Pegasus Theatre Chicago Presents World Premiere of Nambi E. Kelley’s FOR HER AS A PIANO Sept. 30- Nov. 1

pegasus-2015-16season-square-300x300

pegasus-2015-16season-square-300x300 Pegasus Theatre Chicago is pleased to launch its 2015-16 season with the world premiere drama FOR HER AS A PIANO by Nambi E. Kelley, playwright of the critically acclaimed 2014 hit Native Son, featuring music by Jaret Landon and directed by Producing Artistic Director Ilesa Duncan. Produced in association with Goodman Theatre and Chicago DramatistsFOR HER AS A PIANO will play September 30 – November 1, 2015 at Chicago Dramatists, 1105 W. Chicago Ave. in Chicago. Tickets are currently available at www.PegasusTheatreChicago.org or by calling Ovation Tickets at (866) 811-4111

FOR HER AS A PIANO will feature Nadirah BostDushon BrownToni Lynice FountainNicole Michelle Haskins, Monette McLin, Camille Robinson and Toya Turner.

“I’m thrilled to reunite with Nambi and direct her new play – it’s a beautiful rendering of an uncommon story,” comments director Ilesa Duncan. “Instilled with Jaret’s moving music, it promises to be a memorable beginning to our 2015-16 season.”

Nambi E. Kelley’s new play is the story of one woman’s journey to unravel a history that she’s never been told. Through music, memory and magic, FOR HER AS A PIANO traces the lives of three generations of women, and how they are interconnected across time and space.

The production team for FOR HER AS A PIANO INCLUDESLauren Nigri (scenic designer), Brittany Bodley (costume designer), Jared Gooding (lighting designer), Aaron Quick (sound designer) and Mealah Heidenreich (props designer).

PRODUCTION DETAILS:

Title: FOR HER AS A PIANO

Playwright: Nambi E. Kelley

Director: Producing Artistic Director Ilesa Duncan

Music Composition/Direction by Jaret Landon

Cast: Nadirah Bost (Mary), Dushon Brown (Motha/Dirk), Toni Lynice Fountain (Delores), Nicole Michelle Haskins (Motha Mawu), Monette McLin (Motha Gbadu), Camille Robinson (Piano) and Toya Turner (Sarah).

Location:  Chicago Dramatists, 1105 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago (theatre entrance around corner at Aberdeen and May Streets).

Dates: Previews: : Wednesday, September 30 at 7:30 pm, Thursday, October 1 at 7:30 pm, Friday, October 2 at 7:30 pm and Saturday, October 3 at 7:30 pm

Press Opening: Sunday, October 4 at 6:30 pm

Regular run: Thursday, October 8 – Sunday, November 1, 2015

Curtain Times: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm; Sundays at 3 pm

Tickets: $30. Seniors $25; students $18. Tickets are currently available at www.PegasusTheatreChicago.org or by calling Ovation Tickets at (866) 811-4111.

About the Creative Team

Nambi E. Kelley (Playwright) has penned plays for Steppenwolf Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Court Theatre, American Blues, Lincoln Center in New York, and internationally. Most recently, her adaptation of Native Son was presented to critical acclaim at Court Theatre with American Blues Theatre (co-production) and was the highest grossing production in Court Theatre’s 60-year history. Native Son is also on the Kilroy’s List 2015, in the top 7% of new plays by female and trans authors nominated by literary managers, directors and other artists polled across the country. Kelley recently returned to Singapore to perform in her co-adaptation of The Book of Living and Dying, which was published in an anthology of plays in Singapore in 2014. She is working on several commissions with productions slated for 2016. Kelley is also a professional actress, most recently closing the critically acclaimed Two Trains Running at the Goodman Theatre, and has been seen on television in Person of InterestMadam Secretary, Elementary and Chicago PD. Nambi guest lectures at Lake Forest College and University of Illinois at Chicago. She has a BFA from The Theatre School at DePaul University and an MFA in interdisciplinary arts from Goddard College. www.nambikelley.com.  
Ilesa Duncan‘s (Director) recent directing work includes acclaimed productions of Steve Simoncic’s Broken Fences at 16th Street Theater (co-directed with Ann Filmer), BTAA award-winning Blacula: Young, Black and Undead at Pegasus Theatre and The Nativity at Congo Square. Also at Pegasus: If You Split a SecondIn the Continuum and the Jeff Recommended productions of The GimmickShape of a Girl and Tick, Tick… Boom!  Locally, Duncan has worked with Rivendell, Writers Theatre, 16th Street Theatre, Step Up Productions, Lifeline, Chicago Dramatists, Victory Gardens and The Goodman. Nationally, she has worked with The Alliance Theatre, Arena Stage, Contemporary American Theatre Company and Lincoln Center (Directors Lab) in New York. Ilesa is a member of the Lincoln Center Theatre Directors Lab and a NEA/TCG Directing Fellow. She serves as Pegasus Theatre’s Producing Artistic Director and is an Associate Artist with Chicago Dramatists, where she serves as Education and Community Engagement Director. 

Jaret Landon (Music Director/Composer) is a composer/arranger, vocalist, and educator. He’s composed and arranged music for film, musicals and recorded albums. Theatre credits include: A Nativity Story: More than a MiracleThe Nativity and Sanctified (Congo Square Theatre), Eye of the Storm and Clara (Open Door Theatre), Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill and Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Porchlight Music Theatre), The Gospel of Lovingkindness (Victory Gardens Theatre) Crowns (Goodman Theatre) and Black Odyssey (Denver Theatre Center). Presently, he is working on First Wives Club: The Musical, which opens on Broadway in the fall of 2015. 

About the Companies 

Pegasus Theatre Chicago has been a mainstay in the Chicago theater community for nearly 36 years. Its recently rebranded mission is to produce boldly imaginative theatre, champion new and authentic voices and illuminate the human journey. It adheres to the core values of community engagement, social relevance, boldness, adventure and excellence.

Pegasus Theatre is partially supported by grants from the MacArthur Fund at Richard Driehaus Foundation, the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, the Polk Bros. Foundation, the Seabury Foundation, the Illinois Arts Council Agency, and the City of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel Mayor/DCASE (Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events).

Chicago’s flagship theater since 1925, Goodman Theatre is an artistic and community institution dedicated to the art of theater and to civic engagement in the issues of the contemporary world. The Goodman has transformed over the past 35 years into a world class theater and premier Chicago cultural institution distinguished by the quality and scope of its programming and its culturally and aesthetically diverse creative leadership; artistic priorities include new plays, reimagined classics, culturally specific works, musical theater and international collaborations. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Robert Falls and Executive Director Roche Schulfer, achievements include the Goodman’s state-of-the-art two-theater complex in the heart of the downtown Theatre District. Over the past three decades, the Goodman has generated more than 150 world or American premieres and more than 30 new-work commissions. For additional information, please visit GoodmanTheatre.org.

Established in 1979, Chicago Dramatists is a non-profit theatre dedicated to nurturing playwrights, developing new plays, and enriching the national theatre repertory. Chicago Dramatists is home to 36 Resident Playwrights and a creative source to over 150 Network Playwrights. Through workshops, readings, classes, full productions and special programs, Chicago Dramatists provides opportunities for beginning and established dramatists to develop their work, expand their professional affiliations, showcase their plays to the theatre marketplace and collaborate with actors, directors and audiences during the creative process. The organization offers theaters and audiences a central resource to discover the plays and playwrights that will shape the theatre of the 21st century. Chicago Dramatists is proud of the important role it has played in transforming Chicago from a town nearly void of new work in the 1970s to a national center for playwrights and new plays today. For additional information, visit www.chicagodramatists.org.