Victory Gardens Theater has announced the cast for the final show in its 2021/22 Mainstage Season, the regional premiere of cullud wattah, written by Erika Dickerson-Despenza and directed by Lili-Anne Brown. cullud wattah runs June 11 – July 17, 2022 at Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue. The press performance is Friday, June 17, 2022 at 7:30pm. Tickets are on sale now and available by phone at 773.871.3000 or online at www.victorygardens.org.
Thanksgiving, 2016: Flint, Michigan has been without clean water for 936 days. Marion, a third-generation General Motors assembly line worker, worries over impending layoffs while struggling to fight the poison that floods her home—and her family's bodies. When her sister, Ainee, seeks restitution for lead poisoning, secrets bubble to the surface, threatening to capsize not only their family, but all of Vehicle City. Penned by Susan Smith Blackburn Prize-winning playwright Erika Dickerson-Despenza, cullud wattah will be staged by Victory Gardens Resident Director Lili-Anne Brown (Once On This Island, Oregon Shakespeare Festival; School Girls: Or The African Mean Girls Play, Goodman Theatre).
The cullud wattah cast includes: Demetra Dee (plum), Brianna Buckley (marion), Ireon Roach (reesee), Renée Lockett (big ma), and Sydney Charles (ainee).
The cullud wattah design team includes Sydney Lynne (Scenic), Christine Pascual (Costumes), Jessica Seals (Hair/Wigs and Make-up), Rueben Echoles (Hair/Wigs and Make-up Consultant), Jason Lynch (Lights), Trey Brazeal (Associate Lights), Willow James (Sound), Caitlin McCarthy (Props), Sammy Brown (Stage Manager), and Jojo Wallenberg (Assistant Stage Manager).
cullud wattah is sponsored by Mayer Brown LLP and The Joseph and Bessie Feinberg Foundation.
Title: cullud wattah
By: Erika Dickerson-Despenza
Directed by: Lili-Anne Brown
Creative Team: Sydney Lynne (Scenic), Christine Pascual (Costumes), Jessica Seals (Hair/Wigs and Make-up), Rueben Echoles (Hair/Wigs and Make-up Consultant), Jason Lynch (Lights), Trey Brazeal (Associate Lights), Willow James (Sound), Caitlin McCarthy (Props), Sammy Brown (Stage Manager), and Jojo Wallenberg (Assistant Stage Manager).
Cast: Demetra Dee (plum), Brianna Buckley (marion), Ireon Roach (reesee), Renée Lockett (big ma), and Sydney Charles (ainee).
- Previews: June 11 – 16, 2022
- Press Performances: Friday, June 17, 2022 at 7:30pm
- Regular run: June 12 – July 17, 2022
- Tuesday-Saturday 7:30pm (except June 14, 24 & 29)
- Wednesday: 2:00pm (June 29 only)
- Saturday: 3:00pm (June 24 only)
- Sunday: 3:00pm & 7:30pm (June 12 only)
- Word for Word (open captioning): Wednesday, June 29, 2022 at 2:00pm; Friday, July 1, 2022 at 7:30pm; Saturday, July 2, 2022 at 7:30pm
- ASL Interpretation: Friday, July 1, 2022 at 7:30pm
- Audio Description/Touch Tour: Friday, July 1, 2022 at 7:30pm; Sunday, July 10, 2022 at 3:00pm (Touch Tour begins 90 minutes prior to showtime)
Location: Victory Gardens Theater is located at 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue, in the heart of Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood
Tickets: $29 - $62
The Box Office is located at 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago.
Victory Gardens Theater 2021/22 Mainstage Season
Shows in the Victory Gardens Theater 2021-2022 season also included Queen of the Night by travis tate, directed by Ken-Matt Martin, January 29-March 13, 2022; and the National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere of In Every Generation by Ali Viterbi, directed by Devon de Mayo, April 2 - May 1, 2022.
Flex Passes to the 2021/22 Season are currently on sale at victorygardens.org or by phone at 773.871.3000, and offer 20% savings over single ticket prices. Single tickets are on sale now at victorygardens.org and range from $29 to $62.
The Ignition New Play Program
The Ignition New Play Program (formerly the Ignition Festival of New Plays) consists of two events for the 2021/22 season: the Ignite Chicago reading series, offering six free readings of new works between October 2021 and July 2022, and the 20/50 Festival in June 2022, featuring three new works by playwrights over 50, staged by VG Directors Inclusion Initiative Fellows. Ignite Chicago readings will take place not only at Victory Gardens’ home in Lincoln Park, the Biograph Theater, but at partner locations throughout the city, to bring new plays into Chicago’s many communities.
Upcoming Ignite Chicago readings include:
● April 30, 2022: Primary Trust by Eboni Booth
● July 2022: Nancy by Rhiana Yazzie
All readings are free to attend, but RSVPs will be required, as capacity for each reading is limited. Registration will be available at victorygardens.org approximately one month before each event.
For complete details on the 2021/2022 Season and artists, Flex Passes, and the Ignition New Play Program, please visit www.victorygardens.org.
Victory Gardens Theater receives major funding from Bradshaw Family Foundation, Exelon Corporation, Illinois Arts Council, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, Prince Charitable Trusts, Pritzker Foundation, The Small Business Administration, and The Joyce Foundation.
Victory Gardens also receives support from the Alphawood Foundation, Charles and M.R. Shapiro Foundation, John R. Halligan Charitable Fund,Mayer Brown LLP, TheNational Endowment for the Arts, thePritzker Pucker Family Foundation, the Pritzker Traubert Foundation, The Charles H. and Bertha L. Boothroyd Foundation, The Seabury Foundation, and The Venturous Theater Fund of Tides Foundation.
Victory Gardens Theater COVID-19 Attendance Policy
To protect the health of all who attend Victory Gardens productions, the following policies are in place for the 2021/22 Season: All audience members must be masked for the duration of their visit. Masks are available onsite if needed. All audience members ages 5+ must show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination; audience members ages 16+ must also show a valid photo ID at the door to be admitted to the theater. These policies follow state and local guidelines for safe operation during the COVID-19 pandemic, and are subject to change based on the current recommendations.
About Victory Gardens Theater
Under the leadership of Artistic Director Ken-Matt Martin and Acting Managing Director Roxanna Conner, Victory Gardens is dedicated to artistic excellence while creating a vital, contemporary American Theater that is accessible and relevant to all people through productions of challenging new plays and musicals. Victory Gardens Theater is committed to the development, production and support of new plays, which has been the mission of the theater since its founding, set forth by Dennis Začek, Marcelle McVay, and the original founders of Victory Gardens Theater, and continued by former Artistic Director Chay Yew.
Victory Gardens Theater is a leader in developing and producing new theater work and cultivating an inclusive Chicago theater community. Victory Gardens’ core strengths are nurturing and producing dynamic and inspiring new plays, reflecting the diversity of our city’s and nation’s culture through engaging diverse communities, and, in partnership with Chicago Public Schools, bringing art and culture to our city’s active student population.
Since its founding in 1974, the company has produced more world premieres than any other Chicago theater, a commitment recognized nationally when Victory Gardens received the 2001 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. Located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, Victory Gardens Biograph Theater includes the Začek-McVay Theater, a state-of-the-art 259-seat mainstage, and the 109-seat studio theater on the second floor, named the Richard Christiansen Theater.
For more information about Victory Gardens, visit www.victorygardens.org. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/victorygardens, Twitter @VictoryGardens, and Instagram @victorygardenstheater.