Backstage with BJ
Our popular discussion series with Artistic Director BJ Jones, featuring special guest artists, actors, directors and designers, offering behind-the-scenes insight into each production while it is still in rehearsal.Read More
by Lynn Nottage
directed by Tasia A. Jones
April 14 - May 15, 2022
In 1905, a Black seamstress named Esther sews her way toward the future stitch by delicate stitch, creating fine lingerie for her Manhattan clientele while searching for a husband and planning for a more fulfilling life. She finds affection that can’t be realized with a Jewish fabric merchant, and a letter-writing courtship with a lonesome Caribbean man who proves not to be what he seems. Through disappointments and heartache, Esther turns back to her sewing machine to rebuild her life and refashion her future.
View the digital program book.
Photos by Liz Lauren
“In Tasia A. Jones’s impeccable production, Lynn Nottage’s Intimate Apparel is as beautiful as the title garments. A treat for the romantic as well as for the student of the ways race and creed keep kindred souls apart.”
-Chicago Reader (Full Review)
“A stellar ensemble of talent! Intimate Apparel leaves its audience wanting more.”
-Chicago Sun-Times (Full Review)
“Vividly captivating. A riveting story of how love can be the fabric which can hurt and heal the soul.”
-Let’s Play (Full Review)
“There is a tautness to the characters that magnifies the concept of intimacy.”
-Third Coast Review (Full Review)
“This finely stitched dramatic production at Northlight already sings.”
-Chicago Theatre Review (Full Review)
Rashada is so relieved to be returning back to theater, to this beloved cast and to this classic piece. Thank you to all for returning to the theater! Chicago credits include Madagascar, Junie B. Jones, The Nutcracker (Marriott); Elf, Cinderella (Paramount); Caroline or Change (Firebrand/Timeline); Djembe (Foresight); Something In The Game (AMTP/Wirtz); The Winner of Our Discontent, A Red Line Runs Through It (Second City); Aida (MUNY); Dynamite Divas, Black White Love Play, and The Other Cinderella (Black Ensemble). TV/Film: The Chi, Chicago PD, Shameless, Hope Springs Eternal, Easy, The Red Line, and Proven Innocent. Rashada is a Jeff award nominated actress, vocalist and Executive Director of B. Fli Productions. She is most thankful to God for her Village, family and friends, Paonessa Talent Agency, and her two intelligent managers aka daughters, Journey and Genesis. www.RashadaDawan.com @ButtafliDawan
George (Until May 1)
Felicia earned a Tony Award nomination for her portrayal of Sofia in The Color Purple on Broadway and a 2006 Theatre World Award, two Broadway.com awards, an NAACP nomination and the award for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance in Sophisticated Ladies. Other Northlight Theatre credits include she and E. Faye Butler’s review of Let the Good Times Roll, It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues, and Low Down Dirty Blues. Other credits include: Writers Theatre, Marriott Theatre, Court Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Drury Lane Oakbrook Terrace, Theatre at the Center, Milwaukee Rep, The Broadway Playhouse and the Goodman Theatre. She has performed throughout the country in the musical Low Down Dirty Blues. Television/film credits include Slice with Chance the Rapper, Save the Last Dance, Who Gets the Dog, Chicago PD, Chicago Fire, Bad Judge (NBC), Sense8 (Netflix), Early Edition (CBS), The Knights of Prosperity (ABC) and many commercials/voice-overs to date. She is the recipient of a Clarence Dewitt Award, many Joseph Jefferson nominations and won the Jeff award for her performances in Sophisticated Ladies. Governor Quinn declared July 24th Felicia P. Fields.
Sean was recently seen in Othello (Court) and Talley’s Folly (Peninsula Players). Other credits include Miss Trunchbull in Matilda (Drury Lane), Malvolio in Twelfth Night (Writers), and work at Chicago Shakespeare, Goodman, Theatre at the Center, Timeline, Marriott, Remy Bumppo, About Face, First Folio, Next, Milwaukee Shakespeare, Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, Intiman (WA), Old Globe (CA), and The Duke on 42nd (NY). Film: The Merry Gentleman directed by Michael Keaton. TV: Antoon Dumini in Fargo (FX), Chicago Med, Chicago PD, Chicago Fire (NBC). Sean has received eight Joseph Jefferson nominations and an After Dark Award. Next: Starbuck in The Rainmaker at Peninsula Players.
