Breach: a manifesto on race in america through the eyes of a black girl recovering from self-hate*
Feb 9Mar 11, 2018
By Antoinette Nwandu


In Antoinette Nwandu’s “love letter to black women,” Margaret uproots her life, including her dead-end job and fizzling relationship, after finding out that she is unexpectedly expecting. She finds support and humor from her sassy and sharp Aunt Sylvia and her new friendship with Carolina, a pregnant cleaning lady at her office. BREACH is a smart comedy about friendship, motherhood, and family, and tackles the mother of all challenges: learning to love yourself.


YouTube video

YouTube video

YouTube video

Antoinette Nwandu in conversation with Lisa Portes

"A women who looks like me, who can identify with the difficulty those characters are going through, also needs a space to be that difficult, to be that human" – Antoinette NwanduCheck out this interview between #Breach playwright Antoinette Nwandu and director Lisa Portes! Breach: A manifesto on race in america through the eyes of a black girl recovering from self-hate runs 2/9 – 3/11. Get tix here:

Posted by Victory Gardens Theater on Tuesday, January 23, 2018


Lisa Portes, Director

Antoinette Nwandu, Playwright


Caren Blackmore (Margaret)

Linda Bright Clay (Aunt Sylvia)

Karen Rodriguez (Carolina)

Al’Jaleel McGhee (Rasheed)

Keith D. Gallagher (Nate)

Production Team

Linda Buchanan, Set Design
Samantha C. Jones, Costume Design
Heather Gilbert, Lighting Design
Thomas Dixon, Sound Design
Alec Long, Props Design
Skyler Gray, Dramaturg
Majel Cuza, Production Manager
Tom Albright, Master Electrician
Tina M. Jach*, Production Stage Manager


  • “Very funny… absolutely hilarious. Exhilarating to see Nwandu display such incredible range… ​m​ark of a great writer.”
    — Time Out Chicago
  • “Joyous…  A funny and thoughtful work, vitally played by a terrific cast.”
    — Chicago Sun-Times 
  • “A very entertaining and witty play that will help you overcome self-hatred and find love form within. We highly recommend.”
    — Chicago Now
  • Recommended
    “Clever Comedy Raises Important Questions… will stick with you for days.”
    — Picture This Post
  • Critics’ Pick
    “A laugh-out-loud satirical piece that also has a real beating heart in its exploration of race and identity in modern-day America.”
    — Perform Ink


Public Programs

Post-Show Conversation
After every performance of Cambodian Rock Band (unless otherwise noted)

Join us for one of our intimate post-show conversations led by members from the Victory Gardens community, reflect on what you’ve seen, and share your response.

Wednesday, January 24, 7:00pm

How many roles do you play throughout the day? Who are you with your family and friends? With your co-workers? Online? Jeff Award-winning playwright Antoinette Nwandu’s world-premiere play BREACH explores these very questions. Join us for an exclusive glimpse into the rehearsal process as the cast shares a scene from the production during one of their very first rehearsals. Then, participate in an interactive workshop on performing stories from your own life, facilitated by performance scholar and artist Dr. Raquel Monroe. Afterwards, celebrate with appetizers from Olive Mediterranean Grill!

Post-show Conversation | GET TICKETS*
February 10 | Saturday
Show begins at 7:30 pm | Panel begins at 9:30 pm

The United States has less than 5% of the world’s population yet we are home to almost 25% of the world’s prisoners. It’s no secret that the criminal justice system in this country needs work, but what is being done to change it? What are the re-entry resources available to people once they complete their sentences? Join us after the evening performance of BREACH for a conversation with notable formerly incarcerated activists in Chicago about how we can make our justice system truly just.

* Tickets include the 7:30 performance of BREACH and The Injustice System post-show conversation at 9:30

Post-show Conversation | GET TICKETS*
February 13 | Tuesday
Show begins at 7:30 pm | Panel begins at 9:30 pm

From IGNITION to our mainstage, Victory Gardens has been working with Antoinette on the development
of this play for two years. How does a new play go from a public reading to world premiere? Join playwright Antoinette Nwandu and dramaturg Skyler Gray as they discuss her work and the evolution of BREACH from Victory Gardens’ 2016 Ignition Festival lineup to its first full production as part of Victory Gardens’ 2017-2018 season.

* Tickets include the 7:30 performance of BREACH and A Conversation with Antoinette Nwandu post-show conversation at 9:30

Post-show Conversation | GET TICKETS*
February 15 | Thursday
Show begins at 7:30 pm | Panel begins at 9:30 pm

Reproductive health care is a basic human right for women. In today’s political climate, such care is not always a guarantee. What is being done in Chicago and around the country to ensure all women have access to the services they need? Join us after the evening performance of BREACH for a discussion with representatives from Planned Parenthood.

* Tickets include the 7:30 performance of BREACH and Your Body: Your Choice panel at 9:30

Pre-show Celebration | GET TICKETS*
February 17 | Saturday
Celebration begins at 6:30 pm | Show begins at 7:30 pm

Celebrate the tenacity, beauty and creativity of Black women in Antoinette Nwandu’s BREACH, in Chicago, and around the world! For this very special public program, join us for pre-show #blackgirlmagic healing and spiritual self-love rituals. Additionally, experience free food, live art and performances in the lobby that highlight the power and potency of #blackgirlmagic.

* Tickets include the 6:30 #blackgirlmagic celebration and the 7:30 performance of BREACH

Post-show Performance | GET TICKETS*
February 21 | Wednesday
Show begins at 7:30 pm | Post-show performance begins at 9:30 pm

In BREACH, Margaret puts on a different persona depending on whether she’s around Nate, Rasheed, or her Aunt Sylvia. When the identity you project changes so frequently, how do you know who’s really you? Join us for a pre-show celebration in the lobby with free drinks and pizza. Then, stick around after the evening performance of BREACH for free post-show scenes exploring the different masks we all wear written, directed, and performed by college artists from DePaul University, Northwestern University, Loyola University, and Columbia College.

* Tickets include the pre-show celebration, 7:30 performance of BREACH, and the Shifting Identities post-show performance at 9:30

Pre-Show Festival featuring Black beauty & wellness products | GET TICKETS*
February 24-25 | Saturday & Sunday

Victory Gardens Theater believes that Black is beautiful and we know that you do too. Beauty is such an essential part of Black culture. Join us for an expo of local Black owned and operated beauty and wellness products as we celebrate Antoinette Nwandu’s BREACH.

* Open to the public, tickets are $30

Post-show Performance | GET TICKETS*
March 2 | Friday
Show begins at 7:30 pm | Post-show performance begins at 9:30 pm

For many people of color, being adaptable is a necessary skill for everyday life. Certain circles require specific adjustments to behavior and language in order to better “fit in.” How does this continual need to code-switch affect people who just want to be true to themselves? After the evening performance of BREACH, join us for a night of spoken word by poets of color as they discuss intersecting identities and the constant balancing act between living truthfully and fitting in.

* Tickets include the 7:30 performance of BREACH and the Code Switch post-show performance at 9:30

Post-show Conversation | GET TICKETS*
March 7 | Wednesday
Show begins at 7:30 pm | Panel begins at 9:30 pm

After having paid their debt to society, many men and women find themselves hampered by societal and legal barriers that make it difficult get out of the prison loop and not be stigmatized by their past. Join us and our panel of legal and legislative experts as we discuss why Rasheed’s story in BREACH is the exception, not the norm, and what we can do to change that.

* Tickets include the pre-show celebration, 7:30 performance of BREACH, and the When the Sentence Doesn’t End post-show discussion at 9:30