Part theater, part revival, and all power – this one-woman show with music will have your head nodding and hands clapping from start to finish.
Fannie: The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer tells the impassioned story of American civil rights activist and hero, Fannie Lou Hamer. From her humble origins as the daughter of a Mississippi sharecropper, to co-founding the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and demanding recognition at the National Democratic Convention, hers is a story of justice that will not be denied.
Pay What You Choose
Seattle Rep is committed to broadening our reach and deepening our impact throughout our community. As part of this commitment, Seattle Rep will be offering a limited number of Pay What You Choose tickets for each of our 2021/22 productions, beginning with Fannie.
Watch and listen to recorded events surrounding Fannie, including a Battle Fatigue podcast episode, post-show talk-back with Civil Rights Leader Bob Zellner and Common Power, and Truth to Power: Moments that Shifted the Civil Rights Movement lecture.
Fannie Reading & Media List
Get to know the incredible Fannie Lou Hamer, read more of playwright Cheryl L. West's work, dive into themes explored in the play, and much more with this curated book and media list.
Cheryl L. West
Cheryl L. West’s plays include, Fannie: The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer, Last Stop on Market Street, Shout Sister Shout!, Akeelah and the Bee, Pullman Porter Blues, and Jar the Floor. Her plays have been produced in England, Off-Broadway, on Broadway (Play On!), and in numerous regional theaters around the country, including Seattle Rep, Arena Stage, Old Globe, Goodman Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Minneapolis Children’s Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre, Chicago Children’s Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Indiana Rep, Asolo Rep, Merrimack, Arkansas Rep, St. Louis Black Rep, Bay Street Theatre Festival, Syracuse Stage, Cleveland Play House, South Coast Rep, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, and Off-Broadway's Manhattan Theatre Club and Second Stage. She has written TV and film projects at Disney, Paramount, MTV Films, Showtime, TNT, HBO, CBS, and BET. Ms. West is currently preparing a revival of Broadway-bound Jar the Floor, and working on commissions for Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Minneapolis Children’s Theater, LaJolla Playhouse, and Seattle Rep. cheryllwest.com
Henry Godinez is Resident Artistic Associate at Goodman Theatre, where he recently directed American Mariachi and Fannie (also Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Asolo Rep). Other directing includes projects for Studio Theatre (D.C.), Court Theatre, Victory Gardens, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Signature Theatre (NYC), The O’Neill, Portland Center Stage, and Dallas Theater Center. As an actor he was recently seen in The Winter’s Tale and 2666 at Goodman Theatre, and on television in “Chicago PD,” “Chicago Fire,” “Boss,” “The Beast,” and the films An Inconvenient Truth, Above the Law, The Fugitive, and The Package. Born in Havana, Cuba, Godinez is the co-founder and former artistic director of Teatro Vista and serves on the Board of Directors of the Illinois Arts Council Agency. He is interim-chair and professor in the Department of Theatre at Northwestern University.
Felton Offard grew up in Freeport, Illinois and attended Northern Illinois University, earning Bachelor and Master of Music degrees. Credits include Hamilton (CIBC Theatre), Fannie: The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer (Goodman Theatre, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival). Chicago credits: Purlie, Crowns, Hamilton, The Addams Family, First Wives Club, Motown: The Musical, Blues Brothers, Comfortable Shoes, Sister Act, Raisin, Could It Be Magic? The Barry Manilow Songbook. National tours include The Color Purple, Jersey Boys, Three Mo' Divas, Standing in the Shadows of Motown, and Come Fly Away/Fly With Me. His albums are Rise and Invincible. TV credits include work with CBS, Noggin, Netflix, BET, Comedy Central, PBS, and HBO. feltonoffard.com
Collette Pollard makes her debut here at Seattle Rep with Fannie. She resides in Chicago where her Goodman Theatre credits include Roe, The Wolves, The Happiest Song Plays Last, Fish Men, and Stoop Stories. Other Chicago credits include Lindiwe, HIR, The Fundamentals, and Between Riverside and Crazy (Steppenwolf Theatre Company); The Sound of Music (Marriott Theatre); Miracle (Miracle Productions); Smart People (Writers Theatre); The Nutcracker (The House Theatre), where she is a company member; A Shayna Maidel (Timeline Theatre), where she is an artistic associate. Recent and upcoming regional credits include Steel Magnolias, Eclipsed, and The Chinese Lady (Milwaukee Repertory Theatre); The Legend of Georgia McBride (Milwaukee Repertory Theatre and Arizona Theatre Company); Angry, Raucous & Shamelessly Gorgeous (The Alliance Theatre and Harford Stage); My Father’s War (TheatreSquared); The Cake (Asolo Repertory Theatre). Collette is the recipient of several Jeff Awards and is an Associate Professor of Design at the School of Theatre and Music at UIC. Many thanks to the endless support from her family.
