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.
Written by Jen Silverman
Directed by Phylicia Rashad
June 21st - August 5th
Sharon is Midwestern nice. But to Robyn, her new roommate from the Bronx, that just means very nosy and very, very talkative. A comical mismatch leads to a surprising and touching friendship in this new comedy about how early-life choices lead to mid-life challenges and the unexpected rewards of bridging the divide. The Roommate is a warm, funny story about a chance cohabitation that sets two lives spinning. Think The Odd Couple meets Breaking Bad.
The cast, artistic, and production team include: Ora Jones, Sandra Marquez, John Iacovelli, Samantha C. Jones, Xavier Pierce, Rob Milburn, Michael Bodeen, Laura Glenn, Christine D. Freeburg, JC Clementz and Hallie Gordon.
Tickets are $24 - $76 and can be purchased here.
Written by Kristiana Rae Colón’s
Directed by Lilli-Anne Brown
June 22nd - July 29th
Tilikum was a king, and the oceans of the world were his. Now, he is a captive in a marine amusement park, doomed to live merely as an opportunity for profit. Alone behind bars he forgets the feel of freedom, but when fellow prisoners ignite the fires of his memory, he starts down a path that threatens to consume everything. Ripped from the headlines, Kristiana Rae Colón’s Tilikum explores captivity, violence and rebellion in a vital and visceral blend of theatre, drumming and dance. Poetic and lyrical, Tilikum calls out the power structures--both corporate and human--that ensure continued oppression, and the complicity of those willing to stand by and do nothing.
The cast, artistic, and production team include: Gregory Geffrard, Matt Fletcher, Sigrid Sutter, William Boles, Izumi Inaba, Jared Gooding, Victoria Deiorio, Paul Deziel, Amy Peter, Noelle Simone, Coco Elysses, Melissa F. DuPrey, Joyce Liza Rada Lindsey, Savannah Clements, Benjamin W. Dawson, Ellen Willett, Isaac Gomez, Chad Hain
Tickets are $20 can be purchased here.
From the Mississippi Delta
Written by Endesha Ida Mae Holland
Directed by Tim Rhoze
June 16th - July 1st
This beautifully authored dramatic autobiographical play captures the story of a young girl growing up in the 1950's in an impoverished Southern community, battling against the harsh realities of that era. We follow her as she courageously fights her way to personal, spiritual and professional triumph. This inspiring production with live music will reaffirm that self-determination, love and faith can conquer the most insurmountable odds. Without a doubt, an engaging piece of theatre.
The cast, artistic, and production team include: Asia Jackson, Jazzma Pryor, Elana Elyce and Nuwki Nu.
Tickets are $15 and can be purchased here.
The View Upstairs
Written by Max Vernon
Directed by Derek Van Barham
June 22nd - July 22nd
Circle Theatre is also proud to announce the Chicago premiere production of The View UpStairs, by Max Vernon. When Wes, a young fashion designer from 2017, buys an abandoned building in the French Quarter of New Orleans, he finds himself transported to the UpStairs Lounge, a vibrant seventies gay bar. As this forgotten community comes to life, Wes embarks on an exhilarating journey of self-exploration that spans two generations of queer history. The View UpStairs asks what has been gained and lost in the fight for equality, and how the past can help guide all of us through an uncertain future.
The cast, artistic, and production team include: Kevin Webb, Averis I. Anderson, Jeff Bouthiette, Frederick Harris, Caitlin Jackson, Ruben Melendez Ortiz, Robert Quintanilla, Selene Perez, Eric Lindahl, Matt Frye, Jennifer Ledesma, Ben F. Locke, Cari Meixner, Juwon Tyrel Perry, Roy Samra, Jon Martinez, Jeff Bouthiette, Jimmy Jagos, G. Max Maxin IV, Chris Tuttle, J.C. Widman, Denise Yvette Serna, Tyler Miles, Nicholas Reinhart, Bobby Arnold.
Tickets are $30 and can be purchased here.
Written by Caridad Svich
Directed by Rinska Carrasco-Prestinary
through June 30
A mysteriously wounded girl washes on shore and meets young Mara on the riverbank. Worried sisters Lupe and Lena wonder if tonight is the night that their niece will disappear without a trace? Nostalgic Horacio drives his restless grandson away with another rambling story from his childhood. Boiling under the surface of a fallen city, two families wrestle with rebellion, regret, and loss of faith.
The cast, artistic, and production team include: Valeria Rosero, Isaly Viana, Tamika Lechee Morales, Isabel Quintero, Arik Vega, Noe Jara, Alina Arzeta de Pomian, Aissa Guerra, Raul Santiago, Tony Adams, Cat Davis, Uriel Gomez, Jeffrey Levin, Mark Trace Umstattd, Sasha Smith, Amy Skrodski, Megan Gray, Corrine Hastings, Sofia Tew and Ian Scarlato
There are two ways to see a performance: 1) First come, first served, no-cost admission: Halcyon holds at least one-third of our seats to be available for no-cost admission on a first come, first served basis for each performance. To access these seats, provide your contact information at our box office beginning one hour prior to the show. 2) Guaranteed admission: Audience members who want to guarantee entry to a performance can do so for a small fee paid in advance online on in person at our box office. ($20 for plays and can be purchased here.)