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Based upon the novel written by ALICE WALKER and the Warner Bros./Amblin Entertainment Motion Picture Book by MARSHA NORMAN

Director L. WALTER STEARNS

Scenic Design BOB KNUTH

Music and Lyrics by BRENDA RUSSELL, ALLEE WILLIS, STEPHEN BRAY Musical Director EUGENE DIZON

Lighting Design NICK BELLEY

Production Stage Manager KRISTI J. MARTENS, A.E.A.

Choreographer BRENDA DIDIER

Costume Design FRANCES MAGGIO, U.S.A.

Sound Design MIKE ROSS

Assistant Stage Manager DANIEL J. HANSON, A.E.A.

STARRING TRISHA JEFFREY AS CELIE The Color Purple was produced on Broadway at the Broadway Theater by Oprah Winfrey, Scott Sanders, Roy Furman and Quincy Jones. The world premiere of The Color Purple was produced by the Alliance Theater, Atlanta Georgia. The Color Purple is presented through special arrangement with, and all licensed materials are available through Theatrical Rights Worldwide, www.theatricalrights.com. The Color Purple

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cast (in order of appear ance) Young Celie....................................................................................................................SIDRA HENDERSON Church Soloist...................................................................................................................... DONICA LYNN* Doris.............................................................................................................. CARRIE LOUISE ABERNATHY* Darlene...............................................................................................................................SYDNEY CHARLES Jarene....................................................................................................................BRITTANY L. BRADSHAW Pa..................................................................................................................................CORTEZ L. JOHNSON* Nettie..................................................................................................................CRYSTAL CORINNE WOOD Celie.......................................................................................................................................TRISHA JEFFREY* Preacher................................................................................................................... EVAN TYRONE MARTIN Mister.................................................................................................................................KEITHON GIPSON* Harpo........................................................................................................................ EVAN TYRONE MARTIN Sofia.............................................................................................................................JASONDRA JOHNSON Squeak....................................................................................................................................... NINAH SNIPES Shug................................................................................................................................. ADRIENNE WALKER Ol’ Mister....................................................................................................................CORTEZ L. JOHNSON* Buster.................................................................................................................................. TRAVIS PORCHIA* Chief............................................................................................................................CORTEZ L. JOHNSON* Young Olivia..................................................................................................................SIDRA HENDERSON Henrietta.........................................................................................................................SIDRA HENDERSON Grady.................................................................................................................................. TRAVIS PORCHIA* Young Man....................................................................................................DONTERRIO JAYE JOHNSON Adam...............................................................................................................DONTERRIO JAYE JOHNSON Olivia.......................................................................................................................................... NINAH SNIPES Ensemble CARRIE LOUISE ABERNATHY*, BRITTANY L. BRADSHAW, SYDNEY CHARLES, AARON HOLLAND*, DONTERRIO JAYE JOHNSON, DONICA LYNN*, TRAVIS PORCHIA*, NINAH SNIPES, CRYSTAL CORINNE WOOD

musicians Piano/Conductor........................................................................................................ OLIVER TOWNSEND Bass.....................................................................................................CAMERON McINTYRE, BOB POTSIC Guitar...............................................................................................MIKE PRZYGODA, SCOTT SEDLACEK Percussion...................................................................................................................... LINDSAY WILLIAMS Trumpet....................................................................................................................................JOHN MOHAN Woodwinds..................................................................................................................ANTHONY PARSONS Orchestrations JOSEPH JOUBERT & JONATHAN TUNICK

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understudies Understudies will not perform unless an announcement is made at time of performance. Celie.......................................................................................................................................... DONICA LYNN* Nettie.....................................................................................................................BRITTANY L. BRADSHAW Pa, Ol’ Mister, Chief...................................................................................................... AARON HOLLAND* Mister........................................................................................................................ EVAN TYRONE MARTIN Harpo, Preacher..........................................................................................DONTERRIO JAYE JOHNSON Squeak.......................................................................................................... CARRIE LOUISE ABERNATHY* Shug Avery........................................................................................................................SYDNEY CHARLES p r o d u c t i o n s ta f f Director......................................................................................................................... L. WALTER STEARNS Musical Director.................................................................................................................. EUGENE DIZON Choreographer....................................................................................................................BRENDA DIDIER Associate Choreographers......................................................... CRAIG V. MILLER, ANDREW WATERS Scenic Design................................................................................................................................ BOB KNUTH Lighting Design......................................................................................................................... NICK BELLEY Costume Design.................................................................................................FRANCES MAGGIO, U.S.A. Sound Design...................................................................................................................................MIKE ROSS Stage Manager.............................................................................................................. KRISTI J. MARTENS* Assistant Stage Manager..........................................................................................DANIEL J. HANSON* Assistant Musical Director........................................................................................ OLIVER TOWNSEND Assistant Director.....................................................................................................MATTHEW GUNNELS Assistant Lighting Designer.......................................................................................DANIEL FRIEDMAN Technical Director........................................................................................................................RIC COMBS Scenic Construction..................................................................................................... LEFT WING SCENIC Dance Captain..................................................................................................................TRAVIS PORCHIA Violence Design........................................................................................................R&D CHOREOGRAPHY VICTOR BAYONA, RICHARD GILBERT Sound Board Engineer.................................................................................................JOSEPH SCHOFIELD Assistants to the Costume Designer.........................................ALAINA MOORE, AMY DOMINGUEZ Costume Construction................................................................ TOM KEIFER, KATIE SARAH PHILLIPS, JOYCE GREENING, RACHEL BOYLAN Costume Headpiece Construction......................................................... RICKY LURIE, MICAH PATTON Wardrobe............................................................................................................................RACHEL BOYLAN Production Assistant................................................................................................... RACHAEL HOLIDAY Child Wrangler............................................................................................................. RACHAEL HOLIDAY Press Representative...................................................................NOREEN HERON & ASSOCIATES, INC. NOREEN HERON ZAUTCKE, KATHERINE HUGHES, LIANNE WIKER, BRENNA O’LEARY, HOLLY GUSTAVSON Graphic Designer........................................................................................................ NADINE HEIDINGER