Mildred is super excited to be back at Northlight, where she was last seen in Paula Vogel’s A Civil War Christmas. Other credits include Gunshot Medley: Part 1 (CAB/Rogue Machine Theatre, Ovation Nomination, Lead Actress); Native Son (Antaeus Theatre Company/Kirk Douglas Theatre, 2019 Block Party); Domesticated, Animal Farm, Venus, The Crucible (Steppenwolf); The Royale (American Theater Company, BTAA Best Featured Actress); Luck of the Irish (Next Theatre); A Raisin in the Sun (Milwaukee Rep/Timeline); My Kind of Town, In Darfur (Timeline); Failure: A Love Story (Victory Gardens). TV/Film: Dimensional Shift, Magic Funhouse, Chicago Med, Masters of Sex, Boss, Dignity, Grow Up, Your Beautiful Baby, Concrete Rose, and Analysis Paralysis. Thank you, always, to my family and friends for your constant love and support. Proud member of AEA and SAG-AFTRA.
George (Starting May 3)
Al’Jaleel is excited to return to Northlight Theatre so soon! He is a proud Chicago built actor- having received his B.A. in Theatre & Performance from UIC and his MFA in Acting from Northwestern University as a member of the inaugural Acting program cohort. He is represented by Gray Talent Group. Theatre credits include: Fireflies (Northlight), Wolf Play(The Gift), Hamlet (Chi. Shakespeare), Graveyard Shift (Goodman New Stages), To Catch A Fish, Paradise Blue (TimeLine), Breach (Victory Gardens Theater) and Blues For An Alabama Sky (Court Theatre). Film/Television credits include: Shining Girls (Apple), 61st Street (AMC), The Red Line (CBS), Chicago Med (NBC), Empire (FOX), The Chi (Showtime), Proud Mary (Sony Pictures).
Mrs. Van Buren
Rebecca makes her Northlight debut with Intimate Apparel. Theatre: Top Girls, Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Equity Jeff Nom.), The Voysey Inheritance (Remy Bumppo); Every Brilliant Thing (Windy City Playhouse); The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (SYA), Mary Page Marlowe, The Crucible, Our Lady of 121st Street and Pacific (Steppenwolf); Continuity (Goodman New Stages Festival); In The Garden (Lookingglass); Concerning Strange Devices from the Distant West (TimeLine); This (Theatre Wit); The Firebirds Take the Field, How the World Began, These Shining Lives (Equity Jeff Nom.), WRENS (Rivendell). Film: Candyman, Princess Cyd, Slice, Man of Steel, Contagion, The Dilemma, Public Enemies, Grace is Gone, and The Break-Up. Television: Utopia, Empire, Easy, Boss, Crisis, Chicago Fire, Betrayal, The Mob Doctor, Detroit 1-8-7, The Chicago Code, The Beast, and Prison Break.
Tasia is a professional director, actor, and theatre educator. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Instruction at Northwestern University. Her most recent directing credits include Intimate Apparel (Utah Shakespeare Festival), Small Mouth Sounds (UCCS Presents/Theatreworks), The MLK Project (Writers Theatre), and Seussical the Musical (Jean’s Playhouse). Upcoming productions include 1919 (Steppenwolf Theatre) and A Raisin in the Sun (American Players Theatre). She has appeared in such works as The Inside (Pegasus Theatre), Saturday Night/Sunday Morning (The Lyric Stage Company), and The Bluest Eye (Company One). She holds a BFA in Theatre Arts from Boston University and an MFA in Directing from Northwestern University.
Recent: Opera adaptation of Intimate Apparel (LCT), Floyd’s (Guthrie), The Secret Life of Bees Musical (Atlantic). Upcoming: MJ (Broadway). Plays include Mlima’s Tale, Sweat (Pulitzer Prize, Obie, Evening Standard Award, Susan Smith Blackburn Prize); By the Way, Meet Vera Stark (Lilly Award); Ruined (Pulitzer Prize, Obie, Lortel, NY Drama Critics’ Circle, AUDELCO, Drama Desk and OCC awards); Intimate Apparel (American Theatre Critics and NYDCC awards). TV: Writer/producer She’s Gotta Have It (Netflix). PEN/Laura Pels Master Dramatist Award, Doris Duke Artist Award, American Academy of Arts and Letters Award, MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellowship, a Guggenheim Grant, Lucille Lortel Fellowship, Associate Professor at Columbia.
