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Interim Artistic Director Interim Producing Director Ann Joseph Douglas Daniel Bryant

PRESENTS

Brothers of the Dust By: Darren Canady Director *Daniel Bryant² Stage Manager *Razor Wintercastle Scenic Design Andrei Onegin Lighting Design Casey Diers Costume Design Samantha Jones Sound Design Rick Sims Properties Design Jesse Gaffney Production Manager Dre Robinson *Actor’s Equity Association ²Congo Square Ensemble Member Congo Square Theatre Company 2936 N. Southport Suite 210 Chicago IL 60657 773 296-1108 Office 773 472-6637 Fax www.congosquaretheatre.org

 

The 2010-2011 Season is graciously funded in part by: The MacArthur Fund for the Arts and Culture at   Prince and The MacArthur Fund for the Arts and Culture at Richard H. Drieshaus Foundation.

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S U P P O R T S TA F F Assistant Director Allan Gilmore Assistant Stage Manager Sharlet Webb Fight Choreographer Jordan Smith Dialect Coach Rachel Haile Interns LaToya Smith Matt Lunt Dana Young Amaka Obiechie SPECIAL THANKS The Kennedy Center Bret Egan Julia Perkins Molly Feingold Bailiwick Theater

 

CAST LIST *James T. Alfred..............................................................................................................Roy Colton *Shanesia Davis.....................................................................................................Mayetta Colton *Anthony Irons.......................................................................................................Wilson Colton² *Velma Austin-Massey.............................................................................................. Nella Colton *Tracey N. Bonner..................................................................................................................Audra² Austin Talley.................................................................................................................. Ollie Colton Edgar Miquel Sanchez................................................................................................Jack Colton Merrina Millsapp..........................................................................................................Understudy Marc A. Rogers..............................................................................................................Understudy *Member of Actor’s Equity Association ²Congo Square Ensemble Member

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C O N G O S Q UA R E E N S E M B L E M E M B E R S Will Sims II * Ann Joseph *Monifa Days * Aaron Todd Douglas * TaRon Patton *Aimee K. Bryant * Javon Johnson Derrick Sanders *Anthony Irons *Bakesta King *Daniel Bryant *Ericka Ratcliff *Ron Conner *Alexis J. Rogers *Tracey Bonner *Allan Gilmore ARTISTIC ASSOCIATES *Samuel Roberson * Chad Boseman *Malkia Stampley *Member of Actor’s Equity Association

C O N G O S Q UA R E B OA R D O F D I R E C TO R S Amer Abdullah Les Coney Amina Dickerson Ron DeNard Tony Glen Eric Grant

September Gray Suzanne Griffith Michael Hughes Ahmad Islam Oscar Johnson Keith McGregory

Glen McKeown Melinda McMullen Tyrone Stoudemire Veronica-Anderson Thigpen Jesse Wardlow James Wooten

AU T H O R DARREN CANADY Darren Canady hails from Topeka, KS. His play, False Creeds, was named the winner of the Alliance Theater’s Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Competition and was also workshopped at the O’Neill Playwright’s Conference in 2006. False Creeds was also a finalist for the Abingdon Theatre Company’s Christopher Brian Wolk Award and the Goldberg Prize in Playwriting. He Was Mine but Then You Took Him received a production at NYU and was a finalist for the Actors Theatre of Louisville’s 2006 Heidelman Playwriting Award. Brothers of the Dust has received recognition in the Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Competition, the Theodore Ward Prize for African-American Playwriting, the James W. Rodgers Playwriting Competition and will be produced by Congo Square Theatre in Spring 2011. How Theo Changed His Name, an opera for which Darren provided the libretto, was premiered through the Pittsburgh (PA) Symphony Orchestra. His work has been seen at the Quo Vadimus Arts’ ID America Festival, the Fremont Centre Theatre, Chicago’s Congo Square Theatre, and the BE Company. Darren holds a BA in Creative Writing from Carnegie Mellon University and an MFA in Dramatic Writing from New York University. He was a 2006-7 fellow in the Juilliard School’s Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program, and is a former member of Primary Stages’ Dorothy Strelsin New Writers Group. He is also a member of the Old Vic Theatre’s Old Vic New Voices Network, where he participated in the 2010 T.S. Eliot US/UK Exchange. He is currently a member of the America-in-Play theatre collective and teaches playwriting at the University of Kansas. Congo Square Theatre Company 3


