Julia O'Connor To Direct I AND YOU In Perseverance Theatre Black Box Series

Actors Lily Odekirk and Chris Talley star in this production in Perseverance Theatre's Black Box Series.

One afternoon, Anthony arrives unexpectedly at classmate Caroline's door bearing a beat-up copy of Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass, an urgent assignment from their English teacher. Homebound due to illness, Caroline hasn't been to school in months, but she is as quick and sardonic as Anthony is athletic, sensitive, and popular. As these two let down their guards and share their secrets, this seemingly mundane poetry project unlocks a much deeper mystery that has brought them together. I and You is an ode to youth, life, love, and the strange beauty of human connectedness.

Director Julia O'Connor says, "The Black Box series' goal is to put actors who are just beginning their acting careers in the starlight. It allows them to work on meatier roles, grow, and learn as actors. With that in the back of my mind, I knew I and You would be perfect. Not only does this play give an opportunity for actors to to work on multi-dimensional characters, but it gives that opportunity to younger actors." O'Connor goes on to say, "The chemistry between Talley and Odekirk is incredible!"

O'Connor is a former Perseverance Theatre intern who has recently directed West Side Story for Juneau Lyric Opera, and Next to Normal, for Juneau Douglas Little Theatre. Chris Talley first performed at Perseverance Theatre in A Raisin in the Sun in 2012, and was most recently seen on the mainstage in Cyrano de Bergerac. Lily Odekirk is a recent graduate of Wellesley College where she majored in theatre studies. She acted professionally with Wellesley Repertory Theatre, and interned with the American Shakespeare Society.

The creative team for I and You includes Glo Ramirez on set and poster design, Adam Obert on lighting, Hali Duran as intimacy director, and Robert Pike on sound design.

The Black Box at Perseverance Theatre is an ongoing studio series housed in the company's second space, The Phoenix (adjacent to the lobby at 914 Third Street in Douglas). Curated by Perseverance-affiliated artists, and open to participation by everyone, the goal of The Black Box is to foster emerging local talents-writers, actors, directors, technicians, and more-by providing opportunities apart from our mainstage productions.

Performances of I and You are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, January 24-26, and 2 p.m. Sunday, January 27, in The Phoenix Theatre at Perseverance, 914 Third St. in Douglas. Tickets are pay-as-you-can at the door.

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