Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Lia Chang Photos: Cheryl Lynn Bruce, André De Shields, Sandra Marquez, Chay Yew, Dennis Zacek and More Celebrate Opening Night of Appropriate by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins at Victory Gardens

Chay Yew, Branden Jacobs_Jenkins and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Chay Yew, Branden Jacobs_Jenkins and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Last week, I traveled to Chicago to photograph and videotape TCG Fox Fellow André De Shields’ Master Class at Chicago’s Victory Gardens Theater. André and I attended the opening night performance of the Co-World Premiere of Appropriate by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, directed by Gary Griffin, at Victory Gardens Biograph Theatre on November 15, 2013. Check out the photos below from the opening night party.

Playwrights Thomas Bradshaw and Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, artist Kerry James Marshall, his wife Cheryl Lynn Bruce and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Playwrights Thomas Bradshaw and Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, artist Kerry James Marshall, his wife Cheryl Lynn Bruce and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

It was a wonderful opportunity to check out what my colleague Chay Yew, Artistic Director of Victory Gardens has been up to, meet actresses Cheryl Lynn Bruce and Sandra Marquez; playwrights La Saracho, and the NEW BLACK – Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Ike Holter, Thomas Bradshaw; and Dennis Zacek and his wife Marcelle McVay.

Chay Yew, Cheryl Lynn Bruce André De Shields and Sandra Marquez. Photo by Lia Chang

Chay Yew, Cheryl Lynn Bruce André De Shields and Sandra Marquez. Photo by Lia Chang

Appropriate is presented in association with Actors Theatre of Louisville and was developed, in part, by IGNITION 2012. Appropriate runs through December 8.

The cast includes: Jennifer Baker, Kirsten Fitzgerald, Cheryl Graeff, Leah Karpel, Keith Kupferer, Theo Moss, Mark Page, Alex Stage and Stef Tovar.

André De Shields is flanked by Appropriate castmembers Leah Carpel, Kristen Fitzgerald and Jennifer Baker. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields is flanked by Appropriate castmembers Leah Carpel, Kristen Fitzgerald and Jennifer Baker. Photo by Lia Chang

The creative team for Appropriate includes: Yu Shibagaki (scenic), Janice Pytel (costumes), Jesse Klug (lighting), Chris LaPorte (sound),Jesse Gaffney (props) and Ryan Bourque (fight choreography).

Appropriate director Gary Griffin and Chay Yew, Artistic Director, Victory Gardens. Photo by Lia Chang

Appropriate director Gary Griffin and Chay Yew, Artistic Director, Victory Gardens. Photo by Lia Chang

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. Photo by Lia Chang

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. Photo by Lia Chang

When the Lafayettes descend upon a crumbling Arkansan plantation to liquidate their dead patriarch’s estate, his three adult children collide over clutter, debt, and a contentious family history. But after a disturbing discovery surfaces among their father’s possessions, the reunion takes a turn for the explosive, unleashing a series of crackling surprises and confrontations. Acclaimed director Gary Griffin (Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s Sunday In The Park With George and Follies) directs a potent and exciting play about the trouble with inheritance and the art of repression. Appropriate was developed and workshopped through Victory Gardens’ IGNITION New Play Festival in 2012.

What the critics are saying:

“★★★★★” Exceptionally brillliant!” – Kris Vire, Time Out Chicago

“A very tasty and viable Broadway show… you just can’t get enough?” – Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune

Bright, smart, and entertaining… Two and a half hours of amusing hysterics” – Chicago Reader

Daniel R. Reinglass and Chris Mannelli. Photo by Lia Chang

Daniel R. Reinglass and Chris Mannelli. Photo by Lia Chang

Appropriate was developed, in part, at Vineyard Arts Project, Ashley Melone, Founder and Artistic Director; the 2012 Sundance Institute Theatre LAB at the Sundance Resort; and Victory Gardens Theater, Chicago, Illinois, Chay Yew, Artistic Director, Jan Kallish, Executive Director, as part of IGNITION 2012.

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and Eric Ting. Photo by Lia Chang

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and Eric Ting. Photo by Lia Chang

IGNITION Festival of New Plays, Victory Gardens’ innovative and hugely successful new play development program, was conceived to support the theater’s mission of new plays and diversity. In the spring of 2010, 120 writers of color from around the United States submitted new scripts for the first phase of IGNITION.

