by Pearl Cleage
Directed by Anna Antaramian

Summer, 2006

Time: Fall, 1898

Place: Outside the all-black town of Nicodemus, Kansas
Act I: Scene 1 A fall evening

Scene 2 Two days later; early afternoon
Scene 3 The same day; evening
Scene 4 The next morning
Scene 5 Late that night
Act II: Scene 1 Early the next morning
Scene 2 The next Sunday; early morning
Scene 3 Sunday afternoon
Scene 4 Sunday evening
Scene 5 Monday morning
Scene 6 Seven months later; April, 1899

About the playwright________________
Pearl Michelle Cleage, playwright, screenwriter, and producer was born on December 7, 1948, in Springfield, Massachusetts, and grew up in Detroit, Michigan. After studying the art of playwriting at Howard University, she left to marry Atlanta politician, Michael Lomax, however, they divorced in 1979. After graduating from Spelman College in 1971 with a degree in drama, Cleage worked various jobs within media and government.

Currently, Cleage is Playwright in Residence at Spelman College, the editor of Catalyst, and is the Artistic Director of Just Us Theater Company. Cleage has received grants from the Georgia Council for the Arts, the City of Atlanta Bureau of Cultural Affairs, and the NEA. She has also written a best selling novel, What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day, an Oprah book club selection.

Director’s Notes________________
I teach a class of Women playwrights once in a while and each time I teach the class I’m reminded how much I love Flyin’ West. The opportunity presented itself to direct it this summer and I was thrilled. The play speaks for itself. I have nothing to add but how well it’s written, how full the characters are and how the period comes to life through Ms. Cleage’s work. There are lines that live with me and the ability of the characters to continue to inspires me. We hope you too get interested in Ms. Cleage’s work.

(In Order of Appearance)
Sophie Washington.........Cynthia Ganter Givens
Miss Leah.............Carolyn Nelson
Fannie Dove.........LaNisa Renee Frederick
Wil Parish..........Tomike` Ogugua
Minnie Dove Charles...........Angelique Westerfield
Frank Charles...........Marshall Brown

Cynthia Ganter Givens (Sophie Washington) was born and raised on the West Side of Chicago and is a woman of multiple talents. She received her Associates degree from Kennedy King College in Theatre Technology and her Bachelor’s degree from Northeastern Illinois University in Communications, Media and Theatre. She is very active in her community including community theater, readers theater, teaching and directing a neighborhood church drama club. She has appeared as Ruth in A Raisin in the Sun, Maudie in the original production of 227, Brer Fox in a children’s production of Brer Rabbit, Lolly in Ladies in Waiting, and Dora Strai in Equus. Stay Focused. God Bless.

Carolyn Nelson (Miss Leah), a Chicago native, has appeared in many plays here including Whispers want to Holler, When the Ancestors Call, Every Night When the Sun Goes Down all at the ETA and Wives, AJ Ensemble. For Whisper Wants to Holler she received best actress from the Black Theater Alliance 2003, best actress nominee African American Arts Awards, 2003 and 2004 cast of Ever Night When the Sun Goes Down nominated for African American Arts Award for Best Ensemble. At the close of Flyin’ West, she and husband Edward Richardson will be performing James Prideaux’s The Housekeeper. Carolyn wishes to thank her husband Edward for always being there with complete altruistic support. I love you.

LaNisa Renee Frederick (Fannie Dove) a Chicago actor, is a recent graduate of East 15 Acting School in London where she received her MA in Theatre Performance. Past credits include The Seagull (Corbett Theatre, London), Poof (Corbett Theatre, London), Alexander Project l (Splitmoon Theatre, London), Meaningless (Baliwick Repertory), Five Rooms of Furniture (under study) (Organic Theatre), and Kiwi Black (MPAACT Theatre).

