Chicago Shakespeare Theater Presents
An American Premiere from South Africa
Created by Playwright and Actor Omphile Molusi
Winner of Scotsman Fringe First and
Royal Shakespeare Company Goldin Bursary Awards
June 9 through 20, 2010
ChicagoApril 30, 2010Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) on Navy Pier inaugurates the 2010/11 World’s Stage Series with the American premiere of Itsoseng, written and performed by Omphile Molusi. Winner of a Scotsman Fringe First Award at the Edinburgh Festival (2008), Molusi was also the first recipient of the Royal Shakespeare Company/Baxter Theatre’s Brett Goldin Bursary Award (2006), which earned the young playwright a life-changing scholarship to study with the RSC in Stratford-upon-Avon. Taking its name from the South African township where Molusi was raised, Itsoseng balances comedy and tragedy in the story of a young man, his love for his childhood sweetheart and his yearning for change amid the politics of township life during and following apartheid in South Africa. Performances of Itsoseng are scheduled June 9 through 20, 2010 Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare. Tickets are $28–38 and may be purchased by visiting the Theater’s website at www.chicagoshakes.com, or by calling the Theater’s Box Office at (312) 595-5600.
The fortunes and misfortunes of a South African township after the "miracle" of the new democracy of 1994 are at the center of Itsoseng, which chronicles how the promise of a fresh start led to a generation’s disappointment. The multi-talented writer/performer Omphile Molusi tells the story of a young man’s devotion to the girl he loves amidst a changing political climate. The actor deftly portrays multiple characters, moving from comedy to tragedy in an intense, emotionally demanding performance that captures the reality of post-apartheid South Africa.
"Molusi is a dynamic stage presence, his sense of life and movement creating a solo show that feels as if many more actors are involved. There’s a captivating rhythmic quality to his performance—a dance-like, loose-limbed physicality in his delivery as he circles the stage, draws in to the center and adopts the quirks and qualities of the characters he describes in his tale of 14 years of township life." –Variety, Mark Fisher
Itsoseng premiered at the University of Cape Town’s Baxter Theatre under the direction of Tina Johnson, was performed at South Africa’s Market Theatre, and enjoyed sell-out runs at two venues in its U.K. debut in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe before transferring to a critically acclaimed engagement at London’s Soho Theater.
"A powerful, poignant but also funny picture of life in a forgotten township."
–The Scotsman (UK)
"A tour-de-force performance...hard-hitting and heart-rending piece of
storytelling theatre." –Metro (UK)
Omphile Molusi is recognized as one of the most exciting and important young voices and acting talents working in South African Theatre. Molusi graduated from Johannesburg’s esteemed Market Theatre Laboratory in 2004. He was honored with the Royal Shakespeare Company/Baxter Theatre’s first-ever Brett Goldin Bursary, which allowed him to spend a month working and training with the RSC. He has published several plays, including The Sweet Door, Ijo! Pozeng, Itsoseng and For the Right Reasons. His performance credits in the UK and South Africa include: Itsoseng, Romeo and Juliet, The Mirror, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Much Ado About Nothing, Echoes, Blurring Shine, Julius Caesar, Love of Vultures, Angel in a Blue Dress, Kasiology and Sharpeville.
CST has brought to its stages 26 international productions and has shared its own American brand of Shakespeare performance with the world. For Chicago audiences, the World’s Stage Series is a passport to experiencing exceptional international work at home, on the stages of Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier.
Performances of Itsoseng are scheduled June 9 through 20, 2010 Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare. Tickets are $28–38 and may be purchased by visiting the Theater’s website at www.chicagoshakes.com, or by calling the Theater’s Box Office at (312) 595-5600.
International programming at Chicago Shakespeare Theater is supported, in part, by the Julius Frankel Foundation.
Programming in the Carl and Marilynn Thoma Theater Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare is made possible through generous support from Hyatt Hotels Corporation.
American Airlines is the official airline of Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
ComEd is the official lighting design sponsor of Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
Land O’Frost is a proud sponsor of the 2010/11 Subscription Series at Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
Mainstage artistic productions in the Jentes Family Courtyard Theater are supported, in part, through a generous leadership grant from the McCormick Foundation.
|Written and performed by
|Original direction by
| || || |
|Dates||June 9–20, 2010|| |
| || || |
|Performance Schedule|| || || |
| ||Weekdays|| || |
| ||Wednesday||June 9, 16|| 7:30 p.m.|
| ||Thursday||June 10||7:30 p.m.|
| ||Weekends|| || |
| ||Friday||June 11, 18||7:30 p.m.|
| ||Saturday||June 12, 19||7:30 p.m.|
| ||Sunday||June 13, 20||3:00 p.m.|
|Ticket Prices||$28–$38|| || || |
|Location||Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare|| || |
| ||Chicago Shakespeare Theater|| || |
| ||800 E. Grand Avenue|| || || |
|Box Office||www.chicagoshakes.com|| || || |
| ||312.595.5600|| || || |
|Group Sales||312.595.5678|| || || |
| ||groups of 10 or more|| || || |