Victory Gardens Presents The World Premiere Of RIGHTLYND By Ike Holter

Victory Gardens Presents The World Premiere Of RIGHTLYND By Ike HolterVictory Gardens Theater continues its 44th season with the World Premiere of Rightlynd, written by Ike Holter and directed by Lisa Portes with original music by Charlie Coffeen. Rightlynd runs November 9 - December 23, 2018, with press performances on Saturday, November 17, 2018 at 7:30pm and Sunday, November 18, 2018 at 3:00pm at Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue.

Rightlynd was commissioned by Victory Gardens Theater as part of the Chicago Play Cycle. It was funded by The Wallace Foundation, The Joyce Foundation, and The Venturous Theater Fund of the Tides Foundation with developmental support from the Edgerton Foundation.

"I'm thrilled to give a home to our ensemble playwright Ike Holter and his powerful new work, Rightlynd as we are both committed to telling Chicago stories that matter," says Chay Yew, Artistic Director of Victory Gardens. "Brimming with lyricism, inventiveness and wit, this timely play explores the political complexities of Chicago and the immediate need to speak truth to power. Ike is the poet of our times."

Rightlynd?is Chicago's 51st Ward. The L doesn't run here anymore and it is full of abandoned storefronts, crumbling apartment buildings, and its fair share of crime.?A powerful real estate conglomerate?is planning a massive redevelopment project that would gentrify the neighborhood and change?Rightlynd?forever. Only one woman stands in the way: Alderman Nina Esposito. In award-winning local playwright Ike Holter's ambitious new work, one woman tries to use her street smarts and raw determination to save the Chicago neighborhood she loves. But will the political machine turn her into the very person she is trying to destroy? ?Lisa?Portes?(BREACH, A Little Bit Not Normal) directs the first play that sets in motion Holter's ongoing seven play saga set in this fictional Windy City neighborhood; the story cycle that includes?previous pieces?Exit Strategy,?Sender,?Prowess, and?The Wolf at the End of the Block.?

The cast of Rightlynd includes Jerome Beck (Applewood/Denizen 1), Robert Cornelius (Robinson/Denizen 5), LaKecia Harris (Amena/Denizen 2), Anish Jethmalani (Platt/Denizen 4), Eddie Martinez (Pac), Monica Orozco (Nina) and Sasha Smith (Manda/Denizen 3).

The creative team includes Collette Pollard (scenic design), Samantha Jones (costume design), Jared Gooding (lighting design), Mikhail Fiksel (sound design and additional composition), Eleanor Kahn (props design), Skyler Gray (dramaturg), Jaq Seifert (fight director), Breon Arzell (choreography) and Mara Sagal (production stage manager).

About the Artists

Ike Holter (Playwright) is a 2017 winner of the Windham-Campbell Prize, one of the highest awards for playwriting in the world. Holter is a resident playwright at Victory Gardens Theater, and has been commissioned by The Kennedy Center, The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, South Coast Rep and The Playwrights' Center. His work has been produced at the Steppenwolf Garage, The Philadelphia Theater Company, Off Broadway at Barrow Street and Cherry Lane, The Lily Tomlin Center in L.A, True Colors in Atlanta, Forward Theater in Wisconsin, Water Tower Theater in Dallas, 3oaks in Michigan, and Jackalope, Teatro Vista, A Red Orchid , and The Inconvenience in Chicago. He is the artistic director of The Roustabouts and is a regular performer at Salonathon in Chicago.

Lisa Portes (Director) returns to Victory Gardens where she directed BREACH by Antoinette Nwandu, Slingshot by Kia Korthron, A Little Bit Not Normal by Arlene Malinowski, and Undone by Andrea Thome for IGNITION. Other Chicago credits include: Steppenwolf: This is Modern Art by Idris Goodwin and Kevin Coval, Goodman: Ghostwritten by Naomi Iizuka; Northlight: Permanent Collection by Thomas Gibbons; Timeline: Concerning Strange Devices from the Distant West by Naomi Iizuka; Next Theatre: In the Blood by Suzan-Lori Parks and Far Away by Caryl Churchill. Recent regional credits: Disgraced (Cincinnati Playhouse), Glass Menagerie (CalShakes). NYC credits: Wilder (Playwrights Horizons). Upcoming: Native Gardens (Denver Center). Awards: 2016 SDC Zelda Fichandler Directors Award. Lisa heads the MFA Directing program at The Theatre School at DePaul University.

Jerome Beck (Applewood/ Denizen 1) Victory Gardens debut. Pink Orchids: The HIV Monologues (Pride, Films and Plays), Dontrell Who Kissed The Sea (First Floor Theater), Skin of our Teeth (Remy Bumppo), Dirty Butterfly (The Blind Owl), Our Lady of 121st Street (U/S) (Eclipse Theatre).