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m e r c u r y t h e at e r c h i c ag o s ta f f Executive Director.........................................................................................................L. WALTER STEARNS Business Manager.............................................................................................................. EUGENE DIZON Box Office Manager.............................................................................................................MIGUEL PEREZ Facilities Manager......................................................................................................JOSEPH SCHOFIELD House Management........................................................................................................... MATT CONLON Box Office Staff.................................................................................... KATIE NIXON, MATTHEW PAYNE, SUSAN ROBINSON special thanks Gary Griffin, Felicia Fields, Joseph Griffin, Columbia College Chicago, Jackie Taylor and Lyle Miller from the Black Theater Ensemble, Katrina V. Miller, Kevin Bellie, St. Ignatius College Prep, Bad Ass Coffee Mercury Theater Chicago is a proud member of the League of Chicago Theatres, the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, the Chicago Area Producers Organization, and the Lakeview Chamber of Commerce. *Denotes member of Actors’ Equity Association. Actors’ Equity Association (AEA), founded in 1913, represents more than 45,000 actors and stage managers in the United States. Equity seeks to advance, promote and foster the art of live theatre as an essential component of our society. Equity negotiates wages and working conditions, providing a wide range of benefits, including health and pension plans. AEA is a member of the AFL-CIO, and is affiliated with FIA, an international organization of performing arts unions. The Equity emblem is our mark of excellence. www.actorsequity.org c o m i n g s o o n to m e r c u r y t h e at e r c h i c ag o THE CHRISTMAS SCHOONER Book by John Reeger Music and Lyrics by Julie Shannon November 21 to December 29, 2013 Returning for its annual voyage, THE CHRISTMAS SCHOONER has become Chicago’s holiday tradition. The whole family will enjoy this heart-warming story of the first Christmas tree ship and the family who risked their lives to fill Chicago with the Christmas spirit. The Chicago Tribune calls this show “a sacred part of a Chicago Christmas”. The Chicago SunTimes raved, “An inheritance to be treasured”. A timely and uplifting tale of love and loss, THE CHRISTMAS SCHOONER reminds us of tradition, and our responsibility to celebrate the living while honoring our heritage.

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musical numbers ACT ONE Overture............................................................................................................................................Orchestra Opening Act 1...........................................................................Celie, Nettie, Church Soloist, Preacher, Darlene, Doris, Jarene, Ensemble Somebody Gonna Love You..................................................................................................................Celie Mysterious Ways..............................................................................................Church Soloist, Ensemble Our Prayer.................................................................................................................... Celie, Nettie, Mister That Fine Mister......................................................................................................Jarene, Doris, Darlene Big Dog................................................................................................................Mister, Celie, Field Hands Lily of the Field..........................................................................................................................................Celie Sofia..............................................................................................................................................Harpo, Sofia Dear God – Sofia......................................................................................................................................Celie Hell No........................................................................................................................................................Sofia Brown Betty..........................................................................................................Harpo, Squeak, Buddies Shug Avery Comin’ to Town...................................................................... Harpo, Mister, Celie, Jarene, Doris, Darlene, Church Soloist, Ensemble All We Got to Say.....................................................................................................Doris, Jarene, Darlene Dear God – Shug..........................................................................................................................Celie, Shug Too Beautiful for Words......................................................................................................................... Shug Push Da Button.................................................................................................. Harpo, Shug, Emsemble Uh-Oh..............................................................................................Doris, Jarene, Darlene, Sofia, Mister, Harpo, Squeak Ensemble What About Love.........................................................................................................................Celie, Shug Finale Act 1...................................................................................................................................... Orchestra ACT TWO Opening Act 2................................................................................................................................. Orchestra Africa............................................................................................................................... Nettie, Celie, Chief, Royal Wives, Villagers The Color Purple...................................................................................................................................... Shug Church Ladies Easter..............................................................................................Darlene, Jarene, Doris Mister’s Nightmare............................................................................................................................... Mister In Miss Celie’s Pants....................................................................................Celie, Doris, Jarene, Darlene, Squeak, Sofia, Shug Is There Anything I Can Do For You?..................................................................................... Harpo, Sofia What About Love (Reprise)....................................................................................................................Celie I’m Here......................................................................................................................................................Celie Church Ladies 4th of July.......................................................................................Darlene, Jarene, Doris The Color Purple................................................................................. Celie, Nettie, Shug, Adam, Olivia, Sofia, Mister, Harpo, Darlene, Jarene, Doris, Church Soloist, Ensemble PLEASE NOTE: THE COLOR PURPLE IS PERFORMED WITH ONE TEN-MINUTE INTERMISSION

