Continuing our support of productions that embrace inclusion for artists and audiences, below are shows open or opening soon in Chicago that we feel are moving our community forward. As a staff, we have not necessarily seen all of these shows but are really glad they are happening.
We are excited to list shows that offer some or all of the following:
- Non-traditional casting
- Accessible storytelling
- Variety of perspectives on the design and production teams
- Playwrights/Directors from underrepresented communities
- Diversity in season programming
Buy tickets to shows that celebrate inclusion. Then write to producers and tell them you want more of it. Decision makers are led by numbers and this is one way you can make a difference.
The Neighborhood Theatre presents The Children of Edgar and Nina
Written by Jarrett McCreary
Directed by Pernell Myers
through March 14
at Ravenswood Fellowship Church, 4511 N Hermitage Ave
Felix and Luc are wandering through different paths of what it means to be black. When those paths cross, what they learn may be more than meets the eye. Fall through time as Venus uses her magic of music and poetry to explore emotion, intimacy, and what it truly means to be vulnerable in the modern world.
The cast, artistic and production team include Jasmine Jordan, Grant Landau-Williams, MIchael Ashfrod, Pernell Myers, LIlia Houshmand and Jyreika Guest
Tickets are $Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door or here
**NOTE: This is a heartbreaking and magical story of Black queer love: directed, written, and performed by Black queer folx. In celebration of that, Thursday 3/12 is The Neighborhood's Black Theatre night where they're offering free tickets to black audience members. If you identify and would like to attend, please use promo code NinasKids **
Aguijón Theater presents Kiev
Written by Sergio Blanco
Directed by Abel González Melo
Through March 15
at Aguijón Theater 2707 N Laramie Ave
After a long absence, Eiren Badenweiler returns with her children to the abandoned family summer residence, to reunite with a past full of ghosts, grudges, and secrets. Aguijón Theater proudly presents the U.S. premiere of the prestigious Franco-Uruguayan playwright Sergio Blanco, with this acclaimed work that is loosely inspired by Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard.
The cast, artistic and production team include Israel Balza, Rosario Vargas, Oswaldo Calderón, Marcela Muñoz, Sándor Menéndez, Augusto anacopulos and Maydi Diaz.
Tickets are $15 are can be purchased here
A Red Orchid Theatre presents Do You Feel Anger
1531 N. Wells St
Written by Mara Nelson Greenberg
Directed by Jess McLeod
Through March 15
Sofia was recently hired as an empathy coach at a debt collection agency-and clearly, she has her work cut out for her. These employees can barely identify what an emotion is, much less practice deep, radical compassion for others. And while they painstakingly stumble towards enlightenment, someone keeps mugging Eva in the kitchen. An outrageous comedy about the absurdity-and the danger-of complicity in a world where some people's feelings matter more than others'.
The cast, artistic and production team include Sadieh Rifai, Larry Grimm, Levi Hollloway, Paul Dillon, Bernard Gilbert, Emjoy Gavino, Jennifer Jelsema, Stephanie Heller, Alex Mallory, Christina Gorman, Dominique Zaragoza, Elenna Sindler, Jackie Londino Day, Jeffrey Kmeic, Jeffrey Levin, Jess McLeod, Jim Moore, Karen Kawa, Mike Durst, Nate Dion, Rebecca Jeffords, Shade Murray ,Stephanie Cluggish, Ayssette Muñoz, Alex Levy, Mark Vallarta and Casey Searles
Tickets are $18-$30 are can be purchased here
Griffin Theatre presents Mlima's Tale
at The Schwartz Stage at Raven Theatre 6157 North Clark St
Written by Lynn Nottage
Directed by Jerrell L Henderson
Through March 21
at Pride Arts Center – 4139 N. Broadway
Taking us on a journey from the heart of Africa and around the world, MLIMA’S TALE is the story of Mlima, a magnificent elephant trapped in the clandestine international ivory market. Nottage, who won the Pultizer Prize for her plays Ruined and Sweat, brings us a powerful story that makes us question whether unconditional virtue is nonexistent within the international system of economic power, culture and politics.
Cast and production team include Ben Chang, David Goodloe, Sarah Lo, Lewon Johns, Colin McShane, Chris Pow, Michael Turretine, Joy Ahn, Caitlin McLeod, Jared Gooding, L.J. Luthinger, Jacinda Ratcliffe, Jonathan Mayo, Sara Beaman, Brian Sprague, Catherine Miller, Ryonn Gloster and Ahmed Al-Hassan
Tickets are $25-40 can be purchased here.
Congo Square Theare presents Day of Absence
at Richard Christiansen Theatre, Victory Gardens 2433 N. Lincoln Ave.
Written by Douglas Turner Ward
Directed by Anthony Irons
Through March 22
Winner of coveted Vernon Rice and Obie Awards, ‘Day of Absence’ recounts the uproarious emergencies that occur when a Southern town is faced with the sudden and inexplicable disappearance of all its Black citizens. ‘Day of Absence’ was written and directed by Douglas Turner Ward in 1965 and helped launch the New York-based Negro Ensemble Company, whose overall mission is to present live theatre performances by and about Black people to a culturally diverse audience that is often underserved by the theatrical community. The play is traditionally performed as a ‘reverse minstrel show,’ with Black actors in whiteface.
The cast includes Ronald L. Conner, Ann Joseph and Kelvin Roston, Jr., joined by Jordan Arredondo, Meagan Dilworth, Bryant Hayes and Sonya Madrigal
Tickets are $35 can be purchased here.