Oracle Produces World-Premiere Play at Chicago Fringe 2014

July 24
1:59 PM 2014
Oracle Produces World-Premiere Play at Chicago Fringe 2014

After a powerful opening of THE JUNGLE last weekend, Oracle Productions announces a world-premiere play to be performed at Chicago Fringe 2014. Zachary Baker-Salmon adapts and directs THIS HOUSE BELIEVES THE AMERICAN DREAM IS AT THE EXPENSE OF THE AMERICAN NEGRO, which introduces Public Access Theatre to audiences at the popular festival. Featuring Johnard Washington as James Baldwin and Company Member Jeremy Clark as William F. Buckley, Jr., THIS HOUSE BELIEVES... opens on August 28, 2014, at 7PM and runs for a total of 7 performances during the festival.

Admission to THIS HOUSE BELIEVES... is free in Public Access Theatre. Patrons must pay a one-time $5 admission to the Chicago Fringe Festival, which is hosting 50 different shows and over 200 performances around the Jefferson Park neighborhood on Chicago's northwest side. Tickets to THIS HOUSE BELIEVES... will be released on August 1, and can be reserved at

Oracle's Public Access Theatre performances are sponsored by The Forty 4, a growing population of individuals and local businesses committed to making free art for all. Major donors include: Alphawood Foundation, The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, Broadway In Chicago, The Saints, Ronald A. Greene Memorial Fund at The Chicago Community Trust, The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, and The MacArthur Foundation.

In 1965, the Cambridge Union Society hosted a debate between civil rights novelist, James Baldwin, and National Review founder, William F. Buckley, Jr. The subject: Has the American Dream been achieved at the expense of the American Negro? THIS HOUSE BELIEVES... is a theatrical enactment of the debate adapted from the source material. Preserving the parliamentary debate format, audiences cast their vote on the topic prior to entering the house, and again after the performance. Oracle presents an immersive experience adapted from an historical moment. The debate tells a story of 1960s America focused on race and politics, but it echoes any circumstance where inequality prevails in the 21st century.

Oracle is excited to offer this world-premiere following the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act. The company also wishes to acknowledge and commemorate that 2015 is the 150th anniversary of the 13th Amendment, the 50th anniversary of The Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the 50th anniversary Baldwin/Buckley debate itself.

THIS HOUSE BELIEVES... features Company Member Jeremy Clark as William F. Buckley, Jr. Clark was previously seen on Oracle's stage as Fatt in WAITING FOR LEFTY (2013). Playing opposite Clark is Johnard Washington in the role of James Baldwin. The ensemble features Oracle Company Members Brian J. Hurst and Jamie Bragg. They are joined by Ben Harpe, Adrian Garcia, Daniel Desmarais, Keegan Siebken, Harold Jaffe and Jason Clements. Justin Harner is understudy.

The design team is led by Production Designers (sets and props) Cait Chiou and Eleanor Kahn. Skye Geerts is Costume Designer. Evelyn DeHais is Graphic Designer. Company Member Allison Goetzman is Stage Manager. The performance is produced by Lauren Yarbrough. Video and Projections by Ben Fuchsen, who is Executive Producer of Oracle Productions. Max Truax is Artistic Director of Oracle Theatre. Brad Jayhan-Little is Executive Director of Oracle Productions.

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