Meet The Cast of The Art of Langston Hughes!!!

Meet The Cast of The Art of Langston Hughes!!!

DUSHON MONIQUE BROWN is thrilled to be creating once again with Luther Goins after last being seen on stage at Chicago Dramatists as Mutha/Kirk in For Her as a Piano.  Some of Brown’s other theater credits include portraying Queenie in Hope VI  (Chicago Dramatists) productions at ETA where she began her professional career, Chicago Theatre Co. (Shakin the Mess Outta Misery, Journal of Ordinary Thought, Train is Comin’, Love Child-by Luther Goins, Rabbit’s Food), Lookingglass Theatre (Summertime)MPAACT (MiLK,Christ T), Lifeline (Praying for Sheetrock), Apple Tree (Once on This Island), Steppenwolf Arts X (Our Town, Division Street), The Goodman (Amen Corner), and Piven (Because They Have No Words).  Brown has received Joseph Jefferson and Black Theater Alliance Award nods along her theatrical journey.  Film credits include, The Dilemma (in the comedic outtakes), Unexpected, One Small Hitch, and A Light Beneath Her Feet. Television credits include Shameless, Boss, Nurse Katie Welch on Prison Break, Empire, a docudrama pilot called Public Housing Unit, an upcoming appearance in the Amazon sci-fi series, Phillip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams and the recurring role of Connie on Chicago Fire.   Brown also works as a high school counselor in Chicago.

SHARI ADDISON a vocalist extraordinaire, possesses a soulful passion for music.  While her career spans diverse music genres, her heart truly belongs to gospel.  In 2007, Shari appeared on Black Entertainment Television’s (BET) premier broadcast of the gospel talent competition, Sunday Best and placed second.  Her powerful performances helped BET garner the highest rated gospel show in its history with a voting audience of more than 1.5 million viewers.  Subsequently, she appeared on BET’s Celebration of Gospel hosted by Steve Harvey that featured recording luminaries Pastor Shirley Caesar, Fred Hammond and Patti LaBelle.  In 2010, Shari won a Stellar Award for Best Traditional CD of the Year for her first self-titled cd, Shari Addison.  She was also showcased as guest recording artist at the Bobby Jones International Gospel Artists Retreat and is a contributing author to the book, Tears To Triumph.   Shari has performed with artists Kirk Franklin, Martha Munizzi, Bebe Winans, Mary Mary, Michael McDonald, Yolanda Adams, Marvin Sapp, Fred Hammond, Ben Tankard and Stephanie Mills. A highly accomplished vocalist and theatre actress, her extensive domestic and international career includes performances at New York’s Carnegie Hall, at the Maxim Gorki Theater and the U.S. Embassy in Russia, in South Africa and Brazil.  Shari has also been showcased at Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley’s Gospel Fest, one of the nation’s largest gospel festivals in Grant Park.  She returned to this annual event to a packed house and rave reviews at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park.  Additionally, she has performed on ABC, FOX, WCIU and WGN television networks.  Taking a leave as the host of Intellectual Radio’s “Sunday Night Live with Shari Addison”, Shari returned to the theatre and was featured at the Black Ensemble Theatre as Aretha Franklin in Jackie Taylor’s “Dynamite Divas” for which she won a 2016 Jeff Award for Best Actress in a Revue.  She continued on this stage in “My Brother’s Keeper: Story of the Nicholas Brothers”, “Doo Whop Shoobop” and “Those Sensational Soulful Sixties”; at Congo Square Theatre in “A Nativity Story: More Than A Miracle” as well as Playwright/Director Regina Taylor’s, “Crowns,” at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago. Each of her performances received outstanding reviews.  A native of Chicago, Shari truly loves the Lord and is a licensed evangelist and psalmist at the Bright Star Church of God in Christ where Christopher T. Harris, Sr. is pastor.  Happily married to Lewis Addison, they have four daughters and two grandsons.

Tristien Marcellous Winfree is more than humble to be working with Shaw Chicago on behalf of the Langston Hughes Benefit. A native of Houston, Texas, but no stranger to Chicago. Regional theatre stage credits include Love’s Labour’s Lost (Shakespeare Project of Chicago),Kingdom (Broken Nose Theatre), The Boys Upstairs (Pride Film & Plays) The Elephant Man (Alley Theatre), A Few Good Men (Alley Theatre), Guest Lecture (Landing Theatre Company), A Soldiers Play (Ensemble Theatre), Smokey Joe’s Cafe (Okane Theatre), Aida (Houston Grand Opera) Das Rheingold (Houston Grand Opera), Otello (Houston Grand Opera). Off stage credits include A.D Two Trains Running (Goodman Theatre), A.D Women In The Pit (Ensemble Theatre). Mr Winfree would like to thank everyone who showed endless support towards his journey. @Tristienmarcellouswinfree