D I R E C TO R DANIEL BRYANT (Director/producer) is thrilled to be making his Chicago directorial debut at his artistic home Congo Square Theatre Company, where he has been an ensemble member for 5 years. Since joining Congo Square, Daniel served as Associate Artistic Director for 3 years and currently as Interim Producing Artistic Director for the past year and a half. His producing credits include The Colored Museum at The Chicago Center for the Performing Arts. The Nativity at Goodman Theater, and he has also produced and directed numerous staged readings for Congo Square’s Summer Reading Series, Legacy Festival and Festival on the Square. Daniel was the assistant director for Congo Square’s 2007 and 2008 productions of Black Nativity. He serves as an associate artist at Chicago Dramatist, where he has directed several times for their Saturday Series as well as their festival/showcase of new work, the Young Playwrights festival at Pegasus Players and American Theatre Company. In Los Angeles, Daniel was a founder of the African American Theatrical Ensemble where he directed Samm Art William’s HOME, Spunk by Zora Neal Hurston and an original work A Blossom in the Whirlwind. Daniel is a founding member of Onyx Theater. Other directing credits include The Dutchman and August Wilson’s Fences at James Madison University in Virginia. Daniel also has a successful acting career spanning over 15 years. His most recent performances were in Master Harold and the Boys at Timeline Theater, and the amazing TRUE/WEST,TOPDOG/UNDERDOG collaboration between American Theater Company and Congo Square Theatre Company.

PROFILES JAMES T. ALFRED (Roy Colton) “Brother’s of the Dust” marks James T. Alfred’s Congo Square Theater debut, and his first collaboration with Daniel Bryant. James’ most recent credit is Penumbra Theater’s signature production of “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”, directed by founding Artistic Director, Lou Bellamy. The production of “Ma Rainey” originated in Tucson, AZ, at the Arizona Theater Company, traveled to Phoenix and Minneapolis, ending at the internationally known, Tony Award Winning, Guthrie Theater. Other credits include “All’s Well That End’s Well” (New York’s Public Theater), “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (Court Theater-Chicago) “The Glass Menagerie” (Steppenwolf Theater), “Fences” (Penumbra Theater), “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “Jitney” (Arizona Theater Company, KC Rep). Mr. Alfred’s television Credits include: “The Line” (Pilot - CBS), and Prison Break (Fox). Film Credits include: “Son of America” (TanSkin) “Vile” (Turhan International, Life’s a Hustle) and “Split Decision” (Cerebesound) among others.

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SHANESIA DAVIS (Mayetta Colton) a proud member of Actors Equity, is honored to make her Congo Square debut as Mayetta in the World Premiere of “Brothers of the Dust”. Other theatrical production include: The Steppenwolf as Amanda in The Glass Menagerie, Girl on Yacht One Arm, Inez Our Lady of 121st St. Queen Cymbeline Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Hannah Drowning Crow (BTAA nom),Amy Jacques Garvey world premiere Black Star Line, Kaliman/ Lottie The Ties That Bind Watermelon Rinds (Jeff nom. BTAA nom)/ Missy May /woman #1 Spunk, The Visit and From the Mississippi Delta Goodman Theatre; Kanika Permanent Collection, Shelita Burns Bee-Luther-Hatchee Northlight among others, Brenda Comfortable Shoes Royal George(BTAA nom); Othello, Fuente Ovejuna Court Theatre among others. Regional credits include Nella Gees Bend Cleveland Playhouse, Salamina The Syringa Tree and Ruth A Raisin in The Sun KC Repertory; Esther Mills Intimate Apparel world premiere Southcoast Repertory ( NAACP Image Award nom.)/Centerstage Baltimore; Desdemona/Mercutio Goodnight Desdemona Good Morning Juliet, Ophelia Hamlet San Diego Rep.; Missy May/ Woman # 1 Spunk Penumbra Theatre among


