By popular demand, Goodman Theatre adds five performances of Sweat by Lynn Nottage, directed by Ron OJ Parson—on stage through April 21. The Chicago premiere of Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play has been critically hailed as “potent, powerful (and) better than Broadway” (Chicago Tribune), “the most important work of art produced in the last five years" (Chicago Reader); ★★★★★ (out of five, Time Out Chicago), Sweat is “a fervent, clear-sighted examination of American dreams expiring in the Rust Belt” (Daily Herald) that "unfolds with thrilling clarity (and) resonates deeply into the present day" (Newcity) with an “ensemble in top form throughout” (Chicago Sun-Times). Sweat appears through April 21 in the Albert Theatre. Tickets ($30 - $80; subject to change) are available at Goodmantheatre.org/Sweat, by telephone at 312.443.3800 or at the box office (170 N. Dearborn). Support for Sweat is provided by Major Corporate Sponsors American Airlines and JPMorgan Chase & Co; Official Lighting Sponsor ComEd; Production Sponsor Conagra Brands Foundation; and Corporate Sponsor Partner ITW.
-Thursday, April 18 at 7:30pm
-Friday, April 19 at 8pm
-Saturday, April 20 at 2pm and 8pm
-Sunday, April 21 at 2pm (closing performance)
The nine-member cast--Tyla Abercrumbie (Cynthia), Steve Casillas (Oscar), Mike Cherry (Jason), Ronald Conner (Evan), Chaon Cross (Jessie), Kirsten Fitzgerald (Tracey), Keith Kupferer (Stan), Edgar Sanchez (Chris) and André Teamer (Brucie)—remains the same during the extension week performances.
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). Friends in a Rust Belt town have 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. 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.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Playwright Lynn Nottage 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, Stone, 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 currently an artist-in-residence at the Park Avenue Armory. 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 Grant 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. Her other honors include the National Black Theatre Fest's August Wilson Playwriting Award, a Guggenheim Grant, Lucille Lortel Fellowship and Visiting Research Fellowship at Princeton University. She is a graduate of Brown University and the Yale School of Drama. She is also an associate professor in the theater Department at Columbia School of the Arts. Nottage is a board member for BRIC Arts Media Bklyn, Donor Direct Action, Dramatist Play Service, Second Stage and the Dramatists Guild. She recently completed a three-year term as an Artist Trustee on the Board of the Sundance Institute. She is member of the The Dramatists Guild and WGAE.
Director Ron OJ Parson returns to Goodman Theatre, where he previously directed Let Me Live (1998). 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
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 recently marked its 41st production, 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 Chairman 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.
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