The Midwest Premiere


June 10 – July 10, 2016

by Ensemble Playwright Marcus Gardley
directed by Chay Yew

Victory Gardens’ Ensemble Playwright Marcus Gardley (An Issue of Blood, The Gospel of Lovingkindness) returns with another stirring portrait of historic America. This time Gardley unearths a story of 1836 New Orleans where free women of color are permitted to enter into common-law marriages with wealthy white men. The home and life that Beartrice has built for herself and three daughters, on a foundation of money, freedom and secrets, threatens to collapse after her husband mysteriously dies. Told through Gardley’s signature poetic voice and directed by Chay Yew, The House That Will Not Stand is a powerful and bewitching family drama filled with desire, jealousy, murder and voodoo.


Marcus-Gardley-Headshot--High-Res Marcus Gardley (Playwright)
Marcus Gardley is a poet-playwright who is the current recipient of the 2015 Glickman Award. He was the 2013 James Baldwin Fellow and the 2011 PEN Laura Pels award winner for Mid-Career Playwright. The New Yorker describes Gardley as “the heir to Garcia Lorca, Pirandello and Tennessee Williams.” His play The House That Will Not Stand was commissioned and produced by Berkeley Rep and has had subsequent productions at Yale Rep and the Tricycle Theater in London. He is an ensemble member playwright at Victory Gardens Theater where his play The Gospel of Lovingkindness was produced in March and where he won the 2015 BTAA award for best play. In 2014, his saga The Road Weeps, the Well Runs Dry about the migration of Black Seminoles (a tribe of African American and First Nations People) from Florida to Oklahoma had a national tour. He has had several productions, some of which include: Every Tongue Confesses at Arena Stage starring Phylicia Rashad, and On The Levee which premiered in 2010 at Lincoln Center Theater 3. He is the recipient of the 2011 Aetna New Voice Fellowship at Hartford Stage, the Hellen Merrill Award, a Kellsering Honor and the Gerbode Emerging Playwright Award. He holds an MFA in Playwriting from the Yale Drama School and is a member of The Dramatists Guild. Gardley is a professor of Theater and Performance Studies at Brown University.
chay-headshot 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 Death 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.
Linda-Bright-Clay Linda Bright Clay (La Veuve)
Victory Gardens Theater: Dame Lorraine. Chicago: Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (Goodman Theatre); Home, Having Our Say (Chicago Theatre Co); The Project(s) (American Theater Company). Regional: Having Our Say, Permanent Collection (Madison Rep). Film/TV commerical work: Seven Psychopaths, Halfway, Just Married, Hell Ain’t Full, Flickering Blue, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Fifth Third Bank, U.S. Post Office, McDonald’s, Ace Hardware.
Diana-Coates Diana Coates (Agnès Albans)
Chicago: A Winter’s Tale (First Folio); Titus Andronicus, Julius Caesar (Babes w Blades); Commons of Pensacola (Northlight Theatre); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Piccolo); Much Ado About Nothing(Rasaka); Bedroom Farce (Eclipse); True Story (Lifeline). Regional: Blues for An Alabama Sky (ACTCo.); Harlem 9/11 (Arc Theatre). Film/TV: Game Day, “Chicago Fire.”
Aneisa-Hicks Aneisa Hicks (Odette Albans)
Chicago: The Old Friends (Raven Theatre); They Keep Talking About Me (Black Ensemble Theatre).
Angela-Alise-Johnson Angela Alise Johnson (Maude Lynn Albans)
Chicago: Far From Heaven (Porchlight Music Theatre); Saturday Night/Sunday Morning (Prologue Theatre @ Steppenwolf Garage Theater); The Good Book (Court Theatre); Hairspray(Drury Lane Oakbrook); Heaven How I Got Here, Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey (Provision Theater); Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, Mr. Chickee’s Funny Money (Chicago Children’s Theatre); Church (Red Tape Theatre); Parade (Boho Theatre); Love and Human Remains (Cor Theatre); Coming Home (Erasing the Distance); Rent (Ouroboros/Big Noise Theatre); The Magical Treehouse, Fancy Nancy (Broadway Playhouse/Emerald City). Artistic Director of Prologue Theatre. Film/TV: Starbabies, “The Dreamers.”
Lizan-Mitchell Lizan Mitchell (Beartrice Albans)
