Jitney

September 13th-October 28th

Winner of the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play, Jitney is the 1970s installment of August Wilson’s exploration of the African-American experience in the 20th Century. Directed by Jonathan Wilson

Artists

Ray Baker (Turnbo) is delighted to work for the first time at Pegasus under the direction of Jonathan Wilson and as humble emissary of the great work of August Wilson. Ray was last seen at the Goodman as Coach in the Chicago Children’s Theater production of HONUS AND ME. He appeared recently at Steppenwolf in the Collaboraction production of Sketchbook as GGG IN L.A. AT 8am. He understudied and performed in Steppenwolf’s original production of Cormac McCarthy’s SUNSET LIMITED. Ray also understudied the SUNSET LIMITED at 59/59 Theater off Broadway in New York City. While studying acting at HB Studio and through it all, appeared in an episode of the TV show, ER for which Forest Whittiker won an Emmy. Ray appeared last season in Brown Couch Theater Company’s TEN, ten minute play festival as God in one play and the Devil in the other. He appeared at the Chicago Theater Company in BOYS AND MEN at Mary Arrchie in CEMENTVILLE and at ETA in RIFFS, MURDER ON THE HILL DISTRICT, THE LAST APPLE, FATHER AND SON NIGHT and KILLING ME SOFTLY. He performed an eleven month run as Harold Washington in a one man show at the Chicago Historical Society. Ray Appeared as a Featured extra in the feature film, ROLL BOUNCE and has appeared in numerous independent films.

Leonicia M. Berry (Stage Manager) from Cleveland, OH is happy to be working for Pegasus Players for the first time. Her previous works include directing THE COLORED MUSEUM (Rogers Park Theatre Ensemble), Production Manager of TOPDOG/UNDERDOG (Rogers Park Theatre Ensemble) and Stage Management credits include THE WIZ (White Horse Theatre Company), Rogers Park Theatre Festival 2006 (Rogers Park Theatre Ensemble), Stages XIII (Theatre Building Chicago), JOE TURNER’S COME AND GONE (Loyola University Chicago) and MISTERO BUFFO: COMIC MYSTERY (Piccolo Theatre). She would like to thank her mom, Kat, Rick and Jermaine for their love and support. She would also like to thank Jonathan for working with her again.

Heather Ireland (Rena) is thrilled to be back with Pegasus after appearing here last season as Othellia Potts in BLACK CAESAR. She was most recently seen in Live Bait’s production of ESCAPE. Other stage credits include MPAACT, Healthworks, and Redmoon and understudying THE GIFT HORSE at The Goodman Theatre. Heather was featured in the independent film Love Shorts which garnered several awards at Black film fests across the country. She is the founder of The People’s Jazz Theatre, a non-profit that brings arts opportunities to children and their communities. Her children’s play, A MERMAID’S TALE was chosen to be read for Chicago Dramatists’ first ever Saturday series focusing on theatre for young audiences. She also wrote Aesop & The Fabulous Fable Sisters, which was produced by The University of Chicago Summer Camp. As an administrator, Heather managed arts community and education programs for The Chicago Park District, The Jazz Institute of Chicago, Marwen, Jazz Unites and currently After School Matters. Heather holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Acting from Theatre School at DePaul University.

Randolph Johnson (Philmore) makes his Pegasus Players debut in JITNEY. He has a B.S. & M. S. in Music Ed. (vocal/instrumental) from the University of Illinois (Urbana). Chicago credits includes: Booker T. Washington in RAGTIME with the Porchlight Music Theatre. Bailiwick’s KISS OF THE SPIDERWOMAN & Newt Lee in PARADE which both received the Jeff Citations including Best Production of a Musical. He received excellent reviews for his portrayal of Blood in ETA’s production of EVERY NIGHT WHEN THE SUN GOES DOWN and Deacon Elliot in the Pride Production of WIVES; guest artist in the Mary-Monica Thomas’ “After Dark Award” winning Chicago premiere of SEPIA TONE: The STORY OF DOROTHY DANDRIDGE; also a guest artist in Voltaire’s Diner & Cabaret’s MOTOWN & MO and SMOKY JOE’S CAFE.

Christopher Kriz (Sound Design) has recently designed sound for Pegasus productions of THE FROGS, BLACK CAESAR, PANTOMIME, STILL LIFE and TWO TRAINS RUNNING. Past Pegasus credits include sound design for THE UPPER ROOM, BROADWAY BOUND and AN UNOBSTRUCTED VIEW Other recent credits include sound design for A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM and JOE TURNER’S COME AND GONE (Loyola Theatre). Selected past credits include sound design for TURN OF THE SCREW and LA VAGABONDE (City Lit Theatre),NELSON AND SIMONE (Live Bait Theater) and ANGELS IN AMERICA (Buffalo Theatre Ensemble).

