Definition Theatre Announces First Show of 20/21 Season

James Ijames

Definition Theatre has announced it will open its 2020/21 season with the Chicago premiere of “WHITE” by newly-added ensemble member James Ijames, and directed by Tasia A. Jones. 

The “WHITE”production team includes Scott Penner (Scenic Designer), Sanja Manakoski (Costume Designer), Simean Carpenter (Lighting Designer) David Samba (Sound Designer) Sam Rosenfeld (Props Designer) and Maddie Martin (Production Manager). Additional credits include Jared Bellot (Dramaturg), Toni Ward (Stage Manager), and Ariel Beller (Assistant Stage Manager). Casting will be announced at a later date.

Gus is a painter expecting his big break with a prestigious contemporary art museum in ‘The New America’ exhibition. When he’s told by the museum’s new curator that “white dudes” aren’t a part of New America, he enlists the help of Vanessa, a black actress, and together they create Balkonae Townsend, a bold, young radical artist to serve as the face of his work. But when things start to spiral out of control, Gus is left to deal with the mess he created, and Vanessa must come to terms with her own agency as an artist.

“I’m very excited to work with Definition Theatre on “WHITE,” comments Jones. “James’s work is timely, provocative, and thought provoking. James has crafted this play with biting humor and authenticity while asking essential social questions. As theaters and art institutions grow more concerned with equity, diversity, and inclusion how do they ensure that they are not objectifying or tokenizing the very people they aim to include? I can’t wait to see how the Chicago arts community—artists and audiences alike—responds to this play.”

“WHITE” will run from April 17 – May 24, 2020, in collaboration with Steppenwolf Theatre’s LookOut Series.

Additionally, Definition has announced that beginning this summer, they will officially take up residency at the Green Line Performing Arts Center, the latest addition to the Arts Block, a new theater venue and rehearsal space designed to support the arts across Chicago’s South Side.

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