Drama tells story of nearly forgotten African genocide

Show opens Feb. 10 at DePaul University

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.

herero of namibia
The Theatre School at DePaul University's latest show, "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,” opens Feb. 10. (Photo courtesy of The Theatre School)
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. 8-9.

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 5/Sarah).

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.

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Media Contact:
Anna Ables
aables@depaul.edu
773-325-7938