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Chicago Native Sharif Atkins Takes Center Stage in August Wilson Play

Sharif Atkins returns to Chicago as part of a stellar ensemble in August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean, playing at the Goodman Theatre from January 22nd through February 27th. Opening night is January 31st. Atkins joined  ShoVal & More NFP via zoom for VIP reception following a matinee performance on January 29th.

Atkins has been cast as Citizen Barlow, a central figure in this long-awaited revival. Gem of the Ocean is the first play in the famed August Wilson “American Century Cycle,” a 10-play series that portrays the 20th-century African-American experience. The series has garnered Tony Awards, Pulitzer Prizes, among other accolades.

Atkins is overjoyed to be back home. As a kid from the South side of Chicago, Atkins was educated in the Chicago Public Schools. Having graduated from both McDade Classical Elementary and Whitney Young High School, he went on to earn his undergraduate degree from Northwestern University.

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Sharif Atkins

His career took off with a series regular role in the acclaimed drama series, ER from 2001-2006. After his success on ER, Atkins has been featured in many popular television series such as White Collar and Hawaii, among others. This new role has not only given Atkins an opportunity to fulfill a lifelongdream, but to do it in front of the most supportive parents and family any actor could have, Circuit Court Judge David B. Atkins Jr. and Rev. Dr. Jacqueline Triche Atkins, Founder, and CEO of ShoVal & More, NFP and the producer of the Gold Rush Women’s Conference.

Gem of the Ocean appears January 22 – February 27; opening night is January 31. Tickets ($25 – $80, subject to change) are now available at or by phone at 312.443.3800.



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