Theater Wit Announces Cast for Chicago Debut of Joshua Harmon's ADMISSIONS
College apps and quotas. White liberal guilt. Political correctness of all kinds. Joshua "Bad Jews" Harmon takes aim at all of this and more in his newest play, Admissions.
Today, Theater Wit Artistic Director Jeremy Wechsler announced the cast for Wit's Midwest premiere of Harmon's scathingly funny new play about racial diversity in private schools, March 21-May 12, 2019, opening Monday, April 1 at 7 p.m.
Meighan Gerachis, whose credits include memorable turns in Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England at Theater Wit and The Wolves at Goodman Theatre, will play Sherri Mason, the longtime, very liberal director of admissions at Hillcrest college prep, a second-tier New Hampshire boarding school.
Stephen Walker, a stand-out as the diva lead actor in 10 Out of 12 at Theater Wit and, more recently, in TimeLine's To Catch a Fish, will play Bill, Sherri's husband and headmaster at Hillcrest.
Kyle Curry makes his Theater Wit debut as Sherri and Bill's son, Charlie, an outstanding Hillcrest student who has dreamed of attending Yale since he was a child, only to learn his shoe-in application has been deferred.
India Whiteside plays Ginnie Peters, another very liberal WASP and the mother of Charlie's best friend, Perry.
Completing the cast is Judi Schindler as Roberta, a change-resistant white woman in her 70s who works in development at Hillcrest.
Also confirmed is Theater Wit's Admissions production team: Jeremy Wechsler (director), Laura Fisher (assistant director), Jose Manuel Diaz (set), Kotryna Hilko (costumes), Jessica Neill (lights), Tony Bruno (sound), Amanda Herrmann (props), Clare Cooney (casting) and Sean McStravick (stage manager.)
Theater Wit's Chicago premiere of this hilarious and scathing family drama is sure to press audiences' buttons as it tackles hallowed, yet thorny, contemporary issues, skewering them with Harmon's signature humor and satiric wit.
Performances are March 21-May 12, 2019: Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.; Sunday at 3 p.m. Press opening is Monday, April 1 at 7 p.m. No show April 4.
Theater Wit is located at 1229 N. Belmont Ave., in the Belmont Theatre District in Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood. Tickets start at $12. For tickets and information, visit TheaterWit.org or call (773) 975-8150.
Meet the Masons
Meet Bill and Sherri Mason, the headmaster and head of admissions respectively of Hillcrest, a second-tier New Hampshire boarding school. When this very liberal, very progressive couple arrived 15 years ago, the student population at Hillcrest was 94 percent white. Deeply committed to diversity, Sherri has boosted the number of students of color from six to 18 percent, a figure she still considers embarrassingly low. However, Bill and Sherri's dedication to diversity is put to the test when their son Charlie, an outstanding Hillcrest student who has dreamed of attending Yale since he was a child, learns his application has been deferred. Convinced that Yale based its decisions on race, Charlie claims to be a victim of reverse discrimination. And as their son lashes out, Sherri and Bill are forced to examine just how far their commitment to diversity goes. Are they true disciples? Total hypocrites?
Indeed, Admissions is funny, sharp-witted, devastating and shockingly blunt, much like Harmon's earlier plays Bad Jews, the most successful production in Theater Wit history, which ran an unprecedented eight months in 2015, and Significant Other, a Wit co-production with About Face Theater in 2017.
Admissions is also seductive - and, perhaps, controversial - as it splays open issues that have rarely been explored in the theater, at least not in Harmon's comedic and biting manner.
"There's only one author who consistently makes me laugh helplessly and flinch in terror simultaneously. Joshua Harmon has done that to me twice now-first with Bad Jews and again when I read Admissions," explains Jeremy Wechsler, Artistic Director at Theater Wit, who will also stage Wit's production of Admissions. "Once again, Joshua's immense compassion and wicked sense of humor is deployed to illuminate some of the key stresses of contemporary life: the intersection of diversity issues, white liberal guilt and privilege in education. His newest work is a keen satire, equally merciless and about the perils of privilege and whiteness. As such, I hope Admissions sparks the same level of conversation that made our previous collaborations such deep, memorable experiences for our audience."
About Theater Wit
Theater Wit, Chicago's "smart art" theater, is a major hub of the Chicago neighborhood theater scene, where audiences enjoy a smorgasbord of excellent productions in three, 99-seat spaces, see a parade of talented artists and mingle with audiences from all over Chicago.
Currently on stage at Theater Wit is the company's acclaimed co-production of Will Eno's The Realistic Joneses with Shattered Globe Theatre, now through March 9. Try and keep up with the Joneses as they muddle through the small beauties, immense fears, and amazing moments of each day. Time is short but there are gift certificates to enjoy, tiny fireworks to light and another perfect summer evening to take for granted. To purchase tickets, a Theater Wit Membership or to inquire about Flex Pass options, visit TheaterWit.org or call the Theater Wit box office, 773.975.8150.