World Premiere of ST. SEBASTIAN by Andrew Kramer will be presented at the Den Theater in September
Refracted Theater Company kicks off its inaugural season in Chicago with the world premiere of Andrew Kramer’s black comedy St. Sebastian, directed by Artistic Director Graham Miller. This three-way film about a queer white couple who move into a historically black neighborhood will premiere September 15 through October 2, 2022 at The Den Theater (2B), 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago. Tickets are currently available at thedentheatre.com. The press opening is on Saturday September 17 at 8 p.m.
The cast includes Nolan Robinson, Mack Spotts and Adam Thatcher. Linings: Matheus Barbee and Evan B. Smith.
St. Sebastian is the Refracted Theater Company‘s first Chicago production. The play is a dark comedy with a disturbing edge. Ben convinces his much younger boyfriend, Gideon, to move out of their apartment in town to flip a house…but he omits that the new house is in a historically (and currently) black neighborhood. When Ben befriends and employs a neighborhood kid named Reuben, the blurred line between ignorance, activism and fear exposes how pernicious racism lurks just beyond the face of the ” awakening”. After five years in development on San Sebastián, playwright Andrew Kramer (Armature), whose plays have been seen across the country and abroad, will work with a team of Refracted artists to bring his beautiful, intricate work to the stage. , fully produced for the first time.
Playwright Andrew Kramer comments, “At a time when political and social discourse often sounds more like an all-out battle than a campaign of hope, I am thrilled to bring Chicago audiences the world premiere of San Sebastian from the Refracted Theater Company. words are our weapons that we use to hurt and our language our connection to healing; if the COVID quarantine/the country’s racial reckoning of summer 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that being confined in close proximity with loved ones can be as difficult and frustrating as it can be enjoyable and comforting. As we return to live theater, San Sebastián seeks to explore the ways our most intimate relationships can also become our most volatile – especially when we disagree on issues of sexuality, race, religion and responsibility. Through lean muscle theatrics and propulsive, confronting language, we refract San Sebastian’s questions directly to the audience in attendance: how can we win it over by talking and listening anyway, instead of barking through the fence , like rabid dogs, in the face of those with whom we disagree? »
Director Graham Miller adds, “Based on the title alone, St. Sebastian, I think people will have preconceptions about what this play is. And to be honest, it’s pretty perfect, because this play just talk about this… our latent biases that keep us from seeing things as individual, and the struggle to fit the individual into a larger context. Everyone who read the early drafts reacted by saying they were surprised at the way it twists itself deeper into knots – knots that I think will leave an audience thinking long and hard about their daily interactions This piece gives us the opportunity to see ourselves and others with more clarity, and it can be uncomfortable…and that’s okay! In fact, it’s necessary, but it doesn’t have to be treacherous. It can be hilarious, terrifying, and ultimately, even healing.
The production team includes Catalina Niño (Scenic Designer), Emily N. Brink (Costume Designer), Levi Wilkins (Lighting Designer), Deon Custard (Sound Designer), Jasmine B. Gunter (Dramaturg), Austin Lichtman (Technical Director) , Dr. Durell Cooper (AEI Consultant) and Erin Nicole Eggers (Production Manager).
COVID Guidelines: In order to keep guests and staff safe, and in accordance with the League of Chicago Theatres, The Den will continue to require proof of vaccination to attend any event for the indefinite future. Although wearing a mask is no longer mandatory, The Den strongly encourages customers to continue wearing a mask when not eating or drinking. For the most up-to-date information on The Den’s COVID guidelines, visit thedentheatre.com/covid19-policy.
Title: San Sebastian – World premiere!
Playwright: Andrew Kramer
Director: Artistic Director Graham Miller
Cast (in alphabetical order): Nolan Robinson (Reuben), Mack Spotts (Gideon) and Adam Thatcher (Ben). Liners: Matheus Barbee and Evan B. Smith
Location: The Den Theater (2B), 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago
Dates: Opening: Thursday September 15 at 8 p.m. and Friday September 16 at 8 p.m.
Press opening: Saturday September 17 at 8 p.m.
Regular race: from Sunday September 18 to Sunday October 2, 2022
Curtain times: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m.; Sundays at 3 p.m.
About the artists
Andrew Kramer (Playwright, He/His/Him) is a queer playwright from Cleveland, OH. He is a graduate of Ball State University’s Department of Theater and Dance and a proud alumnus of Public Theater’s Emerging Writer’s Group. His plays have been developed by the Downstage Left Playwriting Residency at the Stage Left Theater in Chicago, the Nord Playwriting Fellowship at the Cleveland Public Theater, the Groundbreakers Playwrights’ Group with the terraNOVA Theater Collective, the SigWorks Musical Theater Lab with the Signature Theater, the Ingram New Works Lab at the Nashville Repertory Theater and the Core Apprentice Writer Program at the Playwrights Center. His work has been seen in Cleveland, Indianapolis, Chicago, Brooklyn, Kansas City, Lincoln, Louisville, Nashville, Houston, Williamsburg VA, New York City, Sacramento, Washington, DC, Ft. Lauderdale, Cairns Australia and Bucharest Romania.
Graham Miller (director, He/His/Him) is a theater manager, producer and co-founder and co-artistic director of Refracted Theater Company. He is particularly interested in non-linear storytelling, solo performance, docudrama, queer theatre, meticulous dramaturgical musical theatre, and any work that exposes gray in black and white. Directing credits include: Homeless Garden (co-developer with Matt Minnicino for Refracted), Be a Good Little Widow (Refracted), I Am My Own Wife (Out Front Theater Co., with Peter Smith), Serena Berman’s The Dark (Samuel French OOB Festival Finalist at The Vineyard Theatre), Fostered Love by Claire-Frances Sullivan (TACT Studios), Heavy is the Head…Or Why We Bow by JS Hinds (Amoralists’ Wright Night at Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre), as well only parts for SHOTZ! for AMIOS (The Kraine Theatre) and soap operas for The Bats (The Flea). Graham has also conducted several cabarets/solo plays at venues such as Green Room 42, Don’t Tell Mama, The Duplex and The Tank. Assistant/associate work includes projects with directors such as Michael Arden (Roundabout), Trip Cullman (Powerhouse/NYSAF), Michael Rader (Cape Playhouse), and Zi Alikhan (BASiC Theater Project.) Graham is a 2018 MTC Directing Fellow /19, SDCF 2018 Observer Recipient and 2017 Director’s Lab Chicago Alumnus.
About the refractory theater company
Refracted’s mission is to disrupt socially accepted narratives by telling “the other side of the story”. By disrupting audience expectations through innovation and adaptation, Refracted inspires meaningful discourse centered on empathy and humanity.
Refracted is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that was founded in 2019 in New York City by Graham Miller and Tova Wolff. As a two-year-old company, Refracted is proud to have been one of the only theaters in the country to produce two full seasons of live theater during the pandemic, harnessing its powers of creativity and innovation. Now in its third season at its new Chicago home, Refracted invites you to get involved as it redefines what theater can be in order to build a world fueled by curiosity and compassion. Please visit www.refractedco.com for more information and follow Refracted on social media @refractedco.