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Artemisia Theatre Announces Virtual World Premiere of Lauren Ferebee's GOODS

The year is 2100. Marla and Sam are celebrating their 20th anniversary working together as interplanetary trash collectors.

Artemisia Theatre Announces Virtual World Premiere of Lauren Ferebee's GOODS

Two intergalactic trash collectors, both women, one Black, one white, are hurtling through space toward the finish of their anniversary route, ready to celebrate their return to Earth. But a surprising job sends them back out to the asteroid belt and forces them to make a devastating choice.

That's the launch pad for Goods, a world premiere play by Lauren Ferebee receiving its virtual world premiere May 5-30, 2021 by Artemisia Theatre. Chicago stage legend E. Faye Butler directs.

Artemisia Founder and Artistic Director Julie Proudfoot is the producer and will perform the role of Marla. Shariba Rivers makes her Artemisia debut as Sam. The Goods production team includes Willow James (sound), LaVisa Williams (costumes), Peter Sullivan of Marsten McCoy Media (videographer) and Lizzy Liebermann (assistant director and production manager).


Goods will be a virtual, ticketed production with streaming performances May 5-30: Wednesday through Saturday @ 7:30 p.m.; Sunday at 2 p.m. In recognition of Women's History Month, early-bird tickets to Goods are only $15 now through March 31. Starting April 1, regular tickets are $30. For tickets and information, visit artemisiatheatre.org. Note: ticket buyers will be sent a dedicated link and security code to access the production one hour before start time.

The year is 2100. Marla and Sam are celebrating their 20th anniversary working together as interplanetary trash collectors. Their spaceship might be small and dingy, but it keeps them from dealing with sinking cities, an out-of-control refugee crisis, and their own personal histories. However, as they head toward the finish of their anniversary route, an unexpected job forces them to confront the problems and choices of the world they've left behind and their relationship to one another.

"All civilizations have trash. It's a unifying characteristic. That means every civilization has garbage collectors," explains playwright Lauren Ferebee. "I've always been a science fiction fan so with Goods
I wanted to bring the excitement and newness of space travel into a play with two women who see space travel as the most routine, mundane task. What does space mean to Marla and Sam? What happens when we run out of space? I thought perhaps by looking forward, just a little, we could wonder at how progress and devastation go hand and hand, and maybe think a little more deeply about who progress benefits, who gets left behind, and why."

Goods is the first of two plays penned specifically for virtual production to be premiered this year by Artemisia, where Ferebee is a 2021 playwright-in-residence. Still on tap is Into a Blaze: The Triangle Shirtwaist, which honors the history of the deadly 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist fire while drawing parallels to workers rights campaigns in the current landscape. Proudfoot directs. Into a Blaze will stream October 20-November 14, 2021.

Ferebee's plays have been developed across the US. Most recently, her play Brilliance was featured as part of Boomerang Theatre Company's First Flight Festival in NYC, and Every Waiting Heart (Artemisia Fall Festival 2018 winner, O'Neill semifinalist) had a reading in Fall 2019 at TheatreSquared. Her play Wild Eden (semifinalist, BAPF 2020) was developed in Fall 2020 at the University of Arkansas. Her one-acts and ten-minutes Winter in the House, The Meeting and The Box have been regional/national finalists for the Kennedy Center's John Cauble and Gary Garrison Awards in 2018 and 2019. Monologues from her play The Reckless Season (finalist, Princess Grace Award, 2016), which was produced by Boomerang Theatre Company in 2017 (dir. Dominic D'Andrea), were featured in the 2018 Smith & Kraus Best Original Monologues anthologies. She also writes original music and collaborates as a founding member of Scrappy Shakes, a theatre collective in South Carolina. Her 2019 original score for their production of Much Ado About Nothing was recently named Best Original Score by Carolina Curtain Call. She earned her BFA at NYU/Tisch and is a current MFA candidate at the University of Arkansas. For more, visit laurenferebee.com.

E. Faye Butler (director) is Board President of Artemisia Theatre, founded in 2011and dedicated to strong feminist storytelling. Goods marks her first production with the company.

