World Premiere


November 11 – December 11, 2016

by Karen Hartman
directed by Artistic Director Chay Yew

The gripping untold story of one doctor’s ethical struggle at the onset of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s. Dr. Roz thinks she’s found the right cure in a new miracle drug for Ray Leon’s twins with hemophilia. However, unspeakable tragedy strikes and it is discovered that Ray’s sons face immediate danger. Victory Gardens Theater presents this powerful new work by playwright Karen Hartman, that tells a tragic yet ultimately heartfelt story about a deep friendship during a devastating chapter of medical and queer history.

Winner: Edgerton Foundation New Play Award
McKnight National Residency and Commission

Click below for a deeper look into the show:
Roz and Ray Timeline
Insight: Inside the World of Our Plays


Karen Hartman (Playwright) Karen Hartman has four productions of three world premieres this season: Roz and Ray (winner of the Edgerton Foundation New Play prize) at Seattle Rep and Victory Gardens, The Book of Joseph at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and Project Dawn at People’s Light. In 2014-15 she held the Playwright Center’s McKnight Residency and Commission. Some other works: Goldie, Max, and Milk (Steinberg and Carbonell nominations), Goliath (Dorothy Silver New Play Prize), Gum, Leah’s Train, Going Gone (N.E.A. New Play Grant); Girl Under Grain (Best Drama in NY Fringe); Wild Kate, ALICE: Tales of a Curious Girl (Music by Gina Leishman, AT&T Onstage Award); Troy Women; and MotherBone, score by Graham Reynolds (Frederick Loewe Award). Publications: Theater Communications Group, Dramatists Play Service, Playscripts, Backstage Books, and NoPassport Press. Awards: Hedgebrook, Sustainable Arts, Rockefeller Foundation at Bellagio, the N.E.A., Helen Merrill Foundation, Daryl Roth “”Creative Spirit”” Award, Hodder Fellowship, Jerome Fellowship, Fulbright Scholarship. Her prose has been published in The New York Times and The Washington Post.Alumna of New Dramatists and longtime Brooklynite, now Senior Artist in Residence at the UW School of Drama.

Chay Yew (Director) Chay is the Artistic Director at Victory Gardens Theater. Chay joined Victory Gardens in July 2011. For Victory Gardens, he has directed The House That Will Not StandDeath and the MaidenAn Issue of Blood, The Gospel of LovingkindnessMojada, Oedipus el Rey, and Universes’ Ameriville. His other Chicago credits include Dartmoor Prison and Black N Blue Boys/Broken Men at the Goodman and Po Boy Tango at Northlight Theatre.  Chay is a recipient of the Obie Award and DramaLogue Award for Direction. As a playwright, his plays include Porcelain, A Language of Their Own, Red, A Beautiful Country, Wonderland, Question 27 Question 28, A Distant Shore, 17, and Visible Cities. His plays have been produced at the Public Theater, Mark Taper Forum, Manhattan Theatre Club, Long Wharf Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Intiman Theatre, Wilma Theatre, Dallas Theatre Center, Portland Center Stage, amongst many others. He is also the recipient of the London Fringe Award for Best Playwright and Best Play, George and Elisabeth Marton Playwriting Award, GLAAD Media Award, Made in America Award, AEA/SAG/AFTRA Diversity Honor, and Robert Chesley Award. He was the founding director of the Taper’s Asian Theatre Workshop and producer of Taper, Too. Chay is also an alumnus of New Dramatists and serves on the Executive Board of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, and Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events’ Cultural Advisory Council.

Mary Beth Fisher (Dr. Roz Kagan) Broadway: The Night of the Iguana (Roundabout). Off-Broadway: The Radical MystiqueBy The Beautiful Sea, Boy Gets Girl (Drama League Honoree, Lucile Lortel and Drama Desk nominations) (Manhattan Theatre Club); Extremities (Westside Arts). Chicago: Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Angels in America, Three Tall Women, The Year of Magical Thinking (Jeff Award), The Wild Duck, What the Butler Saw, Arcadia, Travesties, The Importance of Being Earnest (Court Theatre); Domesticated (Jeff Award), Dead Man’s Cell Phone, The Dresser, The Memory of Water (Steppenwolf); Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, The Little Foxes, Luna Gale, God of Carnage, The Seagull, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Frank’s Home, The Clean House, Dinner with Friends, Heartbreak House, The Rose Tattoo, The Guys, Boy Gets Girl, Spinning Into Butter, Design for LivingLight up the SkyThe Night of the IguanaMarvin’s Room (Goodman Theatre); The Laramie Project, The Little Dog Laughed, Theatre District (About Face Theatre); White Guy on the Bus, Away (Northlight Theatre). TV/Film: “Sense8,” “Chicago Justice,” “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago Code,” “State of Romance,” “Without a Trace,” “Numb3rs,” “Prison Break,” “NYPD Blue,” “Profiler,” “Early Edition,” Formosa Betrayed, Dragonfly, Trauma. Ms. Fisher is an Inaugural Lunt-Fontanne Fellow and was a Beinecke Fellow at Yale.