Robert Cornelius (Robinson/Denizen 5) Chicago credits include Picnic with American Theatre Company; Wit at The Hypocrites; Aida at Drury Lane Oak Brook; Taming of the Shrew at First Folio Theatre; Raisin at Court Theatre; Takunda, On The Block and Wheatley at Victory Gardens Theater; The Boys Next Door at Provision Theatre Company. Regional credits include Spunk at St. Louis Black Repertory; The Rivals, The Jeremiah and You Can't Take it With You at Milwaukee Repertory Theatre; Blues For an Alabama Sky at Madison Repertory Theatre and My Children, My Africa at Montana Repertory Theatre. Film and Television credits include Hoodlum, Chicago P.D. and Turks.

LaKecia Harris (Amena/Denizen 2) A Wonder in my Soul U/S (Victory Gardens). Marie Antoinette U/S (Steppenwolf). Twelfth Night, Two Gentlemen of Verona (Midsommer Flight). Haymarket: An Anarchists' Songbook. Waltzing Mechanics: El Stories; Cosmic Events are Upon Us.

Anish Jethmalani (Platt/Denizen 4) Homeland Security (Victory Gardens). In the Next Room or the Vibrator Play, A Disappearing Number, Inana, Blood & Gifts (Timeline), Wit, A Christmas Carol (Goodman), Water By The Spoonful, Titus Andronicus, Mary Stuart (Court), Romeo & Juliet (Chicago Shakespeare), Bengal Tiger at The Baghdad Zoo, Around The World in 80 Days, Sita Ram (Lookingglass), The Caretaker, To the Green Fields Beyond (Writers), Hatfield & McCoy (House), The Room (Red Orchid), Twelfth Night (First Folio), Merchant of Venice (Silk Road), Henry VII, Much Ado About Nothing (Oregon Shakespeare Festival). Film & TV: Batman v. Superman, Empire, Chicago Med, Boss, Leverage.

Eddie Martinez (Pac) Victory Gardens debut. Ensemble member of Teatro Vista seen in Parachute Men, Fade and In the Time of the Butterflies (Victory Gardens) Other credits include: Native Gardens (The Old Globe) Fade (Denver Center, Cherry Lane, and TheaterWorks), As You Like It (Denver Center) Big Lake Big City, Cascabel (Lookingglass Theater); Our Lady of 121st Street (Steppenwolf); and Romeo y Julieta (Chicago Shakespeare Theater). Film/TV credits include: Sense8 (Netflix), Sirens (USA Network), Chicago Fire (NBC) and The Dilemma (UNIVERSAL).

Monica Orozco (Nina) Victory Gardens debut. Lottery Day (Goodman Theatre's New Stages), Six Corners (American Blues Theater), The Shakespeare Project of Chicago, ShawChicago. TV: Chicago Med. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign graduate.

Sasha Smith (Manda/Denizen 3) Victory Gardens debut. Johanna Faustus (The Hypocrites), Stay Lit (The Roustabouts), and The Aristophanesathon (The Hypocrites). Choreography: You Got Older (Steppenwolf), Smart People (Writers Theatre), Fear and Misery of the Third Reich and The Toilet (Haven Theatre), A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Gynecologic Oncology Unit At Sloan-Kettering Memorial Cancer Center Of New York City (Route 66), Ideation (Jackalope), and Octagon (Jackalope). TV: Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, and Green Screen Adventures. She is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago.

Full Performance Schedule

Previews for Rightlynd are November 9-15, 2018. Previews are $20-$40. The Press openings are Saturday, November 17, 2018 at 7:30pm and Sunday, November 18 at 3:00pm. Regular performances run November 20 - December 23, 2018: Tuesday - Friday at 7:30pm; Saturday at 3pm and 7:30pm; Sunday at 3pm. Regular performances are $27-$55.

Accessible Performance Schedule

ASL Interpreted Performance: Friday, November 23 at 7:30pm

Word for Word (open captioning): Friday, November 23 at 7:30pm, Saturday, November 24 at 3:00pm and Wednesday, November 28 at 2:00pm

Audio Description/Touch Tour: Friday, November 23 at 7:30pm (Touch tour at 6:00pm), Sunday, December 2 at 3:00pm (Touch tour at 1:30pm)

Performances are at Victory Gardens 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, email, or visit Ask the Box Office about discounts for students, seniors, and those with access needs. Groups of 10 or more, call 773.634.9862 for discounted rates

Public Programs

Public Programs is an event series designed to enhance your experience by exploring themes and issues within Victory Gardens' productions. Connecting our theater to the world beyond the stage and rehearsal room, Public Programs bridge ideas, provoke dialogue, and deepen the relationship between our audiences and our productions. Public Programs are composed of three distinct tracks:

SALON: A post-show performance series bringing local artists, students, and/or organizations into the conversation of the play through their own work.

