Pegasus Theatre Chicago

where epic stories take flight

Pegasus 2016-17 Season Announcement September 2, 2016

Pegasus Theatre Chicago announces the 2016-17 Season with productions that range from an exciting adaptation of a beloved novel about a young man who reverse migrates and embarks on a journey of discovery, to four new additions from local young playwrights, to a new work about a perilous journey from the south. This season promises to honor the epic journey in us all.

Rutherford’s Travels

November 2-December 4th | Chicago Dramatists

This season Pegasus brings the world premiere adaptation of Charles Johnson’s  MIDDLE PASSAGE  to the stage. Told through Rutherford Calhoun’s 1830’s log entries, a newly freed Illinois youth seeks fortune in New Orleans. He soon stows away on an outbound rigger to escape debtors. But The Republic isn’t just any ship. It’s a slave ship and it’s headed to Africa.

Rutherford’s Travels connects to contemporary issues as the protagonist is an educated, but fatherless youth.  Though seeking independence, Calhoun gets trapped in gangster life. His journey aboard a slave ship forces him to confront history and his own inner demons.  This is a perfect show for book clubs, history lovers, maritime buffs, and adventure seekers of all ages. Group and student pricing available. Tickets are on sale now!

30th Young Playwrights Festival

January 2-29, 2017 | Chicago Dramatists

The 2016-17 season continues with full production of winning plays from the annual playwriting competition for high-school-age scribes in Chicago. Four one-act plays will be hand-picked and showcased as part of Pegasus’ main stage season. The second oldest such festival in the country, this annual tradition regularly receives over 500 submissions from students throughout the area. From those, the winning playwrights are chosen to join with professional artists to workshop and stage their scripts. Be sure to witness the amazing results and enjoy an evening of theater from tomorrow’s theater stars. Plays will be selected by September 2016.

Daughters of the Moon

March-April 2017 | Chicago Dramatists

Pegasus presents the newest play in  Reginald Edmund’s “City of the Bayou” Collection. Representing the first play of his series, Daughters of the Moon follows a runaway slave girl and a former plantation mistress wanted for murder as they embark on a perilous journey North towards freedom, guided by an Ancient African Goddess.


Stay tuned for special events and readings supporting the 2016-17 season!

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Garden Party Fundraiser Event, A Success! June 21, 2016

Pegasus Theatre Chicago extends a warm thank you to the guests who attended the June 11th Garden Party! It was great celebrating Evanston native Dr. Charles Johnson, our upcoming world premiere of Rutherford’s Travels, engaging in laughter-filled conversation, enjoying great food and listening to the magical music by Shanta Nurullah and Zahra Baker.

Very special thanks to our hosts Roger Brown and Gaylon Emerzian (who’s gumbo and bread pudding was a huge hit), as well as Advisory Board members Tsehaye Hébert and Kevin Roberts. Volunteers Davida Cole, Kate Royal and Joel were outstanding. Our supporters are what make us successful! (Photo Credit: Crystal Wiley-Brown Photography)

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Garden Party Fundraiser June 1, 2016

Join Pegasus Theatre for a Garden Party Fundraiser for our upcoming world premiere of Rutherford’s Travels (adapted from MacArthur Fellow Charles Johnson’s award-winning novel Middle Passage), Saturday, June 11th from 6:00 – 8:00PM in Evanston, IL.  Get the link to the event when you purchase your ticket.

This riveting tale, set in 1830 and told through Rutherford’s journal, follows the RT_Graphic Only_Apr29newly freed Illinois youth who has migrated south to New Orleans seeking fortune. In an attempt to escape debtors and avoid marriage, he stows away on an outbound rigger. But The Republic is not just any ship.  It is a slave ship—and it’s headed to Africa. Of Middle Passage, the Chicago Tribune said, “Long after we’d stopped believing in the great American novel, along comes a spellbinding adventure story that may be just that.”

Your donation supports the world premiere production set for November 2-December 4th!