James Vincent Meredith (Ray) Broadway: Superior Donuts (Music Box). Off-Broadway: The Bluest Eye (Duke). National Tour: 3 years as Mafala Hatimbi in The Book of Mormon. Chicago: Between Riverside and Crazy, Carter’s Way, Superior Donuts, The Crucible, Clybourne Park, Hot L Baltimore, Tempest, The Pain and the Itch (Steppenwolf, ensemble member); Take Me Out (About Face Theatre); King John, Merchant of Venice, Julius Caesar, Measure for Measure, Much Ado About Nothing (Chicago Shakespeare Theater); Othello, The Duchess of Malfi (Writers Theatre); American Voices, King Lear, Our Country’s Good, Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me (Piven). TV credits: “Betrayal,” “Prison Break,” “ER,” “The Beast,” “Detroit 187,” “Chicago Code,” “Law and Order SVU,” “BOSS,” “Chicago Justice,” “The Exorcist.”

The Creative Team:

Set Design: Tim Mackabee
Costume Design: Christine Pascual
Lighting Design: Diane D. Fairchild
Original Music and Sound Design: Christopher Kriz
Props Master: Alec Long
Assistant Director: Arianna Soloway
Dramaturg: Isaac Gomez
Production Stage Manager: Amanda J. Davis

Public Programs is an event series designed to enhance your experience by exploring themes and issues in Victory Gardens’ plays. Connecting our theater to the world beyond the stage and rehearsal room, Public Programs bridge ideas, provoke dialogue, and deepen the relationship between our audiences and our productions.


Post-­Show Conversation
After every performance of ROZ AND RAY (unless otherwise noted)

Join us for one of our intimate post-show conversations.

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November 15 | Tuesday | 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Pre-Show Celebration | Post-Show Conversation

Join us for this industry night pre-show celebration and raise a glass to the brilliant women, trans, and gender non-conforming playwrights of our time. Then, stay for a special post show conversation breaking open the trials and tribulations of navigating the patriarchy in the American theater.

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November 16 | Wednesday | Following the performance of ROZ & RAY
Post-Show Conversation

Stick around for this insightful post-show conversation as Director of New Play Development Isaac Gomez chats with playwright Karen Hartman about the process and inspiration in writing Roz and Ray.

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November 30 | Wednesday | 7:30 p.m.
Off-night Event | Center on Halsted

Join us in partnership with the Center on Halsted for this World AIDS Day panel conversation breaking open the HIV/AIDS crisis in conversation with the art created from those events.

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December 1 | Thursday | 6:00 p.m.
Pre-Show Gallery Exhibit & Reception

Beauty. Sex. Loss. Courage. Politics. Join us for this joint World AIDS Day event in partnership with ART AIDS AMERICA CHICAGO, a groundbreaking exhibition that underscores the deep and unforgettable presence of HIV in American art.

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December 2 | Friday | 6:30 p.m.
Pre-Show Celebration | Post-Show Conversation

In partnership with Victory Gardens’ Encuentro event, join us for a pre-show reception and then stick around for a riveting post-show conversation hosted by Jorge Valdivia breaking open a conversation on children living with hemophilia.

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December 3 | Saturday | Following the performance of ROZ & RAY
Pre-Show Celebration | Post-Show Panel Conversation

Stick around for this epic post-show conversation hosted by the American Medical Women’s Association as women in medicine break open a conversation centering on themes resonating in Karen Hartman’s medical drama Roz and Ray.

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December 7 | Wednesday | 6:30 p.m.
Post-Show Panel Discussion

Join us for this riveting post-show conversation as activists, scholars, and many others break stigmas and speak their truth.

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December 8 | Thursday | Following the performance of ROZ & RAY
Post-Show Panel Conversation

Join us for a post-show conversation that tackles one of the most prominent human controversies: a question of ethics.

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December 9 | Friday | Following the performance of ROZ & RAY
Post-Show Panel Conversation

Join us for this special post-show conversation demystifying myths and shedding light on hemophilia in America today.

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Very Powerful Play.
Potent performances by
James Vincent Meredith and Mary Beth Fisher,
both turn in exceptionally complex
and moving
pieces of acting.”
-Chicago Tribune, Chris Jones

A compelling tale told by
two of Chicago’s strongest actors.”
-Chicago Theater Beat, Catey Sullivan

If you see one play in the next few weeks,
make it Roz and Ray
A brilliant story, sharply directed and superbly acted.”
-Around The Town Chicago, Alan Bresloff

“Brilliantly captures the confusion, and the moral ambiguity about life on the edge of biomedicine.”


_34a5919Mary Beth Fisher and James Vincent Meredith

img_2069-1James Vincent Meredith and Mary Beth Fisher

img_1827James Vincent Meredith

_34a6409Mary Beth Fisher and James Vincent Meredith

_34a6954James Vincent Meredith and Mary Beth Fisher

ROZ AND RAY Rehearsal:

img_5107-1James Vincent Meredith, Mary Beth Fisher, and Director Chay Yew

img_5080-1James Vincent Meredith

img_5073-1James Vincent Meredith and Mary Beth Fisher

CLICK HERE to see more rehearsal photos.