Tomike Lee Ogugua (Wil Parish) is proud to make his debut with Thymely Theatre. Tomike received a BFA from North Carolina A & T State University in Professional Theatre where his concentration was Acting. While in Chicago he has been blessed to work with BTA Jeff Award winning Congo Square Theatre Company (Seven Guitars) and with Pegasus Players Theatre Company in their "20th Annual Young Playwrights’ Festival". He also appeared in Smoke & Mirror Productions Imminent Dangers of Love and the After Life. Tomike would like to thank Thymely Theatre for the opportunity, Kayo Williams, and his family, especially his mother Cecilia and dedicates his performance to Lisa Cassandra "Charisma" Sutherlin. "I love you. God Bless you."

Angelique Westerfield (Minnie Dove Charles), is pleased to be performing with Northeastern’s Thymely Theatre. In addition to her role as Minnie in Flyin’ West, she is also celebrating her role as Irma in the summer production of Picnic with the Oak Park Festival Theater. Film is another great passion for Angelique. She has worked on several film productions including "Barbershop II", "Proof", and "Batman Begins".

Marshall Brown (Frank Charles), born and raised in the Chicago land area is a 23 year old sophomore in college who is currently taking a year off to apprentice for Tattooing. Once through with his apprenticeship, he will be deciding on a four-year institution to continue his education in an array of possible majors, including music composition, theatre, history, and/or social services. This is Marshall’s second stage appearance and he hopes to go on acting in Chicago.

LaNisa Frederick, Cynthia Givens

LaNisa Frederick, Angelique Westerfield, Carolyn Nelson, Cynthia Givens

Marshall Brown, Angelique Westerfield
Angelique Westerfield, Carolyn Nelson

Angelique Westerfield, LaNisa Frederick, Carolyn Nelson, Cynthia Givens

Marshall Brown, LaNisa Frederick, Carolyn Nelson

Angelique Westerfield, Marshall Brown
Forefront: LaNisa Frederick, Cynthia Givens, Angelique Westerfield
Background:  Tomike Ogugua, Marshall Brown

Angelique Westerfield, Carolyn Nelson, LaNisa Frederick, Cynthia Givens (with the gun), Marshall Brown

Marshall Brown, Angelique Westerfield, LaNisa Frederick, Cynthia Givens (with gun), Tomike Ogugua

Production Staff

Director.................Anna Antaramian
Stage Manager.................Joseph Alaimo
Assistant Stage Manager.............Bruce Powers
Set Designer..................Skelly Warren
Costume Designer..............Judith Warren
Assistant Costumer..............Beth Warren
Light Designer..............Reginah Walton
Master Electrician................Elias Morales
Technical Director................Jake Warren
Public Relations Director...........Carolyn Bonner
Poster/Brochure Designer..........Timothy McGaughey
Publicist...................Melanie Bujan
Box Office Manager.............Donna Duraj
Finance Director...........Becca Raven Uminowicz
Sound Designer...............Leroyd Manuel
Seamstress.................Elizabeth Hurlbut
Running Crew................Javier Delgado,
Jesse Menendez, David Browning
Costume Crew...............Berenice Aguilar, Candie Parker
Light Booth............... Tany Encinas
Lobby Display...........Mary Solof’s students from Wauconda Middle School: Diana Jarrell, Ryan Murphy, Spencer Nick, Christopher Woolridge, James Yost.
Set Construction............Summer Theatre Class: Sheri Berg, Janelle Germanos, Grad Lynk, Nichole Lynk, Dallas Mallory, Tina Montgomery, Olga Shabbas, Tania Torres

Anna Antaramian (Director) has been a member of NEIU’s theatre faculty for the past sixteen years, is the Managing and Artistic Director of the summer theatre, and will be the Artistic/Managing Director of the Academic year. She is the past president of the Illinois Theatre Association, holds an M.F.A. from New York University and has worked in various theatrical venues across the country, the most recent being the Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre. Special thanks to H-S-A-N-T and, as always, Mr. McGuire

Judith and Skelly Warren (Costume and Scenic Designers) have combined careers that cover all areas of theatrical production, including performance, direction and choreography and costume, scenic and lighting design They have been associated with the Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre in Grand Lake, CO, for 35 years, recently retiring from their positions as Artistic and Managing Directors. Currently they are faculty members at the University of Wisconsin- Parkside. It is their great pleasure to be back creating summer theatre at NEIU with their talented colleague Anna Antaramian. As always, the Warren’s most treasured productions are their children: Josh, Beth, Jake and Olivia.