 

Charls Sedgwick Hall  Some of his favorite roles are: Gremio in The Taming of the Shrew, Charlie in The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) Revised, Boyet in Love’s Labours Losts, The Recruiting Officer in Mother Courage and Her Children, The Nurse in Romeo & Juliet, Brutus in Julius Caesar and Macduff in Macbeth, Preacher/Ol’ Mister in The Color Purple, The Mirror in The Next Fairy Tale, Father in The Escape Artist’s Children and Reverend Jones in Follow, Isaac in Faith and the Good Thing, Cal in The Little Foxes and Leonato in Much Ado About Nothing Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream,  the triumvirate Ghost of Hamlet’s Father, The Player King/Queen and The Gravedigger in Hamlet, Gottlieb Biedermann in The Firebugs,  Rush Limbaugh in King Cat Calico Finally Flies Free, Nicola in Arms and the Man and Gertie in Angels of Lemnos. Charls is a graduate of New York University’s School of the Performing Arts.  Charls teaches Movement and Shakespeare Text, is a faculty member at Shakespeare and Company. Thank you family and friends for your inspirational support.

Evan Tyrone Martin: is so thrilled to help bring voice to an artist he has long considered an inspiration, Mr. Langston Hughes. Evan is a Chicago based actor whose recent credits include: Hud in Hair (Mercury Theatre, thru Sept 14th) Jesus of Nazareth in Jesus Christ Superstar (Paramount Theatre), I Left My Heart: A Salute to the Music of Tony Bennett (Mercury Theatre), Curtis Taylor, Jr. in Dreamgirls (Porchlight, BTA Nomination),Raymond Deagan in Far From Heaven (Porchlight, Jeff Nomination), King Triton in The Little Mermaid(Paramount Theatre) and (Arkansas Rep), Jake in Side Show (Porchlight, Jeff Nomination), Tom Collins in Rent(Paramount), Harpo in The Color Purple (Mercury Theatre), as well as starring in his ongoing show one man show Unforgettable: Falling in Love with Nat King Cole.  He would like to thank his God, his incredible friends, and his family and for their constant love and support. Thank you for supporting the Arts. Love Each Other. (EKM, JWR)

 

About The Art of Langston Hughes

CHICAGO—ShawChicago presents The Art of Langston Hughes, a collection of short stories adapted to the stage. This rarely read quartet celebrates the American legacy of Harlem Renaissance poet, playwright, LGBT Black resistance icon Langston Hughes. This is a one night performance on September 18 at 7 PM at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts1016 N. Dearborn Street, Chicago, IL 60610.

Adapted to the stage and directed by Luther Goins, these four works investigate racial and class struggles in the times of Jim Crow. “[these pieces] show us the pure genius of Langston Hughes” says Goins. Although historically rooted in the twenties, the struggles with “[l]ove, poverty, racial prejudice…[and more]” are as much rooted in these words as they are in modern society.

About The Plays:
A mother’s son has returned from the dead to accuse her of not taking care of him. But is it a mother’s fault when she has no money? Soul Gone Home reflects on how systematic poverty can destroy the delicate fabric of a family.

In ‘Tain’t So, Miss Lucy Cannon is a wealthy white woman who is constantly ill and finds Black people to be beneath her. Her friend, Miss Edmonia, sends her to the best healer in town to fix her latest ailment. Little does Miss Lucy know that the best healer is a Black woman….

Whether in Heaven or Hell, Amelia is out for the woman who stole her husband: Nancy Smothers, or rather the “Harlem Hussy.” Nancy, Amelia and her husband Mackenzie meet right outside the gates of heaven, all three blessed with white angel wings. In only a few moments, Hughes brings into question fidelity and the meaning of true love.

The evening concludes with Breakfast In Virginia, which follows two Black soldiers on the train to Virginia. Corporals Ellias and Williams are forced to travel in the colored car. But when they have to eat dinner, the American warriors must brave unchartered territory with no clearance to enter: the white only train car.

Dessert and wine will follow the performance.

Cast members include: Shari Addison, Dushon Monique Brown, Charls Hall, Evan Tyrone Martin and Tristien Marcellous Winifree

WHO: ShawChicago Theater Company

WHAT: The Art of Langston Hughes

WHERE: 1016 N. Dearborn St., Chicago, IL 60610.

