Fannie is a captivating call to action and look at the impassioned freedom fighter, Fannie Lou Hamer, who became one of the most powerful female voices of the civil and voting rights movements.
Join Artistic Director Braden Abraham as he leads an in-depth discussion with the artists about the legacy of Fannie Lou Hamer, the role of music in her life, and how this fearless group of artists adapted Fannie to be performed in Chicago parks. Plus, enjoy exclusive performances from this highly anticipated project.
Meet the Artists
Cheryl L. West
Cheryl L. West’s plays have been seen in England, off-Broadway, on Broadway (Play On!), and in numerous regional theaters including Minneapolis Children’s Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre, Seattle Rep, Arena Stage, Old Globe, Goodman Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Bay Street Theatre Festival, Syracuse Stage, Cleveland Play House, South Coast Rep, Merrimack, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, and off‐Broadway’s Manhattan Theatre Club, Second Stage, Atlantic Theater Company, and Primary Stages. Her plays include, Fannie; Shout Sister Shout!; Last Stop on Market Street; The Watsons Go To Birmingham, 1963; Akeelah and the Bee; Pullman Porter Blues; Motherhood Out Loud (co-author); Addie, American Girl Story (21-city tour); and Jar the Floor. She has written TV and film projects at Disney, Paramount, MTV Films, Showtime, TNT, HBO, CBS, and is the Webby-nominated writer for the original web series "Diary of a Single Mom." Ms. West is currently working on commissions for Chicago’s Goodman Theatre and Seattle Rep, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Minneapolis Children’s Theater, and Seattle Children’s Theatre.
Henry Godinez is Resident Artistic Associate at Goodman Theatre, where as director of its Latino Theatre Festival he fostered the co-production of Pedro Páramo with Teatro Buendia of Cuba, and has directed works by Luis Valdez, Charise Castro Smith, José Rivera, Karen Zacarias, Regina Taylor, Luis Alfaro, and Cheryl L. West. Other directing work includes The O’Neill Center, Yale Rep, Signature Theatre, Dallas Theatre Center, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Portland Center Stage, The Children’s Theatre Company, and Denver Center.
Born in Havana, Cuba, Godinez is co-founder and former Artistic Director of Teatro Vista, and a professor at Northwestern University.
E. Faye Butler
E. Faye Butler's career spans over 40 years. E. Faye performs and directs both musicals and plays in theaters across the country and internationally. She is a recording artist and also has an 11-piece band, The EFO Orchestra, that performs in concert venues, cabarets, clubs, and for private events. She is a recipient of nine Joseph Jefferson Awards, two Helen Hayes, four Black Theatre Alliance, Ovation, Sarah Siddons Leading Lady, Excellence in the Arts, R.A.M.I., two Black Excellence, Kathryn V. Lampkey, Rosetta LeNoire, John Barrymore, After Dark, and Guy Adkins Awards. She is also a Lunt-Fontanne Fellow. In 2008, she was inducted into the Women in the Arts Museum in Washington D.C. and recently she released her first House and Club Track entitled “Going Down to the Rhythm” in Milan, Italy. Ms. Butler serves on the Advisory board of Porchlight Music Theatre, is a board member of Northlight Theatre, Artemisia Theatre, and serves on the Central Regional Board of Actors Equity Association. She is Interim Chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Committee, which serves members of color, women, individuals with disabilities, mature, and LGBTQ at Actors Equity Association.
Music Director & Musician
Felton Offard is a Music Director/Arranger for Fannie Lou Hamer, Speak On It!. He has been a guitarist for Hamilton, The Color Purple, Addams Family, First Wives Club, Purlie, Motown The Musical, Sister Act, Could It Be Magic?, The Barry Manilow Songbook, Raisin, Blue Brothers, Comfortable Shoes, Grease, Jersey Boys, Three Mo’ Divas, Standing In The Shadows Of Motown, and Come Fly Away/Fly With Me. Felton has also released a CD, Rise; Invincible, and teaches guitar and music production at Chicago State University. feltonoffard.com
Fannie Reading List
Enhance your experience of Plays in Process: Fannie with a curated show-inspired list of books, films, and music.
We wish to express our gratitude to the Performers’ Unions:
ACTORS’ EQUITY ASSOCIATION
AMERICAN GUILD OF MUSICAL ARTISTS
AMERICAN GUILD OF VARIETY ARTISTS
through Theatre Authority, Inc. for their cooperation in permitting the Artists to appear on this program.
Musicians playing in this performance are represented by the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada, Local 76-493, AFL-CIO/CLC.
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