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a b o u t m e r c u r y t h e at e r c h i c ag o Mercury Theater Chicago 3745 N. Southport Ave Chicago IL 60613 773-325-1700 www.mercurytheaterchicago.com Mercury Theater Chicago is an intimate, jewel box of a theater seating 290 people in a continental style. It is available for commercial productions as well as local, nonprofit producers. An anchor of the Southport Corridor community, Mercury Theater Chicago beats at the heart of a sophisticated neighborhood of shopping, dining and entertainment. The building that houses the Mercury opened in 1912 as a silent film nickelodeon called the Blaine Theater, named after former Senator and Secretary of State James G. Blaine. Around 1928 the popularity of “talkies” was on the rise, and the Blaine had become obsolete, so the much larger movie palace, the New Blaine Theater was built, which was shortly after named the Music Box Theater, still in operation today a few doors down from the Mercury. For most of the 20th century the original Blaine building served many retail purposes, and for a while, operated as a carpet cleaning facility, using the rake of the seating area to lay rugs out and drain the water off. In 1994, veteran Chicago theater producer Michael Cullen organized the purchase and renovation of the building, re-dubbing it the Mercury Theater after Orson Welles’ famous troupe of War of the Worlds fame. The Mercury opened in 1996 with Pope Joan, and from 1996-2009 showcased many critically acclaimed productions, including The Irish and How they Got That Way, Over the Tavern, and His Way, a tribute to Frank Sinatra. Today, Mercury Theater Chicago is led by Executive Director L. Walter Stearns, a veteran theater director, and former Artistic Director of Porchlight Music Theatre Chicago. It reopened on May 1, 2011 with the critically acclaimed production of A Twist of Water. This production, by Route 66 Theater Company, reaffirms Mercury Theater Chicago as a place where Chicago stories and local artists can find a home. Though little of the Blaine still exists, you can see hints of what used to be inside, including decorative plaster pilaster busts flanking the house. The intimate theater now boasts warm exposed brick walls and 292 seats that were recovered and refurbished from a 1933 era Boston movie house.

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profiles CARRIE LOUISE ABERNATHY* (Doris, Understudy to Squeak) is excited to be working with Mercury Theater Chicago for the first time. Carrie has appeared in many Black Ensemble Theatre productions, most recently seen in The Jackie Wilson Story. She also appears in national commercials and industrials. Carrie presently studies at the Acting Studio Chicago and Alliance Française de Chicago. BRITTANY L. BRADSHAW (Jarene, Understudy to Nettie) is very excited to be a member of the cast of The Color Purple! She was born and raised in Chicago, then lived in Washington, DC for five years while she earned her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Musical Theater from Howard University. In 2011, Brittany returned to her hometown and is now teaching preschool and performing. She has been featured in Rent (Brightside), Crime Scene (Collaboraction), Family: The Musical (Oracle Theater), Smokey Joe’s Cafe (Open Door Repertory), Chicago (Georgetown Gilbert and Sullivan Society) and All Night Strut & Once on this Island (Ira Aldridge Theater). Brittany is thankful to her family & friends for their love and support. SYDNEY CHARLES (Darlene, Understudy to Shug Avery) is ecstatic to be making her Mercury Theater Chicago debut with this amazing production of The Color Purple. A native Chicagoan and Northern Illinois University graduate, Sydney left corporate America 3 years ago and has been performing ever since. She was most recently seen at the Royal George Theater

in the Jeff-award winning production of Smokey Joe’s Cafe. Some of her favorite roles include: Grizabella in Cats, Glinda in The Wiz, and Sister Robert Anne in Nunsense. Sydney wants to thank her parents, family, friends, and her sisters of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. for supporting her dream to perform. She promises to break both legs while she is on stage and make you all proud. KEITHON GIPSON* (Mister) is grateful to be making both his Chicago and Mercury Theater Chicago debut. A proud native Texan, Keithon spent the last seven years in New York City and was cast in various Principal and Chorus parts in regional theaters. Highlights include Ragtime, Camelot, How to Succeed in Business, Glimmerglass (World Premiere) and Showboat to name a few. Keithon received his Bachelor’s Degree in Voice Performance from the University of Texas at Austin. By this time Keithon had already built a solid reputation as both an opera and classical solo performer. Count Almaviva in Le Nozze Di Fiagro, Figaro in Il Barbieri di Silviglia and Guglielmo in Cosi Fan Tutti to name just a few. Keithon also played the title role in the World Premiere of Ghenghis Khan earning him a Best Actor in Musical/Opera from the Austin Circle of Theaters. Recently he was invited by his Alma Mater to perform and with jazz great Carmen Bradford in the first completed and fully-staged performance of Duke Ellington’s obscure opera, Queenie Pie. SIDRA HENDERSON (Young Celie, Young Olivia, Henrietta) is 7 years old. She will be entering first grade this year and loves reading, singing, dancing, putting on plays with her toys, writing funny songs and spending time with her big brother and big sister. The Color Purple