PANEL: A post-show conversation with community leaders, playwrights, activists, artists, and educators. These panels use the play's themes to ignite a conversation about our world and the people in it.

CELEBRATION: Pre- and post-show events celebrating the themes of the play through art, food, and community.


Post-Show Conversation

After every performance of RIGHTLYND (unless otherwise noted)

Join us for one of our intimate post-show conversations. Led by members from the Victory Gardens community-artistic affiliates, artistic staff, and community partners- reflect on what you've seen and share your response.


Post-Show Conversation

November 14 | Wednesday | 9:00 p.m.

Made possible by the support of The David Rockefeller Fund

On the surface, gentrification appears to be a positive change to the neighborhood. It is sold to people as a way to revitalize and beautify their communities. However, there is a dark underside to gentrification that can tear neighborhoods apart. In Chicago, gentrification has redefined neighborhoods from Pilsen to Uptown, causing families who have been there for generations to become strangers in their own city. But where can they go, and what neighborhoods can they afford? And even when it is offered, is affordable housing actually affordable? Join us for a conversation after the show as we discuss the effects of gentrification in Chicago and ways people are taking a stand to save their neighborhoods.


Post-Show Conversation

November 15 | Thursday | 9:00 p.m.

In his work, Ike Holter dives deep into the issues and celebrates the diverse peoples that make up our great city of Chicago. Rightlynd is chronologically the first in Holter's epic 7-play saga (which includes Exit Strategy and Wolf at the End of the Block) set in the fictional 51st Ward. How does one achieve such an ambitious undertaking? And what inspires Holter to focus his work on Chicago? Dive into the mind of Ike Holter as he discusses creating Rightlynd and his writing process with dramaturg Skyler Gray.


Post-Show Conversation

November 20 | Tuesday | 9:00 p.m.

Made possible by the support of The David Rockefeller Fund

Nina incites change by running for alderman of her ward in an attempt to save her neighborhood. While many aldermen strive to better their communities and fight for the people, how many of their campaign promises can they actually accomplish? And what happens when their proposals falter due to lack of support from those in higher offices? How do these broken promises make way for new ambitions, especially as elections loom? Join us for a post-show conversation with current Chicago Aldermen as they discuss the triumphs and challenges of being a representative of the people in 2018.


Post-Show Conversation

November 23 | Friday | 9:00 p.m.

Nina strives for change. Applewood will do whatever it takes to expand his industry. Pac, Amena and Robinson are just trying to stay afloat. Join us for this post-show conversation with the cast of Rightlynd as they discuss their process of bringing this genre-bending play to life. This Public Program will be audio-described.


Post-Show Celebration

November 29 | Thursday | 6:30pm - 9:00 p.m.

In Rightlynd, we see Nina fight for the small businesses in her community. These small companies - particularly those run by people of color - are often overlooked in favor of large corporations. Join Victory Gardens as we highlight these small and mighty businesses from neighborhoods across the city. Before and after the show, meet us in the rehearsal room ready to see the amazing things these small businesses have to offer. From clothing to delicious treats, you'll find your new favorite vendor - right in your own backyard!


Post-Show Conversation

December 4 | Tuesday | 9:00 p.m.

Made possible by the support of The David Rockefeller Fund

Nina runs for public office in order to make a difference. She has to campaign for herself in order to overthrow Ralph Stevenson--the current alderman of Rightlynd--who has no intention of backing down. How do first-time candidates build their campaigns and gain their footing? From Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the Bronx to Andrew Janz in California, why is there a call to action for new voices in our political system? Stay for a post-show conversation with first-time candidates for the 2019 alderman race, as they discuss what inspired them to run and the challenges of taking action.


Post-Show Panel Discussion and Toast

December 5 | Wednesday | 9:00pm

So far, the 2018 primaries have brought the largest number of House primary victories by women candidates in the nation's history. We want to celebrate the amazing accomplishments women have made in their civil service from the city level to the federal level. Join us for a post-show panel featuring incredible women in government in a discussion about their triumphs, obstacles, and dedicated work.


Post-Show Conversation

December 12 | Wednesday | 9:00 p.m.

Made possible by the support of The David Rockefeller Fund

In Rightlynd, Pac finds himself having to cope with a world he hardly recognizes after being imprisoned and forgotten for over a decade, all because of petty theft and a flawed system. How is this possible in 2018, and how did we get here? We welcome Circles and Ciphers, a youth leadership and restorative justice organization, as they discuss how people slip through the cracks of the justice system and what we can do to stop it.

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