Colorblind Casting

by Antwon Funches

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Dwayne is a young Black acting student that is navigating the obstacles presented by his predominantly white institution. Professor Jacobs has proven to be particularly troublesome all semester and it all comes to a boiling point when he assigns Dwayne to a co-production role that just seems to be a recipe for disaster. Can they find a resolution?

Willow James-Director  is a theatre artist and photographer from the Chicagoland area, who works to instill his passion for kindness and celebrating blackness into his work. He is currently the resident sound designer at Artemisia Theatre and co-produces their We Women Podcast. He also co-produces/hosts a podcast called "That's What We Read: A Bookcast," and is proudly represented by Chicago Talent Network. Find out more about Willow at willow-james.org

Kendall Mallett (as Dwyane) is thrilled for the opportunity to be back on stage after some time away and to be part of a wonderful cast, he looks forward to being able to showcase his craft! Kendall is a Chicago-based actor and poet who finds the art of storytelling to be therapeutic as well as uplifting. Kendall previously attended the Actors Studio Chicago and is working on a project/album that focuses on the corruption that goes on inside the lives of minorities.

Kiefer Otto (as Professor Jacobs)  is a creator making inclusive and dynamic stories as a dancer, choreographer, actor, and filmmaker. Kiefer is currently located in Chicago, IL. Kiefer’s mission is to tell stories that haven’t been told, that reflect the diversity of our society, and expose audiences to a new way of thinking and viewing the world. Kiefer believes that activism is art. Kiefer believes in honoring and protecting the legacy of dance, acting, and filmmaking.  Kiefer works to inspire and motivate his audience to action through his vulnerability and unapologetic storytelling. Kiefer accomplishes this by collaborating, asking the right questions, and investigating the unknown. Kiefer’s choreography has been presented by Simantiko’s Dance Chicago, Noumenon Dance Ensemble, F.A.M.E Chicago, and THAW. He has performed in FOX, SHOWTIME, and Netflix’s hit television series Empire, Shameless, and Soundtrack. Kiefer draws inspiration from the human experience and from anyone who is trying to make a change in this world.  Kiefer will be launching his production company called KO Productions in 2021. Kiefer Otto dreams of a daily artist life, making and sharing stories with ease.

Teagan Fitzpatrick (as Jane) is a Chicago based actor/comedian. They were drawn to “Colorblind” and “Frenemies” because they tackle the nuances of racism, classism, and activism. Both pieces are very specific and poignant in the way they talk about the cultural movements happening in the United States. You can see more of her work at teaganfitzpatrick.com and see Instagram content from their sketch group, Neapolitan Productions (@theneapolitanproductions). They are excited to be a part of the BIPOC Playwrights fest and  to be in service of my directors, these playwrights, and of the important stories that are being told.