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Casting Announced For Refracted Theatre's ST. SEBASTIAN World Premiere

The play features Nolan Robinson, Mack Spotts and Adam Thatcher. Understudies include Matheus Barbee and Evan B. Smith.

Casting Announced For Refracted Theatre's ST. SEBASTIAN World Premiere

Refracted Theatre Company has announced casting for its world premiere of Andrew Kramer's dark comedy St. Sebastian, directed by Artistic Director Graham Miller.

The play features Nolan Robinson, Mack Spotts and Adam Thatcher. Understudies include Matheus Barbee and Evan B. Smith.

Launching Refracted Theatre's inaugural Chicago season, this three-hander about a queer white couple that moves into a historically Black neighborhood will be presented September 15 - October 2, 2022 at The Den Theatre (2B), 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood. Tickets are currently available at thedentheatre.com. The press opening is Saturday, September 17 at 8 pm.

St. Sebastian is Refracted Theatre Company's Chicago debut production. The play is a dark comedy with a disturbing edge. Ben convinces his much younger boyfriend Gideon to move out of their apartment in the city to flip a house... but he leaves out that the new house is in a historically (and currently) Black neighborhood. When Ben befriends and employs a local neighborhood kid named Reuben, the blurry line between ignorance, activism and fear lays bare how perniciously racism hides just beyond the face of "wokeness." After five years of development on St. Sebastian, Playwright Andrew Kramer (Armature), whose plays have been seen across the country and internationally, will work with a team of Refracted artists to deliver his beautiful, complex work on stage, fully produced for the first time.

Playwright Andrew Kramer comments, "In a time where political and social discourse often seems more like a battle bootlessly fought than a connective campaign of hope, I'm thrilled to introduce Chicago audiences to Refracted Theatre Company's world premiere production of St. Sebastian. Our words are our weapons we use to wound and our language our link to healing; if the COVID-quarantine/the country's racial reckoning of summertime 2020 has taught us anything, it's that being restricted to close quarters with loved ones can be as frustratingly difficult as it can be lovely and comforting. As we return to live theatre, St. Sebastian seeks to explore the ways in which our most intimate relationships can also become the most volatile - especially when we disagree about matters of sexuality, race, religion and responsibility. Through lean mean-muscle theatrics and confronting, propulsive language, we're refracting the questions of St. Sebastian directly to attending audiences: how can we learn to speak and listen just the same, instead of barking through the fence, like rabid dogs, at the faces of those with whom we disagree?"

Director Graham Miller adds, "From the title alone, St. Sebastian, I think people will have preconceived notions of what this play is. And to be honest, that's kind of perfect, because this play is about just that...our latent prejudices that keep us from seeing things as individual, and the struggle to fit the individual into a larger context. Everyone who has read early drafts has reacted by saying they were surprised by the way it twists itself deeper into knots - knots that I believe will leave an audience thinking about their daily interactions for a long time. This play provides an opportunity for us to see ourselves and each other with more clarity, and that can be uncomfortable... and that's okay! In fact, it's necessary, but it needn't be treacherous. It can be hilarious, terrifying, and ultimately, even healing."

The production team includes Catalina Niño (Scenic Designer), Emily N. Brink (Costume Designer), Levi Wilkins (Lighting Designer), Deon Custard (Sound Designer), Dramaturg (Jasmine B. Gunter), Austin Lichtman (Technical Director), AEI Consultant (Dr. Durell Cooper) and Erin Nicole Eggers (Production Stage Manager).

COVID guidelines: In the interest of keeping patrons and staff safe, and in accordance with the League of Chicago Theatres, The Den will continue to require proof of vaccination to attend any event for the indefinite future. While masking is no longer required, The Den strongly encourages patrons to continue wearing a mask when not eating or drinking. For the most current information on The Den's COVID guidelines, visit thedentheatre.com/covid19-policy.

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