American Blues Theater Presents Regional Premiere of RANTOUL & DIE, Opens 4/22

American Blues Theater (ABT), Chicago's second oldest Equity Ensemble, caps its 2010-2011 Season with the regional premiere of "Rantoul & Die" by Mark Roberts, directed by Erin Quigley. "Rantoul & Die" will take place in the Victory Gardens' Richard Christiansen Theater April 22-May 22. Previews are April 22-25; press opening is Thursday, April 28. For more information visit

ABT'sproduction of"Rantoul & Die" is presentedin association with Stephen Eich, executive director of the Pasadena Playhouse and former Managing Director of Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre Company; and Don Foster, Executive Producer of CBS' "Mike & Molly."It features ABT Ensemble members Kate Buddeke* and Cheryl Graeff* with guest artists Steppenwolf Ensemble members Francis Guinan and Alan Wilder.The production team for "Rantoul & Die" includes Sarah E. Ross* (scenic design), Brian Claggett* (lighting design), Samantha C. Jones* (costume design), Lindsay Jones* and Scott Nielsen (sound design), Sarah Burnham* (properties design), and Joe Foust* (fight choreography). Baleigh Isaacs is stage manager.

From the Creator/Executive Producer of "Mike & Molly" and writer on "The Big Bang Theory" and "Two and a Half Men," comes a new play with four of the funniest, skankiest, and most heartbreakingly real characters ever, all crammed together in a grimy little world that makes the local Dairy Queen and Dante's Inferno seem one and the same. The Hollywood reporter calls "Rantoul & Die" "original and devastatingly funny."

"ABT is thrilled to cap our season with this extraordinary play that is bringing some of Chicago's ‘favorite sons (and daughters) back to town" says ABT producing director Gwendolyn Whiteside." "But this project would not be possible without the invaluable collaborative spirit of our ensemble and board, and the generous financial support of our sponsors."

ABT is proud to continue its partnership with the Lynn Sage Foundation by offering "Pink Previews" for "Rantoul & Die."A portion of the proceeds from preview performances (April 22-25) will go to benefit the Foundation. Throughout the run of "Rantoul & Die" ABT will also be helping to raise awareness of Chicago's largest no kill humane and adoption organization-PAWS Chicago. For more information visit

American Blues Theater presents "Rantoul & Die" April 22 - May 22 in Victory Gardens' Richard Christiansen Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago. "Pink Previews" are Friday, April 22 - Sunday, April 25. Press opening is Thursday, April 28 at 7 p.m. Performances are Thursdays at 8 p.m. Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 5 and 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. Ticket prices are as follows: previews, $20; press opening, $50; post opening, $32 for Thursday evenings and Saturday and Sunday matinees, $40 for Friday and Saturday evenings.For tickets or more information call the box office at 773-871-3000 or visit

Committed to the Ensemble since 1985, American Blues Theater produces stories about working people and partners each production with social and service organizations. During the years 1997-2009, the Ensemble went by the name American Theater Company. In 2009, the Ensemble reclaimed its original name and reaffirmed its commitment to its original mission. ABT is the second-oldest Equity Ensemble in Chicago. Their multi-generational Ensemble & Artistic Affiliates work in theater, television, and film. As of 2010, they've individually received over 100 Joseph Jefferson Awards, Citations, and nominations, 19 After Dark Awards, an Academy Award nomination, Golden Globe Award, Emmy Awards and nominations, Writers' Guild Awards, 16 Black Theatre Alliance Awards and nominations, and multiple Regional theater awards from NY, Los Angeles, DC, and Florida. ABT's 30-member Ensemble has more than 380 combined years of collaboration on stage.

The ABT Ensemble includes all four Founders Ed Blatchford, Rick Cleveland, James Leaming, and William Payne with Dawn Bach, Matthew Brumlow, Kate Buddeke, Sarah Burnham, Casey Campbell, Brian Claggett, Dennis Cockrum Laura Coover, Lauri Dahl, Tom Geraty, Cheryl Graeff, Jaclyn Holsey, Lindsay Jones, Samantha Jones, Nambi E. Kelley, Kevin R. Kelly, Steve Key, Ed Kross, Heather Meyers , John Möhrlein, Jim Ortlieb, Suzanne Petri, Carmen Roman, Editha Rosario, Sarah E. Ross and Gwendolyn Whiteside.

American Blues Theater is led by Producing Artistic Director Gwendolyn Whiteside. American Blues is a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit organization. For more information call (312) 725 - 4ABT (4228), email info@americanbluestheater.comor

Title sponsors for "Rantoul & Die" are DQ & Zig Zag Kitchen.ABT's 2010-2011 is made possible in part with the generous support of Bruce B. Boyd Foundation, Citi Private Bank, CME Foundation, Eurex, and Food for Thought.
* Denotes ABT ensemble or affiliate member


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