by Gail Parrish
by Ashley Honore Roberson
October 21 - November 20, 2016
at the Greenhouse Theater Center
2257 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, IL 60614
The critics rave:
"Polarity Ensemble Theatre has mounted the finest play in their history with a moving generational trauma of slavery in America –LEAVINGS by Gail Parrish. This is one of the most powerful new works yet on a Chicago stage this year!"
"RjW Mays as Mama Bae, Richard Engling as Governor Skinner and Geno Walker as Benny/Rafe lead a fine cast working on a terrific set design by Charles C. Palia. Playwright Gail Parrish evokes Black mysticism reminiscent of August Wilson’s plotting. Parrish is a fine new voice being heard in the discussion of Black Lives Matter. This is a engaging and important world premiere, don’t miss it!" --Tom Williams. Read the full review at ChicagoCritic.com.
"director Ashley Honore Roberson's well-acted production is worth seeing" --Albert Williams, CHICAGO READER
Co-winner of our 2015 Dionysos Cup Festival of New Plays, LEAVINGS follows the final days of Mama Bea, a 111 year old African American in Chicago. Mama Bea uses her last strength to unite with Governor Skinner, the white governor of Mississippi, to set to rest the spirits that haunt her family. She and the governor are both descended from a nineteenth century slave owner who left the White half of the family with a heritage of privilege and economic security and the Black half with a history of familial separation, segregation and violence. Only by uniting the White and Black sides in a ritual of reconciliation can the tortured spirits that haunt the family be put to rest.
About the Playwright
Gail Parrish's works have been produced and developed at Karamu Theatre, Juneteenth Legacy Theatre at Actor's Theatre of Louisville, City 616, Black Women Playwrights Group at Studio Theatre, and many others.
Leavings was a semi-finalist in American Blues Theater's Blue Ink Award. Her one-act play, Elevator, was awarded grand prize in Daimler-Chrysler's Dreambuilder's National Playwriting Competition. She received an Emmy nomination from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Midwest Chapter for a screen version of Elevator. Other awards include The Black Gospel Play Association's National Stage Play Competition grand prize for Bringing Back Josephine and grand prize in Black Writers in Production National Playwriting Competition.
About the Director
Ashley Roberson has worked on stage with Chicago Children's Theatre, Chicago Dramatists, and Court Theatre. As a teaching artist Ashley works with Congo Square, Northlight, Steppenwolf, Victory Gardens, and others. She recently wrote and directed her first play, Once Upon A Zombie Apocalypse, for the Chicago Kid's Fringe Festival, assistant directed for Emerald City and Chicago Children's Theatre and directed in the Black Lives, Black Words International Project and The Artistic Home Studio's Cut to the Chase play festival.
Leavings ran at the Greenhouse Theater, 2257 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago 60614 from October 21 through November 20, 2016. Previews October 21 and 22 ($15 adults, $10 students). Press Opening Sunday, October 23. Performances were Thursdays - Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 3pm. Regular general admission tickets were $25. Seniors (65+) $20. Students (with ID) $10. There was a special industry night performance on Monday, November 7th at 8pm.
How to Get There
Red Line or Brown Line CTA: Get off at the Fullerton stop - all trains including the Purple Line stop there. When you exit the station, walk one block east and then two blocks south on Lincoln Ave. The Greenhouse Theater Center is on the East side of Lincoln Avenue, 5 doors south of Belden Ave. & Starbucks.
Hazel Marie Flowers-McCabe, Stage Manager
Charles C. Palia, Jr, Set Designer
Benjamin L. White, USAA, Lighting Designer
Rachel C. Boylan, Costume Designer
Nicole Szontagh, Props Designer
Spencer Andrew Batho, Sound Design/Composer
Reginald Edmund, Asst Director/Dramaturg
Michael Joseph, Master Electrician
Amanda Holman, Choreographer
Gail Parrish, Playwright
Ashley Honore Roberson, Director
Richard Engling, Artistic Director
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This program was partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.