The Theatre School at DePaul Presents ‘A Free Man of Color’

Previews set for Jan. 29, Jan. 30; opens Jan. 31

The Fullerton Theatre stage will be home to performances of “A Free Man of Color” beginning Jan. 31. (Photo by Jeff Carrion)

CHICAGO–(ENEWSPF)–January 16, 2014.  The Theatre School at DePaul University will present “A Free Man of Color” on the Fullerton Stage Theatre in its new building at Racine Avenue and Fullerton Avenue on the Lincoln Park Campus. The Fullerton Stage Theatre is a 250-seat thrust theatre located on the first floor of the school. John Guare’s “A Free Man of Color” is directed by Phyllis E. Griffin and premieres Jan. 31. It runs through Feb. 9. Performances are Wednesdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Previews are on Jan. 29 and Jan. 30 at 7:30 p.m.

The production is set in New Orleans in 1801. A Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2011, the play, with elements of Restoration comedy, features the charismatic womanizer Jacques Cornet, the wealthiest man of color in town. Filled with sexual and racial innuendo, his raucous New Orleans is threatened by a new map of the Louisiana Purchase territory.

The city of New Orleans plays a guest starring role in this exacting tale of power, political systems and inalienable rights. This production is recommended for mature audiences.

General admission tickets are $15, preview tickets are $10 and student tickets are $5. Subscriptions and group rates (six or more people) are available at 312-922-1999. All tickets are reserved seating. Tickets are available by calling the box office at 312-922-1999 or by visiting the online box office at

The Theatre School at DePaul University is located at 2350 N. Racine Ave. at Fullerton Avenue. The school is easily accessible via the Fullerton CTA Station and the Fullerton (74) bus. Call the box office for additional transit suggestions or visit the Chicago Transit Authority for specific routes from your location. Visitors and audience members can park in DePaul University’s Clifton Parking Deck located at 2330 N. Clifton Ave. Please call the box office for more information.

Griffin (Director) is a member of the Performance Faculty at The Theatre School at DePaul University. She is a certified Feldenkrais practitioner and certified Lessac teacher. In addition, she has studied with Richard Armstrong of the Roy Hart Theatre Method, Patsy Rodenburg, Catherine Fitzmaurice, Dudley Knight and Kristin Linklater. She has served as vocal coach for The Goodman Theatre, assisting on “Gem Of The Ocean,” “Drowning Crow,” “King Hedley II,” “Blues For An Alabama Sky” and “I Am A Man.” She was the vocal coach for Shakespeare on the Green’s production of “Othello” and has previously worked for Disney Productions as the vocal coach to prospective actors for “The Lion King.” She also was a dialect coach for Joan Plowright on the feature film “Dennis the Menace” and has provided vocal instruction to several private business leaders and narrated documentaries for PBS and NPR. In addition to her work as a voice and speech professor, Griffin has directed several plays for The Theatre School including “Two Trains Running,” “Insurrection: Holding History,” “Flyin’ West,” “Stamping,” “Shouting and Singing Home,” “Sleep Deprivation Chamber,” “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When The Rainbow Is Enuf” and “Curse of The Starving Class.”

The cast features Jack Ball (Count Achille Creux/Mercure), Stephanie Barron (Mandragola/Polissena/Livingston), Pauline Critch-Gilfillan (Athene/Calliope), Tyler Esselman (Thomas Jefferson), Sam Haines (Meriwether Lewis), Sabrina Harms (Dona Smeralda/Josephine), Denzel Irby (Alcibiade/Orphee), Kiandra Layne (Leda/Dorilante/Melpomene), Daniel Lewis (Morales/Napoleon), Juwan Lockett (Dr. Toubib), Ashlyn Lozano (Lady Harcourt/Euterpe), Casey Morris (Pythagore/Le Clerc), Daniel Mozurkewich (Lord Harcourt), Awate Serequeberhan (Jacques Cornet), Rejinal Simon (Murmur/Toussaint), Hugh Smith (Jonathan Sparks), Wesley Toledo (Remy Dorilante/Monroe), Peter Varga (Pincepousse/Talleyrand) and Samantha Watzek (Mrs. Sparks/Infanta/Terpsichore).

The production staff includes Griffin (Director), Linda Buchanan (Scenic Designer), Jessica Vodnik (Costume Designer), Andrew Meyer (Lighting Designer), Jack Hawkins (Sound Designer), Stephanie Swiatek (Dramaturg) and Caroline D’Angelo (Stage Manager).

An opening night reception will be held after the performance Jan. 31. Post-show discussions will be held Feb. 2 and 6. The performance on Feb. 9 at 2 p.m. will include live audio description services for patrons who are blind or have low vision, as well as a pre-performance touch tour. The performance also will be interpreted in American Sign Language. TTY 773-325-7975.

Designed by renowned architect César Pelli and his firm Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, The Theatre School is the venue for presenting the school’s contemporary plays and classics, as well as new work.

The Theatre School at DePaul University educates, trains, and inspires students of theatre in a conservatory setting that is rigorous, disciplined, and culturally diverse. The school and its students strive for the highest level of professional skill and artistry. A commitment to diversity and equality in education is central to its mission. As an integral part of the training, The Theatre School produces public programs and performances from a wide repertoire of classic, contemporary, and original plays that challenge, entertain and stimulate the imagination. The school seeks to enhance the intellectual and cultural life of the university community, the city and the profession.