Wednesday, May 18 at 7 PM, Thursday, May 19 at 1:30 & 7:00 PM

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Wednesday, May 18 at 7 PM, Thursday, May 19 at 1:30 & 7:00 PM


Lyrics and Book by Stew+
Music by Heidi Rodewald* and Stew+

Directed by Donterrio+
Music Directed by Bryan McCaffrey+
Choreographed by Terri K Woodall*

From L.A. to Amsterdam to Berlin, a young musician chases youthful dreams and spiritual clarity against a shifting backdrop of locales and acquaintances as he rebels against his conservative upbringing. This hit rock musical, loaded with soulful lyrics and passion, debuted to critical acclaim on Broadway in 2008, winning both the Tony and Drama Desk Awards and went on to be a critically acclaimed motion picture filmed by Spike Lee+ in 2009. The New York Times said about its Broadway debut, “Call it a rock concert with a story to tell … Or call it a sprawling work of performance art … I’ll just call it wonderful.”

The ensemble cast of Porchlight Revisits Passing Strange, in alphabetical order, includes: Michael Maurice Ashford+, Rueben D. Echoles+,  Reneisha J Jenkins*, MJ Rawls*,  Nolan Robinson+, Byron Willis+ and Jasmine Lacy Young*.

The production team includes: Stew+, lyrics and book; Heidi Rodewald* and Stew+, music; Donterrio+, director; Bryan McCaffrey+, music director; Terri K Woodall*, choreography; Jyreika Guest*, intimacy director;  Rachel West*, lighting designer; Gregory Graham+, costume designer; Matthew Chase+, production manager; Frankie Leo Bennett+, producing artistic associate; Alex Rhyan+, production and operations director and Michael Weber+, artistic director.


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

Getting Here

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

Cast

Michael Maurice Ashford+

Michael Maurice Ashford+

Explorer

MICHAEL MAURICE ASHFORD+ (he/him/his) is thrilled to be making his Porchlight debut in the Revisits Series’ production of Passing Strange, and honored to have shared this fast-paced experience with such a talented group of artists!  Besides sharing his art in the Chicagoland area, he has also performed in other regions in the past from NYC, Philadelphia, and Florida to L.A.  When not working on a musical or play you can find him in one of Chicago’s many dance studios, coaching and judging high school competitive speech (time permitting), or doing children’s theatre with Chicago Kids Company. Recent past credits: Legally Blonde, Anything Goes (Metropolis), The Buttcraker: A Nutcracker Burlesque (The Den Theatre), Children of Edgar and Nina (The Neighborhood Theatre).

Rueben D. Echoles+

Rueben D. Echoles+

Creator

Rueben D. Echoles (he/him/his) is an accomplished playwright, director, choreographer, and designer and has been Associate Artistic Director for Black Ensemble Theater since 2005. Previous experience: Costume Design (Porchlight Music Theatre); ETA Creative Arts Foundation (Showfolk TYA, Co-Playwright with Euseni Eugene Perkins – Voices of HIV) Congo Square, Refuge, Paramount (asst. wig designer) and Studio One Dance Theater (creative consultant 2003 – present). Additional work: A New Attitude, In Tribute to Patti Labelle, My Brothers Keeper, The Last Dancer Standing. (Black Ensemble Theater).

Reneisha J. Jenkins*

Reneisha J. Jenkins*

Mother

Reneisha J. Jenkins* (She/Her/Hers) is excited to return to Porchlight in their production of Passing Strange.  She 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.

MJ Rawls*

MJ Rawls*

Rebel

MJ RAWLS* (she/her/hers) is excited to collaborate with Porchlight Music Theatre.  Chicago credits include: The Bacchae (Court Theatre), Madagascar; A Midsummer Nights Dream (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre); Pippin (Mercury Theater), Man of La Mancha (MadKap Productions), The Wiz (Kokandy Productions). Regional credits include: Trans World (Portland Stage), Peter and the Starcatcher; Little Shop of Horrors (Creede Repertory Theatre), Chess The Musical (Coachella Valley Repertory), She is a proud member of the Actors Equity Association. She is represented by Big Mouth Talent. She is a trans rights activist and hopes that this project expands the theatre community. 

