CHICAGO (July 25, 2019) – Raven Theatre is pleased to announce casting for its 2019-20 season opener: Katori Hall’s drama HOODOO LOVE, directed by Wardell Julius Clark with music direction by The Ricky Harris.
HOODOO LOVE will feature Matthew James Elam, Christopher Wayland Jones, Martasia Jones and Shariba Rivers.
This spellbinding, blues-filled tale about the danger of our desires will play October 31 – December 15, 2019 on Raven’s intimate 56-seat West Stage, 6157 N. Clark St. (at Granville) in Chicago. Tickets are currently available at raventheatre.com or by calling (773) 338-2177. The press openings are Monday, November 4 at 7:30 pm and Tuesday, November 5 at 7:30 pm.
A young woman named Toulou arrives in depression-era Memphis with dreams of becoming a blues singer. Almost immediately, she falls in love with a rambling musician named Ace of Spades while her born-again brother, Jib, is hot on her heels. Desperate to claim Ace’s love for herself, Toulou lays a hex on him with the help of a Hoodoo practitioner, setting in motion a devastating chain of events.
Comments Raven Artistic Director Cody Estle, “Katori Hall’s Hoodoo Love, a poignant portrait of the Memphis blues culture during the great depression era, debuted off-Broadway in 2007. At that time, she was described as ‘a young playwright of great promise.’ Today she is known as one of the great writers of our time. She is best known for her Olivier Award-winning play The Mountaintop about Martin Luther King Jr. the night before his assassination in Memphis. Hoodoo Love is a play with music filled with human emotion, magic and love. It’s sure to cast a spell on our audiences.”
The production team includes: Sydney Lynne Thomas (scenic design), Alexis Chaney (costume design), Sim Carpenter (lighting design), Jeffrey Levin (sound design), Rachel Flesher (intimacy design), Catherine Miller (casting director), Cole von Glahn (artistic producer), Kiayla Ryann (assistant director), Bobby Huggins (technical director), Beckie Price (assistant costume designer), Eileen Rozycki (scenic artist), Lena Aubrey (master electrician) and Nakia Shalice Avila (stage manager).
Title: HOODOO LOVE
Playwright: Katori Hall
Director: Wardell Julius Clark
Music Director: Ricky Harris
Cast (in alphabetical order): Matthew James Elam (Ace of Spades), Christopher Wayland Jones (Jib), Martasia Jones (Toulou) and Shariba Rivers (Candylady).
Location: Raven Theatre West Stage, 6157 N. Clark St. (at Granville), Chicago
Dates: Previews: Thursday, October 31 at 7:30 pm, Friday, November 1 at 7:30 pm, Saturday, November 2 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, November 3 at 3 pm
Press performances: Monday, November 4 at 7:30 pm and Tuesday, November 5 at 7:30 pm
Regular run: Friday, November 8 – Sunday, December 15, 2019
Curtain Times: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm; Sundays at 3 pm. Please note: there will be an added performance on Monday, November 25 at 7:30 pm; there will not be a performance on Thursday, November 28 at 7:30 pm.
Tickets: Previews $32 ($29 if purchased online). Regular run $46 ($43 if purchased online). Seniors/teachers $41 ($38 if purchased online). Students/active military and veterans $15. Every Thursday is “Under 30 Thursday,” when patrons under age 30 can purchase tickets for $15. Tickets are currently available at raventheatre.com or by calling (773) 338-2177.
Touch Tour/Open Captioned performance: Sunday, December 1 at 3 pm. Touch tour begins at 1:45 pm.
Group tickets: Groups of 10 or more are $30 per person for Thursday and Friday performances and $35 per person for Saturday and Sunday performances. Student groups are $15 per person.
Plan Your Visit:
Free parking is provided in a lot adjacent to the theatre – additional street parking is available. Nearest El station: Granville Red Line. Buses: #22 (Clark), #36 (Broadway), #151 (Sheridan), #155 (Devon), #84 (Peterson).
About the Artists:
Katori Hall (Playwright) is an Olivier Award-winning playwright from Memphis, Tennessee and the showrunner of PUSSY VALLEY, a new Starz series based on her play of the same name. She also wrote the book for Tina, the hit West End musical based on the life and catalog of Tina Turner. Katori’s play The Mountaintop, premiering at Theatre503 in 2009, transferred to the West End and won the Olivier Award for Best New Play in 2010. Following its West End run, the play opened on Broadway in October 2011 to critical acclaim. Katori’s other work includes the award-winning Hurt Village which is currently in development as a feature film, Hoodoo Love, Saturday Night/Sunday Morning, WHADDABLOODCLOT!!!, Our Lady of Kibeho, Purple is the Colour of Mourning and The Blood Quilt. In addition to her Laurence Olivier Award, Katori’s other awards include a Susan Smith Blackburn Award, Lark Play Development Center Playwrights of New York (PONY) Fellowship, two Lecompte du Nouy Prizes from Lincoln Center, Fellowship of Southern Writers Bryan Family Award in Drama, NYFA Fellowship, the Columbia University John Jay Award for Distinguished Professional Achievement, National Black Theatre’s August Wilson Playwriting Award, and the Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award.
Wardell Julius Clark (Director) is originally from Fairfield, Alabama and earned his BFA degree in Acting from The Theatre School at DePaul University. Upcoming shows he’s directing include His Shadow (16th Street Theater), Kill Move Paradise (TimeLine Theatre). Chicago directing credits include: Dutch Masters (Jackalope Theatre), The Watsons Go To Birmingham – 1963 (Chicago Children’s Theatre), The Shipment (Red Tape), Insurrection: Holding History (Stage Left) and Surely Goodness and Mercy (Redtwist). He was also Associate Director for Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner and Assistant Director for Gem of the Ocean and Satchmo at the Waldorf (Court), and Assistant Director for The Scottsboro Boys (Porchlight Music Theatre). Chicago acting credits include work with Raven Theatre, American Blues Theatre, First Folio, Windy City Playhouse, Court Theatre, Northlight, Victory Gardens, 16th Street Theater, MPAACT, American Theater Company, and Congo Square Theater. Regional credits include work at Theater at Monmouth, Cardinal Stage, Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival and Carver Theatre. His television and film credits include Shameless, Chicago Fire and Proven Innocent. Wardell is also a company member at TimeLine Theatre, as well as an actor instructor/teaching artist at the School at Steppenwolf, TimeLine Theatre, Victory Gardens Theatre, Black Box Acting Studio, Vagabond School of the Arts. He is represented by Gray Talent Group.
The Ricky Harris (Music Director) is thrilled to be music directing again with Raven Theatre. A local talent within the Chicagoland area, The Ricky recently music directed Cardboard Piano at Lifeline Theatre, The Winter Wondrettes at the Beverly Arts Center and the Jeff Award Winning Direct From Death Row The Scottsboro Boys at Raven Theatre. He is also host of the Facebook Live/Youtube show Places!
About Raven Theatre
Raven Theatre tells stories of today and the past that connect us to our cultural landscape. Through its plays as well as its educational programming, Raven is committed to serving our communities’ needs through the arts.
Raven Theatre Company is funded in part by the The MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince, Polk Bros Foundation, S&C Electric Company Fund, The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation and the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.