Chicago Street Theatre Presents: Keely and Du
Jan 31 07:30 PM - 09:30 PM
Chicago Street Theatre - Valparaiso
Never one to shy away from challenging and provocative works, Chicago Street Theatre starts off the New Year with the drama that was a 1994 Pulitzer Prize Nominee and the 1993 winner of the American Theatre Critics' Best New Play Award. Keely and Du tells the compelling story of two women caught on extreme ends of the controversial issue of abortion. Performances of this acclaimed drama by Jane Martin, the author of Talking With and Vital Signs run January 18 through February 2 at the theatre located at 154 W. Chicago Street in downtown Valparaiso. The production is directed by Sherry VerWay, who, while being known for her work throughout the region, is making her directorial debut at CST.
Martin's Keely and Du premiered as part of the Humana Festival of New American Plays at the Actors Theatre of Louisville in March of 1993 under the direction of Jon Jory. Jory has been a longtime collaborator with the playwright whose true identity is still unknown. Although there have been theories of who Jane Martin may be, the playwright has maintained that using the pen name allows them to write the type of plays that push the envelope for both audiences and artists through bold social commentary.
This is certainly true for the circumstances chosen for Keely and Du. The drama tells the story of two women- Du a right-to-life activist and Keely, a pregnant rape victim who has been abducted and confined by the organization Du is associated with. Through this extreme lens, the drama looks at the themes of social accountability, realities of procreation, the extent of individual freedom, and victim's rights. Set in a basement where Keely is under the care of Du, the women develop a relationship that extends beyond their individual ideologies.
Although it would be easy to view the play as a political statement or being solely about reproductive rights, VerWay believes that would be short-changing the message of Martin's work. "The play isn't really out to change anyone's viewpoint or beliefs on those issues," the director said, "It's more about discovering the gray areas, having a dialogue and finding humanity in another person despite our differences."
VerWay has wanted to direct the drama for a long time and proposed the show to Chicago Street because of the theatre's reputation for tackling daring works like Keely and Du. The director was one of the performers in last season's Hurlyburly, a dark comedy, that looked at the extremes of toxic masculinity in the drug fogged 80's. "Traditionally it is during the January/February slot that CST presents works of an edgier nature," said VerWay, " and shows like Hurlyburly or Keely and Du seem to give audiences a chance to experience something intense performed by some of the best talent in the region."
The tight ensemble cast is comprised of Lindsey Elderkin (Valparaiso) as Keely, Lisa Formosa-Parmigiano (Valparaiso) as Du, Nathan O'Brien (Otis) as Cole, and Andy Urschel (Valparaiso) as Walter. VerWay thinks that audiences will be "blown away" by the performances of the cast who have been working tirelessly on the show since before the holidays.
Tickets for Keely and Du are $30 for the front row VIP Couch Seats, $20 for Adults, and $17 for Students, Seniors, Military, and groups of ten or more Performances are: Friday and Saturday 1/18, 1/19, 1/25, 1/26, 2/1 & 2/2 at 8 PM; Sunday 1/27 at 2:30 PM; and Thursday 1/31 at 7:30 PM. Tickets can be purchased through the CST Box Office at 219-464-1636 X1 or by visiting ChicagoStreet.org. Box Office hours are Tuesday through Friday Noon to 4 PM and two hours prior to performance times.
The audience is invited to join the cast and crew for light appetizers following the show on Friday, January 18 for an Opening Night After Party hosted by Misbeehavin' Meads located at 65 Franklin Street in downtown Valparaiso. Chicago Street Theatre hopes that audiences will experience the gripping, explosive and poignant tale of Keely and Du when this play that will have "everyone talking" runs through February 2 at CST.
154 Chicago St