Victory Gardens Theater announces the extension of the critically-acclaimed hit Rightlynd, written by Ike Holter and directed by Lisa Portes with original music by Charlie Coffeen. With six additional performances, the production now runs through December 30, 2018, at Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue.
Rightlynd was commissioned by Victory Gardens Theater as part of the Chicago Play Cycle. It was funded by The Wallace Foundation, The Joyce Foundation, and The Venturous Theater Fund of the Tides Foundation with developmental support from the Edgerton Foundation.
“Given the audiences' and critics' enthusiastic response, I’m thrilled that we are extending Victory Gardens ensemble playwright Ike Holter's new work, Rightlynd,” says Chay Yew, Artistic Director of Victory Gardens. “Brimming with lyricism, inventiveness and wit, this timely play explores the political complexities of Chicago and the immediate need to speak truth to power. Ike is the poet of our time who is committed to telling Chicago stories that matter."
Rightlynd is Chicago's 51st Ward. The L doesn't run here anymore and it is full of abandoned storefronts, crumbling apartment buildings, and its fair share of crime. A powerful real estate conglomerate is planning a massive redevelopment project that would gentrify the neighborhood and change Rightlynd forever. Only one woman stands in the way: Alderman Nina Esposito. In award-winning local playwright Ike Holter’s ambitious new work, one woman tries to use her street smarts and raw determination to save the Chicago neighborhood she loves. But will the political machine turn her into the very person she is trying to destroy? Lisa Portes (BREACH, A Little Bit Not Normal) directs the first play that sets in motion Holter’s ongoing seven play saga set in this fictional Windy City neighborhood; the story cycle that includes previous pieces Exit Strategy, Sender, Prowess, and The Wolf at the End of the Block.
The cast of Rightlynd includes Jerome Beck (Applewood/Denizen 1), Robert Cornelius (Robinson/Denizen 5), LaKecia Harris (Amena/Denizen 2), Anish Jethmalani (Platt/Denizen 4), Eddie Martinez (Pac), Monica Orozco (Nina) and Sasha Smith (Manda/Denizen 3).
The creative team includes Collette Pollard (scenic design), Samantha Jones (costume design), Jared Gooding (lighting design), Mikhail Fiksel (sound design and additional composition), Eleanor Kahn (props design), Skyler Gray (dramaturg), Jaq Seifert (violence director), Breon Arzell (choreography) and Mara Sagal (production stage manager).
About the Artists
Ike Holter (Playwright) 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 Rep and The Playwrights’ Center. His work has been produced at the Steppenwolf Garage, The Philadelphia Theater Company, Off Broadway at Barrow Street and Cherry Lane, The Lily Tomlin Center in L.A, True Colors in Atlanta, Forward Theater in Wisconsin, Water Tower Theater in Dallas, 3oaks in Michigan, and Jackalope, 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.
Lisa Portes (Director) returns to Victory Gardens where she directed BREACH by Antoinette Nwandu, Slingshot by Kia Korthron, A Little Bit Not Normal by Arlene Malinowski, and Undone by Andrea Thome for IGNITION. Other Chicago credits include: Steppenwolf: This is Modern Art by Idris Goodwin and Kevin Coval, Goodman: Ghostwritten by Naomi Iizuka; Northlight: Permanent Collection by Thomas Gibbons; Timeline: Concerning Strange Devices from the Distant West by Naomi Iizuka; Next Theatre: In the Blood by Suzan-Lori Parks and Far Away by Caryl Churchill. Recent regional credits: Disgraced (Cincinnati Playhouse), Glass Menagerie (CalShakes). NYC credits: Wilder (Playwrights Horizons). Upcoming: Native Gardens (Denver Center). Awards: 2016 SDC Zelda Fichandler Directors Award. Lisa heads the MFA Directing program at The Theatre School at DePaul University.
Jerome Beck (Applewood/ Denizen 1) Victory Gardens debut. Pink Orchids: The HIV Monologues (Pride, Films and Plays), Dontrell Who Kissed The Sea (First Floor Theater), Skin of our Teeth (Remy Bumppo), Dirty Butterfly (The Blind Owl), Our Lady of 121st Street (U/S) (Eclipse Theatre).
Robert Cornelius (Robinson/Denizen 5) Chicago credits include Picnic with American Theatre Company; Wit at The Hypocrites; Aida at Drury Lane Oak Brook;Taming of the Shrew at First Folio Theatre; Raisin at Court Theatre; Takunda, On The Block and Wheatley at Victory Gardens Theater; The Boys Next Door at Provision Theatre Company. Regional credits include Spunk at St. Louis Black Repertory; The Rivals, The Jeremiah and You Can't Take it With You at Milwaukee Repertory Theatre; Blues For an Alabama Sky at Madison Repertory Theatre and My Children, My Africa at Montana Repertory Theatre. Film and Television credits include Hoodlum, Chicago P.D. and Turks.
