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American Blues Continues Live Reading Series With ORIGIN STORY

The reading will be followed by a group discussion with the playwright and director.

American Blues Theater, under the continued leadership of Artistic Director Gwendolyn Whiteside, presents a live, online reading of Origin Story by Nathan Alan Davis, directed by Ensemble member Manny Buckley, as part of "The Room" series. The play will be live on Friday, February 25 at 7pm. The reading will be followed by a group discussion with the playwright and director.

"The Room" is a reading series that brings original work, plays in development, and new stories to Chicago audiences. Offering in-depth discussions as well as action steps for patrons that intersect with themes of the plays, "The Room" will run via Zoom quarterly.

Tickets are pay-what-you-can with a suggested donation of $10, and are currently on sale at or (773) 654-3101. Ticket holders will be sent a pre-reading email complete with instructions on joining the virtual reading via Zoom. Tickets are available until Friday, April 25 at 3:00pm.

The cast includes Ensemble member Steve Key and guest artists Brian Bradford, Grant Carriker, Minita Gandhi, Carly Jo Geer, Joslyn Jones, and Sana Selemon.

Margaret is working two jobs to pay down her debt. During the day, she's wading through office triviality at The Services Corporation, and by night, she's working the drive-through of The Burg, a 24/7 fast food restaurant. Overtired, ungrounded, and abandoned by her parents at birth, Margaret's existential crisis begins to turn around as connections are found in the most unsuspecting of places. Funny and heartfelt, this is a contemporary look at the quarter-life crisis and connecting in an impersonal world.

Nathan Alan Davis he/him (playwright) is an award-winning playwright. His plays include: The High Ground (upcoming at Arena Stage), Nat Turner in Jerusalem (New York Theatre Workshop; Stavis Playwright Award), Dontrell Who Kissed the Sea (NNPN Rolling World Premiere; Steinberg/ATCA New Play Citation), and The Wind and the Breeze (Cygnet Theatre; American Blues Theater Blue Ink Award, Lorraine Hansberry Award). He received a Windham-Campbell Prize in 2021. Other recent honors include: The Lark Venturous Fellow (2021-22), Steinberg Playwright Award (2020), Sundance at Ucross Fellow (2019), and Whiting Award (2018). Nathan is a Lecturer in Theater and Berlind Playwright-in-Residence at Princeton University. He is an alumnus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Indiana University Bloomington, and The Juilliard School.

Manny Buckley he/him (director) is a proud Ensemble member of American Blues Theater. He is a Chicago-based director, actor, playwright and teaching artist. Blues credits include It's a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago!, Six Corners, Looking Over the President's Shoulder (Jeff Award Nomination-Best Solo Performance), and Dutchman/TRANSit (Black Theatre Alliance Award Nomination). Manny toured nationally as "Satchel Paige" in the original production of The Satchel Paige Story, and appeared in The Father (Helen Hayes Award Nomination) at Studio Theatre in Washington, D.C. He originated the role of "Carson" in Hit the Wall, which sold out extensions in Steppenwolf's Garage Rep. Select Chicago credits include The Brothers Size, 1984, and Of Mice and Men (Steppenwolf); Dorian (House Theater); and Love's Labor's Lost (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre). Mr. Buckley is the recipient of a Black Theatre Alliance, and Black Excellence Award. He most recently directed Kingdom, an audio drama, with Broken Nose Theatre.

Winner of the American Theatre Wing's prestigious National Theatre Company Award, American Blues Theater is a premier arts organization with an intimate environment that patrons, artists, and all Chicagoans call home. American Blues Theater explores the American identity through the plays it produces and communities it serves.

The diverse and multi-generational artists have established the second-oldest professional Equity Ensemble theater in Chicago. As of 2022, the theater and artists received 221 Joseph Jefferson Awards and nominations that celebrate excellence in Chicago theater and 40 Black Theatre Alliance Awards. The artists are honored with Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award nominations, Academy Awards, Golden Globe Awards, Emmy Awards and numerous other accolades.

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