Profiles Theatre announces the Midwest premiere of After by Chad Beckim, the second show of the company’s 2012-2013 season.
When a wrongfully imprisoned man is exonerated by DNA evidence after seventeen years in prison, he is forced to re-assimilate into a cold, foreign world of toothbrush shopping, doggy day care, and a friendship with an anxious young woman with secrets of her own. After is a compassionate portrait of a man struggling with the challenges of socializing and the anger he still feels for having his youth unjustly destroyed.
After, written by Chad Beckim, received its World premiere production in September 2011 by Partial Comfort Productions in New York where he is co-Founder and co-Artistic Director. His playwriting credits include …a matter of choice, `nami and Lights Rise on Grace which won Outstanding Play at the 2007 New York International Fringe Festival and finalist for the 2007 Princess Grace Award. Chad holds an MFA in Playwriting from Mac Wellman’s Brooklyn Colleges Program and in July 2007, he was named one of 50 Playwrights to Watch by the Dramatists Guild.
Director Matt Hawkins (Cabaret at The Hypocrites, Cyrano at The House Theatre) is working with Profiles for the first time. The production features guest artists Alice da Cunha, Carlos Rogelio Diaz, J. Salome Martinez, Stephenie Park, Gabe Ruiz and Foster Williams, all making their debut with Profiles Theatre.
CHAD BECKIM is a New York City based playwright whose writing credits include ...a matter of choice, `nami, Lights Rise on Grace (Winner, Outstanding Play, 2007 NY Inti’l. Fringe Festival; Finalist for the 2007 Princess Grace Award; Finalist for Ojai Playwrights’ Conference), The Main(e) Play (Semi-Finalist, The O’Neill Festival, Optioned by Table Ten Films in 2010), That Men Do (Member of The Lark’s 2009 “Playwright’s Week” and Naked Angels “First Mondays” Series) and Mercy. He has also authored a number of shorts and one- acts, including The Fluffer and Marvel Super Hero Squad, both produced at Ars Nova, as well as Tha Bess Shit, Alexander Pays a Visit, Blac(c)ident, and Last First Kiss, which was adapted into a Columbia Grad film and produced in July, 2008. Chad holds an MFA in Playwrighting from Mac Wellman’s Brooklyn Colleges Program, and in July of 2007 was named one of “50 Playwrights to Watch” by the Dramatists Guild. His work has been published by Samuel French, Playscripts, Smith & Krauss, Autumn House Publications and in the Plays and Playwrights 2007 collection by NYTE. He is a former member of Ars Nova’s acclaimed “Play Group,” and is a co-Founder and co-Artistic Director of Partial Comfort Productions.
MATT HAWKINS is the director of AFTER. He has been a director/actor/fight choreographer in Chicago for the past eleven years. Favorite Directing credits include Cabaret with The Hypocrites, Red Noses for Strawdog, On My Parents’ 100th Wedding Anniversary with Side Project, Alice, Fear for the Neo-Futurists), Cyrano and Hatfield and McCoy with The House Theatre. Other favorite projects include playing Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire at Writers’ Theatre and serving as the Movement Director for Peter Pan at Lookingglass. He has also worked with Steppenwolf, Court Theatre, The Royal Shakespeare Company, The Kennedy Center, Chicago Shakespeare, Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Redmoon, American Theatre Company, Steep, Pine Box, City Lit, Signal Ensemble, Adventure Stage, The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, Chicago Children’s Theatre and Old Town School of Folk Music. Matt has been an Adjunct Professor of Theater at Loyola and on faculty at the Conservatory at Act One Studios. He has taught at the University of Chicago, Roosevelt University, the University of Iowa and was the Guest Artist in Residency for the American Music Theatre Project at Northwestern University in 2010. Matt is a Founding Member of The House Theatre, an Artistic Associate and Resident Director with Strawdog, an Artistic Associate with 500 Clown and the recipient of five Jeff Awards. Later in the year he will direct Big Love at Strawdog and he will serve as fight director for Bengal Tiger At The Baghdad Zoo at Lookingglass. He is married to Stacy Stoltz.
The designers are Dan Stratton(set), Bekki Lambrecht (lights), Jeffrey Levin (sound and original music), Kelsey Melvin (Assistant Set Design/Props) and Brittany Bodley (costumes). Krissy Larson is the stage manager and Elise Spoerlein serves as assistant director.
The cast of AFTER features Guest Artists Alice da Cunha, Carlos Rogelio Diaz, J. Salome Martinez, Jr., Stephenie Park, Gabriel Ruiz and Foster Williams, Jr.
ALICE DA CUNHA (Liz) is making her Profiles Theatre debut. She was recently seen in Dal Vivo at the Den Theatre and O Telefone Substituto for the Todos Festival, Lisbon. Her UK credits include This Much is True with Theatre 503, El Desierto at the CASA Festival, Aaron and Esther with Etcetera Theatre, Closing Time with Assembly Rooms at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival & Soho Theatre, Chairmania at Battersea Arts Centre, Anna in the Tropics with Hampstead Theatre, Faust with Bridewell Theatre, and Romeo & Juliet with Hazlitt Theatre. Alice’s film credits include The Iron Lady and Outpost: The Black Sun. She is a proud ensemble member of Dal Vivo and Artistic Consultant for Theater Un-Speak-Able.
CARLOS ROGELIO DIAZ (Eddie) is appearing with Profiles for the first time. He is a Chicago native and has most recently worked with Halcyon Theater's production of Freud Skating On Thin Ice directed by Henry Godinez, Adventure Stage Chicago's The Giver and The Fine Print Theater's At Ease. Previous collaborators have included Cock & Bull Theater, Aguijon Theater and the Bailiwick among others. Carlos is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago, a member of SAG - AFTRA and represented by Paonessa Talent Agency.
