The Graphite Series

The Graphite Series: Mr. Welfare by Wendell Etherly

A staged reading of:

Mr. Welfare

by Wendell Etherly
Directed by Jason Boat

Steep Theatre, 1115 W. Berwyn Ave. Chicago, IL 60640

Monday, March 21st, 2011, at 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011, at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets for the Graphite Series:
$5 – available at the door

As a theatre devoted to the development of new work, Mortar Theatre Company has created The Graphite Series, an ongoing series of play readings to highlight new works and new voices in the Chicago theatre community. Mortar Theatre will devote resources and support in the development of new scripts culminating in their presentation to the public. The first event in this series will be a reading of Mr. Welfare from up-and-coming Chicago playwright Wendell Etherly, directed by company member Jason Boat and dramaturged by Literary Manager Dana Lynn Formby at Steep Theatre, March 21-22, 2011.

About the script:
During one of the most volatile periods in Black America, the 1960s, a Chicago tavern owner gives in to his alderman and provides shelter to some of the local homeless. Mr. Welfare is a powerful snapshot of a turning point in our history that asks questions of accountability for yourself and your community.

About the playwright:
Wendell Etherly is the Co-Chairman of the Black Playwrights Initiative, founded by the Black Ensemble Theater, and the Chairman of Organizational Development at the African American Arts Alliance in Chicago. Some of his works include: THE RED SUMMER, which was selected to the 2007 National Black Theatre Festival, and recipient of the 2008 Illinois Arts Fellowship Award for outstanding script works; MR. WELFARE, which was selected to the 2009 National Black Theatre Festival; and 2009 Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Conference Finalist. His play CARNAL SAVIOR opened in its world premiere in April 2007 at the Live Bait Theater. That year, it was a candidate for the Pulitzer Prize for Dramatic works.

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