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  The Submission at Apollo Theater

The Submission

Apollo Theater
2540 N. Lincoln Ave. Chicago

Shaleeha G'ntamobi has written a knock out play about a family in the projects and it's just been accepted into the prestigious Humana Festival. Problem is: Shaleeha is actually a pseudonym for Danny, a young gay white playwright. When he hires Emilie, a black actress to play the "author," one bad decision starts a downward spiral into chaos. The Submission is a fierce and hilarious drama about privilege, obsession, misappropriation and the lies we tell to get what we want.

Presented by Pride Films and Plays

Thru - Nov 25, 2014

Price: $25

Show Type: Comedy/Drama

Box Office: 773-250-3112

Apollo Theater Seating Chart

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  The Submission Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Recommended

"...Talbott's script is provocative in all the expected ways: Is it fair to equate bias against gay men with that experienced by black women? Does Emilie have any kind of ownership over this experience, let alone the play itself? Is Danny possibly just a privileged jerk? Does the play really need that many instances of the N-word? Is the pair perpetrating a harmless fraud or is this something far more complicated?"
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Nina Metz

Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended

"...When Humana bites, Danny hires African-American actress Emilie to be Shaleeha. Jeff Talbott's serious satire takes a good, hard look at a theater world lurching toward diversity. It's got problems, though, including a predictable climax, a numbing talkiness, and Danny himself, who's implausibly stupid about the social conventions governing discussions of race. Jude Hansen's staging for Pride Films & Plays solves none of them."
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Tony Adler

Windy City Times - Highly Recommended

"...Pride Films and Plays director Jude Hansen and his cast never allow Talbott's salty dialogue to obscure the fundamental blamelessness of individuals as shocked as we are at discovering flaws in their smug self-images. Nicholas Bailey and Ginneh Thomas are careful to keep Danny ( even at his most petulant ) and Emilie ( even at her most strident ) from taking on any irredeemably ugly traits—though our sympathies are more likely to rest with sidekicks Peter and Trevor, played with welcome patience and tolerance by Edward Fraim and Adam Pasen. Sometimes, we all have to, well, walk in somebody else's shoes to feel the pinch in our own."
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Mary Shen Barnidge

Edge - Highly Recommended

"...Director Jude Hansen does an exceptional job utilizing the limited resources of Apollo's intimate studio space, as well as the play's small cast. At two hours with intermission, "The Submission" entertains from start to finish."
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Diane Bushemi

Time Out Chicago - Somewhat Recommended

"...Hansen's thoughtful direction attributes Danny's many faux pas in front of Emilie, including unprompted diatribes on the "Blony" and "Bloscar" awards, to a misappropriated liberal sense of comfort and entitlement surrounding race. Bailey's game and generationally self-satirizing performance helps substantiate some of the character, but Talbott's script works overtime to make his own protagonist so hopelessly indefensible. If he's supposed to represent a mentality, the result is just alienation."
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Dan Jakes

Stage and Cinema - Recommended

"...Apart from the intrinsic excellence of Pride Plays' production, this unpleasant evening may justify itself in the spirited post-show discussions that it inspires or ignites, hopefully between gays and straights and blacks and whites. Its biggest claim to honesty rests on the questions it raises, not on the take-no-prisoners battle it unleashes."
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Lawrence Bommer

ChicagoCritic - Highly Recommended

"...Since The Submission was finished in 2011, the focus is all on Danny pretending to be black. Today, the biggest controversy in theatre regarding discrimination vs. tokenism is about women, but Emilia doesn’t talk about gender as much. For dramatic tension, Talbott made both characters bigots, leaving a discussion of the issue entirely on its merits up to the audience. The show is about issues habitual theatre-goers have wanted to see addressed for some time. The character Pete brings up the question of what all this looks like to outsiders. I’m really not sure what someone outside our community would make of this story, but I suspect similar discussions are happening elsewhere. The play is called The Submission, but I doubt anyone will surrender."
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Jacob Davis

Sheridan Road - Highly Recommended

"...As Danny, Nicholas Bailey connects with a charming sense of energy mixed with a running razor’s edge. His final moments onstage are unimaginably striking. As Emilie, Ginneh Thomas is both forceful and compassionate, a warrior among the ruins. Meanwhile, as the duo’s respective partners, Edward Fraim and Adam Pasen deliver performances full of funny asides and heartwarming dismay."
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Brian Kirst

Chicago Theatre Review - Recommended

"...Jeff Talbott’s play is a controversial story that’ll undoubtedly spark many vigorous post-curtain discussions, which is great. His script could easily become more effective if some of the dead wood was eliminated. Without an intermission the Apollo Studio bar might not make as much off drink sales, but the power of the play would definitely increase. And, after all, it’s true that the play is the thing."
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Colin Douglas

  The Submission Photo Gallery

   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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