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The Theatre School at DePaul University to Present World Premiere of NIGHT RUNNER

The Theatre School at DePaul University presents Night Runner, a world premiere by Ike Holter and directed by Lisa Portes, with musical direction by Mikel Patrick Avery, choreography by Breon Arzell, and fight choreography by Katherine Coyl. Night Runner is a part of The Theatre School's Chicago Playworks for Families and Young Audiences Series.

About the play: The production tells the story of Cora, an enslaved 12-year-old, and the Night Runner, the mythic but dark figure who shows her the way. When a cruel slave owner arrives and snatches Cora's brother Marcus in exchange for debt, Cora flees to find him. In steps the legendary Night Runner, a fierce, fast-talking female superhero, who helps Cora escape to freedom and discover her own inner strength. Night Runner is recommended for ages 9 and up.

Complimentary teacher guides for Night Runner are available online for educators and interested audience members. Guides include activities and discussions for before and after the performance, which highlight core learning goals. Themes from this production include: Family; Historic?al Fiction; Oppression; Perseverance; Racism; Self-Discovery; Slavery; and The Underground Railroad.

Night Runner opens January 12, 2017, and runs through February 18, 2017, at DePaul's historic Merle Reskin Theatre. Performances are Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10 AM, and Saturdays 2 PM. Special Friday performances (10 AM) will occur on February 3 and 10. A Sunday performance will be held on February 5 (2 PM). There is no Saturday performance on February 4.

The performances on February 10 and 11 will be interpreted in American Sign Language. Call TTY: 773.325.7975. January 14 is USO of Illinois Day. U.S. Armed Forces personnel and their families with a valid military ID can attend the performance for free. Visit to reserve tickets, or call 312.922.1999 for more information. Join the cast for an autograph session after the performance on January 14. The performances on January 26 and February 5 will be followed by a post-show discussion. Visit the website or call the box office for additional details.

Tickets are $10. Subscriptions and group rates (15 or more people) are available. DePaul employees, alumni, and college students receive a discount (with ID). Tickets are available online or by calling the Box Office at (312) 922-1999.

DePaul's Merle Reskin Theatre is located at 60 E. Balbo Drive at Michigan Avenue, in Chicago. For information about parking, please contact the Box Office. The theatre is accessible via CTA busses (3-King Drive, 29-State Street, 146-Michigan/ Museums and others), and CTA El stops (Red, Blue, Brown, Green, Orange, Purple and Pink).

The cast features Vincent Banks (Danson/ Zachariah/ Ensemble), Matthew Elam (Marcus), Kayla Forde (Cora), Edward Hall (Mr. Lexington), Tia Jemison (Bessie/Ensemble), Courtney Peck (Angela/ Rose/ Ensemble), Michael Russo (Luke), Sola Thompson (Night Runner), Noelle Daniels (ensemble), Ki-Jana Moore (ensemble), and Jack Rhea (ensemble).

The production staff includes Lisa Portes (Director), Mikel Patrick Avery (Musical Director), Breon Arzell (Choreographer), Katherine Coyl (Fight Choreographer), Camila Devereux (Scenic Designer), Megan Pirtle (Costume Designer), Eric Phillips (Lighting Designer), Kendall Barron (Sound Designer), Rachel Perzynski (Dramaturg), and Cat Andrade (Stage Manager).

About the Playwright: Ike Holter is an alumnus of The Theatre School at DePaul University. His work has been produced at The Steppenwolf Garage, A Red Orchid, Barrow Street, Primary Stages, The Lily Tomlin Theater, Philadelphia Theater Company, The New Colony, Jackalope Theater, Nothing Without a Company, and The Inconvenience, where he is a founding member. He has received fellowships and commissions from Goodman Theatre, Studio Theater, The Kennedy Center, Writers Theater, Teatro Vista, and Playwrights Center. Holter was recently named one of Victory Gardens Theater's newest ensemble playwrights, and his show The Wolf at the End of the Block will open in their upstairs theatre this winter, presented by Teatro Vista and directed by Ricardo Gutierrez.

About the Director: Lisa Portes serves as the Head of Directing at The Theatre School. Primarily a director of new plays and musicals, her work has been seen regionally at the Kennedy Center, South Coast Repertory Theatre's Hispanic Playwrights Project, McCarter Theatre Lab, A Contemporary American Theatre Festival, Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C., the Sundance Theatre Lab, the Cape Cod Theatre Project, the Santa Barbara Theatre Lab, and the Eugene O'Neill Playwrights Conference; in New York her work has been seen at Playwrights Horizons, Soho Rep, New York Theatre Workshop, The Public Theatre, the Flea Theatre and the Cherry Lane Alternative Theatre. Her Chicago Playworks for Families and Young Audiences credits include: Barrio Grrrl: A Musical by Quiara Alegría Hudes, Pinkalicious by Elizabeth and Victoria Kahn, Cinderella Eats Rice and Beans: A Salsa Musical by Karen Zacarías, and Highest Heaven by José Cruz Gonzalez. Lisa lives in Bridgeport with her husband, playwright Carlos Murillo, and their two children Eva Rose and Carlos Alejandro.

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