J. SALOME MARTINEZ, JR. (Monty) is making his Profiles and Chicago debut with After having recently moved from Los Angeles. Some of his theatre credits include As You Like It, Man of La Mancha, The Seagull and A Christmas Carol. Salome has also appeared on several television shows and films including Law & Order, Castle, the Emmy award-winning HBO mini-series Generation Kill, New York, I Love You and the Oscar Nominated film The Messenger. He received his BA in theatre from Barat College and his MFA in acting from the University of Florida.
STEPHENIE PARK (Susie) is making her Profiles debut in After. Last season she was an understudy in the Silk Road Rising original production of Re-Spiced: A Silk Road Cabaret, and prior to that, she came in 4th place on competitive cooking show America's Next Great Restaurant. Other recent productions include Carousel and The Wild Party with Penn Players. Stephenie’s upcoming appearances include the television series Boss, the independent film It's a Terrible Week for Singing and a staged reading of Cowboy vs. Samurai. When she is not acting, Stephenie is a musician and practicing attorney.
GABRIEL RUIZ (Warren) is a graduate of The Theatre School at DePaul University and a company member of Teatro Vista Theater Company. Gabriel was last seen in Blood and Gifts at The Lincoln Center Theater in New York. Chicago credits include Working at the Broadway Playhouse, Richard III and SS! A Midsummer Night's Dream at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Our Lady of the Underpass with Teatro Vista, Esperanza Rising for Chicago Children's Theater, and Why Torture is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them with Forward Theater Company in Madison, WI. He can also be seen as Dilip Singh in both seasons of Boss on Starz.
FOSTER WILLIAMS, JR. (Chap) is making his Profiles Theatre debut with After. He has appeared in such productions as The Man Who Saved New Orleans, Bedtime Story, The Amen Corner, Jitney, Sketch Book 2007, Life Times on the Streets, Two Trains Running, Moby Dick Rehearsed, The Haunted L, Woman From the Town, Burning Blue, Pirate Bones, The Box, Winners Losers, Infants of the Spring, A Black Man Named Joe, To Kill a Mockingbird and Let the Circle be Unbroken.
“AFTER is a keenly observed portrait of not only of adjusting to a changed world but of reconciling anger with the imperative of moving on with life. The director, Matt Hawkins, throws himself into this human drama with enormous amounts of intensity. J. Salome Martinez as Monty takes you on a moving journey that sets you off thinking, in this state of all states, the permanence of the damage done the wrongfully convicted!”
-Chris Jones, CHICAGO TRIBUNE
“Highly Recommended! Chad Beckim’s moving, thoughtful, strongly acted, 90-minute drama is now in its Midwest premiere at Profiles Theatre under the finely tuned direction of Matt Hawkins. Salome Martinez is so believable and compelling, Stephanie Park is fascinating and funny and Gabriel Ruiz is subtle and charming!”
-Hedy Weiss, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES
“Highly Recommended! This ninety-minute pressure cooker is sure to move audiences. Director Matt Hawkins’ cast appears to have spent a lot of time with these characters, resulting in a strong sense of emotional authenticity. Beckim’s riveting drama shows how everyone creates their own kind of prison, some more literal than others. AFTER is a play that resonates in passages of intelligent dialogue and intensely felt conflict!”
-John J. Accrocco, NEW CITY
“Recommended! J. Salome Martinez gives a brooding, volcanic, unfailingly precise performance as Monty in his Chicago debut, providing gravity, momentum, and heartache. Engrossing!”
-Justin Hayford, CHICAGO READER
“Highly Recommended! Chad Beckham’s play After is a well researched, fascinating, carefully crafted piece of theater and he masterfully weaves in and out of this emotional pathos as we are introduced to characters that test Monty’s resolve. Director Matt Hawkins finely tunes his actors: the sensational J. Salome Martinez, the perfectly cast Alice Da Cunha and the first rate supporting characters including Stephenie Park as the scary and loveable Susie; Gabriel Ruiz as Warren, Foster Williams, Jr. as the doubting priest and Carlos Rogelio Diaz as a menacing Eddie!”
-Michael Roberts, SHOWBIZ CHICAGO
“Recommended! This concentrated drama nails the plight of an exonerated prisoner now facing his fears of freedom. Rich with telling details none of which get neglected in Matt Hawkins’ textured staging for Profiles Theatere, AFTER is just that, an appropriately fragmented look at Monty’s return from nearly two decades of wrongful imprisonment!”
-Lawrence Bommer, CHICAGO THEATRE BEAT
“AFTER is a thought-provoking tale about being cheated out of half of a lifetime. The plot is compelling and the characters are quirky. Chad Beckim provides multiple ramifications of false imprisonment and J. Salome’ Martinez, Jr. as Monty walks the line brilliantly. Under the direction of Matt Hawkins, Martinez gives an emotionally-gripping performance. Transfixing!”
-Katy Walsh, CHICAGO NOW
“AFTER, a hauntingly powerful work by Chad Beckim, is a subtle yet moving drama filled with unique characters struggling with personal quirks. The 90 minute drama is a haunting look at the devastating effects of imprisonment . Monty’s struggle to put things behind him and move on in life are emotionally rendered in this well-acted and finely written work!"
-Tom Williams, CHICAGOCRITIC.COM
“Highly Recommended! In this well written play, each character finds themselves changing and adjusting to the world they live in, or rather, the world they should be living in. A powerful performance by Chicago newcomer, J. Salome Martinez, Jr!”
-Al Bresloff, AROUND THE TOWN CHICAGO
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