Photo Flash: First Look at About Face Theatre's THIS BITTER EARTH

About Face Theatre is pleased to launch its 2018-19 season with the Chicago premiere of the poetic and political romance THIS BITTER EARTH by award winning playwright and McKnight Fellow Harrison David Rivers, directed by Mikael Burke, recipient of the 2017 Princess Grace Award in Theatre. THIS BITTER EARTH will play November 1 - December 8, 2018 at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. in Chicago. Tickets are currently available at aboutfacetheatre.com, by calling (773) 975-8150 or in person at the Theater Wit Box Office. The press opening is Thursday, November 8 at 7:30 pm.

THIS BITTER EARTH features Sheldon Brown and Daniel Desmarais.

THIS BITTER EARTH reveals a deep love challenged by divisive political realities. Jesse, an introspective black playwright, finds his choices called into question when his boyfriend, Neil, a white Black Lives Matter activist, calls him out for his political apathy. As passions and priorities collide, this couple is forced to reckon with issues of race, class and the bravery it takes to love out loud.

Comments Artistic Director Megan Carney, "Harrison's brilliant play resonates so powerfully at this moment. This story reveals one distinct couple in a relationship shaped and propelled by both massive love and devastating violence. They are grappling with this mad world and fighting for their very lives. Harrison captures the intricacies of identities and impact with humor and passion. I can't imagine a better pairing that Harrison and Mikael to bring this work to life in Chicago."

Adds Director Mikael Burke, "This Bitter Earth is a beautiful and unflinching play about race and relationship in contemporary America - about the need for connection and the apparent differences that hold us back. Jesse is black, Neil is white, and against a backdrop of police shootings and Black Lives Matter rallies, this tale of interracial love and heartache asks us: How do we save one another in this tumultuous world? How do we save ourselves? How do we navigate love in a world with so much hate? What do we carry in order to survive that we must learn to let go of in order to live?"

The production team for THIS BITTER EARTH includes: Joe Schermoly (scenic design), Bob Kuhn* (costume design), John Kelly (lighting design), Eric Backus (sound design), Emma Cullimore (props design), Sasha Smith (intimacy design), Catherine Allen (production manager), Helen Lattyak (stage manager) and Andrea Enger (assistant stage manager).

*Denotes AFT Artistic Associate

Photo Credit: Liz Lauren

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