Nolan Robinson+

Nolan Robinson+

Youth

Nolan Robinson (he/him/his) is an actor, singer, dancer, and filmmaker and a recent graduate of Northwestern University studying Theatre, Music Theatre, and Political Science. After graduation he worked as the writer’s assistant to Tony Award Winner Robert Horn for a new Broadway comedy musical in development. As a writer Nolan has penned the scripts of a web series, WHERE’S NOAH and a short film, GRIEF NIGHT CLUB, the latter of which was recently nominated for a student production award at the 2021 Chicago Emmy Awards. He has also written several ten-minute plays produced by theatrical groups on Northwestern’s campus. His recent professional acting credits include: PASSING STRANGE (Youth), THE BLUES IN THE NIGHT (The Dancing Man standby), and 1776 (The Courier) all of which were and will be performed at Chicago’s Porchlight Music Theatre. His recent educational acting credits include the American Music Theatre Project’s SEAN’S STORY PARTS 1 AND 2 led by HAMILTON directors Tiffany Nichole Greene and Patrick Vassel (Sean), GRIEF NIGHT CLUB (Jordan), THE EXONERATED reading directed by HAMILTON alum Jordan Donica (Young Delbert), LEGALLY BLONDE (Grand Master Chad), A CHORUS LINE (Richie Walters), and THE WAA-MU SHOW: FOR THE RECORD (Tommy). He hopes to continue to act, write, and produce for both the stage and screen.

Byron Willis+

Byron Willis+

Narrator

Byron Glenn Willis (he/him/his) is excited to be a part the cast of “Passing Strange”, Other productions: Miracle (Royal George Theatre), Tasered: The Philip Coleman Story (Logan Theatre and Beverly Arts Center), Hank Williams: Lost Highway, Rent, Hair, Big River, Civil War (Barn Theatre), Smokey Joes Café (TLTOTS), Alabama Story, The Full Monty (Peninsula Players Theatre), Little Shop of Horrors (Tantrum Theatre), Sister Act, Dreamgirls, Once On This Island, Treasure Island and Finian’s Rainbow (Marriott Theatre), Porgy & Bess, Caroline or Change (Court Theatre), The Buddy Holly Story (Drury Lane Oakbrook Theatre), Dreamgirls (Fulton Theatre, Maine State Theatre, Arkansas Rep, Alhambra Dinner Theatre), Congo Square’s Nativity (Goodman Theatre/Ruth Page Theatre), Dessa Rose (Apple Tree Theatre), Pullman Porter Blues, Purlie  (Goodman Theatre/Pasadena Playhouse), Ragtime (Light Opera Works), The Jackie Wilson Story, Sensational Soulful 60’s, Doo Wop Shoo Bop (Black Ensemble Theatre), Nefertiti (Athenaeum Theatre), Higher Ground (Human Race Theatre), European Tour of Hair (Scala Theatre Co). TV/Film: Barbershop 2, Detroit 1-8-7, Chicago Code, Chicago P.D

A proud member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA and Hayes Talent. Much thanks to Porchlight Theatre and the Creative Team!!