Michael Alan Stein
Michael Alan Stein (1959-2021) was an award-winning costume designer whose professional journey began at Parsons School of Design and the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, where he studied clothing design. In a career spanning more than two decades, Michael’s work has graced many of this nation’s premier stages, including Guthrie Theatre, Goodman Theatre, and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Stein was known for his striking silhouettes and vibrant use of color. His design skills seamlessly spanned across theater, film, and television. He was commissioned to design projects ranging from Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and Royal Caribbean Cruises to restaurant uniform design. He was on the advisory board for the School of Fine Arts at Dominican University and was the recipient of many awards and honors, including a Fellowship from The National Endowment for The Arts and a Joseph Jefferson Citation for outstanding achievement in costume design. Additionally, his original sketch and design for world-renowned artist and photographer Renee Cox’s RAJÉ (RAGE!) superhero character is in the permanent collection of Archives of American Art at the Smithsonian Institution.
Jason Lynch is a Chicago-based lighting designer and makes his Seattle Rep debut with this production. Chicago credits include work with Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Northlight Theatre, Victory Gardens Theater, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, among others. Recent regional credits include work with Alley Theatre, Dallas Theater Center, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Minetta Lane Theatre in NYC, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Jason is honored to have his recent work on the Goodman Theatre’s real-time, online “Live” series featured in American Theatre Magazine. He was also the recipient of the 2019 Michael Maggio Emerging Designer Award which recognizes emerging theatrical designers within the Chicago area. Jason is a proud member of The Association for Lighting Production and Design and is represented by The Gersh Agency.
Victoria Deiorio is returning to Seattle Rep after designing Last of the Boys in 2019. Victoria has composed music and designed Off-Broadway for Sheen Center, St. Clements, The Pearl, Joe’s Pub, The Duke, Actors Center, Primary Stages, and Ensemble Studio Theatre. Regionally she has worked at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre, Signature Theatre, Studio Theatre, Centerstage Baltimore, and many more. She has composed and designed the following films: Thump, The Interview, Use Me Up, One Sunday Afternoon. Victoria is the first woman to have been nominated for 14 Joseph Jefferson Awards—winning 7—for both composition and design, two After Dark Awards, and a SALT Award. She is a founding member of the Theatrical Sound Designers & Composers Association serving as the Co-Chair of the Executive Board. She is the Chair of the Design/Tech Dept. and the Head of Sound Design at DePaul University. victoria-sound-design.com
Rasean Davonté Johnson
Rasean Davonté Johnson is excited to be working with Seattle Rep. A Chicago-based video artist and theatrical designer, he has had the opportunity to work with institutions such as Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Portland Playhouse, Manual Cinema, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Goodman Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Lookingglass Theatre Company, Court Theatre, Yale Repertory Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre, McCarter Theatre Center, Berkshire Theatre Group, Alliance Theatre, Olney Theatre Center, The Studio Theatre, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Everman Theatre, and internationally with the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Scotland), B-Floor Theatre (Thailand), and the Ningbo Song and Dance Company (China). MFA Yale School of Drama. raseandavontejohnson.com
Mr. Bernard most recently designed wigs for Fannie: The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer (Asolo Repertory Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival) and Fannie Lou Hamer, Speak On It! (Goodman Theatre, Arena Stage). Additional theater credits include the regional tour of Ain’t Misbehavin; Crumbs from the Table of Joy (Steppenwolf Theatre); Sophisticated Ladies (Drury Lane Theatre); and An Evening with Nat King Cole (Minneapolis Arts Center). He is a renowned hairstylist with more than 40 years of experience. He served as a leading platform artist for Johnson Products Company and was owner of Mr. Bernard’s Hair Salon. He is a licensed instructor of cosmetology, and his work has been featured in television, film, fashion publications, and instructional videos.
Ruth is honored to be part of the Fannie journey, helping to bring this powerful show to even more audiences. Her most recent credits include being part of the stage management team on Seattle Rep's Public Works film The Winter's Tale. In pre-pandemic times, Ruth could usually be found at ACT Theatre working on shows like Dracula, Romeo+Juliet, Oslo, and A Christmas Carol. Other credits around Seattle include Book-It Repertory Theatre, Seattle Shakespeare Company, The 5th Avenue Theatre, and others. Ruth is a recipient of the Melissa Hines Backstage Award and is proud to have been a member of New Century Theatre Company for many years, where she helped to create shows like Mary's Wedding, The Trial, and The Adding Machine.