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Although this is Sidra’s first time performing on stage, it’s not actually her first time ON stage. Sidra shared the stage with her mother (Donica Lynn) at the tender age of 2 months old as Baby Kabee in Moyenda and the Golden Heart with Chocolate Chips Theatre Co. Thank you Mr. Walter and Eugene; thank you everybody for coming and I hope you enjoy the show. AARON HOLLAND* (Ensemble, Understudy to Pa, Ol’ Mister, Chief) is delighted to be a part of this amazingly gifted cast and back on the Mercury stage for the first time in ten Augusts! Most recently Aaron was seen at First Folio as Iachimo in Cymbeline and as the beautiful Transgendered Shalita in Hellcab at Profiles Theater. Aaron has been performing in and around Chicagoland for the past 10 years, working with everyone from Chicago Children’s Theatre to The Goodman and Steppenwolf, to Hell in A Handbag! Aaron has been nominated for two Black Alliance Awards and received the Kingsley Colton award at the American College Theatre Festival at the Kennedy Center in 2003. Aaron is a Graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, Playwright-in-Residence at Bailiwick Chicago and a proud member of the Actors’ Equity Association. “You Change the World When You Change Your Mind” Love to Mom. TRISHA JEFFREY* (Celie) is thrilled to make her Chicago performance debut at Mercury Theater Chicago as Celie in The Color Purple! Fresh off the 1st National Tour of Sister Act as Tina/Nun and Deloris Van Cartier, she made her Broadway debut as Crystal in Little Shop Of Horrors (OBC), both directed by Jerry Zaks. Other Broadway credits include All Shook Up and Rent, in 8

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which she played the roles of Mimi/ Joanne/Alexi Darling/Mrs. Cohen/Mrs. Jefferson - a feat she repeated in Rent: The Broadway Tour. A founding member of Classical Theatre of Harlem in NYC, Trisha performed in and choreographed several works such as Macbeth and Lysistrata. Favorite performed roles: Dorothy in The Wiz, Chrysothemis in Electra, Ti Moune in Once On This Island, and Emmie in Caroline, Or Change. Visit trishajeffrey.com. Thanks to my family, Michael Cassara, and About Artists Agency. “Dear God, Thank you for your everlasting love!” DONTERRIO JAYE JOHNSON (Ensemble, Adam, Dance Captain, Understudy to Harpo, Preacher) Theater: Rent (Xmas Caroler/ Ensemble), Under A Rainbow Flag (Pvt. Owens - Jeff Award, Production-Musical); Hairspray The Musical (Seaweed - ITL Award, Best Actor), Urinetown (Bobby Strong), Aladdin The Musical (Jafar), Into The Woods (Cinderella’s Prince/Wolf ), Kennedy The Musical-Broadway Workshop (Reporter/Ensemble). Other Credits: The Nam-Short Film (General), Little Shop Of Horrors (Choreographer), Grease (Choreographer), Willy Wonka Jr (Director), A Night Under The Stars (Headliner), Donterrio Johnson LIVE IN CONCERT (Headliner), The Little Mermaid Jr. (Director), 101 Dalmatians (Director) “Without an audience what I do is work with an audience what I do is play.” I dedicate these performances to my family and BD for all the support. PASSION•FAME JASONDRA JOHNSON (Sofia) is excited to embark on her journey as a new addition to the Mercury Theater Chicago family during its run of The Color Purple. She previously appeared at the Goodman Theatre in


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Crowns (Velma) during the 2011/2012 Season. Recent appearances also include Will You Stand Up?, a production by Erasing the Distance (Kokomo) and a current role in the most recent LasVegas.com national commercial campaigns. Her training has come from working with speech and drama coaches during her high school years and participating in ministries at her church home, True Spirit International Ministries, which highlights the importance of self-expression through fine arts. Ms. Johnson is currently earning a M.Ed. in Community Counseling at Loyola University Chicago. CORTEZ L. JOHNSON* (Pa, Ol Mister, Chief) is very happy to be returning to the Chicago theater community in the production of The Color Purple. Prior Chicago productions include: Purlie, Blues in the Night, and The First. His NYC accomplishments include performances in the music video ‘Badd’ with Michael Jackson and ‘Harlem Shuffle’ with Mick Jagger. He holds a B.A from Columbia College and a Master’s Degree from Roosevelt University in Education. He is a former Chicago Public Schools Assistant Principal/Math Specialist/Teacher. He has also held a teaching position at Loyola University teaching Math Methods for elementary school teachers. He always says, “For each of life’s experiences, and in the memory of my Godmother, Mother Perdue.” Thank you God, I am grateful! DONICA LYNN* (Ensemble, Church Soloist, Understudy to Celie) just closed the circus at the Mercury as Joyce Heth in Barnum. Donica recently understudied Tonynominated actress Felicia P. Fields in Crowns (Goodman). Credits include;

