Soldiers' characters are put to the test in Raven Theatre's A Soldier's Play by Charles Fuller, directed by Michael Menendian. Opening night is scheduled for Monday, February 18 at 7:30 p.m. at Raven Theatre, 6157 N. Clark, with a reception following in Raven's lobby. Tickets and information are available at www.raventheatre.com or 773-338-2177.
When Captain Davenport, a black man with bars in a white man's Army, comes to a segregated WWII-era Louisiana Army base to investigate a murder, the interrogation of the soldiers uncovers a web of contempt, expectation and hatred. This Pulitzer Prize winning drama tackles racism within race in the heat of the south.
Director Michael Menendian states, "I was drawn to Mr. Fuller's sharply written story because I have always been fascinated by the issues of race in America. A Soldier's Play is a small story that deals with very large consequences in the evolution of the Black race in the White dominated world of WWII America."
Charles Fuller is a playwright and novelist who served in the U.S. Army, fighting in both Japan and South Korea, and later co-founded the Afro-American Arts theater in his hometown, Philadelphia. Fuller first received critical acclaim for his play, The Perfect Party. He won an Obie award for The Zooman and the Sign and the Pulitzer Prize for drama for A Soldier's Play. Other works include The Brownsville Raid, The Village: A Party and the 2010 novel Snatch: The Adventures of David and Me.
Director Michael Menendian is a founding member and the Producing Artistic Director of Raven Theatre, where he has directed and designed sets for many productions, earning numerous Joseph Jefferson and After Dark awards. He received a 2010 Jeff nomination for his direction of Raven's Death of a Salesman. Other productions include Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Hedda Gabler, Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train, The Night of the Iguana, Dancing at Lughnasa, Golden Boy, Marvin's Room, A Streetcar Named Desire, A View from the Bridge, and Glengarry Glen Ross.
The cast of A Soldier's Play includes: Antoine Pierre Whitfield (Tech/Sergeant Vernon C. Waters) who is a Raven ensemble member and has been seen in Dating Walter Dante, Radio Golf, Bus Stop and Bang the Drum Slowly; Tamarus Harvell (Corporal Bernard Cobb) who has worked with Jackalope Theatre Company and MPAACT; Bradford Stevens (Private James Wilkie) who was last seen at Raven in Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train and is an ensemble member of Barrel of Monkeys Theatre Troupe; RaShawn Thompson (Private Louis Hensen) who has performed with Black Ensemble Theatre, Steep and Congo Square; Eric Walker (PFC Melvin Peterson) who is a company member of MPAACT and has worked with Congo Square, Arts Lane Theatre and Playwright's Theatre NY; Kory Pullam (Private Tony Smalls) who was seen at Raven in Tales of the Twinkling Twilight; Carthy Dixon (CorporAl Ellis) who was seen at Rave in Twelve Angry Men, The Cherry Orchard and Bang the Drum Slowly and has worked with Victory Gardens and Piven; Tim Walsh (Captain Charles Taylor) who was seen at Raven in Bang the Drum Slowly and has worked with Next Theatre and MadKap Productions; Frank Pete (Captain Richard Davenport) who has performed with Halcyon Theatre, Ju'Ma Theatre and McGahee Theatre in Chicago and regionally with Baltimore Center Theater and Hoogland Center for the Arts; Brian Keys (Private C.J. Memphis) who has worked with Peacock Polka and Coloring the Arts Theatre Co.; Nicholas Bailey (Lieutenant Byrd) who was seen at Raven in Bang the Drum Slowly and has worked with Strangeloop, Inconveivable Theatre and BoHo and Scott Allen Luke (Captain Wilcox) who was seen at Raven in Dating Walter Dante and Stop Kiss and has worked with Northlight Theatre, Next Theatre and Lifeline Theatre.
The A Soldier's Play staff includes: Andrei Onegin (Set Designer/Technical Director), Diane Fairchild (Lighting Designer), JoAnn Montemurro (Costume Designer), Leif Olsen (Original Score); Marie C. Quinn (Sound Designer), Mary O'Dowd (Props Designer), Amanda Rozmiarek (Scenic Artist), Justin Castellano (Master Electrician), Kristen Williams (Dramaturg) and Conor Clark (Asst. Director/ASM). Cathy Darrow serves as stage manager.