Jessica Kuehnau (Costume Design) recently completed her MFA in Scenic and Costume Design at Northwestern University. Jitney is Jessica’s first collaboration with both director Jonathan Wilson and Pegasus Players, and she is very excited for the opportunity. Her Chicago credits in costumes include SEARCH FOR ODYSSEUS, STILL LIFE WITH IRIS and I DREAM IN BLUES (Vittum Theatre), STINKY CHEESE MAN and STUART LITTLE (Lifeline Theatre), LILLY’S PURPLE PLASTIC PURSE and GLORY OF LIVING (Northwestern University Theatre) and assistant designing for FENCES (Court) and HECUBA (CST). She has also designed scenery for The Griffin, Vittum Theatre, Light Opera Works, MPAACT Theatre and Northwestern University. Jessica is currently the resident set designer, technical director and design professor at North Park University.

Timothy Mann (Scenic Designer) is pleased to return to Pegasus Players to work again with Jonathan Wilson, with whom he worked on last season’s production of Derek Wolcott’s PANTOMIME. Previous credits include Art Direction of THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN, several feature films and many productions at the Loyola University of Chicago where he is a professor of Scene Design.

Taj McCord (Youngblood) is excited to return to the Pegasus stage in another August Wilson production. He’s had the pleasure of being a part of Pegasus’s last August Wilson award winning production of TWO TRAINS RUNNING. Other stage credits include, Pegasus Players’ THE UPPER ROOM and 19th and 21st Annual Young Playwrights Festival, Court theatre’s FENCES, Steppenwolf’s MOTHER COURAGE AND HER CHILDREN, American Theatre Company’s THE HAIRY APE, Urban Theatre Company’s SHORT EYES, ETA’s HOMEBOUND and Appletree Theatre’s LET THE CIRCLE BE UNBROKEN, and Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s CYMBELINE. This Atlanta native have also had the opportunity to add numerous television and film credits to his resume such as I WANT SOMEONE TO EAT CHEESE WITH, AMINA D’VOID, LOVE SHORTS and many others. In addition, Taj is currently in the post production stage of a film he directed called BREATHING ROOM and would like to dedicate the movie and this production of JITNEY to his daughter Amaiya.

J.J. McCormick (Doub) is honored to be making his first appearance at Pegasus Players. J.J. is a veteran actor with over thirty years in the business. He has performed in movies, commercials, industrial films, and theatrical productions. He is no stranger to Mr. Wilson’s plays, having performed in THE PIANO LESSON as Winning Boy with Congo Square and TWO TRAINS RUNNING as Holloway with Illinois Theatre Center. ETA Creative Arts Foundation has a special place in his heart, having performed in many plays there: LIFETIME ON THE STREETS, THE STY OF THE BLIND PIG, KILLING ME SOFTLY, just to name a few. J.J. gives thanks to God and the four J’s (Jessica, Jesse Jr, Jeremi, and Justin) for their love.

Sean Nix (Shealy) is thrilled to be working with Pegasus Players for the first time. He was most recently seen as Sam in the Jeff Award winning production of Pearl Cleage’s BLUES FOR AN ALABAMA SKY at Eclipse Theatre Company. Other credits include GUANTANAMO: HONOR BOUND TO DEFEND FREEDOM and MARTIN FUREY’S SHOT at Timeline Theatre, GLORY OF LIVING and REPARATIONS at Profiles Theatre, understudy to Harry J. Lennix (Commander In Chief, Ray) for PERMANENT COLLECTION at Northlight Theatre. He has done various other works around the Chicago area with Congo Square Theatre Company, Vittum Theatre, Serendipity Theatre, Victory Gardens Theatre, Chicago Dramatist, Collaboraction, MPAACT, A Red Orchid Theatre, Bailiwick, eta Creative Arts, Act One Studios and Excaliber Shakespeare Company. He is also featured in the upcoming international independent film THE FIRST BREATH OF TENGAN REI with Japanese film actress Erika (Afterlife, Alive). Sean will next be seen on the boards at Profiles Theatre in the Midwest Premiere of Neil Labute’s THIS IS HOW IT GOES.

MK Quaintance (Booster) Jitney marks Mr. Quaintance’s first production with Pegasus Players. Chicago credits include: 1001 AFTERNOONS IN CHICAGO (Storefront Theatre, Prop Thtr); HAPGOOD (Remy Bumppo); LET ME LIVE (understudy) (Goodman/ONYX); A FAIR COUNTRY (Steppenwolf); NIGHT AND DAY (Remy Bumppo); IN A PIG’S VALISE (Shattered Globe); EDMUND (Pillar); CRUMBS FROM THE TABLE OF JOY (Steppenwolf); THE TRIAL (National Pastime); LOVE TRIANGLE (Bailiwick); THE LIGHTS (Roadworks); INFANTS IN THE SPRING (Live Bait); SAINT JOAN (Bailiwick); A CIRCLE OF PEOPLE (Strawdog). Television credits include EARLY EDITION.

