Victory Gardens Theater Introduces Backstage at the Biograph

banner-desktop-01Victory Gardens Theater introduces Backstage at the Biograph, a new event series that takes audiences behind-the-scenes for an in-depth look at a unique aspect of the rehearsal process of each production throughout the season. The first Backstage at the Biograph focuses on Sucker Punch by Roy Williams, directed by Dexter Bullard, running September 18 – October 18, 2015. Backstage at the Biograph: Blow-By-Blow highlights the intensive boxing training actors must go through for the production. Backstage at the Biograph: Blow-By-Blow is Wednesday, September 9, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. at Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue.

Backstage at the Biograph: Blow-By-Blow features Sucker Punch Boxing Coach Ruben Gonzalez, Fight Choreographer Chuck Coyl, and actors Maurice Demus and Denzel Love. The evening is hosted by Literary Manager Isaac Gomez.

When professional sports meets professional theater, something electric happens. Get a blow-by-blow account of what it takes to stage a full on boxing match for Roy Williams’ hit boxing drama Sucker Punch at this open rehearsal kick-off party. Join Sucker Punch Boxing Coach Ruben Gonzalez and Fight Choreographer Chuck Coyl as they give you a backstage look at the world of boxing, with demonstrations from actors Maurice Demus and Denzel Love. Then, enjoy a complimentary reception and mingle with the cast and creative team to get the inside scoop on the process.

This event is free and open to the public. Space is limited and an RSVP is required. For more information visit

Backstage at the Biograph is sponsored by Whole Foods Market.

Upcoming Backstage at the Biograph Events:

Never the Sinner

October 29, 2015
Crime of the Century: Painting the World of Chicago in 1924
February 4, 2016
New Work: Realizing Sarah Gubbin’s Cocked
Hillary and Clinton
March 24, 2016
Reimagining Hillary

The House that Will Not Stand

June 2, 2016
Costume Design: Dressing the Women of 1836

About Sucker Punch

It’s the 1980s, Michael Jackson rules the radio waves and Conan the Barbarian is the box office king at the movies. Aspiring black boxers, Leon and Troy, both have promising futures in the ring. When race riots explode in their London neighborhood, these two friends are forced to make a tough decision. Years later, they square off, facing each other and the men they have become. After premiering at The Royal Court in London, award-winning playwright Roy Williams’ Sucker Punch received four-star reviews from The London Times, Evening Standard, and The Telegraph and was called a “Knockout Punch” by The Guardian. This fast-paced, triumphant midwest premiere takes an unflinching look at family, friends and the world of boxing.

The cast of Sucker Punch includes Taylor Blim (Becky), Walter Briggs (Tommy), Maurice Demus (Leon), Kenn E. Head (Squid), John Judd (Charlie), Denzel Love (Troy) and André Teamer (Ray).

The creative team includes Tom Burch (scenic), Tif Bullard (costumes), Lee Fiskness (lighting), Christopher Kriz (sound), Jay Tollefsen (props), Chuck Coyl (fight choreography), Ruben Gonzalez(boxing coach) and Helen Lattyak (production stage manager).

About Victory Gardens Theater

Under the leadership of Artistic Director Chay Yew and Managing Director Christopher Mannelli, Victory Gardens is dedicated to artistic excellence while creating a vital, contemporary American Theater that is accessible and relevant to all people through productions of challenging new plays and musicals. With Victory Gardens’ first new Artistic Director in 34 years, the company remains committed to the development, production and support of new plays that has been the mission of the theater since its founding, continuing the vision set forth by Dennis Zacek, Marcelle McVay, and the original founders of Victory Gardens Theater.

Victory Gardens Theater is a leader in developing and producing new theatre work and cultivating an inclusive Chicago theater community. Victory Gardens’ core strengths are nurturing and producing dynamic and inspiring new plays, reflecting the diversity of our city’s and nation’s culture through engaging diverse communities, and in partnership with Chicago Public Schools, bringing art and culture to our city’s active student population.

Since its founding in 1974, the company has produced more world premieres than any other Chicago theater, a commitment recognized nationally when Victory Gardens received the 2001 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. Located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, Victory Gardens Biograph Theater includes the Zacek-McVay Theater, a state-of-the-art 259-seat mainstage and the 109-seat studio theater on the second floor, named the Richard Christiansen Theater.

In 2012, Victory Gardens appointed new Ensemble Playwrights Philip Dawkins, Marcus Gardley, Samuel D. Hunter and Tanya Saracho, for seven-year residencies. The Playwrights Ensemble Alumni includes Claudia Allen, Lonnie Carter, Steve Carter, Gloria Bond Clunie, Dean Corrin, Nilo Cruz, Joel Drake Johnson, John Logan, Nicholas Patricca, Douglas Post, James Sherman, Charles Smith, Jeffrey Sweet and Kristine Thatcher.

For more information about Victory Gardens, visit Follow us on Facebook at and Twitter @VictoryGardens.

Victory Gardens Theater receives major funding from The Wallace Foundation, Alphawood Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Shubert Foundation, The Joyce Foundation, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Allstate Insurance, Polk Bros. Foundation, Crown Family Philanthropies, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The William and Orli Staley Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, and The REAM Foundation. Additional funding is provided by: Abbot Downing & Wells Fargo, Alliance Bernstein, The Charles H. and Bertha L. Boothroyd Foundation, a City Arts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Exelon, The Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, John R. Halligan Charitable Fund, Illinois Arts Council (a state agency), Illinois Tool Works, Italian Village Restaurants, Mayer Brown LLP, The McVay Foundation, Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg, LLP, The Prince Charitable Trusts, The Saints, Charles & M.R. Shapiro Foundation, Southwest Airlines, The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, and Wrightwood Neighbors Conservation Association.