CHICAGO – Firebrand Theatre, in partnership with TimeLine Theatre Company, is pleased to launch its 2018-19 season with a revival of the Tony Award-nominated Best Musical CAROLINE, OR CHANGE, playing September 22 – October 28, 2018, at The The Den Theatre’s Heath Main Stage, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago. CAROLINE, OR CHANGE features music by Jeanine Tesori (Fun Home, Violet), book and lyrics by Tony Kushner (Angels in America), direction by Lili-Anne Brown and music direction by Andra Velis Simon. Firebrand is the first musical theatre company committed to employing and empowering women by expanding opportunities on and off the stage. Single tickets and season subscriptions are currently available at firebrandtheatre.org.
CAROLINE, OR CHANGE features Rashada Dawan as Caroline with Roberta Burke as Radio 3, Kevin M. Grubb as Grandpa Gellman, Nicole Michelle Haskins as Dotty, Rosalind Hurwitz as Grandma Gellman, Bre Jacobs as Emmie, Michael Kingston as Mr. Stopnick, Princess Isis Z. Lang as Jackie, Micheal Lovette as Bus/Dryer, Alejandro Medina as Noah, De’Jah Perkins as Radio 1, Blair Robertson as Rose, Jonathan Schwart as Stuart, Lyric K. Sims as Joe and Emma Sipora Tyler as Radio 2.
CAROLINE, OR CHANGE is set in Lake Charles, Louisiana: the end of 1963. America is changing. Caroline Thibodeaux is a mother of four and a maid, working for the southern Jewish Gellman family. Caroline struggles with changes monumental and mundane, and her relationship with the young, grieving boy who lives in the house she cleans. Riveting, moving and awe-inspiring, CAROLINE, OR CHANGE features a virtuosic score by Jeanine Tesori (Fun Home, Violet) and a breathtaking book and lyrics by Pulitzer Prize winner Tony Kushner (Angels in America), the music ranges from Motown to Klezmer, the storytelling from political to magical.
The production team for CAROLINE, OR CHANGE includes: Lauren Nichols (scenic design), Kotryna Hilko (costume design), Cat Wilson (lighting design), Victoria Deiorio (sound design), Lacie Hexom (props design), Brigitte Ditmars (choreographer, associate director), Ethan Deppe (electronic music design), David Samba and Amanda Sager (associate sound design), Lauren Katz (associate dramaturg), Harmony France (producer), Benjamin Baylon and Heather Larkin (production managers), Adelina Feldman-Schultz (casting director), Joshanna Robinson (run crew, child wrangler), Richie Vavrina (master electrician), JC Widman (stage manager) and Kirby Gibson (assistant stage manager).
Title: CAROLINE, OR CHANGE
Music: Jeanine Tesori
Book & Lyrics: Tony Kushner
Director: Lili-Anne Brown
Music Director: Andra Velis Simon
Cast (in alphabetical order): Roberta Burke (Radio 3), Rashada Dawan (Caroline), Kevin M. Grubb (Grandpa Gellman), Nicole Michelle Haskins (Dotty), Rosalind Hurwitz (Grandma Gellman), Bre Jacobs (Emmie), Michael Kingston (Mr. Stopnick), Princess Isis Z. Lang (Jackie), Micheal Lovette (Bus/Dryer) Alejandro Medina (Noah), De’Jah Perkins (Radio 1), Blair Robertson (Rose), Jonathan Schwart (Stuart), Lyric K. Sims (Joe) and Emma Sipora Tyler (Radio 2).
Swings: Jonathan Allsop, Kirby Gibson, Tyler Franklin, Ted Kitterman, Marko McRae and Corrbette Pasko.
Band: Andra Velis Simon (keyboards/conductor), Yulia Block (percussion), Kim Lawson (violin) Emily Beisel (reeds) and Myles Bacon (guitars).