Hairspray, Aida (Drury Lane Oakbrook); Hair (Paramount); Caroline or Change (Court); Fiorello! (Timeline); Antigone (McAninch Arts). Donica has also worked at Bailiwick Rep, Northlight, ETA Theatre, Congo Square, Marriott, Barn Theatre (MI), Theatre at the Center (IN), Fox Theatre (MI), Apollo Theater (NY) & Pantages Theatre (LA). A two-time BTAA nominee & alumni member of Walt Whitman & Soul Children of Chicago, she’s been a background/studio vocalist for artists from Aretha Franklin to Mariah Carey. Having had two #1 dance/ club singles in the UK, she is featured on the Ramey Lewis “Dance of the Soul” CD. Double degreed in Medical Science & Fine Arts, she will obtain her JD from Harvard University. A two-time brain tumor survivor, Donica will be in concert later this year right here at the Mercury to benefit the American Brain Tumor Association. A proud AEA member represented by Stewart Talent, Donica thanks Walter and Eugene for all the little things that promote healing. I LVE STRONG daily for my children Aerial, Sidra, Sabastian, my Nanny and the love of my life Kippy! God Bless. EVAN TYRONE MARTIN (Harpo, Preacher) is so happy to be making his debut with Mercury Theater Chicago! Evan is a native of Cleveland, Ohio and later received a BA in Theatre and Vocal Performance from Ashland University. Previous Chicago credits include: Valentin in Kiss of the Spider Woman (Boho Theatre), Janitor/Reporter in See What I Wanna See (Bailiwick/ Steppenwolf Garage Rep), Emcee in Dreamgirls (Marriott Theatre), Flick in Violet (Bailiwick Chicago, Jeff Nomination) Bishop in Floyd Collins (Boho Theatre), Re-Spiced: A Silk Road Cabaret (Silk Road Rising), Some Enchanted Evening (Theo Ubique). Evan would like to thank God, his friends and family, and you for coming. (EKM, JRW) The Color Purple

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TRAVIS PORCHIA* (Buster, Grady, Ensemble) is proud to be making his Mercury Theater Chicago debut! Other Chicago credits include: Sweet Charity (Writers‘ Theatre), Hairspray (Drury Lane Oakbrook), The Petrified Forest (Strawdog Theater), Pippin (Boho Theater), Meet John Doe (Porchlight Music Theatre) and Footloose (Theater at the Center). Regionally, Travis performed in the Peninsula Players’ production of Chicago (Door County, WI). Television credits include “Boulevard”- AT&T U-verse (commercial) and “Where You At?” (Jennifer Hudson music video). Film credits include: Dhoom 3: Back In Action and Dr. Liebenstein. Travis sends his love and deep appreciation to his Mom, Dad, Will, and family of friends for their constant love and support! NINAH SNIPES (Squeak, Olivia, Ensemble) is very excited and pleased to be a part of the cast and to graciously take on the role of Squeak! In the Chicagoland area, Ninah has performed with entertainers, Jeremih, T.I. and Ludacris at the historic Regal Theater and Northern Illinois University Convocation Center. She has competed regionally and nationally as a classically trained vocalist with ACT-SO and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and studied/ performed with regionally recognized dance companies including, Matter Dance, Danza Viva and Hubbard Street/Lou Conte. She studied at Columbia College in Chicago receiving her B.A. in Musical Theater. Her most recent credits include, One Name Only at the Black Ensemble Theater, and Dreamgirls at the Harold Washington Cultural Center.

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ADRIENNE WALKER (Shug Avery) is excited to be making her Mercury Theater Chicago debut. Regional credits include Porgy and Bess (Court Theatre), Dreamgirls (Marriott Theatre), Hair (Paramount Theatre) and Brooklyn the Musical (The Towle Theater). Atlanta credits include Porgy and Bess (Atlanta Opera Company), and opera scenes of The Consul, Carmen, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Harrower Opera Workshop). Adrienne received her Bachelor of Arts from Spelman College, and her Masters of Music from Chicago Conservatory of Performing Arts (CCPA) at Roosevelt University. She would like to thank her family and friends for their unending support and love. CRYSTAL CORINNE WOOD (Nettie, Ensemble) hails from Shaker Heights, OH. Since graduating from Columbia College with her degrees in Musical Theatre and Vocal Performance she has been seen in Light Opera Works’ HMS Pinafore, The March: A Civil Right Opera (a workshop written by Alan Marshall), Big Noise Theatre’s Jesus Christ Superstar, and The Onion’s “Vote Rite��� webisode. She is thrilled to participate in her first production at Mercury Theater. Outside of theater she loves songwriting, her guinea pig Pepper, twizzlers, and fro yo! She’d like to thank Tucker, her family, & friends for their love and support. Crystalcorinnewood.com MARSHA NORMAN (Book) won the Pulitzer Prize for her play, ‘night, Mother and a Tony Award for her book of the Broadway musical, The Secret Garden. Ms. Norman is co-chair, with Christopher Durang, of the Playwriting Department of the Juilliard School and vice president of the Dramatists Guild of America. Her


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other plays include Getting Out, Traveler in the Dark, Sarah and Abraham, Trudy Blue, and The Last Dance. Her published work includes Four Plays, Vol. I: Collected Plays of Marsha Norman and a novel, The Fortune Teller. She has numerous film and TV credits, Grammy and Emmy nominations, and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters and the Fellowship of Southern Writers. She is a native of Kentucky who lives in New York City and Long Island with her two children. BRENDA RUSSELL (Music and Lyrics) received a Tony Award nomination for The Color Purple for Best Score, as well as a Grammy nomination for Best Musical Show Album. She the composer of the classics “Get Here,” “If Only For One Night,” and the Grammy-nominated “Piano In The Dark”. While composing The Color Purple, Brenda also wrote, recorded and co-produced a solo album, Between the Sun and the Moon. She co-wrote the song “Justice of the Heart” with Stevie Wonder for the Denzel Washington movie John Q; a song that Wonder performed. Brenda also wrote the score to How Stella Got Her Groove Back and two songs for Liberty Heights. In 2001 Universal Records released a collection of her music entitled Brenda Russell: Ultimate Collection. Her co-composition with Brazilian artist Ivan Lins titled “She Walks This Earth” was recorded by Sting for the all-star tribute album called Love Affair: The Music Of Ivan Lins which earned him a Grammy Award in 2001 for Best Pop Male Vocal Performance. Other superstar artists who have either collaborated with Brenda or recorded her songs include Babyface, Mary J. Blige, Michael McDonald, Bow Wow, Janet Jackson, Donna Summer, Earth, Wind & Fire, Ray Charles, Luther Vandross, Joe Cocker, Roberta Flack, Al Jarreau and Johnny Mathis.

