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Ron OJ Parson directs HOME at Court Theatre 11/11-12/12

Court Theatre continues its 56th season with Samm-Art Williams' Home, directed by Resident Artist Ron OJ Parson. The production will run November 11 - December 12, 2010 at Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis Avenue. Press opening is Saturday, November 20, 2010 at 8:00PM.

Originally produced by the legendary Negro Ensemble Company in 1981, Home is an enduring and poetic story of hope and the resiliency of the human spirit told against the backdrop of the political and social upheavals of the 1960s and 70s. In 2008, Resident Artist Ron OJ Parson (Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Sizwe Banzi is Dead) directed an Audelco Award-winning production of Home at Signature Theatre Company in New York, which The New York Times called "a portrait of the black experience...that finds a homey beauty not in suffering but in carrying on."

"Home is one of the pure classics of the African American ensemble movement lead by the Negro Ensemble Company to change the face of American theatre. For a director it is one of those rare plays that you can always return to - always challenging, always fresh, always moving, and always fun to work on," says Parson. "And it is great to be coming home to Court to direct it after my Signature Theatre production last year."

Home features Kamal Angelo Bolden (Cephus Miles), Tracey N. Bonner (Woman 2), and Ashley Honore (Woman 1/Pattie Mae Wells).

The creative team includes Jack Magaw (scenic design), Rachel Laritz (costume design), Heather Gilbert (lighting design), and Kathryn Bostic (music consultant). The production stage manager is Sara Gammage and Martine Kei Green is the dramaturg.
Ron OJ Parson (Director) is the cofounder and former artistic director of the Onyx Theatre Ensemble of Chicago, and he is currently the Resident Artist at Court Theatre. He has worked with such Chicago theatres as Steppenwolf Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Victory Gardens Theater, Northlight Theatre, Black Ensemble Theatre, eta Creative Arts Foundation, The Chicago Theatre Company, Eclipse Theatre Company, Congo Square Theatre Company, City Lit Theater Company, Urban Theater Company, Writers' Theatre, and a variety of arts in education programs. Regionally, Ron has directed at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Portland Stage Company, Virginia Stage Company, Pittsburgh Public Theater, Madison Repertory Theatre, Studio Arena Theatre in Buffalo, Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati, Signature Theatre Company in New York City, Centerstage in Baltimore, and the world premiere of Palmer Park at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Ontario, Canada. Most recently, he directed August Wilson's Two Trains Running at Geva Theatre in Rochester, New York. For Court Theatre, Ron has directEd Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, The Piano Lesson, The First Breeze of Summer, Wait Until Dark, Flyin' West, and last year's season finale Sizwe Banzi is Dead. Ron also recently directed The Old Settler at Writers' Theatre. Ron will be remounting his production of Ma Rainey's Black Bottom at Actors Theatre of Louisville and Milwaukee Rep this season. He is a proud member of Actors' Equity Association and SDC, the stage directors' union.
Kamal Angelo Bolden (Cephus Miles) makes his Court Theatre debut with Home. Last season, Kamal created the role of Chad Deity in The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity at Victory Gardens Theater and garnered a Black Theater Alliance Award for Best Leading Actor for his work in The Island at Remy Bumppo Theatre.

Ashley Honore (Woman 1, Pattie Mae Wells) is a graduate of Howard University's Musical Theatre Department and makes her Chicago debut in Home at Court Theatre. Before arriving in Chicago she performed in such shows as Wit, Ragtime, The Fantasticks and Into The Woods. Honore also toured with the Kennedy Center twice, bringing theatre to children who may have otherwise never had the opportunity to experience it.

Tracey E. Bonner (Woman 2) makes her Court Theatre debut in Home. Her Off Broadway theater credits include: Home (Signature Theatre Company; Best Ensemble, Vivian Robinson AUDELCO Award). Regional credits include: Jitney (ALLIANCE THEATRE) and Home (Madison Repertory Theatre). Chicago Credits include: The Talented Tenth (Best Play, BTA Award) and Joe Turner's Come and Gone (Congo Square; Best Play, BTA Award), How the Kanye' West Was Won and Six Degrees of Reparation (The Second City, Chicago). Bonner holds a BS from Tennessee State University and an MFA from The Theatre School at DePaul University.

Previews are November 11 - November 19, 2010. The opening press performance is on Saturday, November 20, 2010 at 8:00 p.m. Curtain times are Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. with Saturday matinees at 3 p.m.; Sundays at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Ticket prices are $30 to $40 for preview performances; $40 to $60 for regular run performances. Tickets are available at the Box Office, 5535 S. Ellis Avenue, Chicago; (773) 753-4472 or online at www.CourtTheatre.org. Student and senior discounts available. Groups of 10 or more may purchase tickets by calling Milan Pejnovich at (773) 834-3243.

Upcoming Events
University of Chicago Student Night
Friday, November 12, 2010 at 8:00PM
University of Chicago students are invited to enjoy free food and soda after the performance, as well as a post-show discussion with members of the cast, design team, and staff. University of Chicago student tickets are always just $10 with valid U of C student ID.

David Bevington Post-show Discussion
Wednesday, December 1, 2010, following the 7:30PM performance of Home
Join world-renowned University of Chicago theater scholar David Bevington in a lively post-show conversation with Resident Dramaturg Drew Dir. Your comments and questions are part of the discourse as Professor Bevington and the artistic staff provide context and probe the deeper issues of each play in Court Theatre's season. One Wednesday performance of each play features this popular in-depth discussion. These conversations begin immediately after the performance, last approximately 30 minutes, and are free and open to all.

Ron OJ Parson's Artistic Residency is sponsored by The Joyce Foundation.

Court Theatre is the professional theatre in residence at the University of Chicago continuing to discover the power of classic theatre. Court Theatre operates under an agreement between the League of Resident Theatres and Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States. Productions are made possible in part by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency; a City Arts IV grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, the Cultural Outreach Program of the City of Chicago, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Court Theatre is a constituent of Theatre Communications Group, the national organization for the American Theatre; the League of Resident Theatres; the Illinois Humanities Council; Arts Alliance Illinois; and the League of Chicago Theatres.

FACT SHEET

Synopsis: Originally produced by the legendary Negro Ensemble Company in 1981, Home is an enduring and poetic story of hope and the resiliency of the human spirit told against the backdrop of the political and social upheavals of the 1960s and 70s. In 2008, Resident Artist Ron OJ Parson (Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Sizwe Banzi is Dead) directed an Audelco Award-winning production of Home at Signature Theatre Company in New York, which The New York Times called "a portrait of the black experience...that finds a homey beauty not in suffering but in carrying on."

Title: Home
Directed by: Ron OJ Parson
Written by: Samm-Art Williams
Featuring: Kamal Angelo Bolden, Tracey N. Bonner and Ashley Honore
Dates: Previews: November 11 - November 19, 2010
Press opening: Saturday, November 20, 2010 at 8 p.m.
Regular run: November 21 - December 12, 2010
Schedule: Wednesdays & Thursdays: 7:30 p.m.
Fridays: 8:00 p.m.
Saturdays: 3:00 p.m. & 8:00 p.m.
Sundays: 2:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
Location: Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis Ave.
Tickets: $30-$60
Box Office: Located at 5535 S. Ellis Avenue, Chicago; (773) 753-4472 or online www.CourtTheatre.org



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