Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Victory Gardens Presents TREE, 4/1-5/1


Victory Gardens continues its 2010/11 Season with the Chicago Premiere of Julie Herbert's Tree directed by Andrea J. Dymond. Tree runs April 1 - May 1, 2011 at the Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue in Lincoln Park. The Opening is Monday, April 11, at 7:30pm.

Julie Hébert's provoking and powerful new play depicts three generations divided by race, culture, time, and place. A divorced chef, Leo, is caring for his aging mother with the help of his college-age daughter when Didi, a southern white woman, barges into their lives with a provocative cache of love letters. Written by her deceased father, the letters reveal a compelling family secret. In search of the truth, Leo must sift through the addled memories of his mother and her surprising and contradictory stories of her dangerous interracial romance. Eloquently melding realism and poetry, Tree fosters a deep, true conversation between people who are linked in many ways, but separated by race.

On the genesis of the play, playwright Julie Hébert comments, "When I grew up in south Louisiana the Jim Crow laws were still in place and I have vivid memories of a so-called ‘separate but equal' culture and its humiliations. At the same time, our white family lived down the block from several black families and there were many friendships and intimacies that transcended the boundaries between black and white. Despite the interweaving of our lives, I learned early on that to discuss race openly was explosive and dangerous."

Victory Gardens Chicago premiere of Tree features Leslie Ann Sheppard (JJ), Celeste Williams (Jessalyn), Elaine Rivkin (Didi), and Aaron Todd Douglas (Leo).

The designers are Jacqueline and Rick Penrod (set), Charlie Cooper (lights), Judith Lundberg (costumes), and Misha Fiksel (sound). The stage manager is Michelle Medvin.

Full performance schedule
Previews of Tree are April 1-10, 2011: Tuesday through Saturday at 7:30 pm; and Sunday at 3 pm. Previews are $20-$40. The Press opening is Monday, April 11, at 7:30 pm. Regular performances run through May 1, 2011: Tuesday through Friday at 7:30 pm; Saturday at 4 pm and 7:30 pm; Sunday at 3 pm. There will be a matinee on Wednesday, April 20 at 2:00 pm. There are no performances Tuesday, 12 or 19, 2011; or Thursday April 28, 2011. Regular performances are $20-$50.

Performances are at the Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue, in the heart of Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood. For tickets and information, call the Victory Gardens Box Office, 773.871.3000 (tty: 773.871.0682), email, or visit Ask the Box Office about student, senior, Access, 20 for $20, and rush discounts. For group discounts, call 773.549.5788.

Related Articles View More Chicago Stories

Featured on Stage Door

Shoutouts, Classes & More

More Hot Stories For You