ALLEE WILLIS (Music and Lyrics) is a Grammy-winning and Emmy and Tony-nominated composer whose hit songs – including Earth, Wind & Fire’s “September” and “Boogie Wonderland,” The Pointer Sisters’ “Neutron Dance,” Pet Shop Boys with Dusty Springfield’s “What Have I Done To Deserve This,” and The Rembrandts’ “I’ll Be There For You (Theme From Friends)” – have sold over 50 million records. Allee received a Grammy for the soundtrack Beverly Hills Cop. In 2006, Willis’ songs were featured in three of the top grossing films of the year, Happy Feet, Night at the Museum, and Babel. In 2006, Willis also contributed seven of her classic hits for Earth, Wind & Fire, and to the EWFthemed jukebox musical Hot Feet, which helped her make Broadway history as the first woman – and only fifth person ever – to have written music for two shows opening on the Great White Way in the same season. Willis is also a prolific artist who has sold over 1000 pieces of art, including paintings, sculptures, motorized work and furniture. In tandem with her fearless alter-ego Bubbles the artist, Willis has long braved new worlds of creative endeavor integrating music, art, video, multi-media technology and lifestyle, most recently via the phenomenon known as Bubbles & Cheesecake, whose first video, “It’s A Woman Thang,” which Willis cocomposed, drew, animated, directed and stars in, exploded on YouTube with close to 1,000,000 views and was selected as an Official Honoree in The 2008 Webby Awards. STEPHEN BRAY (Music and Lyrics) is thrilled to be making his Broadway debut with The Color Purple (Tony nomination). After beginning music studies with private instruction in Detroit, Bray continued training at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. Working with Madonna, he wrote and produced many of her top-ten recordings, including “Angel,” “Into the Groove,” “Papa Don’t Preach,” “True Blue” and “Express Yourself.” Performing with Breakfast Club, he earned a Grammy The Color Purple

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nomination for Best New Artist and a topten single. He has composed and produced for multiplatinum artists including The Jets, Gladys Knight and Kylie Minogue. Film and television projects include Beverly Hills Cop II, Who’s That Girl?, All About the Benjamins, and the theme for PBS’s California Connected. Stephen is developing artists for his Soultone label and looks forward to more musical theater. L WALTER STEARNS (Director) is delighted to collaborate with so many talented people to bring The Color Purple to the Mercury Theater, after having worked on Barnum – The Circus Musical this past spring. As Executive Director of Mercury Theater Chicago, Walter is a champion for Chicago artists and productions and has overseen the physical and cultural revival of a beautiful theatre. He has directed over 30 musicals including his Jeff-Award nominated productions of The Christmas Schooner, Nine the Musical, Ragtime, Gypsy, The Secret Garden, Sweeney Todd, Company, A New Brain, Into the Woods, Merrily We Roll Along and Falsettos. Walter has received the Jeff Award, After Dark Awards, The Larry Sloan Advocate Award (for his support of Season of Concern), the first Guy Adkins award for his contributions to the art of musical theatre and the Franny Award as a distinguished alumnus of the University of Illinois at Chicago. EUGENE DIZON (Musical Director) is thrilled to work on The Color Purple with this amazing cast and crew. After musical directing The Christmas Schooner for two seasons, Eugene musical directed A Grand Night for Singing and Barnum – The Circus Musical at Mercury Theater Chicago. Before coming to the Mercury, he was at Porchlight Music Theatre for 14 seasons where he received 6 Jeff Awards (Ragtime, Sweeney Todd, Amadeus, Company, Into the Woods, and Merrily We Roll Along), 13 Jeff nominations as well as 4 After Dark Awards (Ragtime, Sweeney Todd, A New Brain, and Merrily). Other favorite theater experiences include Pacific Overtures, Nine, Elegies 12

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and Candide (Porchlight), Starting Here, Starting Now (Theo Ubique) and Songs for a New World (Columbia College). Eugene is honored to have been inducted into the Chicago Filipino Hall of Fame. He is currently the Business Manager at Mercury Theater Chicago. This past holiday season, Eugene and Cory Goodrich produced the CD recording “Season of Carols” which featured some of the brightest talent in Chicago theater today, benefiting Season of Concern. Next up for Eugene will be directing the third season of The Christmas Schooner at the Mercury. BRENDA DIDIER (Choreographer) is thrilled to collaborate again with Walter, Eugene and Matt on this very special show! Thank you so much to Andrew and Craig for your talents. Ms. Didier has received 17 Jeff Nominations and 9 Jeff Awards in both direction and choreography as well as After Dark Awards, the National Youth Theatre Award and many others. As owner and artistic director of the Lincolnshire Academy of Dance, she is most proud of her scholarship program and her students completing summer intensives with American Ballet Theatre, Joffrey Ballet, Interlochen, Ballet Met, Milwaukee Ballet, Boston Ballet and The Rock School. Ms. Didier is a freelance director/choreographer who has worked in TV, Film, and theatre from Second City to Cirque Shanghai. As always, love to Mom and Mike! BOB KNUTH (Scenic Designer) has been nominated for 15 Jeff Awards and received two for Best Scenic Design for his work at Circle Theatre. At Circle, Bob directed and designed sets for A Little Night Music, Analytical Engine (Jeff nomination), Little Women (Jeff nomination), Enchanted April (Jeff Award – Scenic Design; Jeff nomination, Production-Play), Kiss Me, Kate, The Ritz, Dear World, She Loves Me, Meet Me In St. Louis, Jane Eyre, and The Secret Garden (Jeff Award – Production-Musical; Jeff nominations for Direction and Scenic Design), Steel Magnolias (Jeff Award-Scenic