P R O F I L E S ( c o n t .) others. She recently appeared in the ABC police drama Detroit 187.. This for my other hearts: Nambi, Tatum and the family that makes me whole! ANTHONY IRONS (Wilson Colton) Anthony is excited to be a part of the Brothers of the Dust world premiere with this incredible cast. A Congo Square Ensemble member since 2004, Anthony’s credits include King of Coons, African Company Presents Richard III, Elmina’s Kitchen and Top Dog/ Under Dog, the collaboration with American Theatre Company. Anthony directed The Colored Museum for Congo Square in 2010. He is currently writing, After the Fires, the story of a NY Firefighter’s family coping with the aftermath of the attacks of September 11, 2001. “I devote this show to my family. Love De and Xavi.” VELMA AUSTINMASSEY (Nella Colton) Velma Austin is delighted to appear for the first time at The Congo Square Theater in the production of Brothers. Velma recently appeared at the Artistic Home Theater as Wiletta in the production of Trouble In Mind. Velma has appeared on stage at The Seattle Repertory Theatre, as Birdie in the production of Birdie Blue and she has appeared at multiple Chicago Theatre’s including, The Goodman, Victory Garden’s Bio Theater and The Steppenwolf. Some of her productions include Intimate Apparel, Denmark, Joe Turner’s Come And Gone, God’s Trombones, Un-Spoken Prayers, Bourbon At The Boarder, Waiting To Be Invited, The Sovereign State of Boogedy, The Sutherland, and Root Causes to name a few. Velma has also been seen at the St, Louis, Madison and Milwaukee Repertory Theatre’s. Velma’s awards include a Jeff Award for Best Actress in a Revue of The Color Museum; A Woodie Award for Outstanding Supporting Access in Screened In Porch; Black Theatre Alliance award for best Actress in Intimate Apparel; and most recently, she was nominated for a Special Recognition Outstanding Award

for your performance in Court Martial at Fort Devens. First giving thanks to God, Velma would also take this time to say thanks to her husband and son Jeffery and JP for their support. TRACEY N. BONNER (Audra) is an Ensemble Member of Congo Square and is proud to make her return to the Congo stage. Her other theatre credits include Off Broadway: Home (Signature Theatre Company; Best Ensemble & Best Revival ,Vivian Robinson AUDELCO Award) Regional: Radio Golf directed by Derrick Sanders, Founding Artistic Director of Congo Square Theatre Company (Virginia Stage Company),Jitney (The Alliance Theatre), Home (Court Theatre & Madison Repertory Theatre) Chicago Credits: Jackie and Me (Chicago Children’s Theatre), The Talented Tenth (Best Play, BTA Award) and Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (Best Play, BTA Award) ((Congo Square Theatre Company, )) How the Kanye’ West Was Won and Six Degrees of Reparation (The Second City, Chicago). She holds a BS from Tennessee State University and an MFA from The Theatre School at DePaul University. AUSTIN TALLEY (Ollie Colton) Austin Talley is ecstatic to be working with Congo Square for the first time. He is a graduate of the Theatre School at Depaul University and is a South Carolina native. A few of his favorite Chicago theatre credits include As You Like It with Chicago Shakespeare, Auctioning the Ainsleys with Dog and Pony, Closure with Viaduct Theatre, She Calls Up the Sun with MPAACT and Harriet Jacobs with Steppenwolf Theatre. EDGAR MIGUEL SANCHEZ (Jack Colton) Edgar Miguel Sanchez (Chicago Credits) Sinbad: The Untold Story at Adventure Stage, 1001 with Congo Square Theatre Company 5