Christine Sumption is a Seattle-based theater artist who has served as a dramaturg for Goodman Theatre, Sundance Theatre Lab, the New Harmony Project, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Hedgebrook Women Playwrights Festival, and Seattle Rep, where she was on the artistic staff for nine seasons. She has a 15+ year working relationship with playwright Cheryl L. West and teaches writing at Cornish College of the Arts.
Cast & Production
E. Faye Butler
E. Faye Butler’s career spans over 30 years performing in plays, musicals, concerts, and cabarets, nationally and internationally. Seattle Rep: Pullman Porter Blues. National and Regional Tours: Mamma Mia!, Ain’t Misbehavin', Cope..., Dinah Was, Nunsense. Internationally: Performing with Washington Ballet's Blues Until June at Teatro La Habana, Cuba; Hong Kong Ballet's The Great Gatsby, Performing Arts Center Hong Kong and Shanghai Oriental Arts Center, China. Regional: Goodman Theatre, Arena Stage, Kennedy Center, Steppenwolf Theatre, Court Theatre, Porchlight Theatre, Victory Gardens, Chicago Shakespeare, Shakespeare Theatre Company in D.C., St. Louis Rep, Yale Rep. Milwaukee Rep, Asolo Rep, Drury Lane, MSMT, Fulton Theatre, Arkansas Rep, Dallas Theater Center, Congo Square, Woolly Mammoth, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Old Globe, Pasadena Playhouse, Baltimore Centerstage, Pittsburgh Public Theater, Paper Mill Playhouse, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Signature Theatre, Olney Theatre, The MUNY, Northlight Theatre. Recipient of nine Jeff Awards, two Helen Hayes, R.A.M.I., Ovation, Sarah Siddons, Excellence in the Arts, Kathy V. Lampkey, Rosetta LeNoire, After Dark, Guy Adkins, John Barrymore, and two Black Excellence Awards. Inducted into both The Fine Arts Hall of Fame and Women in the Arts Museum, and a Lunt-Fontanne Fellow. E. Faye was honored to be 2020 Chicagoan of the Year. e-fayebutler.com
Shaunyce Omar's previous Seattle Rep credits include Nina Simone: Four Women, As You Like It, and Shout Sister Shout!. Other credits include Wedding Band, Hairspray, Chicago, Pajama Game, Rejoice!. TV/Film credits include "The Librarians," Last Seen In Idaho, and Portal Runner. Her voice can also be heard as the character Madison Grant in the State of Decay: Lifeline video game. Shaunyce is the recipient of two Gregory, Footlight, Broadway World, and The 5th Avenue Theatre's Subscriber's Choice awards. In addition to stage and screen work, Omar is a teaching artist and has taught in both public and private schools, arts organizations, and overseas as a Master Sensei of Gospel Music in Japan. She holds a B.A. degree in Theatre from Southern University and A&M College.
Assistant Stage Manager
Quy Ton (they/she) is an AEA stage manager who finds joy working on new plays and plays with music. Most recently, they’ve worked on It’s Christmas, Carol!, Fannie: The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer, Cambodian Rock Band, and Destiny of Desire at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. When last at Seattle Rep, they managed the deck for Here Lies Love as a Production Assistant and Seattle Rep’s 2015/16 season as one of the Professional Arts Training Program Stage Management Interns. They’ve also worked with the Seattle Children’s Theatre (Go, Dog. Go!), The 5th Avenue Theatre (The Little Mermaid), Seattle Opera (La Traviata). Quy prides themselves in managing an efficient show and holding space for compassion, excellence, and respect on each production they’re a part of.
Musician/Associate Music Director
Chic Street Man
Charles McLaurin, Ms. Hamer's Campaign Manager and Friend
Victor McTeer, Civil Rights Attorney
Wisconsin Historical Society
Family of Fannie Lou Hamer
Joe Harris Jr.
Photo of Fannie Lou Hamer. Courtesy of Ken Thompson/General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church.
Matthew & Kimberly Bergman
Maryanne Tagney & David Jones
The Boeing Company
May 27 - July 3, 2022
April 22 - May 22, 2022
April 1 - May 1, 2022
March 4 - April 3, 2022
Freestyle Love Supreme
2020 Special Tony Award®
February 16 - March 13, 2022
The Winter's Tale
A Hybrid Film & Live Theatrical Experience
December 16-19, 2021