Dael Orlandersmith Returns to Goodman with BLACK N BLUE BOYS/BROKEN MEN, 9/29-10/28
Goodman Theatre opens its 2012/2013 Season in the Owen Theatre with playwright, actor and poet Dael Orlandersmith's Black n Blue Boys/Broken Men, a co-commission with Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Directed by Chay Yew, Black n Blue Boys/Broken Men is Orlandersmith's solo-performed examination of humanity's capacity for hope and survival, rendered through the eyes of five men ages 11 to 50.
Black n Blue Boys/Broken Men runs September 29 – October 28, 2012 (Opening Night is October 7) in the Goodman's Owen Theatre. Tickets ($12 - $42; prices subject to change) are on sale now and can be purchased at GoodmanTheatre.org/Black-and-Blue-Boys, by phone at 312.443.3800 or at the box office (170 N. Dearborn).
"Years ago, I worked as a social worker in a house for runaway kids. I would hear a lot from boys about them being molested and abused by women-not just by men," said Dael Orlandersmith. "As a writer and actor, gender always comes up for me. Black n Blue Boys/Broken Men takes away the stigma of gender, as abuse knows no sex. Ultimately, I hope the audience walks away asking what makes us function as humans. As theater goers, we are emotional and mental travelers-we must acquaint ourselves with the dark."
Director Chay Yew, artistic director of Chicago's Victory Gardens Theater, has worked with Orlandersmith to develop Black n Blue Boys/Broken Men since its 2010/2011 staged reading for New Stages, the Goodman's new play development series.
"Dael is a wonderful poet and actor," said director Chay Yew, "and every word she writes is a cut. Every word she utters is a kick, a punch. After you see Black n Blue Boys/Broken Men, whether you're in the Loop or on the CTA, you will give the person next to you a second look because they could potentially be a Flaco or Ian or Tenny...the complex characters that inhabit her new play. Dael has given a voice and a face to the invisible and silent multitudes of male abuse victims. Black n Blue Boys reminds us why we keep going back to these moving, difficult and beautiful plays-because they remind us to be better human beings."
In Black n Blue Boys/Broken Men, Pulitzer Prize finalist (for Yellowman) Dael Orlandersmith seamlessly transforms into five unforgettable male characters whose outward dissimilarities belie their inescapable link: a traumatic past plagued by a cycle of violence and abuse. From Coney Island to Manchester, England-and back-Orlandersmith brings to life a series of harrowing stories that weave together each character's friends, family, lovers and counselors into an explosive narrative that uncovers the darkest corners of humanity-and shatters the notions about predators and their victims.
"I'm thrilled to welcome back Dael Orlandersmith, one of our country's most courageous and commanding solo actors, to the Goodman. Her writing, raw and often violent but always beautiful, shines a light on the painful realities of being alive," said Artistic Director Robert Falls. "Her searing Black n Blue Boys/Broken Men was a stand-out in our 2010/2011 New Stages Series, and we are proud to produce it now, fully realized and directed by the talented and fearless Chay Yew, as our Owen Theatre season opener."
Dael Orlandersmith previously collaborated with the Goodman on Stoop Stories during the 2009/2010 Season. Orlandersmith first performed Stoop Stories in 2008 at The Public Theater's Under the Radar Festival and Apollo Theater's Salon Series; Washington, D.C.'s Studio Theatre produced its world premiere in 2009. Black n Blue Boys/Broken Men was developed as a co-commission between the Goodman and Berkeley Repertory Theatre, where it was staged in May, 2012. Her play Horsedreams was developed at New Dramatists and workshopped at New York Stage and Film Company in 2008, and was performed at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater in 2011. Bones was commissioned by Mark Taper Forum, where it premiered in 2010.