Michael Shannon and More Cast in Chicago Humanities Festival's Nov 2013 Shows
The Chicago Humanities Festival (CHF) announced casting today for two theatrical productions in November: White Rabbit, Red Rabbit, the Iranian absurdist play about isolation co-presented with the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), running Nov. 3-9, 2013, and Birds Do It, Bees Do It..., the annual cabaret performance Nov. 5, 2013, created by Rob Lindley and Doug Peck.
White Rabbit, Red Rabbit, written by Iranian conscientious objector Nassim Soleimanpour,will feature a different actor for each performance, with readings by Chicago-based actors: Usman Ally, Fawzia Mirza, Yasen Peyankov, and Michael Shannon. Each actor will receive the script just prior to going on stage, and as part of the intrigue, audience members will not know who is performing until the play begins.
The animal inspired Birds Do It, Bees Do It... will explore the odd mating habits of animals, paired with the Great American Songbook. The cabaret revue will feature Chicago's top musical theater talent, including Molly Brennan,Felicia P. Fields, Rebecca Finnegan, Robbie Fulks, Beckie Menzie, and more. The cabaret will also debut songs commissioned for the performance from composers Cheryl Coons, Michael Mahler, Alan Schmuckler, and more.
White Rabbit, Red Rabbit
Imagine being 29 and forbidden to leave your country. In White Rabbit, Red Rabbit,Iranianplaywright Nassim Soleimanpour dissects the experience of a whole generation in a wild, utterly original piece. Forbidden to travel, he turned his isolation to his own advantage with a play that requires no director, no set and a different actor for every performance. Voted Best New Performance at the Dublin Fringe Festival and recipient ofthe Arches Brick Award at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, White Rabbit, Red Rabbitmakes its Midwest premiere at the Museum of Contemporary Art as part of the 24th Annual Chicago Humanities Festival.
- Usman Ally's credits include originating the role of Amir in the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Disgraced at American Theatre Company (Jeff Award Nomination, Actor in a Principal Role), VP in the Pulitzer Finalist Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity at Victory Gardens Theater, and most recently, originating the role of Bagheera in The Jungle Book at Goodman Theatre.
- Attorney-turned-actor, producer and writer Fawzia Mirza's credits include The Happiest Song Plays Last at Goodman Theatre, Scorched at Silk Road Rising, and In the Heart of America at Theatre Seven, along with producing, writing, and starring in her own comedic web series Kam Kardashian.
- Steppenwolf Theatre Company ensemble member Yasen Peyankov's credits include Morning Star (Jeff Award, Actor in a Supporting Role), Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, Hysteria, The Duel (produced in association with European Repertory, co-founded by Peyankov), Three Sisters, and the upcoming production of The Wheel.
- Academy Award-nominated actor Michael Shannon's credits span both stage and screen, with roles in the films Man of Steel and Revolutionary Road (the latter for which he received his first Academy Award nomination), HBO's Boardwalk Empire as agent Nelson Van Alden, and most recently on stage at A Red Orchid Theatre as Carter in Simpatico.
Nassim Soleimanpour is an independent multidisciplinary theatre maker from Tehran, Iran. Best known for his play White Rabbit, Red Rabbit, written to travel the world when he couldn't, his work has been awarded the Dublin Fringe Festival Best New Performance, Summerworks Outstanding New Performance Text Award, and The Arches Brick Award (Edinburgh Fringe), as well as picking up nominations for a Total Theatre and Brighton Fringe Pick of Edinburgh Award. Currently developing a new play, Nassim lives happily in Tehran with his wife and new puppy.