ShPIeL's World Premiere of THE PASSIONS OF EMMA GOLDMAN Begins Tonight
ShPIeL-Performing Identity proudly announces the world premiere of the solo theatre piece, The Passions of Emma Goldman, written and performed by Roslyn Alexander and directed by Dennis Zacek, May 13 - June 22. The production runs at two locations: tonight, May 13 - June 1 at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave., and June 4 - June 22 at The Skokie Theatre, 7924 N. Lincoln Ave. in Skokie.
The performance schedule at Stage 773 includes preview performances Tuesday, May 13 and Wednesday, May 14 at 7:30 p.m. Opening/press night is Thursday, May 15 at 7:00 p.m. at Stage 773 with the regular run schedule Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. There will be no May 18 Sunday performance. Tickets go on sale at both locations Saturday, March 1 and are $28 for general admission tickets. For the Chicago performance at Stage 773, tickets are available at stage773.com or their box office, 773.327.5252. Performances at the Skokie Theater are Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday at 3:00 p.m. Tickets at The Skokie Theatre are also $28 and may be purchased at skokietheatre.com, or the box office, 847.677.7761 Senior tickets to all performances are $24 and students are $18 with an ID. Special discounted rates for groups of 10 or more are available at 773.969.6860. Free post-performance discussions are available Thursdays and selected additional performances. Go to shpieltheatre.com for complete post-performance discussions and guest speakers schedule.
In preparing for the role, Roslyn Alexander did extensive research in Goldman's memoirs and biographies to create The Passions of Emma Goldman. Born in Russia to Jewish parents, Emma Goldman immigrated to the United States in 1885 and soon after dedicated her life to the creation of a new social order. Convinced that the combination of politics with the economic organization of modern society was fundamentally unjust, she embraced political "anarchism" for its vision of liberty, harmony and true social justice. Lionized by admirers, despised as a rebel and menaced by her critics - Goldman was ahead of her time, tirelessly championing movements and issues such as: sexual and reproductive rights for women; workers' rights for adults and children and prison reform. Delving inside Goldman's life, Alexander reveals the personal and political passions of this fascinating American icon and shows the price she paid for her convictions.
The Passions of Emma Goldman's production team includes: Ashleigh Bowers (sound designer and assistant to the artistic producing director); Rachael Claxton (scenic designer); Ellie Humphrys (lighting designer); Joan Mazzonelli (dramaturg) and Rachel Silvert (stage manager).
Roslyn Alexander, the "Grand Dame of Chicago Theatre," is a Jeff award-winning actor. Alexander has worked often with noted director Dennis Zacek and playwright James Sherman beginning with Sherman's first play, The God of Isaac and ending with Jacob and Jack. She also toured coast-to-coast with Sherman's Beau Jest, culminating in a two-year engagement Off-Broadway. Alexander was cast by Mike Nichols for the first National Company of The Prisoner of Second Avenue and won a Jeff Award for Best Actress in Wings at Wisdom Bridge Theatre, directed by Robert Falls. Her Chicago credits include, among many others, eight productions at Victory Gardens, Endgame and The Importance of Being Earnest at Court Theatre, Steel Magnolias at the Royal George, Taking Care at Steppenwolf, Mornings at Seven at Drury Lane Water Tower, Kimberly Akimbo at A Red Orchard, and recently, How I Became An Interesting Person at Chicago Dramatists. Alexander has made countless commercials, many feature films and episodes for TV and dramatized 10 novels for Recorded Books of New York. She was on WFMT, Chicago's Fine Arts station for several years reading and interpreting classic literature.
Dennis Zacek held the position of artistic director at Victory Gardens Theatre for 30 years, and recently accepted the Actor's Equity Association's (AEA) Spirit Recognition Award. The Spirit Award is given to institutions that "have made non-traditional casting a way of life." He also received the 2005 Jeff Award for Outstanding Achievement in Chicago Equity Theatre. He, his wife Marcelle McVay, and the theater are co-recipients of the 2001 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. He is also the recipient of the 2004 Artistic Leadership Award from the League of Chicago Theatres. Zacek and McVay received the 1999 Rosetta Lenoire Award from Actors' Equity and the 1998 Sidney R. Yates Arts Advocacy Award from the Illinois Arts Alliance Foundation. He has directed more than 250 productions in his career, including, most recently, the successful Drury Lane Oakbrook production of Boeing, Boeing. Zacek is a professor emeritus of Loyola University and was included in Utne magazine's first-ever list of "Artists Who Will Shake the World" in 2005.