How your donation will make a difference:
  • $100 will support the production team
  • $500 will support costumes and props
  • $1,000 ensures we can build amazing scenic and sound experiences
  • $5,000 will allow us to hire AEA (union) actors!

Click the link below to RSVP via electronic payment, call 773.878.8864 to pay via phone, or mail your check by June 8th to: Pegasus Theatre Chicago, 1105 W. Chicago Avenue, Ste. 202, Chicago, IL  60642.

Pegasus and special guest Dr. Charles Johnson look forward to seeing you at the June 11th Garden Party.

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Pegasus 2016 Season July 24, 2015



STAGED READINGS with Music | Adapted by David Barr, III and Ilesa Duncan

April 15 – 17 2016 Open Session, Readings & More!

Pegasus presents this sneak peak readings. A spellbinding tale based on the beloved book MIDDLE PASSAGE. Told through Rutherford Calhoun’s 1830s log entries, The newly freed Illinois youth has migrated south to New Orleans seeking fortune, where he stows away on an outbound rigger to escape debtors. But The Republic isn’t just any ship. It’s a slave ship and it’s headed to Africa!  From an open rehearsal on April 15, to a staged reading and discussion, there are several opportunities to engage!  Join us for a special reception where you can meet Dr. Charles Johnson, MacArthur Fellow & author of MIDDLE PASSAGE.  The adventure begins…

Get Reading Tickets Here:
Tickets: Regular $12 | Students $10

April 16, 6:00PM Special Event:
Reception with Dr. Charles Johnson, Author of MIDDLE PASSAGE, National Book Award Winner & MacArthur Genius
Click for Event Tickets $25-$300* – Includes the 7:30PM Reading
*Be A Production Donor:
$25 – Stowaway – Reception, Staged Reading
$50 – Shipmate -Above plus Name in Program
$75 – Deckhand – Above plus Advanced ticket to Fall Production
$100 – Boatswain – Above plus guest at a rehearsal in October 2016
$300 – Captain  – Above plus Private Event with Johnson, stage adaptors and cast


March 25–April 10 2016

Pegasus’ annual MUSE Festival features music, poetry, dance and discussion inspired by the Great Migration Centennial celebration.

CLASSIC BLACK: Southern Roots & Urban Migrations – Zahra Baker, Mwata Bowden, Shanta Nurullah and Avreeayl Ra. The group will share memories, stories and music connected to the Great Migration and life in Chicago.

QUEEN’S DOMAIN: Two nights of poetry, dance and music celebrating women of color. Curated and hosted by L11

DISCUSSION: Join us for two fascinating panels on history, legacy, diversity, and collaboration curated and moderated by playwright/producer Reginald Edmund and actor/educator Ashley Honoré!


September 30–November 1 2015 | by Nambi E. Kelley | directed by Ilesa Duncan | produced in association with The Goodman Theatre and Chicago Dramatists

Kelley’s new play is the story of one woman’s journey to unravel a history that she’s never been told. Through music, memory and magic, FOR HER AS A PIANO traces the lives of three generations of women, and how they are interconnected across time, space, and remembrance.

Nambi has penned plays for Steppenwolf, Goodman Theatre, and Court Theatre, American Blues, Lincoln Center in New York, and internationally. Most recently, her adaptation of Native Son was presented to critical acclaim at Court Theatre with American Blues Theatre (co-production) and was the highest grossing production in Court Theatre’s 60 year history. Native Son is also on the Kilroy’s List 2015, in the top 7 % of new plays by female and trans* authors nominated by literary managers, directors, and other artists polled across the country. Kelley recently returned to Singapore to perform in her co-adaptation of The Book of Living and Dying that was published in an anthology of plays in Singapore in 2014, and is working on several commissions with productions slated in 2016. Nambi is also a professional actress, most recently closing the critically acclaimed Two Trains Running at the Goodman Theatre, and has been seen on television in Person of Interest, Madam Secretary, Elementary, and Chicago PD. Nambi guest lectures at Lake Forest College, University of Illinois at Chicago, has a BFA from The Theatre School at DePaul University, and an MFA in interdisciplinary arts from Goddard College.


