CHICAGO ( September 23, 2019 ) — First Floor Theater is pleased launch its eighth season with the Chicago premiere of the award-winning SUGAR IN OUR WOUNDS, part of playwright Donja R. Love's trilogy of black love at pivotal moments in history, helmed by Company Member Mikael Burke, director of last season's acclaimed production of Hooded, or Being Black for Dummies. SUGAR IN OUR WOUNDS will play October 19 — November 23, 2019 at FFT's resident home, The Den Theatre ( 2B ), 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago. Tickets are currently on sale at firstfloortheater.com . The press opening Thursday, October 24 at 7:30 pm.
The cast includes Ashley Crowe, Renee Lockett, Grainne Ortlieb, Londen Shannon and Michael Turrentine.
On a plantation during the Civil War, a mystical tree stretches toward heaven. It protects James, a young slave, while he reads newspapers about the imminent possibility of freedom, as war rages on. When a brooding stranger arrives, James and his makeshift family take him in. Soon, an unexpected bond leads to a striking romance, and everyone is in uncharted territory.
The production team for SUGAR IN OUR WOUNDS includes: Joy Ahn ( scenic design ), Madeleine Rose Byrne( costume design ), Eric Watkins ( lighting design ), Sam Clapp ( sound design ), Sana Selemon ( dialect coach ), Ian Maryfield ( violence and intimacy design ), Caitlin McCarthy and Cole von Glahn ( co-production management ), Emma Franklin ( stage manager ) and Julia Toney ( assistant stage manager ),
Title: SUGAR IN OUR WOUNDS
Playwright: Donja R. Love
Director: Company Member Mikael Burke
Cast: ( in alphabetical order ): Ashley Crowe ( Mattie ), Renee Lockett ( Aunt Mama ), Grainne Ortlieb ( Isabel ), Londen Shannon ( Henry ) and Michael Turrentine ( James ).
Location: The Den Theatre ( 2B ), 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago
Dates: Previews: Saturday, October 19; Sunday, October 20; Wednesday, October 23
Press Performance: Thursday, October 24 at 7:30 pm
Regular Run: Friday, October 24 — Saturday, November 23, 2019
Curtain Times: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm; Sundays at 3 pm.
Industry Nights: Monday, November 4 and Monday, November 28 at 7:30 pm.
Tickets: Previews: $10. Regular Run: $25 — $35. Students $20. Tickets are on sale at firstfloortheater.com .
This production is made possible by Michael and Mona Heath of the HeathFund.
About the Artists
Donja R. Love ( Playwright ) is Black, Queer, HIV+, and surviving. From Philly, he's the recipient of the Laurents/Hatcher Foundation Award, the Princess Grace Playwriting Award, the Lark's 2016 Van Lier New Voices Playwriting Fellow, The Playwrights Realm's 2016/2017 Writing Fellow, and the 2011 Philadelphia Adult Grand Slam Poetry Champion. He's had work produced and developed at Manhattan Theatre Club, Atlantic Theater Company, The New Group, The Lark, New York Stage and Film, The Playwrights Realm, and more. He's the co-host of Off Book, a podcast on Black theatre; and he's the co-founder of The Each-Other Project, an organization that helps build community and provide visibility, through art and advocacy for LGBTQ People of Color. Select stage plays include: The Love* Plays and soft.
Mikael Burke ( Director ) is a Jeff-nominated, director, deviser and educator. A Princess Grace Award winner in Theatre and graduate of The Theatre School at DePaul University ( MFA Directing ), Mikael's most recently worked with Victory Gardens Theater, Chicago Dramatists, Northlight Theatre, About Face Theatre, and First Floor Theater in Chicago, and regionally with Asolo Repertory Theatre, GEVA Theatre Center, and Indiana Repertory Theatre. A former Victory Gardens Theater DII Fellow, he recently served as Northlight Theatre's inaugural Artistic Fellow and also serves as Head of the Directing Concentration of the Summer High School Training Program of the Theatre School at DePaul University, is a faculty member of the Chicago College of the Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, and a core faculty member in the Theatre division of the National High School Institute ( Cherubs ) at Northwestern University. Recent directing credits include This Bitter Earth by Harrison David Rivers; Hooded, or Being Black for Dummies by Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm; A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare;Native Son by Richard Wright, adapted by Nambi E. Kelley.
About First Floor Theater
Founded in 2012, First Floor Theater stages stories of individuals facing moments of radical change. Through a process of collaborative dramaturgy, FFT expands these stories to ask urgent social questions. For more information on First Floor Theater, visit firstfloortheater.com .
—From a press release