CHICAGO — Promethean’s critically-acclaimed production of Moisés Kaufman’s historical drama GROSS INDECENCY: THE THREE TRIALS OF OSCAR WILDE, which enjoyed a two-week run in December 2016, will be remounted from February 15 through March 24, 2019 at Strawdog Theatre, 1809 W. Berenice. GROSS INDECENCY, which Promethean Artistic Director Brian Pastor will again direct, will be performed with cross-gender casting in some roles, as it was in the company’s earlier production. Promethean Ensemble Member Jamie Bragg will reprise her leading role as Oscar Wilde.
Pastor announced the full cast today. Also returning from the 2016 cast are Promethean Ensemble Members Cameron Feagin (Edward Carson and Narrator 5), Heather Kae Smith (Lord Alfred Douglas), and Kevin Sheehan (Sir Edward Clark and others); as well as guest artists Jennifer Mickelson (Narrator 2, Atkins, Wright & Others), and Kat Evans (Narrator 3, Parker, Harris & Others). New to the remount are Promethean Ensemble Members Jared Dennis (Queensberry, Gill, Lockwood & Narrator 8) and Brendan Hutt (Narrator 1, George Bernard Shaw, Moises Kaufman & Others) and guest artist Johnard Washington (Narrator 4, Mayor, Marvin Taylor & Others).
The production team will include Ensemble Members Jeremiah Barr (set and properties designer), visiting artists Uriel Gomez (costume designer), Jonathan Guillen (sound designer and composer), Lyndsay Kane (movement coordinator), and Max Colvill (assistant director). Promethean Artistic Associate Catherine Gillespie will be the production’s dialect coach.
Kaufman’s play examines the persecution and prosecution of Wilde for his homosexuality in late 19th Century Britain. In Promethean’s production, Kaufman’s 1997 meta-theatrical play is structured with the entire cast of nine serving as narrators who go on to assume the roles of the people in this historical story. The genders of Wilde, Douglas and Carson are not changed, but the narrators assuming those roles are women.
Pastor explained how this non-traditional casting broadens the play’s message. As they said in 2016, “GROSS INDECENCY is still, and always will be, a play for the LBGTQ community: an examination of an early gay icon. But at its core, this is a play about being one’s self; and, frankly, about whether or not the government, society, or anyone else has the right to tell us if that’s okay. When push came to shove, despite unspeakable consequences, Oscar took his own advice: ‘Just be yourself. Everybody else is taken.’”
Press release from Promethean Theatre Ensemble