RASHEEDA SPEAKING
by JOEL DRAKE JOHNSON

Directed by Ty Hallmark
March 5 - 22, 2020
Performances: Friday-Sunday | Friday & Saturday @ 8PM | Saturdays @ 2:30PM | Sundays @ 4:00PM

Ally Theatre Company’s take on the incendiary play by Joel Drake Johnson takes another look at the ever-topical questions about the prevalence of ingrained racism in America. This tense workplace thriller examines the realities of a so-called “post-racial” workplace where two co-workers—one black, the other white—are driven apart by the machinations of their boss. A chilling power struggle ensues that spins wildly out of control. This incisive and shocking dark comedy will keep you in its claustrophobic grip until the final moment.

 

MEET THE PLAYWRIGHT

Joel Drake Johnson is an award winning, internationally produced playwright and teacher who got his start as a writer at Chicago’s critically acclaimed Econo-Art Theater (Lynn Baber, Barb Reeder and Marc Silvia, artistic directors). His latest play RASHEEDA SPEAKING, originally directed by Sandy Shinner and produced by Chicago’s Rivendell Theatre, opened in New York City at The Signature Theatre as part of The New Group’s 2014-15 season. Under the direction of Tony and Emmy Award Winner, Cynthia Nixon, it featured two time Oscar Winner, Dianne Wiest and Tony Award Winner, Tonya Pinkins as well as Darren Goldstein (“The Affair”) and Patricia Conolly (ensemble member/ Guthrie Theater and Stratford Festival). RASHEEDA was subsequently nominated for best new off-Broadway play by the The Outer Critics Circle. Other plays include FOUR PLACES first produced at Chicago’s Victory Gardens Theater under the direction of Sandy Shinner and featuring Mary Ann Thebus and Meg Thalken. It was subsequently produced in LA by The Rogue Machine Theatre, where under the direction of Robin Larsen and featuring Tony nominee, Roxanne Hart, it garnered more critical acclaim that included five Ovation Award nominations, four nominations (including best play) from the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle and a Garland Award for Best New Play. It has since been produced internationally. Johnson has won three Illinois Arts Council grants including one for A BLUE MOON which was first produced at Chicago Dramatists Theatre (Russ Tutterow, artistic director) and Woodstock, NY. Other works include AS THE BEAVER, first produced by Zebra Crossing, THE END OF THE TOUR first produced by Victory Gardens, and THE FALL TO EARTH which premiered at Steppenwolf Theatre and featured Tony Award Winner, Rondi Reed. It was subsequently produced at The Penguin Rep featuring Tony Award Winner, Michelle Pawk and directed by Joe Brancato; at 59E59 Theatre in NYC, featuring Tony nominee, Amelia Campbell (dir: Joe Brancato); The Odyssey Theatre in LA featuring Oscar nominee JoBeth Williams (dir: Robin Larsen). Berkeley’s Aurora Theatre produced the premiere of THE FIRST GRADE (dir: Tom Ross) which won the San Francisco/ Bay Area Critic Circle Award for best new play of 2010-11. Johnson has been commissioned four times by Steppenwolf Theatre, commissions which led to productions of A BLAMELESS LIFE (dir: Tony Award Winner, Anna D. Shapiro) and TRANQUILLITY WOODS (dir. Sandy Shinner). Johnson has been nominated 5 times for Best New Play by Chicago’s Joseph Jefferson Award Committee. He is currently working on a new play commissioned by Steppenwolf Theatre. He has taught playwriting at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, IL, DePaul University and Northwestern University.
 

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR

Ty Hallmark is the Founding and Producing Artistic Director of Ally Theatre Company. She directed Ally's premiere production The Most Spectacularly Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington in 2017, co-wrote Clover, Ally's3rd production and has produced all 9 of Ally's mainstage shows to date plus special projects and events. 

Prior to her work at Ally, Ty was the Tour and Company Manager for Remarkably Normal, a new play developed around the issue of women's reproductive rights by DC-based non-profit Advocates for Youth. She accompanied the show on an 8-city National Tour in May and June 2016. Ty is a former company member of Chesapeake Shakespeare Company where she appeared in Cymbeline, Cyrano de Bergerac, and The Country Wife and also assisted directed Pride and Prejudice and The Taming of the Shrew. For Pallas Theatre Collective she directed The Taming of the Shrew and Major Barbara and has worked as a director, actor, or producer for Pinky Swear Productions, Venus Theatre, Keegan Theatre, The Source Festival, and the Capital Fringe Festival, among others.

Ty is a professional Advocacy and Events Manager and is currently studying for her Master's Degree in Library and Information Sciences. She received her undergraduate degree in theatre from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee and completed The Studio Theatre Acting Conservatory Program. Along with her team at Ally, she was proud to accept the 2019 John Aniello Award for Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company.



Featuring
   
JANE Petkofsky
as Ileen Van Meter
  Taunya Ferguson
as Jaclyn Spaulding
  Nick Depinto
as Dr. David Williams*
appearing with permission of Equity


production staff
     
Steph Connor
Stage Manager
  Kristen Hamby
Sound Design
  Jeniffer Leon
Lighting Design
  Katherine Offutt
Props Design
and Set Dressing
   
Jessica Utz
Costume Design
   



March 5 - 22, 2020
Thursday, Friday and Saturday @ 8PM
Saturday matinees @ 2PM and Sunday matinees @ 4PM
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$25 General Admission
$15 Students and Veterans


AT JOE'S MOVEMENT EMPORIUM
STUDIO 4
3309 Bunker Hill Road
Mount Rainier, MD 20712
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COMMUNITY PREVIEWS (PAY WHAT YOU WISH):
Monday, March 5th @ 8PM

INDUSTRY NIGHT PERFORMANCE:
Monday, March 16th @ 8PM

 


  Partnered with
JOE'S MOVEMENT EMPORIUM
3309 Bunker Hill Road
Mt. Rainier, MD 20712
Drop us a line
info@allytheatrecompany.org
301-699-1819