Tuesday, May 31 at 7 PM

DUE TO THE VIRUS SURGE AND OUT OF AN ABUNDANCE OF CAUTION, PORCHLIGHT MUSIC THEATRE ANNOUNCES NEW DATES FOR CLEAR

New Date: Tuesday, May 31 at 7 PM


Porchlight Music Theatre’s 27th season continues with a staged reading of Clear, book, music and lyrics by Paul Oakley Stovall+, additional musical contributions by Stew+(additional music,) Bayard Rustin+ (additional lyrics) and Nikhil Saboo+ (additional music), Tuesday, May 31 at 7 PM at The Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn. Tickets are pay-what-you-can and reservations are strongly suggested.

Clear is a new, original musical from Paul Oakley Stovall, a Chicago-based artist who is currently performing as “Washington” in the national tour of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton and who also worked as a member of the Obama administration. Clear was born when he fused his personal life experience with his life-changing political odyssey as part of the Obama administration. He created Clear for everyone who wants to say yes to life, continue searching for joy and live in their truth.

Clear is a spiritual quest in a decidedly computerized time fusing music, memory and pure love to remind all how best to live life. It sings a tale of destiny, luck and the commonality of the human experience. From the slave castles of Ghana to the winding streets of Istanbul; from the banks of the river Seine to a star-filled night sky over the suburban Midwest, these storytellers continue to discover that change is inevitable and clear.

The 2022 staged reading of Clear is sponsored by Jeremy Eden & Nancy Marder and the National Alliance for Musical Theatre.


PLAYWRIGHT

PAUL OAKLEY STOVALL+ was born and raised in Chicago to parents who were both valedictorians. Education and self-awareness were paramount in his childhood. And music. Listening to Gladys Knight, Stevie Wonder, The Sylvers, and on and on, storytelling through music was always a part of his sonic vocabulary. As he got older and college friends introduced him to Joni Mitchell, Sting, Joan Armatrading and the like, this vocabulary only grew.

As theatre crept into his blood, the performance and collaboration of “putting on a play” became sacred ground to him. He also formed his first band, Into the Green, and played Chicago clubs regularly, finally putting out his first album entitled Ghettos and Oceans, produced by 13-time Grammy winner Steve Rodby. The learning curve continued as he found himself cultivating a professional acting career that led to national tours and international work in Japan, Sweden, Germany and Denmark.

Settling in NYC, Paul found himself juggling music, theatre, and indie film (making a featured appearance in John Cameron Mitchell’s SHORTBUS), but it wasn’t enough. He put it all on semi-permanent hold to volunteer for the Obama campaign in April of 2008. By May, he was a full-time salaried Advance Staff member and his work continued for both terms of the Obama administration as an Advance Associate, mainly working for First Lady Michelle Obama’s team. This afforded him the opportunity to travel the world and meet people from all walks of life. One of those trips was to Ghana, where he toured (and prepared the Obama family visit) the Elmina and Cape Coast Slave Castles. And Clear was born… Fusing his personal life experience with that life-changing political odyssey, Paul created Clear for everyone who wants to say yes to life, continue searching for joy, and live in their truth.


DIRECTOR

RENEISHA J. JENKINS*

Reneisha is excited to return to Porchlight in their staged reading of Clear.  She has most recently come off of working with Porchlight Music Theatre in their 2022 Porchlight Revisits production of Passing Strange. In addition to this, she has previously worked at Porchlight Music Theatre as Assistant Choreographer for Memphis and performed in their production of Dreamgirls. Some of her recent production credits include Director for Sister Act at Mercury Theater Chicago and Co-Director for Working at Theo Ubique. Some of her recent performance credits include Urchin Swing in Little Shop of Horrors (Mercury Theater), Soul Girl in Jesus Christ Superstar (Paramount Theatre) and Ella in Annie Warbucks (Theatre at the Center).

Reneisha has also performed regionally at Drury Lane Theatre, Writers Theatre, Pheasant Run and many others.


Pronoun Key: + (he/him/his); * (she/her/hers); ^ (they, them, theirs);  = (any with respect)

Ruth Page Center for the Arts

1016 N Dearborn St
Chicago, IL 60610

Directions

Ruth Page Center for the Arts
1016 N. Dearborn St.  Chicago, IL 60610
(2-1/2 blocks south of Division St. and 4-1/2 blocks north of Chicago Ave.)

Public Transportation
The Ruth Page Center is easily accessible by bus (#22, #36, #70 and #156*) and “L” train (Red Line Clark & Division stop), visit the CTA website to plan your trip and for the most up-to-date information! *Please note the #156 LaSalle does not operate after 7:30/8:10pm, or on weekends or holidays.

Ruth Page

Ruth Page, North Dearborn Street, Chicago, IL, United States

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