Scott is a Canadian-born, Chicago-based set and costume designer. His work explores how mass, shape and form react and connect with the body in space. His work has been seen at the Prague Quadrennial, The Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Theatreworks (Colorado Springs); Aboutface Theatre (Chicago); The Grand Theatre (London); The Sudbury Theatre Centre, The Watermark Theatre (Prince Edward Island); The Globe Theatre (Regina); Buddies in Bad Times, Angelwalk Theatre (Toronto); and The Winnipeg Studio Theatre. His work includes design in classical theatre, new and modern plays, musical theatre, and dance. Upcoming projects include You Are A Field (Dietrich Group Toronto), White (Definition Theatre), Catch as Catch Can (Associate Design, Steppenwolf) and Love’s Labours Lost (American Players Theatre). Scott has an MFA from Northwestern University. www.scottpennerdesign.ca
CHICAGO: Wife of a Salesman (Writers Theatre); The Tragedy of Othello, The Moor of Venice (Court Theatre); I, Banquo (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre); Intimate Apparel (Northlight Theatre); Plano (First Floor Theater); Top Girls (Remy Bumppo Theatre Company); Mies Julie (Victory Gardens Theater); Unelectable You (The Second City); D.O.A., The Long Christmas Ride Home, Desperate Dolls (Strawdog Theatre Company); Murder Ballad, CARRIE: The Musical (Bailiwick Chicago); Angry Fags (Steppenwolf Garage) The Submission, Songs from an Unmade Bed (Pride Films and Plays); A Number, Scenes from an Execution (Runcible Theatre). REGIONAL: Intimate Apparel (Utah Shakespeare Festival); Taming of the Shrew, Cymbeline, A Doll’s House, A Doll’s House, Part 2 ( American Players Theatre); Small Mouth Sounds (UCCS Theatreworks).
Claire is a Chicago native who recently moved to LA to pursue her MFA at California Institute of the Arts. Chicago credits include The Mousetrap, Radio Golf, and Manual Cinema’s Frankenstein (Court); Stick Fly, Mementos Mori (Writers); New Stages Festival 2019 (Goodman); The Brothers Size (Steppenwolf Young Adults); Grey House, The Room, The Mutilated, and Evening at the Talk House (A Red Orchid); Yen, Suddenly Last Summer (Raven); Hamlet (The Gift); Fun Harmless Warmachine (The New Colony); We’re Gonna Die, Fear and Misery in the Third Reich (Haven); Caught (Sideshow); Dada Woof Papa Hot, Bull in a China Shop (About Face); and Winning Works (2017-2019; Joffrey Ballet’s Joffrey Academy). In her spare time, Claire is a facilitator with the ABLE ensemble (Artists Breaking Limits and Expectations). clairechrzandesigns.com
Daphne is a lighting designer finishing her MFA in Stage Design at Northwestern University. She has worked in theater, dance, and urban design. She has designed Something Rotten (2022), Eurydice (2019), and Danceworks (2019/2022) at the Wirtz Theater Center and Enter Your Sleep (2017), Non-Player Character (2018) and The Conduct of Life (2019) at the Yale Cabaret. This is her debut at Northlight Theater. During the 2020 pandemic summer, she co-founded the performance group Grass Studio Theatre with Hamid Dehghani and students of NU. Originally from Santiago, Chile, she received a BArch in Architecture and a Master of Environmental Design in 2017 at the Yale School of Architecture, with a thesis on the transformation of urban public spaces through performance arts.
Jeffrey makes his Northlight debut. Selected Chicago credits: Photograph 51 (Court Theatre); Tiny Beautiful Things (Victory Gardens). A Shayna Maidel (TimeLine Theatre Company); Grey House (A Red Orchid Theatre, Jeff Award and Jeff nomination respectively); Kill Move Paradise (TimeLine Theatre Company); The Brothers Size (Steppenwolf); Hookman (
Production Stage Manager
Katie is pleased to return to Northlight where previous credits include the world premieres Mr. Dickens’ Hat, The Wickhams: Christmas at Pemberley,and Landladies, as well as You Can’t Take It with You. Recent credits: Wife of A Salesman and Into the Woods (Writers), Mr. Burns (Theater Wit), Rio Records (13Exp, Los Angeles), Hamilton (Chicago, Sub); Sorin: A Notre Dame Story (National Tour); If I Forget, Indecent, Lettie (Victory Gardens); The Realistic Joneses (Theater Wit & Shattered Globe); and Mother and Me (Geva Theater Center, Rochester, NY). As resident stage manager at American Theater Company (2008-2018), highlights include the world premieres Disgraced (Pulitzer Prize), The Project(s), and columbinus (Chicago & ArtsEmerson, Boston). She is on the Theatre faculty at Loyola University Chicago and is a proud member of Actors Equity Association.
Northlight’s mission is to remove as many barriers of entry as possible for members of our community to attend our shows. On this page you will find more information on our many accessibility services for Intimate Apparel. Visit our Accessibility Page for more information for our whole season.
AUDIO DESCRIPTION/TOUCH TOUR
Intimate Apparel Audio Described/Touch Tour Performance – May 7, 2022, 2:30pm
Intimate Apparel Open Captioned Performance – May 7, 2022, 2:30pm
Intimate Apparel Relaxed Performance – May 4, 2022, 7:30pm
To purchase tickets, use the promo code NACCESS by phone 847.673.6300 or online to receive discounted tickets at a flat rate of $40 each (standard fees still apply).
For more information or questions about Captioning, Audio Description, or Relaxed Performances, please contact Ruben Carrazana: 847.324.1615 or firstname.lastname@example.org.