Jasmine Lacy Young*

Jasmine Lacy Young*

Lover

Jasmine Lacy Young* (She/Her/Hers) is so excited to be making her Porchlight debut with Passing Strange! Recently seen in 8-Track: The Sounds of the 70s at Theo Ubique, Legally Blonde, My Way: A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra, and The Buddy Holly Story at Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, Wonder Women the Musical at CMTF, and America’s Best Outcast Toy at Pride Arts! She is a Virgo, a pop culture enthusiast, and avid book reader. She dedicates every time she steps onto the stage to her mother, Aimee Lacy. “She is love.” IG: jasminelacyyoung

Artistic Team

Donterrio+

Donterrio+

Director

Donterrio+ (He/Him/His) is a Chicago-based theatre artist with a Bachelor of Fine Arts – BFA focused in Musical Theatre from American Musical and Dramatic Academy. With a demonstrated history of work both onstage and off in the performing arts industry. Donterrio is the former Artistic Director of the LGBTQIA+ theatre company PrideArts (taking over the role from Founder David Zak). He is also on the Artistic Board of the Sarah Siddons Society and the Chicago Artist Guide. It’s Donterrio’s mission to cultivate art that doesn’t end at the theatre but art that changes you a bit as you go back into the world. With a strong media and communication background, he is an advocate for the multi-hyphenated artist. Follow Donterrio on all social media platforms @DonterrioLive #ChooseJoy

Bryan McCaffrey+

Bryan McCaffrey+

Music Director

Bryan McCaffrey (he/him/his) is thrilled for the opportunity to collaborate with this incredible group creatives and Porchlight Music Theatre! Originally from Scotland, he has worked as a Music Director across Chicagoland. Select credits include: Christmas Karol (Pride Arts), The Addams Family (William Street Reparatory), Spring Awakening and Something Rotten (Theatre Nebula) and Company(Wheaton).

Terri K. Woodall*

Terri K. Woodall*

Choreographer

TERRI K WOODALL(She/Her/Hers) is a multifaceted artist who is dedicated to using her gifts to encourage others to define, identify, and/or shine their authentic light and voice, whether it be through movement, music, or simply a conversation with her. As a professional dancer Woodall has toured around the Chicagoland area for the summers of 2010-2011 with After School Matters, performed for prestige personnel like Jesse White, secretary of state, and Dorothy Brown, clerk of Cook County Circuit Court, and trained/worked with nationally/internationally renowned choreographers like Dave Scott, Florence Walker-Harris, Jon Engstrom, Michelle Elkin, Lee Howard, and Donyelle Jones, to name a few. Since graduating with honors from AMDA’s Dance Theater BFA program in 2015 Woodall has performed in Los Angeles regional theater with 5 Star Theatricals and signed with Go 2 Talent Agency. Upon moving back home to Chicago in 2018, Woodall is currently a freelance performing/teaching artist, and an e-commerce business owner. “Excited to continue” is an understatement to explain her journey and future endeavors, but this young creative/entrepreneur understands that patience complemented with consistency in the work will continue to lead her on the path of divinely aligned success.

Jyreika Guest*

Intimacy Director

Gregory Graham+

Costume Designer

Rachel West*

Lighting Designer

Rachel West (she/her/hers) has been serving as the lighting supervisor for Porchlight since the 2016. She has designed the Porchlight Revisits productions of 1776, Can-Can, Minnie’s Boys and Call Me Madam and more recently the Porchlight Palooza virtual fundraiser. She is a Chicago-area native and a graduate of Boston University. Rachel proudly volunteers for the Maine-Niles Association for Special Recreation, teaching theatre for individuals with special needs. 

Production Staff

Bill Walters+

Production Stage Manager

Peyton Cooper*

Assistant Stage Manager

Matthew R. Chase+

Sound Designer

Matthew R. Chase (he/him/his) is a Chicago-based Theatrical Sound Designer and Production Manager. Recent credits include: Sound Design of Who’s Holiday (Theater Wit), Nunsense (Porchlight Music Theatre) Anyone Can Whistle, Cooking with Bubbie & Veronica’s Room (Skokie Theatre), Gigi’s Party (Yellow Rose Theatre), 9 to 5 & Mama Mia (Golden Ticket Productions). Production Manager for Mr. Burns, a post-electric play, Who’s Holiday & Hurricane Diane (Theater Wit). Audio Engineer for Pump Boys & Dinettes (Porchlight Music Theatre), Princess and the Pea (Marriott Theatre)

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