants coming from underserved communities) since its 2016 opening.
Goodman Theatre was founded by William O. Goodman and his family in honor of their son Kenneth, an important figure in Chicago’s cultural renaissance in the early 1900s. The Goodman family’s legacy lives on through the continued work and dedication of Kenneth’s family, including Albert Ivar Goodman, who with his late mother, Edith-Marie Appleton, contributed the necessary funds for the creation of the new Goodman center in 2000.
Today, Goodman Theatre leadership also includes the distinguished members of the Artistic Collective: Brian Dennehy, Rebecca Gilman, Henry Godinez, Dael Orlandersmith, Steve Scott, Chuck Smith, Regina Taylor, Henry Wishcamper and Mary Zimmerman. David W. Fox, Jr. is Chair of Goodman Theatre’s Board of Trustees, Denise Stefan Ginascol is Women’s Board President and Megan McCarthy Hayes is President of the Scenemakers Board for young professionals.