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Kingdom, about an all-LGBTQ African American family, to premiere in March
From a Broken Nose Theatre press release
2018-02-02

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CHICAGO ( February 2, 2018 ) — Broken Nose Theatre is pleased to launch its 2018 Season with the world premiere of resident playwright Michael Allen Harris' kitchen sink comedy Kingdom, directed by Kanome Jones. The new play about an all-LGBTQ African American family in Orlando will play March 2 — 31, 2018 at BNT's new resident home, The Den Theatre ( Upstairs Main Stage ), 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood. Tickets for KINGDOM go on sale Monday, January 29, 2018 at brokennosetheatre.com . Tickets for all Broken Nose Theatre productions are available on a "pay-what-you-can" basis, allowing patrons to set their own price and ensuring theatre remains economically accessible for all audiences. The press opening is Monday, March 5 at 7:30 pm.

KINGDOM features BNT company member Johnard Washington* and artistic associates Watson Swift+ and RjW Mays+ with Byron Coolie and Christopher K. McMorris.

When the state of Florida legalizes same sex marriage, Arthur and Henry ( his partner of fifty years ) come to terms with their differing opinions on the necessity of becoming husbands, even as their son Alexander finds himself wading through some rough new waters of his own. Kingdom is the story of an entirely-LGBTQ African American family that lives in the near-literal shadow of Orlando's magical kingdom, as they struggle to create a life together that captures a little bit of that same magic.

"We've been in love with this script for two years, and could not think of a better way to kick off our sixth season than a homegrown world premiere by one of our resident playwrights," says BNT Founding Artistic Director Benjamin Brownson*. "Michael's voice is Tenessee Williams meets August Wilson with a dash of Dan Savage for good measure. He has written a new kind of family dramedy that is lyrical, queer, fresh, timely, resonant and hilarious. We can't wait to share it with Chicago."

Kingdom was developed in conjunction with The Paper Trail, BNT's new play development program.

The production team for Kingdom includes: Caswell James ( scenic design, technical director ), Marci Rodriguez ( costume design ), Michael Joseph ( lighting design ), Grover Hollway ( sound design ) Devon Green+ ( props design ), Rylee Freeman ( hair and make-up design ), Chloe Baldwin ( fight director ), Elizabeth Gomez ( master electrician ), Rose Hamill* ( production manager ), and Echaka Agba* ( assistant director ).

* Denotes BNT company member

* Denotes BNT artistic associate

PRODUCTION DETAILS:

Title: Kingdom

Playwright: resident playwright Michael Allen Harris

Director: Kanome Jones

Cast ( in alphabetical order ): Byron Coolie ( Malik ), RjW Mays+ ( Phaedra ), Christopher K. McMorris ( Arthur ), Watson Swift+ ( Henry ) and Johnard Washington* ( Alexander ).

Location: The Den Theatre ( Upstairs Main Stage ), 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago

Dates: Previews: Friday, March 2 at 7:30 pm and Saturday, March 3 at 7:30 pm

Opening: Sunday, March 4 at 3 pm

Press Opening: Monday, March 5 at 7:30 pm

Regular Run: Thursday, March 8 — Saturday, March 31, 2018

Curtain Times: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm; Sundays at 3 pm

Industry Night: Monday, March 12 at 7:30 pm

Understudy Night: Wednesday, March 21 at 7:30 pm

Tickets: Pay-what-you-can. Tickets go on sale Monday, January 29, 2018 at brokennosetheatre.com .

About the Artists

Michael Allen Harris ( Playwright ) As a writer, Michael has collaborated with Chicago Theatre companies such as Broken Nose Theatre, Jackalope Theatre, Arc Theatre, Stage 773, Fine Print Theatre, Chicago Home Theater Festival and The New Colony. His play Rocky Road received its world premiere at the New Studio Theatre of Columbia College Chicago and was directed by Chicago actor/playwright/director Tom Mula. It was the first production featured in the Main Stage season that was authored by an alumnus. His play The Velvet Tabernacle was featured in a development series on behalf of Fine Print Theatre. One of his most recent plays, Kingdom, was nourished in a season-long development on behalf of Broken Nose Theatre, and received a staged reading at the Richard Christiansen theatre space of Victory Gardens in June 2016. In the fall of 2017, his play Punk received its world premiere on behalf of The New Colony, where he recently became an ensemble member. In December of 2016, Michael became the first Resident Playwright of Broken Nose Theatre. His other plays include Ascension. Short plays include: The Woman Who Stared into The Eyes of the Red Horseman, House of Samurai, They Let Him Bleed, Project Agatha ( a collaboration project based on Regina Taylor's play Stop. Reset. ) and Bind. As an actor, he has worked with numerous Chicago theaters such as Adventure Stage, Eclipse Theatre, Gift Theatre, Teatro Vista, The-Massive, Stone Soup Theatre Project, Infusion Theatre, Broken Nose Theatre and Cold Basement Dramatics. He is an artistic ensemble member of Eclipse Theatre Company. Michael is currently pursuing his MFA in Dramatic Writing at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.

Kanome Jones ( Director ) has been performing and working in Chicago for over five years. She works with several theater companies here in the city, wearing different hats for each one. She is the Casting Director for Strawdog Theatre Company and the Associate Producer for Midsommer Flight. She also works with Stage Left Theatre and Waltzing Mechanics as an ensemble member. In the past, Kanomé has worked with Broken Nose Theatre as a performer in their first Bechdel Fest and as a director in their second iteration. She has also directed an installment of EL Stories with the Waltzing Mechanics. Other recent performance credits include Building the Wall and The Firestorm ( Stage Left Theatre ), understudy in The Book Club Play ( 16th Street Theatre ) Twelfth Night ( Midsommer Flight ) and Titus Andronicus ( Babes with Blades Theatre Company ). She is proud alumni of the Professional Training Company at Actors Theatre of Louisville and BFA graduate of Missouri State University.

————

Broken Nose Theater is Chicago's premiere Pay-What-You-Can theatre company. Founded in 2012, BNT has produced and developed 10 full length plays ( including 7 Chicago or World Premieres ) and over 40 new womencentric short plays through our annual Bechdel Fest.

We strive to spark conversation, cultivate empathy, and amplify underrepresented voices, and are committed to making new, exciting and relevant theatre that is economically accessible to all audiences.

For more information, please visit brokennosetheatre.com .


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