World Premiere with Actors Theater of Louisville’s Humana Festival


by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins | directed by Gary Griffin | Zacek McVay Theater

When the Lafayettes descend upon a crumbling Arkansan plantation to liquidate their dead patriarch’s estate, his three adult children collide over clutter, debt, and a contentious family history. But after a disturbing discovery surfaces among their father’s possessions, the reunion takes a turn for the explosive, unleashing a series of crackling surprises and confrontations.

Acclaimed director Gary Griffin (Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s Sunday In The Park With George and Follies) directs a potent and exciting play about the trouble with inheritance and the art of repression. Appropriate was developed and workshopped through Victory Gardens’ IGNITION New Play Festival in 2012.


The New Black

A conversation with playwrights Thomas Bradshaw (Mary); Marcus Gardley (The Gospel of Lovingkindness); Ike Holter (Hit The Wall); and Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (Appropriate); moderated by Peter Erickson of Northwestern University.

Sunday, November 10 | 2:00pm | Free with ticket to Appropriate

August Wilson is one of America’s greatest playwrights. But does his epic 10-play “Century Cycle” tell the whole story of the Black experience in the 20th century? And what about the experience of Blacks in the 21st? Join Peter Erickson, Senior Lecturer in Theater and Interpretation, and faculty affiliate in African American Studies @ Northwestern and a stellar group of the country’s hottest emerging playwrights–Thomas Bradshaw (Mary), Marcus Gardley (The Gospel of Lovingkindness), Ike Holter (Hit the Wall) and Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (Appropriate)–for this intimate conversation about writing in the shadow of Wilson.

Why We Left the South: On the image and impact of racial violence in America

Presented in Association with the Chicago History Museum and Chicago Public Library’s One Book, One Chicago

Sunday, November 24 | Special Afterwords conversation | Free with ticket to Appropriate

Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, millions of Africans were forced to migrate and enslaved in the United States. Later, due to harsh economic conditions and inhumane violence committed under segregationist Jim Crow laws, newly emancipated African-Americans were driven from the South. Why do the lines of power and race, drawn more than 400 years ago, continue to divide Black and White Americans today? Have Whites been unconsciously trained to recognize Blacks as less than human? Have Blacks been similarly trained to see Whites as a threat? Can these images be erased? Join curator Joy Bivins of the Chicago History Museum after the show for this informal, interactive conversation where we will shed light on this racial divide–past and present.


Wednesday Night Out

Presented in association with Center on Halsted

Wednesday, November 13 | 6:30 cocktail hour | special AfterWords conversation | Free with ticket to Appropriate

Come party with Victory Gardens’ Community Partner, Center on Halsted– the largest, most comprehensive LGBTQ community center in the Midwest. Mix and mingle with other LGBTQ Chicagoans over pre-show cocktails. Take in a performance of Appropriate. Stay for a special post-show conversation led by the Center.


Presented in association with Arte y Vida

Thursday, November 14 | 6:30pm Pre-Show cocktails | special AfterWords conversation | Free with ticket to Appropriate

Step out with Victory Gardens’ Cultural Partner, Arte y Vida- celebrated for its focus on cultural diversity through the celebration and promotion of Hispanic art and culture. Meet up with other local Latinos at a pre-show cocktail hour. Enjoy a performance of Appropriate. Stay for a special post-show conversation led by Arte y Vida’s Amor Montes de Oca.


Presented in association with Tofu Chitlin Circuit

Saturday, November 16 | 6:30 cocktail hour | special AfterWords conversation | Free with ticket to Appropriate



Stories We Tell

A special screening of the documentary by Sarah Polley

Monday, November 2 | 7:00pm | Free

In Appropriate, the Lafayette family is torn apart by family secrets. In this inspired, genre-twisting new film, Oscar®-nominated writer/director Sarah Polley investigates the mutable secrets kept by a family of storytellers. Along the way, she discovers that the truth depends on who’s telling it.

Southern Promises

A reading of the play by Thomas Bradshaw; directed by VG Artistic Associate, Seth Bockley

Monday, November 25 | 7:00pm | Free with ticket to Appropriate

The master of the plantation dies. His will commands his slaves be freed. Too bad he never discussed this with his wife. Inspired by the true story of Henry Box Brown who escaped to the North by mailing himself in a box. In Southern Promises, Bradshaw–the Chicago-based playwright behind the Goodman Theatre’s 2011 play, Mary–offers us a unique portrait of the Old South.



After every performance of Appropriate (unless otherwise noted)

Post-Show Conversations | Free with ticket to Appropriate

Join us for one of our intimate post show conversations. Lead by members from all around the Victory Gardens community–subscribers, Artistic staff, Teen Arts Council members, and community partners–after the show we sit together, reflect on what we’ve seen and share our response.

Jennifer Baker (Cassidy)
has been in numerous films as well as appearing at Drury Lane, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Eclipse, in Fiddler on the Roof at Paramount, and many more.
Kirsten Fitzgerald (Toni)
This is Kirsten’s first performance at Victory Gardens but you may have seen her in the recent Clybourne Park at Steppenwolf, at Chicago Shakespeare, Goodman, or at A Red Orchid where she is an ensemble member.
Cheryl Graeff (Rachael)
has previously appeared at Victory Gardens in Love Person and last season’s production of The Whale. Cheryl has been an ensemble member at American Blues Theater Company since 2002. TV credits include Chicago Fire, Chicago Code, and Private Practice.
Leah Karpel (Trisha)
has appeared previously at Victory Gardens in The Whale and We are Proud to Present a Presentation of the Herero of Namibia, Formerly Known as South-West Africa, From the German Sudwestafrika Between the Years 1884-1915. Leah is currently in Buena Vista at Steppenwolf.
Keith Kupferer (Bo)
You might recognize him from the Steppenwolf’s recent production of Good People or from one of his many times onstage at Goodman, Lookinglass, and A Red Orchid. Keith has numerous film and TV credits including The Dark Knight, Public Enemy, Prison Break, and Chicago Fire.
Alex Stage (Rhys)
was recently on the Steppenwolf stage in The March, Alex has previously worked with Griffin, and Actors Theatre of Louisville.
Stef Tovar (Franz)
You may have seen Stef in the movie Contagion, at Drury Lane, or in A Twist of Water at Route 66 where he is the Founder and Artistic Director. Stef was recently nominated for an Actor in a Supporting Role (Musical) Jeff Award for his work at the Marriott.
  Director – Garry Griffin
Set Designer – Yu Shibagaki
Costume Designer – Janice Pytel
Lighting Designer – Jesse Klug
Props Designer – Jesse Gaffney
Fight Choreographer – Ryan Bourque

Appropriate Trailer

Gary Griffin on Appropriate

Kirsten Fitzgerald on Appropriate

Keith Kupferer on Appropriate

Stef Tovar on Appropriate

Leah Karpel and Cheryl Graeff on Appropriate

Yu Shibagaki Set Designer for Appropriate

First Rehearsal Photos


All Rehearsal Photos