Definition Theatre Announces New Artistic Advisory Members and Chicago Premiere of AN OCTOROON

Definition Theatre Announces New Artistic Advisory Members and Chicago Premiere of AN OCTOROON

Pictured: Definition Theatre Company. Photo by Joe Mazza (Brave Lux Inc).

Definition Theatre Company, under the leadership of Artistic Director Tyrone Phillips and Managing Director Neel McNeill, have announced the first play of its 2017-2018 season, the Chicago premiere of AN OCTOROON by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins.

Produced in association with Goodman Theatre, and directed by Goodman Theatre Resident Director Chuck Smith, AN OCTOROON runs July 21 – August 20, 2017 at Victory Gardens as part of Definition’s tenure in Victory Garden’s Resident Theatre Program.

A modern riff on Dion Boucicault’s 1859 classic melodrama,  THE OCTOROON, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ Obie Award-winning historical satire follows a plantation in financial ruin, the tumultuous love story of its heir apparent, the evil overseer plotting to take it all for himself and the slaves trying to keep it all together.

“Definition is committed to bringing high-quality work to the Chicago community that examines what it means to be American today, and we couldn’t be more excited to have Goodman Theatre Resident Director Chuck Smith at the helm,” notes Phillips. “AN OCTOROON marks our first show as a resident company at Victory Gardens Theater. We’re thrilled to stage this milestone production at Victory Gardens as they share many of our core values and lead by example in giving a voice to the voiceless.” 

In addition, Definition also announced Steppenwolf Theatre Company Ensemble Member Martha Lavey and Award-winning actress and stage director Phylicia Rashad have joined the company’s Artistic Advisory Board.

“It brings Definition great joy to have Martha Lavey and Phylicia Rashad formally voice their support of the work that we do and the stories we tell by joining our Artistic Advisory Board,” says McNeill. “We have long admired both of these phenomenal women, not only for their groundbreaking work on and off the stage, but also for their ability to inspire us all to work harder, think more and maintain a foundation of empathy in everything we do.”

Current Artistic Advisory Board members include director May Adrales, Steppenwolf Ensemble Member Alana Arenas, actress Shannon Cochran, Victory Gardens Theater Managing Director Erica Daniels, actor Brandon Dirden, actor Jason Dirden, Writers Theatre Artistic Director Michael Halberstam, Steppenwolf Ensemble Member Martha Lavey, director Pam Mackinnon, professor JW Morrissette, director Ron OJ Parson, professor/lighting designer Kathy Perkins and Tony Award-winning actress and stage director Phylicia Rashad.

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