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Design). Jeff nominations for The Women, Philadelphia Story, Hay Fever, An Ideal Husband, Stone Cold Dead Serious, Design For Living, The Life, and Triumph Of Love. Bob also designs sets for Fox Valley Rep at Pheasant Run. During the day, Bob is the Art Director for The Second City (Chicago, LA, Toronto) and UP Comedy Club. NICK BELLEY (Lighting Designer) is elated to make his Mercury Theater Chicago debut with The Color Purple. Selected Chicago design credits include: Hank Williams: Lost Highway (American Blues Theater); Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grille, Pal Joey (Porchlight Music Theatre); Brighton Beach Memiors (Raven Theater); Pleasant Dreams, The Altruists (Two Lights); Or, The Oxford Roof Climber’s Rebellion (Caffeine Theatre). Nick has worked as an assistant/associate at various theaters such as Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Paramount Theater, Court Theatre, Writers’ Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Drury Lane Oakbrook, Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, and American Blues Theater. www.nickbelley.com FRANCES MAGGIO U.S.A.A. (Costume Designer) is very pleased to be working with Mercury Theater Chicago for the first time. She has designed for many theaters in Chicago and parts abroad. Past productions include The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? (Remy Bummpo), Brighton Beach Memoirs (Raven), Gee’s Bend (Northlight), All My Sons (Milwaukee Rep), The Medium (Chicago Opera Theater), Do I Hear a Waltz? (Theater at The Center) and Chimneys (The Mystery Writer’s Festival of Kentucky). Frances is the head of the Costume Design program at Columbia College where she teaches Costume Design and Theater History and has designed over 30 productions. MIKE ROSS (Sound Designer) works as an audio consultant, designer, engineer, and system technician for a variety of clients and venues around Chicago. Previous sound designs for Mercury Theater

Chicago include Barnum, A Grand Night for Singing and The Christmas Schooner (2011 and 2012). Other recent Chicago productions include designs for Let’s Misbehave (Fox Valley Rep), Smokey Joe’s Café (Royal George Theatre), 50 Shades! The Musical (Chicago & National Tour), Operetta’s Greatest Hits (Light Opera Works), and Route 66 (Paramount Theatre), as well as engineering several productions at Marriott Theatre. Mike also serves as the audio head for Million Dollar Quartet at the Apollo Theatre and for a variety of corporate events for the MillerCoors Company around the country. Mike holds a BFA in Sound Design from DePaul University. For more information visit mikerossonline.net. KRISTI J. MARTENS* (Stage Manager) is happy to be at Mercury Theater Chicago with the Color Purple. Kristi has also worked at Northlight Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Goodman Theatre, Drury Lane Oakbrook, Drury Lane Evergreen Park, Drury Lane Water Tower, Fox Valley Repertory, Oak Park Festival Theater, Fulton Opera House (Lancaster, PA), Theater At the Center (Munster, IN), Carousel Dinner Playhouse (Akron, OH). A proud Equity member for over 23 years, Kristi started stage managing with children’s theater. Enjoy! DANIEL J. HANSON* (Assistant Stage Manager) is excited to be in Chicago working with Mercury Theater Chicago. Some of Dan’s Chicago stage management credits include The Pajama Game and Pippin (The Music Theatre Company), It’s A Wonderful Life: The Radio Play (American Theater Company) and The Lover (Soul Theatre). Some of his favorite regional stage management credits include: A Year with Frog and Toad (Children’s Theatre Company, Minneapolis, MN); The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins (Children’s Theatre Company, Minneapolis, MN); To Kill a Mockingbird, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (Park Square Theatre, St. Paul, MN); Queens of Burlesque The Color Purple

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(The History Theatre, St. Paul, MN); and Menopause the Musical (The Lab Theatre, Minneapolis, MN). Dan received his MFA in stage management from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association.

ten years, and is a certified Peffpointe© teacher at the 25 hour level teaching Master Classes and Workshops.