WHEN: September 18th at 7 PM

TICKETS:$50 General, $25 Students, available for purchase at http://bit.ly/DeferredNoMore or at 312-587-7390

About The Adaptor/Director
In 1990, after working extensively in Cincinnati, Ohio as a producer, director, and acting instructor, Luther Goins re-located to Chicago.  Between 1990 and 1995, he worked as the Assistant to the Producer at the Skokie-based Northlight Theatre and held the position of Resident Artistic Director at the African-American based Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre in Evanston, IL.  In 1995, he accepted the Managing Director position at the Chicago Theatre Company, a professional African-American company located on Chicago’s south side.  LOVE CHILD, his first play, made its debut in January 2001 at Chicago’s Live Bait Theatre.  This highly successful production received numerous awards, including a Joseph Jefferson Award for “Best New Work”; and Chicago After Dark Awards “Best New Work” and “Best Ensemble”.  In 2002, LOVE CHILD celebrated two other productions. One at the Chicago Theatre Company and the other at the Ensemble Theater of Cincinnati.  These two productions also garnered awards including the Chicago African-American Arts Alliance Award for “Best New Play”; and the Cincinnati Entertainment Award for “Best Local Premiere.”  In 2002, Luther accepted a staff position in the Chicago office of Actors’ Equity Association. After 15 years successful years, he retired.  Luther continues to work, in Chicago, as an independent theatrical consultant.  Happily married to Leon Schrauben, Mr. Goins is currently working on COFFEE CAKE AND JESUS, a new play.

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About ShawChicago

ShawChicago is a professional non-profit theater company founded in 1994 with a mission to present the plays of George Bernard Shaw and his contemporaries as concert readings. Operating under Actors’ Equity, ShawChicago is about to celebrate its 24th season, Dysfunctional Family Fun: 1776-1926. The company presents special afternoon performances for senior citizens and free performances at universities and libraries throughout the Chicagoland area. ShawChicago also offers outreach performances across the city and its suburbs, providing theater to libraries, retirement living communities and schools. ShawChicago is a theater company in residence at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts.

Spoon River Anthology Q&A

Spoon River Anthology Q&A

Spoon River Anthology Q&A

Spoon River Anthology opens June 12. Check out some questions we asked the cast!

The Cast of SRA: Paddy Lynn, Jon Lynn and Patti Ecker

  1. What drew you to SPOON RIVER ANTHOLOGY? (SRA)
    T
    he first thing that drew us to SRA was the writing.  Edgar Lee Masters had a gift for capturing something so profound from a small town setting.  The characters speak from their graves, reaching us and teaching us about human existence.  The poetry is written in free verse as short epitaphs that carry insightful messages. Secondly, Jon taught SRA in several high schools and directed the production three times.  He took his students on field trips to Lewiston, (aka- Spoon River) and visited The Hill, Oak Hill Cemetery, where most of the characters are buried. The experience these students had was transformational and elevated the productions overall. 
  2. Why will audiences be drawn to SRA?
    We believe everyone in the audience will find something in the program that resonates with them.  The characters are very diverse and come from all walks of life.  The one thing they have in common is they all carry a piece of the broad spectrum of the human experience. 
  3. How does SRA relate to modern audiences?
    The same essential fabric that makes up human life today is captured uniquely in the characters of SRA.  Even though the book is 100 years old and the setting is a small rural town, (Lewiston, IL), it speaks to the same dreams, desires, hopes, heroics, moral decay, and mistakes that fill all of lives in today’s world. 
  4. How does a cast of three produce SRA?
    SRA provides the wonderful challenge for an actor to differentiate a wide range of characters, old, young, pure, corrupt, serious, comedic, and wise.  Jon plays 18 characters, Paddy plays 15 characters, and Patti Ecker compliments the epitaphs with music of the period.  Having music not only gives the piece another layer of historic flavor, it enhances the mood and helps the listener to digest the epitaphs. 
  5. What would we like audiences to walk away with after seeing SRA?
    We not only want the audience to be entertained, but also to be moved or touched in some way, perhaps by striking a chord in their own lives.  We also hope they come away with a new appreciation of the impact that Edgar Lee Masters’ contribution made to American Literature and to World Literature. 
  6. What else would we like to say?
    SRA was published in 1915, and it was based on the true lives of people who lived in Lewiston and Petersburg when Masters was growing up. The names of the characters were barely changed by Masters and were clearly recognizable to the townspeople.  Even though it had become a standard of American Literature across the world, it was banned from Fulton County, Illinois schools and libraries until 1974, in hopes that the characters’ descendants had all passed away. This also was not a commonly accepted form of poetry.  It was new, revolutionary, and opened the doors to modern poetry with its free verse style.

 

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