January 2016 | Chicago Dramatists

Pegasus Theatre’ will present the season production resulting from its annual playwriting competition for high-school-age scribes in Chicago. Three to four one-act plays will be hand-picked and showcased in a full production as part of Pegasus’ main stage season. The second oldest such festival in the country, this annual tradition regularly receives over 500 submissions from students throughout the area. From those, the winning playwrights are chosen to join with professional artists to workshop and stage their scripts. Be sure to witness the amazing results and enjoy an evening of theater from tomorrow’s theater stars. Plays will be selected by September 2015.

Read more »

Spring Muse Festival 2015 April 28, 2015

In the season of change and renewal, Pegasus Theatre warmly invites you to explore themes of Hope and Justice with Spring Muse, a theatrical trio of events featuring multidisciplinary female artists of color.

Tickets: $10 per performance; $25 Festival Pass;
Festival Pass plus Ghost Gardens only $40!

The Healer by Rachel DuBose | Directed by Jerrell L. Henderson
May 19th, 24th, 25th, and 26th at 7pm

Project Hope by HOPE 31:9 Theatre – May 20th and 27th at 7:30pm
Featuring actors Angela Alise, Kona Burks, Colleen Fee, Jennifer Glasse, Gail Hafar, & Mildred Langford.

Still I Rise May 21st and 28th at 9:30pm
Storytelling, dance, music, poetry, sketch, stand-up, and hip-hop. A different lineup with incredibly exciting feature acts each night!

Buy Tickets

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Ghost Gardens April 6, 2015


by Steven Simoncic
directed by Ilesa Duncan
April 24–May 30, 2015

In a forgotten corner of Detroit where smoke stacks tower over industrial runoff, and power lines dot a landscape of burned out homes and broken families, there is a pimp-turned-preacher looking for redemption, a stripper-turned-nurse looking for justice, and Lorelie…who just wants a baby.

Tickets: $18–30

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All Performances at:
1105 W. Chicago Avenue
(Chicago Dramatists)
Theatre Entrance on Aberdeen & May

Made possible with the generous support of

chicago-community-trust richard-driehaus Printgd-donnelleyfoundation artsworkfund dcase-logo IAC_logo

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Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom February 13, 2015

AW_Celebration_300x200Saturday, March 21
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Presented by Pegasus Theatre Chicago
Directed by Harry J. Lennix
2pm | Logan Center for the Arts (915 E. 60th St) | Screening Room
773.702.2787 |
Free Event – Reservations Recommended

As part of the Goodman Theatre’s city-wide August Wilson Celebration, Pegasus Theatre Chicago will present a concert reading of “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” at the Logan Center for the Arts. Pegasus was the first theatre to produce the play in Chicago. Film and television star Harry Lennix, who starred in the 1987 production, returns to direct the concert reading.

The Roaring Twenties have made “Mother of the Blues” Ma Rainey a star, attracting the young and ambitious trumpeter Levee to her band. But a routine recording session in Chicago turns ugly when Levee’s ambitions collide with the larger-than-life personalities of Ma, her entourage and the white producers looking to make money off their talents. Wilson’s searing drama features music that defines a decade and looks at the messy intersection of art and industry.

Chicago’s Goodman Theatre honors the late playwright’s influence on American culture with The August Wilson Celebration. Featuring a revival of Wilson’s masterpiece Two Trains Running and staged readings of his nine other plays, this unprecedented exploration of Wilson’s work includes educational seminars, panel discussions and other special events. This citywide Celebration is presented in collaboration with over 20 theaters, universities and organizations. Learn more at

Reading Performance tickets are free. Reservations are recommended. General seating only. Doors open at 1:00 PM. Tickets must be picked up at the Logan Center Box Office by 2:00 PM.

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