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Pictured (top, l to r): Breon Arzell, Robert Cornelius, Gilbert Domally and Frederick Harris with (bottom, l to r) Jermaine Hill, Eric Lindahl, and Michael Turrentine.
Haven Theatre, in association with About Face Theatre, has announced the cast and design team for the Midwest premiere of THE TOTAL BENT, featuring text by Stew and music and lyrics by Stew and Heidi Rodewald and directed by Lili-Anne Brown.
The cast includes Breon Arzell, Robert Cornelius, Gilbert Domally, Frederick Harris, Jermaine Hill, Eric Lindahl, and Michael Turrentine. Musicians include Kamille Dawkins, James Garcia, Christian Moreno, and Anthony Rodriguez.
The production team features Arnel Sancianco (scenic design), Christine Pascual (costume design), Jason Lynch (lighting design), David Samba (sound design), Emily Boyd (props design), Joe Burke (projection design), Abhi Shrestha (dramaturg), Breon Arzell (choreographer), Ian Damont Martin (assistant director), Lewis Rawlinson (assistant music director), Marika Mashburn (casting director), Angela Salinas (production manager), Blake Cordell (audio assistant), Razor Wintercastle (stage manager) and Corbin Paulino (assistant stage manager).
When a British record producer arrives in Montgomery, Alabama to hook Marty Roy, a young black musical prodigy, he launches us back into Marty’s tumultuous upbringing. The son of a gospel star and self-proclaimed healer, Marty spent his childhood writing the songs that have made his charismatic father famous. But in a nation on the verge of social upheaval, with the rising heat from the street guiding his pen, Marty finds himself at odds with his spiritually forceful father as he strives to create a masterpiece that will change America – no matter the cost.
Comments Haven Artistic Director Josh Sobel, “Ever since seeing their Tony Award-winning Passing Strange in 2008, I have deeply desired to present a work of Stew and Heidi’s, and as such The Total Bent – fresh out of New York’s venerated Public Theatre – is a true dream come true. I am beyond grateful to Megan Carney, Alana Parvey Zalas and everyone at About Face Theatre for their support and partnership in helping us realize the creative vision of this inspiring and provocative piece of new music theatre. All of us at Haven are thrilled to be working with such an iconic Chicago arts institution in presenting this strikingly urgent work, one that challenges all of us on issues of race, faith, politics and family in a Christian America.”
Comments About Face Artistic Director Megan Carney, “Haven is an ideal creative partner for us at About Face Theatre because we are two companies committed to looking forward and creating change. We share the beliefs that theatre can lead the way and that innovative partnerships are essential. Josh Sobel, Lili-Anne Brown and the phenomenal team on this show have a truly inspired vision and we are proud to be a part of it.”
THE TOTAL BENT runs February 7 – March 10, 2019 at The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago. For more information visit haventheatrechicago.com.