Photo Flash: Get A First Look At Tina Landau's MS. BLAKK FOR PRESIDENT at Steppenwolf
BroadwayWorld has a first look at Steppenwolf Theatre Company's world premiere of MS. BLAKK FOR PRESIDENT, co-written by ensemble members Tina Landau (SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical) and Tarell Alvin McCraney (Moonlight, Academy Award). Conceived by Tina Landau, she also directs this true and little-known Chicago story that will star Tarell Alvin McCraney as Ms. Joan Jett Blakk. Joining McCraney in the cast are Patrick Andrews, Molly Brennan, Daniel Kyri, Jon Hudson Odom and Sawyer Smith.
Previews began May 23, 2019 (opening is June 3 at 7pm) and the production runs through July 14, 2019 in the Upstairs Theatre, 1650 N Halsted St. Press Performances are Monday, June 3 at 7pm and Wednesday, June 5 at 7:30pm. Single tickets ($20-$94) go on sale to the public Friday, March 15 through Audience Services at 312-335-1650 or steppenwolf.org.
Meet Ms. Joan Jett Blakk as she sets off on her journey to run for President of the United States. Inspired by the true story of America's first black drag queen presidential candidate, Joan's story begins in Chicago; it's 1992 and, with the AIDS crisis at its height, Joan and the newly formed Queer Nation Chicago have big goals in mind. Joan sets off on an exhilarating and dangerous journey to drag queer politics out of the closet and into a future where ALL are visible and ALL have a place at the table. Part campaign rally, part nightclub performance, part confessional, and all PARTY!, MS. BLAKK FOR PRESIDENT takes us into the heart and mind of one of Chicago's most radical and influential citizens.
With a production that is part campaign rally, part nightclub, part confessional and all PARTY, it's absolutely fitting that the Upstairs Theatre undergo a fabulous makeover with all-new party zone seating options. The theater will include a runway with up-close seating (think Paris Fashion Week), as well as cabaret style caf tables and comfy couch seating. If wallflower is the preference over the party zone, traditional theatre seating is also available for those who like to sit back and observe the action. Audience members can claim their spot in the party zone or traditional seating during ticket purchase.
Tina Landau an acclaimed writer, director and teacher, has been a Steppenwolf Theatre Company ensemble member since 1997. Her work at the theater includes The Doppelg nger (an international farce), Head of Passes, The Brother/Sister Plays, The Wheel, The Tempest, Time of Your Life, The Cherry Orchard, The Diary of Anne Frank, Berlin Circle and her own play Space. On Broadway, Tina conceived and directed SpongeBob Squarepants The Musical, as well as productions of Superior Donuts and Bells Are Ringing. Other work in NYC includes Old Hats (Signature Theatre); A Civil War Christmas (New York Theatre Workshop); WIG OUT! (Vineyard Theatre); and the musical Floyd Collins (Playwrights Horizons) which she co-wrote. Tina teaches regularly at schools such as Yale and Columbia University and is the co-author, with Anne Bogart, of The Viewpoints Book.
MS. BLAKK FOR PRESIDENT production team includes David Zinn (Scenic Design), Toni-Leslie James (Costume Design), Heather Gilbert (Lighting Design), Lindsey Jones (Sound Design), Rasean Davonte Johnson (Projection Design) and Gigi Buffington (Company Voice and Text Coach). Additional credits include Chris Freeburg (Stage Manager), Kat Barrett (Assistant Stage Manager), JC Clementz (Casting Director) and Hallie Gordon (Artistic Producer).