OLIVER TOWNSEND (Assistant Musical Director/Conductor) is excited to be conducting his first show at the Mercury Theater Chicago. As a musical director/ MATTHEW GUNNELS (Assistant Director) conductor, Oliver has worked on is excited to be returning to the Mercury productions of Rent, The Music Man, Miss Theater after serving as the Associate Saigon, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Director for Urinetown. Matthew’s Dreamcoat, Lil Abner, Annie, Anything Goes, directing credits include last year’s hit West Side Story, and Milwaukee’s Festa musical Reefer Madness at Circle Theatre Italiana. He has also music directed benefit (Jeff Award nominations – Productionconcerts with casts of Wicked, Jersey Boys, Musical, & Director); In Trousers (Top 10 Grease, and Xanadu. As a pianist, Oliver Plays of 2005, Time Out Chicago) and played in Chicago for the smash-hit Macabaret for Porchlight Music Theatre; The Wizard of Oz for Timber Lake Playhouse; musical, Wicked, for over 2 years and just revisited the show this past June on the and Pussy on the House and POSEIDON! An Upside Down Musical for Hell in a Handbag national tour. Oliver also had the privilege of playing for the late composer Marvin Productions. Matthew is an Artistic Hamlisch and in the bands/orchestras for Associate at Emerald City Theatre and Il Divo, The Foundations, and Lorna Luft. currently serves as the Associate Artistic Other piano/keyboard credits include Director for Bailiwick Chicago. Thank you West Side Story, Beauty and the Beast, High Walter, Eugene, and Brenda! School Musical, My Fair Lady, Company, and All Shook Up. Thanks Eugene for this CRAIG V. MILLER (Associate opportunity. Also Mom, Dad, Emily, Jayme, Choreographer) attended Oakland and JT. University as a Merit Scholarship student, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in ANDREW WATERS (Associate Dance Performance. He has trained Choreographer) is thrilled to be working with Dayton Contemporary Dance with Walter, Brenda, and Eugene again Company, Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet, after having just co-choreographed the and the Ailey School summer intensives. circus extravaganza Barnum for Mercury Craig was an apprentice for Eisenhower Theater Chicago. He has had the pleasure Dance Ensemble, a member of Michigan of collaborating with Mr. Stearns and Mr. Dance Project, Inaside Chicago Dance, Dizon on productions of Candide, Pacific and Chicago Repertory Ballet. He has Overtures, Sunday in the Park with George, performed works by Louis Falco, Amy and The Fantasticks all for Porchlight Marshall, Sean Curran, Robert Moses, Joel Hall, Laurie Eisenhower, Alonzo King, Steve Music Theatre. Mr. Waters has also had the gratification of assisting Ms. Didier on Koester, Harrison McEldowney, Autumn the Jeff Award-winning productions of Eckman, Richard Smith, and Wade Schaaf. Smokey Joe’s Café, Cats, Dennis De Young’s As a guest artist, he has performed with Hunchback of Notre Dame and the exciting the Civic Ballet of Chicago’s production American Premiere of Jerry Springer The of The Nutcracker, Esoteric Dance Project, Opera. He also looks forward to working Chicago Dance Crash, and Dance in the on the extraordinary return production Parks. Craig has been training dancers for

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of The Christmas Schooner, here at the Mercury Theater. Andrew Waters has been a freelance choreographer of over 50 productions and has been a proud member of Actors’ Equity for over twenty years. He would like to thank you and your family for supporting live theater and this great new theater company. R&D CHOREOGRPAHY (Violence Design) is thrilled to be working with Mercury Theater Chicago. R&D was founded in 1997 by David Bareford and Richard Gilbert for the purpose of improving the power and effectiveness of Chicago area theatre through the art of violence design. In 2011, they were joined by new partner Victor Bayona. R&D has choreographed fight scenes in over two hundred productions, taught stage combat at universities, colleges, and workshops, and performed in professional theatre, live stunt shows, and film. They have designed violence for dozens of Chicago area theatres, including About Face, Apple Tree, ATC, Bailiwick, Blindfaith, Circle, First Folio, Griffin, Lifeline, National Pastimes, New American Theatre, Piven, Profiles, Shakespeare’s Motley Crew, Theatre at the Center, Theatre of Western Springs, Theo Ubique, Trapdoor, and Vitalist.

NOREEN HERON & ASSOCIATES (Press Representative) is a full service PR, Marketing, & Advertising agency. Previous clients include the National Tours of The Singalong Wizard of Oz and the current National Tour of C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters, as well as numerous concert engagements at arena theaters representing such artists as Prince, Fleetwood Mac, Wynonna Judd, Louis CK, Martina McBride, The Beach Boys, Linda Eder, Michael Feinstein, Jewel, Andre Rieu, and Linda Ronstadt. Clients have also included Sesame Street Live, the 2004/2008 Olympic Superstars, the 2011 Champions Challenge (McEnroe, Bjorg, Courier, Agassi), Barney Live!, the Highland Games, and the Harlem Globetrotters. Additionally, they represent large regional theaters including Drury Lane Oakbrook, Marriott Theatre and Theatre at the Center as well as Chicago Dramatists, and the commercial engagements of The Game Show, Show (late night) at Mercury Theater Chicago, Hershey Felder in Maestro: The Art of Leonard Bernstein and the upcoming Midwest Premiere of Clutter at Victory Gardens. Other corporate clients have included Hyatt Hotels, Massage Envy, and Smirnoff.

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The Color Purple

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“ALL THE WORLD’S A STAGE, AND ALL THE MEN AND WOMEN MERELY PLAYERS.” Open casting call for the Lead role (full time) of

ADVERTISING SALESMAN

Supporting roles (part time) are also being cast. Show is open ended and has been running in Chicago since 1996. Male or Female actors may apply. All ages will be considered. Candidates must be comfortable in front of a live audience and be able to handle the physical demands of daily performances.

OPEN

Please send bio and headshot (resume and cover letter) to: SALESJOB@FOOTLIGHTS.COM


Mercury Theater Chicago - The Color Purple