playwright Lorraine Hansberry
Lorraine Hansberry (b. 1930 - d. 1965) was a playwright, writer, and activist who was the first African American woman to have her play produced on Broadway and the youngest winner of a New York Critics Circle Award. A Raisin in the Sun was her first full-length play to be produced, and has since been translated into over thirty-five different languages. In 1961, a film version of the play won a special award at the Cannes Film Festival. Hansberry was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer during the run of her second play, The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window and she passed away shortly after at only 34 years of age. After her death, Hansberry’s ex-husband, Robert Nemiroff, oversaw the publication of her play Les Blancs, The Drinking Gourd, What Use Are Flowers?,and a collection of her writings adapted into a play entitled To Be Young, Gifted, and Black. Hansberry has been honored by a number of organizations posthumously including the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame, Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, American Theatre Hall of Fame, and the National Women’s Hall of Fame, as well as having a number of schools, buildings on college campuses, and theatres named in her honor.
director Sydney Chatman
Sydney Chatman is the 2019 Goodman Theatre Maggio Directing Fellow. Chatman is a director, educator, mentor, producer, writer, and founding director of The Tofu Chitlin’ Circuit featuring the self-pinned and directed award-winning play, Black Girls (Can) Fly!
Ms. Chatman is an African-American Arts Alliance Award and 3Arts Make a Wave winner. Her credits include: New York: Tony Nominated-The Trip to Bountiful and a directing fellow with the Lincoln Centers Director’s Lab. The Goodman Theatre: Associate Director for the World Premiere of How to Catch Creation, Assistant Director for Father Comes Home from the Wars Parts 1, 2, and 3, and Stage Management intern for Gem of the Ocean, Associate Director for The Last Wife (TimeLine Theatre Company), Assistant Director for Sunset Baby (TimeLine Theatre Company), Jitney (Court Theatre), St. James Infirmary (Congo Square Theatre Company), and Drip! (eta Creative Arts).
Rooted in her community, she passionately bridges the divide between the audience and the stage through creative theatrical performances and collaborations with the Adler Planetarium, Hyde Park Jazz Festival/Back Alley Jazz, The Reva and David Logan Center, Court Theatre and Victory Gardens Theatre.
In 2008 she created innovative programming called The A La Carte (a monthly thought-provoking theater discussion for South side audiences) and the Tuxedo Junction (community field trips to see plays and other artistic performances). She is a featured artist in Black Theater is Black Life; An Oral History of Black Theater in Chicago 1997-2000.
Chatman has been a theater leader; writing a theater directing blog, featured panelist at The Goodman Theatre and board member for the African-American Arts Alliance of Chicago. She is a community partner with the Green Line Performing Arts Center in the Washington Park neighborhood, an arts cohort member with the Community Program Accelerators with the University of Chicago. Sydney is also committed to servicing in her home town of Gary, Indiana as a committee member for the Gary International Black Film Festival.
Sydney has been a theater teacher for sixteen years, at the University of Chicago Charter School, where she writes and directs countless plays rooted in social justice and empowerment for the youth. Her arts integration has made her a mainstay in the arts education community and a unique voice in creating stories for Black children.
She is a champion for new work that seeks to support, challenge, empower, and make space for Black women and girls.
dramaturg Annaliese McSweeney
Annaliese McSweeney is a freelance dramaturg in Chicago and northern Indiana. She previously worked with IUN on Failure: A Love Story (2016). She has also worked with Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame on 9 to 5 (2018). Her professional work includes Detour Guide by Karim Nagi (Silk Road/Stage Left, 2019), Her Majesty’s Will by Rob Kauzlaric (Lifeline Theatre, 2017), The Bottle Tree by Beth Kander (Stage Left Theatre, 2016), Mosque Alert by Jamil Khoury (Silk Road Rising, 2016), Miss Buncle’s Book by Christina Calvit(Lifeline, 2015), The White Road by Karen Tarjan (Irish Theatre of Chicago, 2015) and numerous development projects with Stage Left Theatre where she was the literary manager from 2016-18. She has also worked on research with Irish Theatre of Chicago, Lifeline Theatre, Lookingglass Theatre, and American Theater Company. Annaliese has a BA in Theatre and Psychology as well as an M.Phil in Theatre and Performance from Trinity College, Ireland.
producer/scenic design Katherine Arfken
costume design Brenda Winstead
lighting design Levi J. Wilkins
sound design Brian Thomas Chopps
company manager/casting director Mark Baer
stage manager Mia Godfrey
assistant stage manager Jasmine Jaramillo
assistant sound designer/sound board operator Nana Asabere
run crew Isaiah Rayburn
production manager/technical director Tim O'Donnell
assistant technical director Brian Thomas-Chopps
prop managers Michael Litke Adams and Espi Flores
assistant costume designer Billie Chatman
assistant lighting designer/master electrician Laquita Williams
scene shop crew Eric Munoz, Kaitlin Nichols, Jacob Rodriguez, T225 Stagecraft class
Russ (white, 40s)
Bev (married to Russ; white, 40s)
Francine (black, 30s)
Albert (married to Francine, black, 30s)
Jim (white, 20s)
Karl (white, 30s)
Betsy (married to Karl, late 20s)
Tom (played by the actor who played Jim)
Lindsey (played by the actor who played Betsy)
Kathy (played by the actor who played Bev)
Steve (married to Lindsey; played by the actor who played Karl)
Lena (played by the actor who played Francine)
Kevin (married to Lena;played by the actor who played Albert)
Dan (played by the actor who played Russ)
Kenneth (played by the actor who played Jim)