Migration, a World Premiere at eta Creative Arts Foundation
A play inspired by Robert Sengstacke Abbott Chicago Defender Founder/publisher, written by Michael Bradford about the Great Migration instigated by Abbott
CD Wire– The Creative Arts Foundation proudly presents, Migration, a World Premiere by Michael Bradford. Slavery, Civil War, Reconstruction and Jim Crow bedrock the largest migration of African Americans from the south. From 1910-1930 Chicago tenements swelled as men and women heeded the call of Robert Abbott, founder/publisher/editor of the Chicago Defender, to come to the land of “milk and honey.”
Lillian Stride and Noble Johnson, the central characters at the heart of Michael Bradford’s Migration, are in this number. Bradford’s ritual of psychological, spiritual, and physical journeying captures the expedition of an ambitious, young Southern woman seeking to honor her original impulse and live out her dream of being a writer in the Promised Land. She convinces her lover—turned husband, Noble, to accompany her to Chicago.
Together, with a letter of interest from the Chicago Defender, a business card for the owner of the Royal Garden Café, communal support, and paternal skepticism, Lillian and Noble ride the fictional Eastern Line (based on the Illinois Central Railroad) North seeking to make its lauded promises work in their favor.
The show opens Friday, April 29, 2016 and will run through June 19, 2016 at eta Creative Arts Foundation, 7558 S. South Chicago Avenue. Show times are Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 3pm. General Admission is $35 with reduced rates for seniors, students and groups. To purchase tickets and inquire additional information on Group Sales, call 773-752-3955 or visit www.etacreativearts.org. MIGRATION is also a part of the Great Migration Centennial Chicago 2016
“For some years, eta sought to premiere this historic Chicago Migration play by Michael Bradford. It gives our institution and community a Sankofa moment. Individuals and citizens of this great Chicago metropolis, will look backwards through this play and relive a specific journey to the here and now. Migration frames the Chicago Migration Centennial Celebration in a story unique to Chicago.” Kemati J. Porter, Producing Artistic Director
Actors featured are: Kai A. Ealy (Noble), Demetra Drayton (Lillian), Donald Conley (Hockley), Jessica Stubenfeld (Mary), Ekia Thomas (Mildred), Colin K. Jones (Rev. Stride), Adrian Weaver (Robert Abbott), Ambria M. Sylvain (Peaches), Donn C. Harper as Royal (in from Los Angeles) , Asia Jackson (US), Barton Fitzpatrick (US), Phyllis Curtwright, Music/Sound Direction, Amansu Eason, Choreography, Kathy Perkins, Light Design, Patrice Andrews, Set Design, Andrea Brown, Costume Design, Artisia Green, Dramaturg.
Behind the scenes:
Michael Bradford, Playwright, is an award winning director and professor of dramatic arts at the University of Connecticut. Bradford’s work has been produced Off-Broadway at the American Place Theatre, and elsewhere in New York at the Lark Developmental Theatre, The Flea, The Access and the NADA Theatre. Regionally he has been produced at the Lorna Littleway Theatre, Louisville, KY and eta Creative Theatre, Chicago, IL. He has received the Manhattan Theatre Club Playwright fellowship, the LARK Theatre Writers Residency and the New York Stage and Film Residency, New York. His plays have received readings and work-shops at the Manhattan Theatre Club, LARK Theatre, the Ensemble Studio Theatre, the Connecticut Repertory Theatre, the Steppenwolf Theatre and the Actors Theatre of Louisville. His play, LIVING IN THE WIND, received over ten AUDELCO Theatre award nominations, and WILLY’S CUT AND SHINE was recently published by Broadway Play Publishing and produced at the eta Creative Theatre, Chicago, IL.
Bradford is considered one of the most promising African American playwrights today. firstname.lastname@example.org
“From under the shadow of Southern indignities, in cars, on trains and buckboards, on foot when necessary, a wave of six million African-Americans roll for the distant shore of the American North and the South Side of Chicago. A new life. A new song. A Migration,” said Michael Bradford
Kemati J. Porter, Director. Recently named Producing Artistic Director of eta Creative Arts Foundation, Kemati served as eta’s Interim Executive Director 2014-2016, and Producing Director from 2007-2014. eta received numerous BTAA, BAA and Jeff recommendations and awards under her program tenure. She received her BA from Columbia College Chicago and was the recipient of the Michael Maggio Directing Scholarship at The Theatre School of DePaul University, were she received her MFA in Directing. Served as artistic associate and TCG Fellow at McCarter Theatre, Princeton, NJ, from 2003-2007, former Artistic Director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Cultural and Performing Arts Center in Columbus OH, and theatre instructor and lecturer for The Theatre School and Chicago State University. She directed: Migration, The Legend of Buster Neal, Fathers and Sons, A Lesson Before Dying, Black Nativity, Stepper’s Ball, Hospice, and numerous other plays.
Robert S. Abbott, founder of the Chicago Defender, became a one man army against of Southern racism. Abbott not only founded the country’s most influential African-American newspaper; through its pages he encouraged the great migration of Blacks from opression in the rural South to relative freedom and economic opportunity in the urban North. (Photo courtesy Chicago Defender)