LaKecia Harris (Amena/Denizen 2) A Wonder in my Soul U/S (Victory Gardens). Marie Antoinette U/S (Steppenwolf). Twelfth Night, Two Gentlemen of Verona(Midsommer Flight). Haymarket: An Anarchists’ Songbook. Waltzing Mechanics: El Stories; Cosmic Events are Upon Us.
Anish Jethmalani (Platt/Denizen 4) Homeland Security (Victory Gardens). In the Next Room or the Vibrator Play, A Disappearing Number, Inana, Blood & Gifts(Timeline), Wit, A Christmas Carol (Goodman), Water By The Spoonful, Titus Andronicus, Mary Stuart (Court), Romeo & Juliet (Chicago Shakespeare), Bengal Tiger at The Baghdad Zoo, Around The World in 80 Days, Sita Ram (Lookingglass), The Caretaker, To the Green Fields Beyond (Writers), Hatfield & McCoy(House), The Room (Red Orchid), Twelfth Night (First Folio), Merchant of Venice (Silk Road), Henry VII, Much Ado About Nothing (Oregon Shakespeare Festival). Film & TV: Batman v. Superman, Empire, Chicago Med, Boss, Leverage.
Eddie Martinez (Pac) Ensemble member of Teatro Vista seen in Parachute Men, Fade and In the Time of the Butterflies (Victory Gardens) Other credits include:Native Gardens (The Old Globe) Fade (Denver Center, Cherry Lane, and TheaterWorks), As You Like It (Denver Center) Big Lake Big City, Cascabel(Lookingglass Theater); Our Lady of 121st Street (Steppenwolf); and Romeo y Julieta (Chicago Shakespeare Theater). Film/TV credits include: Sense8 (Netflix),Sirens (USA Network), Chicago Fire (NBC) and The Dilemma (UNIVERSAL).
Monica Orozco (Nina) Victory Gardens debut. Lottery Day (Goodman Theatre’s New Stages), Six Corners (American Blues Theater), The Shakespeare Project of Chicago, ShawChicago. TV: Chicago Med. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign graduate.
Sasha Smith (Manda/Denizen 3) Victory Gardens debut. Johanna Faustus (The Hypocrites), Stay Lit (The Roustabouts), and The Aristophanesathon (The Hypocrites). Choreography: You Got Older (Steppenwolf), Smart People (Writers Theatre), Fear and Misery of the Third Reich and The Toilet (Haven Theatre), A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Gynecologic Oncology Unit At Sloan-Kettering Memorial Cancer Center Of New York City (Route 66), Ideation(Jackalope), and Octagon (Jackalope). TV: Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, and Green Screen Adventures. She is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago.
Full Performance Schedule
Remaining performances run through December 30, 2018: Tuesday — Friday at 7:30pm; Saturday at 3pm and 7:30pm; Sunday at 3pm. Tickets are $27-$55.
Performances are at Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N Lincoln Avenue, in the heart of Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood. For tickets and information, call the Victory Gardens Box Office, 773.871.3000, email email@example.com, or visit www.victorygardens.org. Ask the Box Office about discounts for students, seniors, and those with access needs. Groups of 10 or more, call 773.634.9862 for discounted rates
Public Programs is an event series designed to enhance your experience by exploring themes and issues within Victory Gardens’ productions. Connecting our theater to the world beyond the stage and rehearsal room, Public Programs bridge ideas, provoke dialogue, and deepen the relationship between our audiences and our productions. Public Programs are composed of three distinct tracks:
SALON: A post-show performance series bringing local artists, students, and/or organizations into the conversation of the play through their own work.
PANEL: A post-show conversation with community leaders, playwrights, activists, artists, and educators. These panels use the play's themes to ignite a conversation about our world and the people in it.
CELEBRATION: Pre- and post-show events celebrating the themes of the play through art, food, and community.
After every performance of RIGHTLYND (unless otherwise noted)
Join us for one of our intimate post-show conversations. Led by members from the Victory Gardens community—artistic affiliates, artistic staff, and community partners— reflect on what you’ve seen and share your response.
PANEL: THE FUTURE OF CHICAGO
December 4 | Tuesday | 9:00 p.m.
Made possible by the support of The David Rockefeller Fund
Nina runs for public office in order to make a difference. She has to campaign for herself in order to overthrow Ralph Stevenson--the current alderman of Rightlynd--who has no intention of backing down. How do first-time candidates build their campaigns and gain their footing? From Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the Bronx to Andrew Janz in California, why is there a call to action for new voices in our political system? Stay for a post-show conversation with first-time candidates for the 2019 alderman race, as they discuss what inspired them to run and the challenges of taking action.
