Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department alums are in the cast and creative team of Middle Passage, running April 15 through June 5 at Lifeline Theatre, located at 6912 N. Glenwood in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood.
Columbia College alum Ilesa Duncan, Lifeline’s artistic director, directed this adaptation of the epic tale by Evanston-bred author Charles Johnson. Duncan also wrote the adaptation in collaboration with David Barr III.
The show’s cast includes Columbia College alums Kellen Robinson ’16, a graduate of the Theatre Department’s BA Program in Musical Theatre with a Minor in Stage Combat, and Shelby Lynn Bias ’18, a graduate of the Theatre Department’s BA Program in Acting.
For tickets, click here.
In Middle Passage, Rutherford Calhoun, a newly freed Illinois slave eking out a living in 1830 New Orleans, stows away aboard The Republic, an outbound rigger, to evade debtors enforcing marriage. But his clever escape backfires as the clipper turns out to be a slave ship bound for Africa. Calhoun must choose between a fanatical captain, a mutinous crew, and the Africans seeking escape. Building on a tradition of African American storytelling, this tale challenges perceptions of American identity using a Black aesthetic.