CHICAGO – The Theatre School at DePaul University presents a drama with
comedic undertones about an ensemble of eager, well-meaning young actors who
devise a play regarding a nearly forgotten African genocide. When their
artistic director suggests they should not read the German letters that make up
the core of their presentation, the group must come to terms with the fact that
they can’t tell a new story until they have unearthed the original one.
Titled “We are Proud to Present a Presentation about the Herero of
Namibia, Formerly Known as South West Africa, From the German Sudwestafrika,
Between the Years 1884-1915,” the play opens Feb. 10 and runs through Feb. 19
on the Fullerton Stage, 2350 N. Racine Ave. Performances are at 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Previews are at 7:30 p.m. Feb.
Written by Jackie Sibblies Drury, the play had its New York premiere in
2012 after a celebrated run at Chicago’s Victory Gardens. Erin Kraft, a student
in the Master of Fine Arts Directing program at DePaul, directs this production.
The cast features Ayanna Bria Bakari (actor 6/black woman), Keith
Illidge (actor 4/another black man), Michael Morrow (actor 2/black man), Sam Straley (actor 1/white man),
Arie DuPree Thompson (actor 3/another white man), and Tuckie White (actor
In addition to the director, the production team includes Sophie
Hartler (technical director), Jessica Olson (scenic designer, Olivia Engobor
(costume designer), Joseph Clavell (lighting designer), Haley Feiler (sound
designer), Hampton Cade (dramaturg), Lauren Quinlan (dramaturg) and Erin
Collins (stage manager).
The director, Kraft, is in her final year of the MFA Directing program.
Before moving to Chicago, she worked on the artistic staff of Seattle Repertory
Theatre for eight years as the literary and casting associate and, later, as
the casting director. Recent projects include readings of MT Cozzola's “Creep”
and productions of “Circle Mirror Transformation,” “Tender,” “The Lady from the
Sea” and “The Merchant of Venice.”
Her favorite new play experiences include directing the world premiere
of Holly Arsenault's “Undo,” which played at the Annex Theatre and won the
Gregory Award for Outstanding New Play; the world premiere of Paul Mullin's
“Ballard House Duet,” which played at the Washington Ensemble Theatre; and
Joanna Garner's “100 Heartbreaks” at the Bumbershoot Music Festival. At Seattle
Repertory Theatre, she helmed workshops of “The Cut and The Manor” by Holly
Arsenault, “Summerland” by Arlitia Jones and “100 Heartbreaks” by Garner. Kraft
is a member of the Lincoln Center Director's Lab and recently finished an
artistic apprenticeship at Chicago Dramatists.
Tickets are $15, preview tickets are $10 and student tickets are $5.
Subscriptions and group rates of six or more people are available. All tickets
are reserved seating and are available by calling the box office at
773-325-7900 or visiting http://theatre.depaul.edu.
For patrons who are blind or have low-vision, the 2 p.m. performance
Feb. 19 will include audio description services, as well as a pre-performance
touch tour. The performance will also be interpreted in American Sign Language.
Call TTY: 773-325-7975.
Feb. 15 is USO of Illinois Night. U.S. Armed Forces personnel and their
families can attend the performance for free. Visit www.tixfortroops.org to reserve tickets
or call 773-325-7900 for more information. Additional special events include an
opening night reception following the Feb. 10 performance, and post-show
discussions Feb. 12 and 16.
The Theatre School at DePaul University trains students to the highest
level of professional skill and artistry in an inclusive and diverse
conservatory setting. Additional information is at http://theatre.depaul.edu.