Location: The Den Theatre’s Heath Main Stage, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Dates: Previews: Saturday, September 22 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, September 23 at 3 pm
Press performance: Tuesday, September 25 at 7:30 pm
Regular run: Thursday, September 27 – Sunday, October 28, 2018
Curtain Times: Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays at 7:30 pm; Sundays at 3 pm
Tickets: Previews $25. Regular run $45. $20 students/industry rush tickets available at the box office. Single tickets and season subscriptions are currently available at firebrandtheatre.org.
About The Creative Team
Lili-Anne Brown (Director) is a native Chicagoan who works as a director, actor and educator, both locally and regionally. She is the former artistic director of Bailiwick Chicago, where she directed Dessa Rose (Jeff Award), Passing Strange (BTA Award and Jeff nomination for Best Director of a Musical), See What I Wanna See (Steppenwolf Theatre Garage Rep) and the world premiere of Princess Mary Demands Your Attention by Aaron Holland. Other directing credits include Kristiana Rae Colón’s Tilikum (world premiere, Sideshow Theatre), Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story (American Theatre Company), Ike Holter’s The Wolf at the End of the Block (16th Street Theatre), Lottery Day (Goodman Theatre New Stages Festival), Marie Christine (Boho Theatre), Peter and the Starcatcher (Metropolis Performing Arts), The Wiz (Kokandy Productions), Xanadu (American Theatre Company), Jabari Dreams of Freedom by Nambi E. Kelley (world premiere, Chicago Children’s Theatre), American Idiot (Northwestern University); the national tour of Jesus Snatched My Edges; and Little Shop of Horrors, Hairspray, Unnecessary Farce, Cabaret, Sweet Charity, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at Timber Lake Playhouse. She is a member of SDC, SAG-AFTRA and a graduate of Northwestern University.
Andra Velis Simon (Music Director) is thrilled to be the Resident Music Director for Firebrand, where she music directed Lizzie and 9 to 5 for their inaugural season. Her work as a music director, adapter, arranger, pianist and vocal coach has been seen regionally at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, A.R.T. in Cambridge, Brooklyn Academy of Music, NYU’s Skirball Center, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Pasadena Playhouse, Berkeley Rep and Olney Theatre in Maryland. In Chicago, she has worked with The Goodman Theatre (The Iceman Cometh and Camino Real); The Hypocrites (Cinderella at the Theater of Potatoes, American Idiot, Pirates of Penzance, The Mikado and H.M.S. Pinafore); Theater Wit (Mr. Burns and 10 out of 12); Chicago Children’s Theatre (The Hundred Dresses, A Year with Frog and Toad, Goodnight Moon and Last Stop on Market Street), and many others. In addition, Andra has taught musical theatre performance at Columbia College Chicago since 2008. Upcoming projects include A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder at Porchlight and Next to Normal at Writers Theatre.
Firebrand Theatre’s 2018-19 season sponsor: Michael and Mona Heath of the HeathFund.
About the Companies
Firebrand Theatre is a musical theatre company committed to employing and empowering women by expanding their opportunities on and off the stage. Firebrand is a 501(c)(3) Equity theatre.
Company members: Artistic Director: Harmony France, Advisory Board: Lili-Anne Brown, Emjoy Gavino, Kate Garassino, Amber Mak, Danni Smith, Company Members: Kasey Alfonso, Sydney Charles, Heather Clark, Adelina Feldman-Schultz, Tyler Franklin, Amanda Horvath, Jon Martinez, Eric Martin, Amelia Jo Parish and Andra Velis-Simon.
TimeLine Theatre Company was founded in April 1997 with a mission to present stories inspired by history that connect with today’s social and political issues. To date over 21 seasons, TimeLine has presented 75 productions, including 10 world premieres and 33 Chicago premieres, and launched the Living History Education Program working with Chicago Public Schools. TimeLine is led by Artistic Director PJ Powers, Managing Director Elizabeth K. Auman and Board President Eileen LaCario. Company members are Nick Bowling, Janet Ulrich Brooks, Behzad Dabu, Lara Goetsch, Juliet Hart, Mildred Marie Langford, Mechelle Moe, David Parkes, Ron OJ Parson, PJ Powers, Maren Robinson and Benjamin Thiem. More information at timelinetheatre.com.