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Polarity Presents World Premiere LEAVINGS, Oct 21 – Nov 20, 2016
Polarity Ensemble Theatre presents the world premiere of Gail Parrish’s LEAVINGS, a story of racial reconciliation that brings an important voice to the public dialogue on Black Lives Matter. Directed by Ashley Honore Roberson, it plays October 21 – November 20, 2016 at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60614, where Polarity is a resident company. Tickets are on sale at www.petheatre.com or by calling the box office at 773-404-7336.
About the play: 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.
LEAVINGS was developed in Polarity Ensemble Theatre’s 2015 Dionysos Cup Festival of New Plays. It is the tenth Polarity-developed play by a Chicago-area playwright to reach its world premiere on a Chicago stage.
The production team for LEAVINGS includes Charles C. Palia Jr (set design), Benjamin L. White, USA (lighting design), Spence Andrew Batho (sound design/composer), Rachel C. Boylan, (costume design), Deborah Baxter (properties), Jill Perez (dramaturg), and Hazel Flowers McCabe (stage manager).
SCHEDULE AND TICKET INFORMATION
Written by: Gail Parrish
Director: Ashley Honore Roberson
Cast: Evan Bruce (Oseola/Arthur), Brianna Buckley (Sally Slater/Tempe), Richard Engling (Samuel Skinner/Abijah/Old Man Slater), Asia Jackson (Chareese), RjW Mays (Beatrice Wiley), Monette McLin (Theresa Slater), Emily Radke (Loren/Ellen), Mutar Thomas (Q/Host), Jeremy Thompson (Steven/Will/Slave Trader/Conductor), and Geno Walker (Benny/Rafe/Ben).
Location: Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60614
Dates: Previews: Friday, October 21 at 8:00 PM and Saturday, October 22 at 8:00 PM
Press Opening: Sunday, October 23 at 3:00 PM
Regular Run: Thursday, October 27 – Sunday, November 20, 2016. Additional performance Monday, November 7 at 8:00 PM.
Curtain Times: Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8:00 PM, Sunday at 3:00 PM
Tickets: Previews: $15. Press Opening and Regular Run: $25. Students: $10, Seniors: $20.
Tickets are available at www.petheatre.com and 773-404-7336
About the Playwright
Gail Parrish is a Chicago-born playwright whose plays have been produced and developed at Polarity Ensemble Theatre, Karamu Theatre, Juneteenth Legacy Theatre at Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, City 616, Black Women Playwrights Group at Studio Theatre, Amelia Earhart Playhouse at Wiesbaden, Germany, eta Creative Arts Foundation, In Good Company Children’s Theatre, Extra Mile Playwrights, Michigan Playwrights, Chicago Dramatists and Black Writers in Production. She studied playwriting as an undergraduate at Howard University and has continued to write plays throughout her life.
Ms. Parrish’s Leavings was the winner (tied) of Polarity Ensemble Theatre’s Dionysos Cup Festival and 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 the Elevator screenplay. 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. Other plays and screenplays written by Parrish include Tribute, Prodigal, Meeting, Hear the Drum, Making of a Man, Brookland, Not Brooklyn (co-writer) and Neighbors of the Forest.
Ms. Parrish lives in Oswego, Illinois with her husband Maurice Parrish.
About the Director
Ashley Honore Roberson has been working as an artist in the Chicagoland area for the past eight years. She has worked on stage with Chicago Children’s Theatre, Chicago Dramatists, and Court Theatre. As a teaching artist Ashley works all over the city with several theatres/programs such as Congo Square, Northlight, Steppenwolf, Victory Gardens, Writers Theatre and PureArt. 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.
About Polarity Ensemble Theatre
Founded in 2004, Polarity Ensemble Theatre is a professionally diverse group of artists who strive to advance the state of Chicago theater for both local and international audiences by developing new works and bringing new life to the classics through live performance, workshops, and publishing. For more information, visit www.petheatre.com.