André De Shields, Marcelle McVay and her husband Dennis Zacek. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields, Marcelle McVay and her husband Dennis Zacek. Photo by Lia Chang

Performances run through December 8, 2013: Tuesday through Saturday at 7:30 pm; Saturday at 4 pm; Sunday at 3 pm. Tickets are $20-$50.

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Performances are at the Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue, in the heart of Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. For tickets and information, call the Victory Gardens Box Office, 773.871.3000 (TTY: 773.871.0682), email tickets@victorygardens.org, or visit www.victorygardens.org. Ask the Box Office about student tickets ($15), senior, Access, 20 for $20, and rush discounts. For group discounts, call 773.634.9874.

Chay Yew and Lia Chang. Photo by Lia Chang

Chay Yew and Lia Chang. Photo by Lia Chang

Chay Yew. Photo by Lia Chang

Chay Yew. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. This summer she starred as Carole Barbara in Lorey Hayes’ Power Play at the National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, N.C., with Pauletta Pearson Washington, Roscoe Orman, Lorey Hayes, Marcus Naylor and Penwah, July 30-August 1, 2013.

Other articles by Lia Chang:
Nov. 16: Conversations with the Divine with Owais Ahmed, Baize Buzan, Kathryn Cesarz, Kamal Hans, Brian Grey, Donica Lynn, Patrese McClain and Miranda Zola at Chicago’s Victory Gardens Theater
Signature’s Revival of The Piano Lesson Sweeps AUDELCO’s with 8 Wins including Best Revival, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Roslyn Ruff, Chuck Cooper and Brandon J. Dirden; Also Among 2013 “VIV” Winners – Wild with Happy’s Coleman Domingo and Sharon Washington; and Storyville’s Mercedes Ellington
Dec. 4 – 29: Garth Kravits Returns to Bucks County Playhouse for Meet Me in St. Louis: A Live Radio Play
Photos: LAByrinth’s Opening Night of Dominique Morisseau’s Sunset Baby with John Earl Jelks, DeWanda Wise, Harvey Gardner Moore, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Tracie Thoms, Alano Miller and More
Dec. 16: Award Winning Playwrights Rajiv Joseph and Tarell Alvin McCraney, the focus of PBS Film, Playwright: From Page to Stage
Photos: David Henry Hwang, Annie Baker and Rajiv Joseph honored at Sixth Annual Steinberg Playwright “Mimi” Awards
Photos: Christine Toy Johnson, Baayork Lee, Jose Llana, Ann Harada, Dodie Pettit and More at Charles Randolph-Wright’s “Three Voices” concert series at Stage 72
Photos: André De Shields, Michael Shannon, Rajiv Joseph, Christine Sherrill, Doug Peck, Alexis J. Rogers, Karen Ziemba and More Celebrate 2013 Jeff Equity Awards
Nov. 14 – Dec. 29: Paolo Montalban and Eileen Ward Lead Cast of Olney Theatre Center’s Production of The King and I
Photos: André De Shields, Mary Zimmerman, Akash Chopra, Richard M. Sherman, Kevin Carolan, Larry Yando, Nehal Joshi and More Celebrate The Jungle Book Opening Night at Huntington Theatre in Boston
Photos: All-Access Pass to August Wilson’s Two Trains Running with John Earl Jelks, Harvy Blanks, Chuck Cooper, Anthony Chisholm, Owiso Odera, Roslyn Ruff and James A. Williams
Signature Theatre’s 2013-14 Season Features New Works by Albee, Hwang, Enos, Taylor, Wilson, Clarke and Jacobs-Jenkins
Photos: The 58th Annual Drama Desk Awards and After Party
Photos: All-Access Pass to Disney’s Aladdin at The Muny with Thom Sesma, Francis Jue, Robin De Jesus, John Tartaglia, Jason Graae, Curtis Holbrook, Eddie Korbich, Samantha Massell and Ken Page
C.J. Wilson navigates armor and swordplay in Signature Theatre Company’s World Premiere of Kenneth Lonergan’s Medieval Play
Up Close and Personal with Darren Pettie, Star of The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore
Photos and Video: Disney’s The Lion King Las Vegas- In the Makeup Chair with Thom Sesma
Performing Arts Images from the Asian American Pacific Islander Collection on Display at the Library of Congress to Celebrate APA Heritage Month
Photos: Yellow Fever Playwright Rick Shiomi Explores New Territory with An All-Female Cast
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2013 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

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