CELEBRATION: WOMEN IN GOVERNMENT
Post-Show Panel Discussion and Toast
December 5 | Wednesday | 9:00pm
So far, the 2018 primaries have brought the largest number of House primary victories by women candidates in the nation’s history. We want to celebrate the amazing accomplishments women have made in their civil service from the city level to the federal level. Join us for a post-show panel featuring incredible women in government in a discussion about their triumphs, obstacles, and dedicated work.
PANEL: LOST IN THE SYSTEM
December 12 | Wednesday | 9:00 p.m.
Made possible by the support of The David Rockefeller Fund
In Rightlynd, Pac finds himself having to cope with a world he hardly recognizes after being imprisoned and forgotten for over a decade, all because of petty theft and a flawed system. How is this possible in 2018, and how did we get here? We welcome Circles and Ciphers, a youth leadership and restorative justice organization, as they discuss how people slip through the cracks of the justice system and what we can do to stop it
Written by: Ike Holter
Directed by: Lisa Portes
Regular run: November 20 – December 23, 2018
Extension: December 26 – December 30, 2018
Schedule: Tuesdays - Fridays: 7:30pm (Except December 25)
Saturdays: 3:00pm; 7:30pm
Location: Victory Gardens Theater is located at 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue, in the heart of Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood
Tickets: $27 - $55
Box Office: The Box Office is located at 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago.
About Victory Gardens Theater
Under the leadership of Artistic Director Chay Yew and Managing Director Erica Daniels, Victory Gardens is dedicated to artistic excellence while creating a vital, contemporary American Theater that is accessible and relevant to all people through productions of challenging new plays and musicals. Victory Gardens Theater is committed to the development, production and support of new plays that has been the mission of the theater since its founding, set forth by Dennis Začek, Marcelle McVay, and the original founders of Victory Gardens Theater.
Victory Gardens Theater is a leader in developing and producing new theater work and cultivating an inclusive Chicago theater community. Victory Gardens’ core strengths are nurturing and producing dynamic and inspiring new plays, reflecting the diversity of our city’s and nation’s culture through engaging diverse communities, and in partnership with Chicago Public Schools, bringing art and culture to our city’s active student population.
Since its founding in 1974, the company has produced more world premieres than any other Chicago theater, a commitment recognized nationally when Victory Gardens received the 2001 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. Located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, Victory Gardens Biograph Theater includes the Začek-McVay Theater, a state-of-the-art 259-seat mainstage and the 109-seat studio theater on the second floor, named the Richard Christiansen Theater.
Victory Gardens Ensemble Playwrights include Luis Alfaro, Philip Dawkins, Marcus Gardley, Ike Holter, Samuel D. Hunter, Naomi Iizuka, Tanya Saracho and Laura Schellhardt. Each playwright has a seven-year residency at Victory Gardens Theater.
Victory Gardens Theater receives major funding from Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Joyce Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The REAM Foundation, Shubert Foundation, Venturous Theater Fund of the Tides Foundation, Wallace Foundation. Additional major funding comes from Crown Family Philanthropies, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, the Illinois Arts Council Agency, Polk Bros. Foundation, Helen Zell.
Major funders also include: Allstate, Alphawood Foundation, Conant Family Foundation, Edgerton Foundation, Exelon, Field Foundation of Illinois, The Harvey L. Miller Supporting Foundation, David Rockefeller Fund, Time Warner Foundation, Inc.
Additional funding this season Charles H. and Bertha L. Boothroyd Foundation, Capital Group Private Client Services, Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, ComEd, Nathan Cummings Foundation, Golden Country Oriental Foods, Goldman Sachs, John R. Halligan Foundation, ITW, Mayer Brown LLP, The McVay Foundation, Metropolitan Capital Bank and Trust, National Endowment for the Arts, Negaunee Foundation, Roberta Olshansky Charitable Fund, Origin Ventures, Pauls Foundation, PNC Financial Services Group, Prince Charitable Trusts, Charles and M.R. Shapiro Foundation, The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, Wrightwood Neighbors Foundation.
In-kind support is provided by: Italian Village Restaurants, Southwest Airlines, Roy’s Furniture, Suite Home Chicago, Taco Joint, and Whole Foods Market.
Capital improvement support from the Performing Arts Venue Fund at the League of Chicago Theaters, with funding from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; and Capacity Building support by Compass-Chicago.
For more information about Victory Gardens, visit www.victorygardens.org. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/victorygardens, Twitter @VictoryGardens and Instagram at instagram.com/victorygardenstheater/.
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