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  We Are Proud to Present... at Victory Gardens Theater - Biograph

We Are Proud to Present...

Victory Gardens Theater - Biograph
2433 N. Lincoln Ave Chicago

In We Are Proud to Present a Presentation About the Herero of Namibia, Formerly Known as South-West Africa, when a group of actors gather together to give a presentation on a distant genocide, they realize that summaries based on history books aren’t nearly enough to capture the complexity of human extermination—or human interaction. In an honest attempt to delve deeper, they crash into their own simmering fears and unconscious bigotry and come face to face with the potential for brutality in all of us.

Thru - Apr 29, 2012



Price: $20-$50

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 773-871-3000

www.victorygardens.org


Victory Gardens Theater - Biograph Seating Chart


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  We Are Proud to Present... Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Recommended

"...This is a very promising new play about race, history and the demons we're apparently unable to banish; it is precisely the kind of new work Victory Gardens should be developing. But Tang and Sibblies Drury have yet to show us they have every inch of their own skin in the game."
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Chris Jones


Windy City Times - Recommended

"...Whether you agree with all of the arguments Drury raises—"Black" being synonymous with "African," for example—what's certain is that a story recounting the progress of a potentially devastating game of "let's-pretend" demands a profound level of trust among the real-life actors whose portrayals require them to immerse themselves in dionysic frenzy seven times a week without likewise succumbing to meltdown. This commitment can be contagious—on opening night, during the abrupt blackout ending the show, a spontaneous whoop was heard in the darkness before the cast, now safely distanced from their roles, filed out to enthusiastic cheers and whistles for their well-deserved curtain call."
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Mary Shen Barnidge


Time Out Chicago - Recommended

"...As the group pores over letters home from German soldiers—the only primary source material available, since the Herero were almost entirely stamped out——the dynamic shifts again and again as they try to find a way into the mind-set of those who would condone and participate in genocide. Race naturally becomes a factor in the nameless characters’ interactions, which turn touchy in ways both expected and surprising as the group members battle over assumptions and who’s more understanding of whom. Jackie Sibblies Drury lands a number of intriguing blows in a production handsomely staged by Long Wharf Theatre’s Eric Ting with an able and appealing cast. Still, inside-baseball theater-game gags wear thin, and the play’s breathless climax feels artificially attained."
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Kris Vire


Chicago On the Aisle - Highly Recommended

"...Turn by turn, we’re drawn more deeply into the African oppression, though it was so long ago and so far way that even the black actors have trouble relating to it. And you marvel, watching all this, how someone at Victory Gardens, reading the script when Drury’s play was selected for the Ignition Festival, ever got past page 3: the self-conscious, halting attempts at humor that set up the first scene. And set up this arc. Set us all up for the numbing denouement."
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Lawrence B. Johnson


Stage and Cinema - Somewhat Recommended

"...Whatever its dramatic weaknesses, We Are Proud does spotlight a little known horrific episode in modern history. The Herero tribe finally has a champion to recount their near extermination more than a century ago. A spotlight is focused, however erratically, on clashing black and white attitudes over how to validly present this tragedy, and by extension other tragedies rooted in racial conflict. But there is much work to be done before the play meets the challenges it honorably tries to confront."
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Dan Zeff


ChicagoCritic - Recommended

"...There is a powerful drama ready to explode. You’d be hard pressed to find six stronger actors than Bernard Balbot, Kamal Angelo Bolden, Tracey N. Bonner, Jake Cohen, Leah Karpel and Travis Turner – as each had several telling moments wherein their theatrical skills shined brightly."
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Tom Williams


Chicago Stage Standard - Not Recommended

"...At least Goodman Theatre provided a context for colonialism with graphic storytelling in “The Convert.” The Oriental Theatre’s “Fela!” put Afrobeat in the perspective of a Nigerian revolt. But this sad little show has nothing to offer but blatant in-jokes and stultifying stereotypes about silly actors demanding to know their “motivation,” arguing over the size of their parts, repudiating each other’s claim to know the experiences of anyone who’s more like them than they are, and discovering that, given our bent to bigotry, sometimes you can become your role in the worst way. Tell me something I don’t know."

Lawrence Bommer


Let's Play at ChicagoNow - Somewhat Recommended

"...Playwright Jackie Sibblies Drury and Director Eric Ting have the bookends to a classic in the making. Rehearsed unrehearsed rehearsal isn’t that interesting. Tightening up the scene work with more substantial story will take this from cute to captivating for the entire duration, not just 15 minutes."
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Katy Walsh


   This show has been Jeff Recommended*

*The designation of "Jeff Recommended" is given to a production when at least ONE ELEMENT of the show was deemed outstanding by the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee.


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