Season 34

The Firestorm remount

by Meridith Friedman
directed by Drew Martin*

August 3-14, 2016

Run: Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays @ 7:30pm; Sundays at 2;30pm

part of Theatre on the Lake
Berger Park Cultural Center,
6205 N. Sheridan Rd.

Running time: 80 minutes

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Firestorm square

Gaby and Patrick, an interracial political power couple hot on the campaign trail, are thrust into the center of a media frenzy when a racially charged incident from Patrick’s past surfaces. As the pressure intensifies, the political becomes explosively personal and the foundation of their seemingly picture-perfect marriage begins to fracture.

The Firestorm was developed in part at Stage Left through a Downstage Left Playwright Residency in 2014. As part of a NNPN Rolling World Premiere, The Firestorm will be produced by Kitchen Dog Theater in Dallas, Texas in May of 2015, then at Stage Left, and finally by LOCAL Theater in Boulder, Colorado in the fall of 2016. 


Patrick: Vance Smith^
Kanome Jones
Leslie: Kate Black Spence*
Jamal: David Lawrence Hamilton





Production Team:

Stage Manager: Tara Malpass♦
Production Manager: Brennan Jones
Scenic Designer: Joe Schermoly♦
Lighting Designer: Maya Michele Fein♦
Costume Designer: Brenda Winstead*
Props Designer: Eleanor Kahn
Sound Designer: Joe Court
Technical Director
 Joe Schermoly♦
Assistant Director: Iris Sowlat^
Dramaturg: Jasmine Henri Jordan
Photographer: Johnny Knight

*Ensemble Member    ♦Artistic Associate    ^ Stage Left Staff


“★★★ (3 out of 4 stars)… the real strength in Friedman’s play, nimbly directed by Drew Martin for Stage Left Theatre, is that she’s more interested in exploring why people form alliances — political and personal — and how they do or do not withstand the inevitable realization that loyalty has its limits… a lot funnier than a thumbnail precis of its political and racial roots might suggest… gut-wrenching… questions cut with knifelike precision” — Kerry Reid, Chicago Tribune

“a different type of narrative. It’s a well-crafted, poignant, evenhanded… Director Drew Martin’s staging is effective as the story moves through the various rooms of Joe Schermoly’s minimalist set. The chemistry between Vance and Kanome’ is enjoyable to watch not only in their playful banter, but in their harrowing sorrow when words are said out of anger. In a time where racial tensions continue to grow with each viral clip or photo that appears, Friedman’s script not only provides an open conversation, but in the final scene as experiences are told and choices are made, she might very well have the answer of how healing can begin for us all… RECOMMENDED”  — Loy Webb, Newcity

“engrossing… Drew Martin’s taut staging puts an interracial marriage under the microscope… Stage Left’s four performers are potent… RECOMMENDED” —Larry Bommer, Stage and Cinema

“‘The Firestorm,’ a world-premiere play from the always excellent Stage Left Theatre Company, is thrilling in ways that the very best Chicago theater provides – intimate, thought provoking, and above all else, honest… Written with great sensitivity by Meredith Friedman, directed with fine precision by ensemble member Drew Martin, and passionately acted… HIGHLY RECOMMENDED” —Peter Thomas Ricci, Chicago Theatre Review

“this show from Stage Left Theatre is always interesting… Director Drew Martin’s savvy four-person cast make nearly every moment ring true” — Justin Hayford, Chicago Reader

“emotionally charged… an intriguing look at how the personal and the political intermesh in modern times, and how powerful an issue race relations remain, even decades after the Civil Rights Act and into the final days of the presidency of an African-American. With such a strong premise, cemented by solid acting and an unexpected ending, “The Firestorm” is definitely worth its ticket price.” — Coleen Cottet, Edge Media Network