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Raven Theatre presents the World Premiere of “The Last Pair of Earlies” by Joshua Allen; directed by Wardell Julius Clark

Raven Theatre, Chicago’s newest Equity-affiliated theatre, is pleased to welcome back audiences this fall with the world premiere of Chicago native Joshua Allen’s “The Last Pair of Earlies,” directed by Wardell Julius Clark

This new drama, which follows the hardships and hopes of Wayland and Della Rose Early as they chase a sweet Southern dream on the South Side of Chicago, will play October 27 – December 12, 2021, on Raven’s 85-seat East Stage, 6157 N. Clark St. (at Granville) in Chicago. Single tickets and a variety of 2021-22 subscription packages are currently available at or by calling (773) 338-2177.

The production features Tarina Bradshaw, Demetra Dee, Keith Illidge, Marcus D. Moore, Jonny Morrison and Shadana Patterson.

Please note: Raven Theatre will require proof of vaccination and masking at all performances through the end of 2021. For all of Raven’s COVID-19 and vaccination information, visit

Ever since he was a teenager in Mississippi, Wayland Early could count on two things – his talent for making handmade shoes, and the love of his bride, Della Rose. But danger forces them to flee north to Chicago. Before they know it, nearly two decades have passed, and both Wayland and Della find themselves increasingly unable to count on anything, including their marriage. As they each contend with the weight of their spent youth and unrealized dreams, a life-altering question comes to the surface: are we still enough for each other? Joshua Allen emerges from the award-winning writers’ room of Empire with a hometown world premiere.

Says Raven Artistic Director Cody Estle, “We are excited to welcome playwright Joshua Allen to our theater. Joshua is a Chicago native and will be joining us during the creative process and we look forward to introducing his work to Chicago’s theater community and to our audiences. We are equally excited to open our doors and get back to doing what we do best – making plays!”

Cast: Tarina Bradshaw (Myrna Lee Franklin), Demetra Dee (Young Della Rose), Keith Illidge (Jimmy Riley), Marcus D. Moore (Wayland Early), Jonny Morrison (Young Wayland) and Shadana Patterson (Della Rose Early).

Location: Raven Theatre East Stage, 6157 N. Clark St. (at Granville), Chicago

Dates: Previews: Wednesday, October 27, at 7:30 p.m., Friday, October 29, at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, October 30, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, October 31, at 3 p.m.

Regular run: Thursday, November 4 – Sunday, December 12, 2021.

Curtain Times: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm; Sundays at 3 p.m. Please note: there will not be a performance on Thursday, November 25 (Thanksgiving).

Tickets: Previews $30. Regular run $40. Students/active military and veterans $15. Tickets are currently available at or by calling (773) 338-2177. Information is also available on the website regarding a touch tour/open captioned performance, as well as group ticket purchases.

Plan Your Visit: Free parking is provided in a lot adjacent to the theatre – additional street parking is available. Nearest “L” station: Granville Red Line. Buses: #22 (Clark), #36 (Broadway), #151 (Sheridan), #155 (Devon), #84 (Peterson).

Raven Theatre tells stories of today and the past that connect us to our cultural landscape. Through its plays, as well as its educational programming, Raven is committed to serving our communities’ needs through the arts.

Raven Theatre Company is funded in part by the The MacArthur Fund for Culture, Equity, and the Arts at Prince; Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation; Polk Bros Foundation; The Shubert Foundation; S&C Electric Company Fund; Paul M. Angell Foundation; The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation and the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.


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