Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department alum BrittneyLove Smith ’11, a graduate of the Theatre Department’s Acting Program, is featured in the Chicago premiere of We’re Gonna Be Okay, running January 25-March 4 at the American Theatre Company. Set during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, Basil Kreimendahl’s play confronts the fears of the American middle class as two families wrestle with macrame, female empowerment and a shared property line.
“It is alarming how much of what is happening today directly parallels what was happening in America during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Themes of panic, mistrust, and paranoia, specifically as perpetuated by the government and media, feels especially eerie and relevant considering today’s climate,” Smith said in a recent essay distributed by American Theatre Company. She also noted that her character, Mag, was written by the playwright as a working-class white woman: “The fact that I am a black woman in 2018 having the opportunity to play a working class woman in the 1960s who is on a journey towards self-discovery and self-worth is so liberating. I love that Mag is now a black woman. I love being able to explore certain rights and dreams I have that Mag wouldn’t have had access to. I think it is so astonishingly important to examine this notion of the American dream and who has had access to it and who has been left out of it. At the heart of this piece is change and revelation. I think as a whole, American citizens, specifically people of color, women, and members of the LGTBQ community, are feeling a similar state of fear and an urgency for healing, understanding, and visibility. I am so thankful to be able to bring myself, my experiences, and my race into this piece. I hope one day the limitations of the 60’s in regards to race, gender, identity, and sexuality will be a thing of the past, but in the meantime I hope we never lose hope that one day we can all attain our various forms of liberation, self-worth, and happiness.”
The show’s sound designer is Columbia College Chicago Music Department alumnus Jeffrey Levin ’10, a graduate of the Music Department‘s BA Program in Music with a Composition Concentration.
American Theatre Company is located at 1909 W. Byron, Chicago. For tickets, call 773-409-4125 or click here.