The Definition Theater opens its 10th anniversary season with the Chicago premiere of WHITE by an ensemble member James Ijames and led by Ericka Ratcliff. Produced in partnership with Steppenwolf Theater The company’s LookOut series, WHITE, will run at Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theater from March 10 through April 10, 2021.
“After much anticipation, we are thrilled to present this incredible play by ensemble member Definition James Ijames“, shared the artistic director Tyrone Phillips. “I’m also looking forward to collaborating with the director and Chicago theater treasure Ericka Ratcliff, who is embarking on this new adventure with us. Much like America V2.1, the Definition film production releasing in fall 2021, WHITE invites audiences to engage with themes of power and fatherhood. This hilarious and thought-provoking piece holds our society accountable to artists as it asks, “Who is allowed to create art?” And how do we decide the value of creative work? »
Gus is a painter who awaits his big break with a prestigious museum of contemporary art in the exhibition “The New America”. When the museum’s new curator tells him that “white guys” aren’t part of New America, he enlists the help of Vanessa, a black actress, and together they create Balkonae Townsend, a bold young radical artist who will serve as his face of his work. But when things start to spiral out of control, Gus has to deal with the mess he’s created and Vanessa has to deal with her own agency as an artist. Bold and comically biting, WHITE explores white privilege, racial politics and the fine line between appropriation and opportunity.
WHITE’s production team includes Peter Joey (Associate Director), Yeaji Kim (Scenic and Projections Designer), Rea Brown (Costume Designer), Levi Wilkins (Lighting Designer), Willow James (Sound Designer), Lonnae Hickman (Properties Designer), Gaby Labotaka (Intimacy Director), Kayla Menz (assistant director of intimacy), JQ (original composition), member of the ensemble Jared Bellot (Playwright), Evan Sposato (Technical Director), Emmy Weldon (Assistant Light Designer), AJ Links (Casting Director), Ariel Beller (Stage Manager), Julie Jachym (Production Manager) and Jennifer Aparicio (Production Manager) .