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TimeLine Theatre Company Announces RELENTLESS- Inspired Online Programming

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TimeLine Theatre has announced online public programs and related virtual content inspired by its production of Relentless by Tyla Abercrumbie.

TimeLine Theatre Company Announces RELENTLESS- Inspired Online Programming

TimeLine Theatre has announced online public programs and related virtual content inspired by its production of Relentless by Tyla Abercrumbie.

Developed through TimeLine's Playwrights Collective, Relentless had been scheduled to receive its world premiere at TimeLine last May, directed by Ron OJ Parson, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has shuttered theatres worldwide.

Relentless explores the journey of a Black American family 100 years ago, illuminating issues of racial equity and justice that resonate with the Black Lives Matter movement today.

"Our production may be delayed, but we can start the conversation," said TimeLine Artistic Director PJ Powers.

Relentless virtual events include:

FREE one-night-only online discussion event:


A Conversation Inspired by Relentless

Thursday, September 24 | 7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. (CDT)

Streaming live on YouTube (

Set in 1919, Relentless weaves a mother's past with her daughters' present in a complicated tale of family, legacy, and progress. Its characters have weathered a great deal-revolution, change, even a pandemic-in ways that we see mirrored in our present day.

This live virtual event will feature playwright Tyla Abercrumbie, director Ron OJ Parson, and other special guests in a panel discussion moderated by dramaturg Khalid Long. The event will also feature a selection of scenes from the play performed by cast members Ayanna Bria Bakari, Travis Delgado, and Marguerite Genard.

This event is FREE. While reservations are not required, they are encouraged. All who make reservations will receive a direct YouTube link in advance of the event. For information and reservations, visit

Two-session class on journaling, oral history and family led by playwright Tyla Abercrumbie:

An exploration of journaling, oral history, and family
Monday, September 28 and Monday, October 5 | 6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. (CDT)
Class sessions held virtually via live Zoom video conference

In Relentless, when sisters Janet and Annelle suffer the sudden death of their mother, they are thrust into an examination of what her life has been and what theirs is to become as women, affluent and Black in 1919 America. Today, the call to advance social justice amid the COVID-19 pandemic has opened up opportunities for all of us to explore truths we may have avoided or not thought to investigate with our family and friends. This two-part workshop will explore the art of journal writing and the principles, practices, and importance of oral history-inviting participants to unearth meaningful reflections on how the world today mirrors significant historical events from our lives.

Cost for this Beyond the 'Line class is $40 (inclusive of fees), and a limited number of spots are available. Discounts for current TimeLine subscribers and a limited number of scholarships are available. For more information and to register, visit

A virtual wine tasting in partnership with BottlesUp! Chicago:

Take Home Wine Tasting
Wednesday, September 30 | 7p.m. - 7:30 p.m. (CDT)
Online conversation with BottlesUp expert and guests held virtually via live Zoom video conference; take-home tasting kits available in advance

In honor of Relentless and its character Franklin (a winemaker), TimeLine is pleased to partner with Lakeview East's BottlesUp! for a Take Home Tasting featuring wines from Black winemakers. Sign up to pick-up your pre-packaged flight at the shop (located at 3164 N. Broadway in Chicago), or just attend the FREE Zoom gathering to hear about the wines.

Take-home tasting kits available from BottlesUp! for $10; attend the Zoom conversation for FREE. For more information and to purchase your tasting kit, visit

TimeLine's celebration of Relentless will also include web and social media content further exploring its themes. Find details at or visit the company on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@TimeLineTheatre).

Relentless public programs are generously sponsored in part by Douglas Bradbury.

Relentless looks at the deep personal secrets we keep to protect the ones we love most.

i??After the death of their mother, two sisters return home to Philadelphia in 1919 to settle her estate. Annelle is a happy socialite desperate to return to the safe illusion of a perfect life with her husband in Boston. Janet is a single, professional nurse, determined to change history and propel Black women to a place of prominence and respect. After discovering a series of diaries left by their late mother, they find themselves confronted with a woman they never really knew, exposing buried truths from the pasts that are chillingly, explosively Relentless.

"I don't know that this story has ever been told from the perspective of these types of characters, at least not in this genre," playwright Tyla Abercrumbie said.

"Often the part of American history that is labeled Black History-specifically as it relates to how and when Black Victorians existed and were effective-is largely left out, somehow. Either it's collectively agreed that it didn't exist, or IF it did exist, its importance to the American landscape is deemed irrelevant or at best insignificant, and therefore a collective demand that it be forgotten or "gotten over" has been nurtured and accepted. Many of the themes the characters in Relentless deal with remain very relevant today-racism, sexism, feminism, poverty, mental illness, infant mortality, police brutality. Those battles have been relentlessly fought over and over, yet here we are in 2020 still fighting against the same injustices."

Fans of TimeLine and of arts in education may be interested in viewing this finale presentation from TimeLine South, which premiered on August 14, 2020.

Conceived, created, and performed by the TimeLine South 2020 Ensemble, Fulmination: Dear Dismal World, The Truth Awaits is described as follows:

2020 has sparked a wave of outburst, outbreaks and outcries. A group of students are tasked with an activity to give voice to these issues that leads them on a bigger journey of taking action and fighting for justice. Together they will name the existence of the isms of the world while facing the incomparable enemy that they find within themselves and each other.

"It is relevant. It is necessary. It is urgent. Because it is now. It is what they are experiencing right now, that they want to talk about," said TimeLine South Program Director Tiffany Fulson.

Watch Fulmination, plus a post-show discussion with the TimeLine South Ensemble and teaching artists, for FREE at

Now in its third year, TimeLine South is a unique arts program that provides teens a safe space for self-expression, creativity, and ensemble building. Teens have the opportunity to learn basic skills in theatre and performing arts from some of the most experienced and dynamic artists in the city, and explore topics with which they feel a strong curiosity and connection. TimeLine South promotes leadership in the arts and teaches teens that theatre can also be a vehicle for social justice. In 2020, the program was presented entirely online. TimeLine South is part of TimeLine's Living History Education Program, which brings the company's mission to Chicago Public Schools through arts-integration residencies.

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