Pulitzer Prize-Nominee Dael Orlandersmith returns to the Goodman with her latest work Black N Blue Boys/Broken Men

Obie Award-Winner Chay Yew directs the Heartbreakingly Poetic Solo Piece September 29 – October 28, 2012 in the Owen Theatre


CHICAGO, IL - Goodman Theatre opens its 2012/2013 Season in the Owen Theatre with playwright, actor and poet Dael Orlandersmith’s Black n Blue Boys/Broken Men, an “incisively written and masterfully performed” (San Francisco Chronicle) co-commission with Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Directed by Chay Yew, Black n Blue Boys/Broken Men is Orlandersmith’s solo-performed examination of humanity’s capacity for hope and survival,

rendered through the eyes of five men ages 11 to 50. Black n Blue Boys/Broken Men runs September 29 – October 28, 2012 (Opening Night is October 7) in the Goodman’s Owen Theatre. Tickets ($12 – $42; prices subject to change) are on sale now and can be purchased at GoodmanTheatre.org/Black-and-Blue-Boys, by phone at 312.443.3800 or at the box office (170 N. Dearborn). New work development at the Goodman was instituted by the Lester and Hope Abelson Fund for Artistic Development, and is supported in part by generous grants from the D&R Fund and the Harold & Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust. The Davee Foundation is a Major Contributor to Research and Development for New Work; The Joyce Foundation is the Principal Supporter of Artistic Development and Diversity Initiatives. Prince Charitable Trusts is the leading contributor to the Goodman’s New Work Endowment Fund.

“Years ago, I worked as a social worker in a house for runaway kids. I would hear a lot from boys about them being molested and abused by women—not just by men,” said Dael Orlandersmith. “As a writer and actor, gender always comes up for me. Black n Blue Boys/Broken Men takes away the stigma of gender, as abuse knows no sex. Ultimately, I hope the audience walks away asking what makes us function as humans. As theater goers, we are emotional and mental travelers—we must acquaint ourselves with the dark.”

Director Chay Yew, artistic director of Chicago’s Victory Gardens Theater, has worked with Orlandersmith to develop Black n Blue Boys/Broken Men since its 2010/2011 staged reading for New Stages, the Goodman’s new play development series.

“Dael is a wonderful poet and actor,” said director Chay Yew, “and every word she writes is a cut. Every word she utters is a kick, a punch. After you see Black n Blue Boys/Broken Men, whether you’re in the Loop or on the CTA, you will give the person next to you a second look because they could potentially be a Flaco or Ian or Tenny…the complex characters that inhabit her new play. Dael has given a voice and a face to the invisible and

silent multitudes of male abuse victims. Black n Blue Boys reminds us why we keep going back to these moving, difficult and beautiful plays—because they remind us to be better human beings.”

In Black n Blue Boys/Broken Men, Pulitzer Prize finalist (for Yellowman) Dael Orlandersmith seamlessly transforms into five unforgettable male characters whose outward dissimilarities belie their inescapable link: a traumatic past plagued by a cycle of violence and abuse. From Coney Island to Manchester, England—and back— Orlandersmith brings to life a series of harrowing stories that weave together each character’s friends, family, lovers and counselors into an explosive narrative that uncovers the darkest corners of humanity—and shatters the notions about predators and their victims.

 “I’m thrilled to welcome back Dael Orlandersmith, one of our country’s most courageous and commanding solo actors, to the Goodman. Her writing, raw and often violent but always beautiful, shines a light on the painful realities of being alive,” said Artistic Director Robert Falls. “Her searing Black n Blue Boys/Broken Men was a stand-out in our 2010/2011 New Stages Series, and we are proud to produce it now, fully realized and directed by the talented and fearless Chay Yew, as our Owen Theatre season opener.”

Dael Orlandersmith previously collaborated with the Goodman on Stoop Stories during the 2009/2010 Season. Orlandersmith first performed Stoop Stories in 2008 at The Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival and Apollo Theater’s Salon Series; Washington, D.C.’s Studio Theatre produced its world premiere in 2009. Black n Blue Boys/Broken Men was developed as a co-commission between the Goodman and Berkeley Repertory Theatre, where it was staged in May, 2012. Her play Horsedreams was developed at New Dramatists and workshopped at New York Stage and Film Company in 2008, and was performed at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater in 2011. Bones was commissioned by Mark Taper Forum, where it premiered in 2010. Orlandersmith premiered The Blue Album, in collaboration with David Cale, at Long Wharf Theatre in 2007. Yellowman was commissioned by and premiered at McCarter Theatre in a co-production with The Wilma Theater and Long Wharf Theatre. Orlandersmith was a Pulitzer Prize finalist and Drama Desk Award nominee for Outstanding Play and Outstanding Actress in a Play for Yellowman in 2002. The Gimmick, commissioned by McCarter Theatre, premiered in their Second Stage OnStage series in 1998 and went on to great acclaim at Long Wharf Theatre and New York Theatre Workshop; Orlandersmith won the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for The Gimmick in 1999. Her play Monster premiered at New York Theatre Workshop in November 1996. Orlandersmith has toured extensively with the Nuyorican Poets Café (Real Live Poetry) throughout the United States, Europe and Australia. Yellowman and a collection of her earlier works have been published by Vintage Books and Dramatists Play Service. Orlandersmith attended Sundance Institute Theatre Lab for four summers and is the recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts Grant, The Helen Merrill Award for Emerging Playwrights, a Guggenheim and the 2005 PEN/Laura Pels Foundation Award for a playwright in mid-career. She is the recipient of a Lucille Lortel Foundation Playwrights Fellowship and an Obie Award for Beauty’s Daughter.

 Chay Yew’s Chicago credits include Oedipus el Rey and Ameriville at Victory Gardens Theater and Po Boy Tango at Northlight Theatre. In New York, he directed Durango, Low and Ameriville at The Public Theater; A Cool Dip in the Barren Saharan Crick at Playwrights Horizons; The Architecture of Loss at New York Theatre Workshop; The House of Bernarda Alba at the National Asian American Theatre Company and Last of the Suns at Ma-Yi Theatre Company. Regionally, he has directed Strike-Slip, Low and Ameriville at the Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville; Citizen 13559: The Journal of Ben Uchida at The Kennedy Center; Sex Parasite and Rice Boy at Mark Taper Forum; Brainpeople at American Conservatory Theater; Boleros for the Disenchanted at the Huntington Theatre Company; Our Town at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival; Antebellum at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company; Strange Attractors, Frozen and The Laramie Project at The Empty Space Theatre; 36 Views at Portland Center Stage; A Beautiful Country at Cornerstone Theatre Company and M. Butterfly and Sisters Matsumoto at East West Players. His opera credits include world premieres of Osvaldo Golijov’s and David Henry Hwang’s Ainadamar (co-production with the Tanglewood Music Center, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and the Los Angeles Philharmonic) and Rob Zuidam’s Rage d’Amours at Tanglewood Music Center. Yew is an alumnus of New Dramatists, serves on the Executive Board of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, and is a recipient of the Obie Award for Best Direction. He is the artistic director of Chicago’s Victory Gardens Theater.

The creative team for Black n Blue Boys/Broken Men includes Daniel Ostling (Set Designer), Ben Stanton (Lighting Designer), Mikhail Fiksel (Sound Designer), Anita Yavich (Costume Designer), and Tanya Palmer (Dramaturg). Kimberly Osgood is the production stage manager.