The life, work and spirit of Texas congresswoman Barbara Jordan will be revived in Voice of Good Hope, a world premiere play by Kristine Thatcher, officially opening March 27 at Victory Gardens Theatre in Chicago.
Previews for the "dramatic tribute," as it is being billed, began March 17, with Cheryl Lynn Bruce playing the late politician.
One of the most influential African-American women in U.S. history, Jordan rose above the odds of a ghetto childhood and the racist South to make her voice heard. Both the personal and the professional are addressed in the play, which shifts back and forth in time. Jordan died in 1996.
The cast includes Karla Beard, Kenn E. Head, Yvonne Huff, Daniel Mooney, Meg Thalken and Kim Wade. Victory Gardens artistic director Dennis Zacek directs. Performances continue to April 23.
Playwright Kristine Thatcher penned Emma's Child (Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Victory Gardens), Among Friends (Victory Gardens), Niedecker (Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Writers' Theater in Chicago), Apparitions and Under Glass. Designers for Voice of Good Hope are Jeff Bauer (sets), Karin Kopischke (costumes), Joel Moritz (lights) and Andre Pluess and Ben Sussman (sound).
The four-venue Victory Gardens is devoted to new works by a stable of resident writers.
Tickets are $25-30. Victory Gardens is at 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. For information, call (773) 871-3000 or try the web site at http://www.victorygardens.org.
-- By Kenneth Jones