P R O F I L E S ( c o n t .) Collaboraction, Red Noses(Re) at Strawdog, Welcome to Arroyo’s at ATC, Wilson Wants It All with The House. How to Act Around Cops at The Artistic Home, and Twelfth Night at Chicago Shakespeare Theater (Regional Credits include) Midsummer Night’s Dream, Othello, Comedy of Errors all at The Oregon Shakespeare Festival. MERRINA MILLSAPP (Understudy) A native Chicagoan, Merrina studied Acting in Dublin, Ireland. Brothers of the Dust is her second collaboration in the United States. Some International Theatre / Television / Film credits include: The Flowers (About Face Theatre), The Bacchae of Baghdad (The Abbey Theatre), Romeo and Juliet (Second Age Theatre), It Just Came Out(Druid Theatre), ONE (Pan Pan Theatre),

Xizang (Prague Theatre Productions). Trouble in Paradise (Radio Television Eire – RTE), ‘Fair City’ (RTE). In America (Hell’s Kitchen Productions), Ella Enchanted (Miramax), and The Boxer (Universal). Merrina is honored to be working with the talented Congo Square Theatre Company. MARC ROGERS (Understudy) In addition to Brothers of the Dust, Marc has performed in several productions like Once On This Island, Raisin in the Sun, All For Love, The Cycle and Unbound. He has appeared in a couple of Independent films, and Marc is featured in the television commercials. Marc is proud and honored to be a part of this amazing project. Wants to thank Congo Square for the opportunity

PRODUCTION TEA M RAZOR WINTERCASTLE (Stage Manager) Razor has worked in the Chicago area for quite some time with various theatre companies. Razor has also worked on Europe, Asia, Africa, Canada and all over the place doing everything from theatre, film. concerts, bands, you name it. It is a pleasure to work with Congo Square again. Stay Sharp SHARLET WEBB (Assistant Stage Manager) is delighted to return to her extended family for this production of: Brothers of the Dust”. Other Congo Square credits are “The Nativity” @ The Goodman theatre, and “Colored Museum” @ Chicago Center for performing Arts. Ms. Webb is an Artistic Associate with MPAACT (Maa’t Producation Association of Afrikan Centered Theater). Ms Webb has worked as a stage manager with City Lit Theater, Absolute Shakespeare, The Theatre Budiling of Chicago, eta Creative arts foundation, Pegagus Players, Live Bait Theater, Metamorphosis Theater, DuSable Museum Ivanhoe Theater, Reflections Theater and many other non equity theaters in the Chicago land area for over two decades. Ms Webb holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia College, Chicago in technical theater. Ms Webb is also a member of the tech team for the National 6 Congo Square Theatre Company

Black Theater Festival in Winston Salem North Carolina. To my daughter Jennifer, my son Dale II and grandchildren Tymon II and Kaliyah continue to dream big and pursue your passion. DRE ROBINSON (Production Manager) Dre Robinson is very happy to work with Congo Square again. “Its like visiting old friends” The native Chicagoan says. A veteran of theatre, Dre has been blessed to have worked all over the world, doing what he loves to do. He has toured with Second City and Black Ensemble Theatre and has worked with some of the top theatrical companies in Chicago, including The Goodman Theater. In his spare time he is busy writing, directing, and producing with his company Studio One Productions. ANDREI ONEGIN (Set Design) Andrei is happy to be back and design the set for Brothers of the Dust. Andrei just recently designed the set for August Wilson’s Radio Golf at Raven Theater. Earlier this season, he designed The Nativity, and Colored Museum at the Congo Square. His other work in Chicago has included designing sets for Death of a Salesman and Hedda Gabler (Raven), Cat’s Cradle