Brandon Wardell (Lighting Design) is a recent graduate of Northwestern University’s MFA Program in Lighting and Scenic Design. Recent Credits include Lighting Designs for CLOUD 9, PIPPIN, and OLD TIMES at Northwestern University, as well as Scenic Designs for LETTERS HOME for the Griffin Theatre Co. and THE RESISTIBLE RISE of ARTURO UI at Steep Theatre Company.

Foster Williams, Jr. (Fielding) has have been such productions as LIFETIMES ON THE STREETS, MOBY DICK REHEARSE, TWO TRAINS RUNNING, BEDTIME STORY, BURNING BLUE, THE BOX, WINNERS LOSERS, THE TALENTED TENTH, WATCH ON THE RHINE, INFANTS OF THE SPRING, MARRIAGE AND CHILDREN, LET THE CIRCLE BE UNBROKEN, WHOSE LIFE IS IT ANYWAY, A BLACK MAN NAMED JOE, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, EMPRESS OF CHINA, PIRATE BONES, WOMEN FROM THE TOWN, THE HAUNTED L, AUTOBIOGRAPHY (SKETCHBOOK), GODS FAVORITE. Independent Film credits include DARK and NEVER SAY YES TO A STRANGER. Industrials Film credits include National Safty Council, Walgreens & Amoco. I would like to thank my mother who past away Oct 18, 1989 for the gilft of Life though God.

Alfred H. Wilson (Becker) is happy to be working with Pegusas Players once again. His last Pegasus production was BLACK CAESAR written by David Barr. Other Pegasus productions: August Wilson’s TWO TRAINS RUNNING, for which he received a Jeff Citation and AN UNOBSTRUCTED VIEW by Alex Kotlowitz.

Jonathan Wilson (Director) is a Professor of Theatre and Drama in Loyola University Chicago’s Theatre Department. He has also been actively involved in the professional theatre in Chicago and around the country. In Chicago, his work has been seen at the Court, Goodman, Northlight, Organic, Pegasus, Steppenwolf, and Victory Gardens theatre companies. Outside Chicago, he has directed successful productions at the Circle-in-the-Square in New York, the Arena Stage in Washington D.C., the Hartford Stage in Connecticut, the Alley Theatre in Houston, the Seattle Repertory Theatre, and the Playhouse in the Park in Cincinnati. In past seasons, Jonathan has directed such hit shows as August Wilson’s MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM and JOE TURNER’S COME AND GONE, Howard Sackler’s THE GREAT WHITE HOPE, Jeff Stetson’s FRATERNITY, Duke Ellington’s JUMP FOR JOY, Dr. Endesha Holland’s FROM THE MISSISSIPPI DELTA, A. R. Gurney’s SYLVIA, Alfred Uhry’s DRIVING MISS DAISY a benefit starring Miss Oprah Winfrey at Orchestra Hall in Chicago, and another starring Bill Curtis at the Art Institute. Eugene O’Neill’s DESIRE UNDER THE ELMS and LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT for the Organic Theatre Company, Athol Fugard’s PLAYLAND for the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, and Shakespeare’s HAMLEY, Elmer Rice’s THE ADDING MACHINE, and Thornton Wilder’s THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH for Loyola University Chicago. Most recently, Jonathan has directed August Wilson’s FENCES at the Hartford Stage, Connecticut, the Dallas Theatre Center, and the Portland Center Stage, Oregon, Shakespeare’s A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM for Loyola University Chicago, Derek Walcott’s PANTOMIME and August Wilson’s TWO TRAINS RUNNING for Pegasus Players, MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM for the Seattle Repertory Theatre, and JITNEY for the Alley Theatre in Houston, Imamu Baraka’s DUTCHMAN, Sophocles’ OEDIPUS THE KING and ELECTRA for the Hartford Stage Company in Connecticut, August Wilson’s SEVEN GUITARS for the Seattle Repertory Theatre and Alley Theatre (Houston), John Henry Redwood’s THE OLD SETTLER, John Steinbeck’s OF MICE AND MEN and Carson McCullers’ THE MEMBER OF THE WEDDING for the Organic Theatre Company, Arthur Miller’s A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE, Christopher Hampton’s LES LIASIONS DANGEREUSES, Anton Chekhov’s THREE SISTERS, and Jean Giradoux’s THE MADWOMAN OF CHAILLOT for Loyola University.