By Philip Dawkins
Originally produced at Northlight Theatre, Skokie, IL
October 14 - November 8, 2015
About the Premiere Production:
(Photo by Michael Brosilow.)
World Premiere presented at Steppenwolf's Garage Theatre
Charm depicts the colorful inner workings of an etiquette class taught by Mama Darleena Andrews, an African-American transgender woman, in an LGBTQ organization known as The Center. Despite her students' daily battles with identity, poverty and prejudice, Mama's powerful love and unapologetic attitude ultimately help her pupils find a new way to respect each other and to redefine what "having charm" means.
Developed through Northlight's Interplay Series, Charm is inspired by the true story of Miss Gloria Allen and her work at Center on Halsted. This new play carries a message of dignity and inclusion to all those it touches.
Cast: Armand Fields, Elizabeth Ledo, Monica Orozco, Julian Parker, Awate Serequeberhan, Matthew Sherbach, Namir Smallwood, Brittneylove Smith, and Dexter Zollicoffer.
Director: BJ Jones
Production Dramaturg: Polly Hubbard
Production Stage Manager: Jonathan Nook
Scenic Design: Alan E. Schwanke
Costume Design: Izumi Inaba
Lighting Design: JR Lederle
Original Music & Sound Design: Lindsay Jones
- "Chicago Theater Stirs Up a ‘Cyclone’ of Promising New Work," Variety, October 21, 2015
- "Review: Charm," TimeOut Chicago, October 19, 2015
- "New play about LGBTQ youth, based on a real Chicagoan, is utterly charming," Chicago Tribune, October 19, 2015
- "Northlight Theatre takes audiences to 'Charm' school," Windy City Times, October 7, 2015
- "A transgender housemother schools her Boystown proteges in Northlight's Charm at Steppenwolf Garage ," Chicago Reader, September 9, 2015