P R O D U C T I O N T E A M ( c o n t .) (Lifeline), Princess Club, The Balloon Man and The Golden Truffle (Redmoon), Unsung Stars (Moving Dock), The Day of Knowledge (Stage Left), Hamlet (Yamaworks), Flood and Rosmersholm (Alchimia). During the last 30 years of Andrei’s theater career he has participated in and accomplished more than 110 productions, and worked for such legendary companies as Moscow Art Theater, Kabuky and ComédieFrançaise. He received his MFA in 1992 from The Moscow Art Theater School. RICK SIMS (Sound Designer) Rick has composed and designed sound for numerous Lookingglass productions and many other Chicago area theatres such as Steppenwolf, Congo Square, Writers Theatre, Lifeline, Griffin, The House, Court, ATC, Victory Gardens, The Raven, Steep and About Face. Out of town credits include Icarus at the Getty in L.A. with Lookingglass, and Gary at Boston Playwrights. Rick won a Jeff Award for lyrics in Hepheastus and was nominated for another for musical direction for the Shaggs both at Lookingglass. Rick also has two BTAA award nominations. Rick is an artistic associate of Lookingglass Theatre Company and an associate designer with Aria Music Designs (Ray Nardelli and Josh Horvath). Rick also wrote the book, music and lyrics for Lookingglass’ Hillbilly Antigone. SAMANTHA JONES (Costume Design) is delighted to be back at Congo Square Theatre where she previously designed costumes for A Colored Museum, for which she received a BTAA nomination for Costume Design. Around town her work has been seen at American Blues Theatre (Rantoul and Die, It’s a Wonderful Life: Live at the Biograph!) 16th Street Theatre (Menorca, Fires in the Mirror, Unveiled, and The End of the Tour), Remy Bumppo Theatre Co. (American Ethnic, Heroes, Night and Day), Peninsula Players Theatre (A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine, Wait Until Dark, Around the World in 80 Days, Heroes, Over the Tavern), and Florida Studio Theatre (Playmakers). Her work can be seen this fall in the Mourning Becomes Electra with Remy Bumppo Theatre Co. and in Waiting for Lefty with American Blues Theatre, where she is a proud ensemble member.

CASEY DIERS (Lighting Design) Recent Chicago lighting design credits include Boojum (Caffeine Theatre), Pretty Ballet (Joffrey Ballet), What Once We Felt (About Face Theatre), and Tad in the 5th City [BTAA Award Nomination] (MPAACT); associate lighting designer for The Farnsworth Invention (Timeline); and assistant lighting designer for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25th Anniversary Concerts (Madison Square Garden), Kafka on the Shore (Steppenwolf ) and Kafka Fragments (Lincoln Center, Inc). Casey is an Artistic Associate of Caffeine Theatre. JESSE GAFFNEY (Prop Design) Jesse is excited to be working with Congo Square for the first time. Elsewhere in Chicago she has worked with Silk Road, Apple Tree, 16th Street, Marriot Lincolnshire, A Red Orchid, Piven, Steep and Noble Fool Theatre Companies. Outside if Chicago Jesse worked for Allenberry Playhouse in Boiling Springs, PA, Stages St. Louis, and The Arrow Rock Lyceum in Arrow Rock, MO. Thanks and love to Warwick. JORDAN SMITH (Fight Choreographer) Jordan is excited to once again be working with Congo Square in capacity as Fight Choreographer. Jordan has worked on productions ranging from professional to middle school (and everything in between) as director, producer, TD, fight choreographer, and actor. He most recently worked with Congo square on their production of “St. James Infirmary.” In October later this year, Jordan will be working with UIC as fight choreographer on their production of When You Comin’ Back, Red Ryder? Jordan would like to thank all the members of Congo Square Theatre Co. for their collaboration on “Brothers of the Dust” and to his wife, Elaine, for her support and coping with his less than regular schedule. RACHEL HAILE (Dialect Coach) Rachel got her BA from Grinnell College in Iowa having studied theatre, linguistics, and cultural anthropology. Current vocal and dialect projects include Bailiwick Chicago, Lincoln Square Theatre, Circle Theatre, Chicago Fusion Theatre, New Leaf Theatre and Citadel Theatre. Past projects have been at Mortar Theatre, Chicago Dell’Arte, The Hypocrites, Collaboraction, Apple Tree Theatre, On the Spot Theatre and in New Zealand. She has lived abroad in London and New Zealand and tries her hardest to get to at least two foreign countries per year. Congo Square Theatre Company 7


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Congo Square-Brothers of the Dust