Victory Gardens Theater: An Issue of Blood. Broadway: Electra, Having Our Say, So long on Lonely Street. Off-Broadway: Cell, Rosmersholm, for colored girls… (25th Anniversary), Gum, Salt, Ma Rose.  Recently, New York: Dead and Breathing, The First Noel. Regional: CATF, Berkeley Repertory, Yale Repertory, Cincinnati Playhouse, Hangar Theatre, Pittsburgh Public Theatre, Crossroads Theatre, McCarter Theatre, Baltimore Center Stage, Hartford TheaterWorks, Indiana Repertory, Syracuse Stage, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Arizona Theatre Company, Goodman Theatre, Humana Festival, Alliance Theatre, Everyman Theatre, Center Stage Theatre, Crossroads Theatre, Philadelphia Drama Guild, San Jose Repertory, Indianapolis Repertory Theatre. Film/TV: After Life, The Final Patient, The Human Stain, Brother to Brother, The Preacher’s Wife, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” “Deadbeat,” “We’ll Never Have Paris,” “Golden Boy,” “Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight,” “The Good Wife,” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” “As the World Turns,” “John Adams,” “One Life to Live,” “Law & Order,” “Third Watch,” “Guiding Light,” “Having Our Say,” “Sesame Street.” Awards: Black Theater Alliance Award, Helen Hayes Award and the Audelco Award for Best Actress, as well as numerous awards for audiobook narration. She is a founding member of Quick Silver Theater Company, producers of the Playwrights of Color Summit in Geneva, NY in June of this year.
Penelope-Walker Penelope Walker (Marie-Josephine)
Victory Gardens Theater: No One As Nasty, Ignition Festival. Chicago: A Christmas Carol, The Story, Crowns, Matchmaker (US), Gem Of The Ocean (US) (Goodman Theatre); Love & Information (Remy Bumppo); The Project(s), Agnes Of God, Doubt, People’s Temple (American Theatre Company); Will You Stand Up (Erasing The Distance); Black Diamond… (Lookingglass Theatre); Love Lies Bleeding(Steppenwolf); 10 Virgins, Voyeurs de Venus (Chicago Dramatists); Eclipsed, Gees Bend, Bee Luther Hatchee (Northlight Theatre); The Clink (Rivendell Theatre Ensemble). Film/TV: Severed TiesFlowers, Matching Pursuit (web series), “Chicago Fire,” “Boss.”
Jacqueline-Williams Jacqueline Williams (Makeda)
Victory Gardens Theater: The Gospel Of Lovingkindness, Waiting To Be Invited, Colored Museum, Shoes. Chicago: Gem of the Ocean, The Good Book, Caroline or Change, Fences, upcoming Man In The Ring (Court Theatre); Stop.Reset, Pullman Porter Blues, Camino Real, Trinity River Plays, Blue For An Alabama Sky, Amen Corner (Goodman Theatre); Airline Highway, Head of Passes, Hot L Baltimore, Brother Sister Plays, No Place Like Home (Steppenwolf); Gee’s Bend, The Miser (Northlight Theatre); Yellowman, Fabulation (Next); Maya’s Last Poem (as Maya Angelou), Going to St. Ives, Having Our Say (Fleetwood-Jourdain). National tours: Crowns, Born In the RSA (Market Theatre of Johannesburg). Broadway: Young Man From Atlanta. Off-Broadway: From The Mississippi Delta (co-produced by Oprah Winfrey), Mill Fire, Talented Tenth. Regional: La Jolla, ACT Seattle, Berkeley Rep, Arena Stage, Hartford Stage, Huntington Playhouse, Asolo Rep, Portland Stage Co. Film/TV: Heartlock, The Break Up, The Lake House, Hardball, “Turks,” “Chicago PD,” “Chicago Fire,” “Empire,” “Chicago Code,” “Prison Break.” Awards/Nominations: Jeff, Helen Hayes, BTAA, Lunt-Fontanne (Shakespeare) Fellow, 3Arts, American Arts Council, Drama Desk, Sarah Siddons, Excellence in the Arts, After Dark, others.

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 THE HOUSE THAT WILL NOT STAND (unless otherwise noted)


June 2 | Thursday | 7:00 p.m.


June 14 | Tuesday | 7:30 p.m.
Post-Show Conversation


June 15 | Wednesday | 6:30 p.m.
Pre-Show Celebration | Post-Show Panel Conversation


June 22 | Wednesday | 7:30 p.m.
Post-Show Panel Conversation


June 30 | Thursday | 6:30 p.m.
Pre-Show Celebration | Free Post-Show Performances


July 1 | Friday | 7:30 p.m.
Post-Show Panel Conversation


July 6 | Wednesday | 6:30 p.m.
Free Post-Show Performance


July 7 | Thursday | 7:30 p.m.
Off-night Town Hall and Celebration


July 8 | Friday | 6:30 p.m.
Pre-Show Celebration | Post-Show Panel Conversation


July 10 | Sunday | 2:30 p.m.
Pre-Show Celebration | Post-Show Second Line Parade

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