"Women still struggle to find a place where they can share their stories, be their true selves as artists," says Butler. "That's what I love about Artemisia. It's a sisterhood of leaders, who empower women as writers, directors and performers. A sisterhood that gives and will always give women a voice. A place where women can bring their fire, their passion and their lived experience and share true stories from their perspective."

Butler is no stranger to the theatre. As a performer she has a career that spans over 30 years nationally and internationally as an actress and singer. Most recently she performed the role of Fannie Lou Hamer in Fanny Lou Hamer: Speak On It! for Chicago's Goodman Theatre and Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. Her directing credits include Lettin' the Good Times Roll with Fe and Faye, Ain't

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Artemisia Theatre presents virtual world premiere of Goods May 5-30, 2021-pg 3 of 3

Misbehavin' (Portland Stage, Peoria Players and Old Town Playhouse), The Wiz (Columbia College) and Beattie Is...(New American Theatre). Butler also directs one person shows for artists across the country. Upcoming projects include Behind The Door and The Color Purple at Maine State Music Theatre. e-fayebutler.com


Julie Proudfoot (Marla) is a Chicago-based theatre artist and founder and Executive Artistic Director of Artemisia Theatre. Recently, she played Alonso in Midsommer Flight's production of The Tempest and understudied the role of Mamma/Mother in A Shayna Maidel by Barbara Lebow at TimeLine Theatre, where she performed the role for a week during TimeLine's highly successful extended run. For Artemisia Theatre, she originated the roles of Lauren in Waiting and Viola in Chewing on Beckett, both world premieres written by Ed Proudfoot. Her work as an actor has also been seen at Akvavit Theatre, The Shakespeare Project of Chicago and Equity Library Theatre. She has been featured numerous times on camera including The Chi, Chicago Med, Chicago Justice, Boomtown and The Practice, and has performed in regional and national commercials and independent films.


Shariba Rivers (Sam) makes her Artemisia debut in Goods. Other credits include The Tasters (Rivendell Theatre), Hoodoo Love (Raven Theatre), for which she earned a Jeff nomination and a BTAA nomination, and Black Ballerina (Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre). Online productions include Comb Your Hair (Or You'll Look Like a Slave) and Landscape in DePaul's Wrights of Spring. Rivers continues to work on season three of the audiodrama, Unwell: A Midwestern Gothic Mystery as one of the main characters, Lily Harper, for which she recently won an AudioVerse award, and is anticipating release of Spokes, an independent short film, later this year. She is a member of three Chicago-based theater companies-First Floor Theater, The New Colony, and MPAACT, where she serves as casting director. Her TV credits include Empire, Chicago PD, Chicago Med and The Chi. sharibatheactor.com

Artemisia Theatre's production of Goods is supported by the Arts for Illinois Relief Fund, Arts Works Fund, Chicago Reader, Driehaus Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelly Foundation, HKM Employment Attorneys LLP, National Endowment for the Arts, Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, Rebellious Magazine for Women and Salvi Schostok & Pritchard Trial Lawyers.

About Artemisia Theatre: Making women heroes - on stage and off - by sharing their empowering stories

Artemisia Gentileschi was a great feminist painter, forgotten by history. Now, she's considered the greatest female artist prior to the modern period. It just shows why women's stories are important. They change our perspective, on the past, the present and the future.

That's why Chicago's Artemisia Theatre was founded, to share women's untold stories. Since 2011, through productions of classic and all-new feminist plays, Artemisia has created career-altering opportunities for African American, Latinx, Asian, Arab and Native American (ALAANA), Caucasian and LGBTQ theatre artists. Artemisia enriches Chicago's culture by taking creative risks, achieving artistic excellence, and engaging the audience directly in unique performances and after-show discussions that inspire compassion and social justice for women. Artemisia's leadership is 100 percent women.

For more, visit artemisiatheatre.org where you can sign up for the company's e-newsletter and subscribe to its new feminist podcast, We Women. Or, follow the company on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.


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