‘Comfort Stew’ by award winning playwright Angela Jackson

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Cheryl Lynn Bruce

Haunting Play About A Young Girl Gone Missing In Chicago opens at eta April 20

Two Chicago powerhouse artists merge talents for eta Creative Arts Foundation upcoming production of Comfort Stew. Playwright Angela Jackson and director Cheryl Lynn Bruce revisit the 1997 acclaimed production with a fresh look at a family of women who, over the course of a night, remember aspects of motherhood on their journey to find a loss child.  The show opens Friday, April 20 at 8 p.m. at eta Creative Arts Foundation, 7558 S. South Chicago Avenue and runs Fridays at 8 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays at 3 p.m. through Opening Friday, April 20 -May 20, 2018.

Today, Amber Alerts quickly inform us of missing and/or kidnapped children. Details of the life of a child; life observed by neighbors and teachers, is critical to understanding why and how children go missing. Comfort Stew speaks to a community’s internal struggle to address circumstances and consequences critical to parenting. Angela Jackson says, “Comfort Stew is a meditation on motherhood and what it means to love. It is a call to community to renew its vows to the ancestors and to children so that no child is ever truly lost.”

“Comfort Stew” was produced at ETA Theater in Chicago in 1997 and 2018, and as “When the Wind Blows” in 1985.

Angela Jackson

Chicago resident, poet, playwright, and novelist Angela Jackson, was the recipient of the Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America. Of her several poetry volumes she was the winner of the Carl Sandburg Award and the Chicago Sun-Times/ Friends of Literature Book of the Year award for poetry in 1994.

Her plays “Shango Diaspora: An African-American Myth of Womanhood and Love” was produced in Chicago and toured in New York, Milwaukee, Barbados, and produced in Cleveland. Her debut novel “Where I Must Go” (Northwestern University Press, 2009) was the recipient of an American Book Award.

Angela Jackson’s honors are many; these include: the 2nd Illinois Literary Heritage Award from the Center for the Book in 1996, National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship for Fiction in 1980; Illinois Arts Council Creative Writing Fellowships for Fiction in 1979 and Play Writing in 2001; a Pushcart Prize in 1985, and a Before Columbus Foundation American Book Award for Poetry in 1985.

Directed by Cheryl Lynn Bruce (La Havana Madrid, Teatro Vista, 2017) cast is Tanikia Carpenter (Alfreda/Enjoli)), Demetra Drayton (Patrice), Raina Lynn (Hillary), Natara Easter (Sojourner), Frederick Williams (Jake).  Sonita Surratt sound design; Edward Richardson light design; Kemati J. Porter costumes; set design by Cheryl Lynn Bruce and technical direction by Darryl Goodman.

Cheryl Lynn Bruce, Director

Cheryl Lynn Bruce has performed on regional stages across the country as well as in Europe and Mexico. She created the role of Elizabeth Sandry for Steppenwolf’s original Tony Award-winning production of “The Grapes of Wrath,” which played Broadway’s Court Theatre, National Theatre (UK), and La Jolla Playhouse.

Her latest directing project was “Jitney” for Congo Square Theatre Company, but she has directed productions at Columbia College; University of Illinois-Chicago; Indiana University and De Paul University as well.

Bruce, longtime educator, wrote and directed a dozen plays with music and dance for Youth Drama Workshop, the summer enrichment program she co-founded with Goodman Theatre in 1995, exclusively serving ‘tween age and teenage residents of Dearborn Homes in Bronzeville.

As actress, Ms. Bruce recently tackled the role of Mai Carol in Danai Gurira’s Familiar at Woolly Mammoth Theatre in Washington, D.C., and premiered as the title character in Lucas Hnath’s “Hillary and Clinton” at Victory Gardens in 2016.

Ms. Bruce’s stage work has garnered many nominations and awards, among them: the Helen Hayes Award, Connecticut Critics Circle Award, an Emmy, and Joseph Jefferson Award.

For tickets, call 773-752-3955 or visit www.etacreativearts.org.

eta Creative Arts Foundation

eta Creative Arts Foundation, Inc. provides professional training and work in the performing and technical arts for youth and adults.  eta is widely recognized as one of Chicago’s leading performing and cultural arts complexes in the African American community and one of only a few African American owned and managed facilities of its kind in the city. eta has a commitment to the production of new works and the development of the individual artist

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