BWW TV: Watch Highlights from OBJECTS IN THE MIRROR at Goodman Theatre
"It was in the 'hell' of a refugee camp in the African republic of Guinea that Shedrick Yarkpai first dreamed about a career as an actor" (The Australian) - a path that eventually acquainted him with Chicago native playwright Charles Smith, who has now chronicled the Liberian refugee's gripping story in his newest play, Objects in the Mirror. The world premiere of Objects in the Mirror, which was developed through the Goodman's New Stages Festival, appears now through June 4 (opening night is May 8) in the 856-seat Albert Theatre. Click below to watch highlights from the production!
The playwright's longtime collaborator Chuck Smith (no relation) directs the world premiere production, which explores identity, survival and the sacrifices of assimilation inspired by the true events of Yarkpai's escape from his war-torn homeland. Chicago actor Daniel Kyri makes his Goodman debut as Yarkpai, who hopes to begin life anew in Australia, but must first confront the ghosts of his past-and potentially expose a dangerous family secret.
In 2009, [Charles] Smith traveled to Adelaide, Australia, for a production of his play Free Man of Color, which featured Shedrick Yarkpai, a young Liberian actor, in the title role. As their friendship developed, Smith learned about the actor's valiant 10+ year (1995-2007) journey from war-torn Liberia through a number of refugee camps in Guinea and Côte d'Ivoire, before his final relocation to Adelaide, Australia.
In addition to Kyri, the all-Chicago cast also includes Breon Arzell as Shedrick's cousin Zaza Workolo; Allen Gilmore as his uncle John Workolo; Ryan Kitley as his friend Rob Mosher; and Lily Mojekwu as his mother Luopu Workolo-a role she originated in the New Stages Festival.
Tapping some of his frequent collaborators, [Chuck] Smith's design team includes: set designer Riccardo Hernandez, who captures Shedrick's perilous journey in a design that uses shifting corrugated walls to specify the demographic changes; Mike Tutaj(projections); John Culbert (lights); Birgit Rattenborg Wise (costumes); Ray Nardelli (sound); and Briana J. Fahey is the production stage manager.
Tickets ($20-$75; subject to change) are available at GoodmanTheatre.org/Objects, the box office (170 N. Dearborn) or by phone at 312.443.3800.