Reginah Walton (Light Designer) Reginah Walton, veteran lighting designer and production manager for 25 years, is honored to have the opportunity to design for Thymley Theater under the direction of Anna Antaramian. Recently receiving an MA in Communication, Media & Theatre, she dedicates her work for this production to her most prized possessions - her children Jessica, Imani and Vincent - "Everything I do, I do for you three".

Joseph Alaimo (Stage Manager) is pleased as punch to be working, yet again, with Anna at the Stage Center. Joey is no stranger to this stage. He has appeared in many productions over the years. During the last 10+ years Joey has also worked as producer, stage manager and marketing coordinator for the Stage Center Theatre. He also finds himself fortunate enough to be on staff with the fine folks of Infamous Commonwealth Theatre as their Box Office Manager. During the day Joey also works in the arts at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie.

Bruce Powers (Intern/Assistant Stage Manager/ House Manager) is happy to be returning to the Stage Center Theatre. He was last seen as the "Monk" in the Longest Day and as "Dink" in Moloch Blues, which premiered his Studio Series directing debut and the "Gangster" in Ramshackle Inn. It’s always a pleasure working with Anna. All credits and performances are counted as blessings from above and are especially dedicated to LAP & JON. High five to Anna, Joey, Melanie, Javier, both cast and crew for a job well done. "Break a Leg"

Javier Delgado (Intern/Running Crew/Usher) is a senior at NEIU and working for the first time as running crew at the Stage Centre Theatre. He has an associate’s degree from Wright Community College where he worked on numerous productions. He has also directed the HERMOSA community Organization’s Children’s Theatre productions of Wizard of Oz, Peter Pan, and Alice in Wonderland.

Elizabeth Warren (Assistant Costume Designer) is a junior majoring in Drama at the University of Washington in Seattle. She lives with her husband Josh and her three "kids", two cats named Roxie and Sweeney Todd and a dog named Reese. Recently she has enjoyed working on costumes for several productions including The Miser, La Bette, and Humor Me.

Special Thanks________________
Thymley Theatre Board, Karol Bayley, Joanne Cartalino, The Fox, Pam Strauman and her staff, Lynn, Tom and Bob in Purchasing,, Ray Gonazalez and Milifer Hasis of the Photography Club for publicity shots, Don Cleary community outreach, Sharon and Gerald Guptail, Cyndi Moran and Eric Scholl, University of Wisconsin - Parkside, University of Wisconsin - Whitewater, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, Racine Theatre Guild, and the Summer Theatre Class.

NEIU’s Summer Theatre Program will become Thymely Theatre this year, and it’s getting a new mission to go along with its new name.

Director Anna Antaramian, professor, communication, media and theatre, explains that the new name combines the adjective ‘timely’ with the noun ‘thyme.’ "The new mission of the theatre will be to perform works that are timely, that hold up a mirror to our time," said Antaramian. "Also thyme is well-known as a medicinal herb. So Thymely Theatre’s mission will be to produce plays that tell us about our time. Plays that will nurture what is good in and for our time."

Thymely Theatre will offer two productions this summer of 2006. The first is "Flyin’ West" by noted author and playwright Pearl Cleage. Cleage’s novel "What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day" was an Oprah’s Book Club selection.  Thymely Theatre’s second production is William Shakespeare’s "Much Ado About Nothing."  Timeless themes of love and betrayal and the age-old question, ‘does love really conquer all?’ are explored in this Shakespearian comedy classic.

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