September 16 – November 14, 2015 at the Raven Theatre
Midwest premiere will open Raven’s 2015-16 season
CHICAGO, IL – Playwright Mark Stein’s play with music and dance, a satirical retelling of the true story of nine African-American teenagers falsely accused in 1931 of raping two white women on a train in Alabama, will be performed by an all-African-American cast of nine actors. Raven Theatre Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director Michael Menendian directs, with Frederick Harris providing musical direction for the score by Harley White Jr. Kat Dennis is choreographer. Previews Wednesday, September 16 – Monday, September 21, 2015 and the press opening will be Tuesday, September 22. The regular run will be September 25 – November 14, 2015. Tickets are on sale now at www.raventheatre.com or by calling 773-338-2177.
The cast of six men and three women boasts extensive credits from companies throughout the Chicago theatre community and all but one of the performers play multiple roles. Kevin Patterson plays Haywood Patterson and Andrew Malone plays the defendant Charlie Weems as well as the attorney Sam Liebowitz. Breon Arzell, who was in The Hypocrites’ All Our Tragic this summer, plays the accused Willie Roberson and also attorney Joe Brodsky. Semaj Miller, producing director of Dream Fierce Productions, is both the “Scottsboro Boy” Olen Montgomery and General Knight. Brandon Greenhouse, an actor with credits at American Players Theatre who also appeared in Eclipse Theatre Company’s Intimate Apparel, is Andy Wright and NAACP leader Walter White. Tamarus Harvell, who performed in 2014’s The Trials of Moses Fleetwod Walker at Black Ensemble Theatre and was also seen in Raven’s A Soldier’s Play, plays the accused Clarence Norris as well as Judge Horton and the Prosecutor.
The women in the cast play the youngest three “boys,” the women they were accused of attacking and some of the boys’ mothers. They include Katrina D. Richard, who appeared in Black Ensemble Theater’s Chicago’s Golden Soul is playing Eugene Williams, Victoria, Old Victoria and a mother. Charli Williams, whose Chicago stage credits include El Stories and whose film credits include Grindhouse and Stop-Loss is Leroy Wright and a mother. Anna Dauzvardis, a 2014 graduate of Loyola University’s theatre program, plays Ozie Powell, Ruby Bates and a mother.
Longtime Raven designer Ray Toler, who on June 8th won a Jeff Award for his scenic design of Raven’s Vieux CarrÃ©, has designed the set for Direct from Death Row The Scottsboro Boys, with properties design and set dressing by Mary O’Dowd. Sarah Jo White has created the costumes and masks have been designed by David Knezz. Diane D. Fairchild is Lighting Designer and Joe Court is Sound Designer.
Not to be confused with the musical The Scottsboro Boys, which ran on Broadway in late 2010, Direct from Death Row The Scottsboro Boys is a play by Mark Stein with songs by Harley White Jr. that premiered at River Stage in Sacramento, California and enjoyed a subsequent production at the Fountain Theatre in Los Angeles in fall of 2002.
Raven Theatre is located at 6157 N. Clark St., Chicago. There are a limited number of free parking spaces available in the parking lot adjacent to the theatre, and free on-street parking is available nearby.
Direct from Death Row The Scottsboro Boys
(An Evening of Vaudeville and Sorrow)
By Mark Stein, Music and Lyrics by Harley White Jr.
Directed by Michael Menendian
Music Direction by Frederick Harris, Choreography by Kathleen Dennis
All performances on Raven’s East Stage
6157 N. Clark St. (at Granville), Chicago
Nearest El station Granville Red Line, Buses: #21 (Clark), #36 (Broadway), #151 (Sheridan), #155 (Devon), #64 (Peterson).
Previews Wednesday, September 16 – Saturday, September 19 at 7:30 pm, Sunday, September 20 at 3:00 pm. and Monday, September 21 at 7:30 pm. Preview ticket prices are $28.00 ($3.00 discount if ordered online in advance). Students with a valid ID are $18 ($1.00 discount if ordered online in advance)
Opening Night Tuesday, September 22, 2015 at 7:30 pm
Regular run September 25 – November 14, 2015
Thursdays – Saturdays at 7:30 pm. Sundays at 3:00 pm.
No performance Thursday, September 24
General admission $42.00, seniors $37.00 ($3.00 discount if ordered online in advance), students, teachers and military $18.00 ($1.00 discount if ordered online in advance)
Groups of 10 or more are $21.00 for Thursday and Friday performances and $25.00 for Saturday and Sunday performances. Call 773-338-2177 to inquire about groups. Daytime performances for school groups are available on request.