Intimate Apparel

by Lynn Nottage

Directed by Jan Hunter

March 13 - 29, 2020

The Play

Wearing her heart on her sleeve while sewing intimates for her clientele, Esther is the talented, proud but shy African American seamstress in turn-of-the-century New York 1905, who has built a savings for herself making beautiful undergarments for both posh Fifth Avenue boudoirs and questionable bordellos. In addition, she shares a lingering affection with a Jewish fabric merchant. Esther earnestly daydreams of new beginnings and romantic possibilities. She embarks on a journey to find love, discovering unexpected friendships that defy race, class, and religion. But when an egregious deception cuts short her heartfelt desires, can class, culture and circumstance outmatch the strength of the human spirit? Inspired by a true story, Intimate Apparel is a heart-rending contemporary work in the style of an enduring classic—from Lynn Nottage, the first female playwright to win two Pulitzers.


The Playwright

Lynn Nottage is a two-time Pulitzer Prize winning playwright and a screenwriter.  Her plays have been produced widely in the United States and throughout the world. They include Sweat, By The Way, Meet Vera Stark (Lily Award, Drama Desk Nomination), Ruined (Pulitzer Prize, OBIE, Lucille Lortel, New York Drama Critics’ Circle, Audelco, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Award), Intimate Apparel (American Theatre Critics and New York Drama Critics’ Circle Awards for Best Play), Fabulation, or The Re-Education of Undine (OBIE Award), Crumbs from the Table of Joy,  Las Meninas, Mud, River, Stone, Por’knockers and POOF!. She is currently with composer Ricky Ian Gordon on the operatic adaptation of Intimate Apparel commissioned by The Met/LCT scheduled to open March 23 in New York.

The Lorraine Hansberry Theatre will present Intimate Apparel by Lynn Nottage with a press night on Saturday, March 14 at 8:00 PM. The play will run through Sunday, March 29. (Previews March 13 @ 8:00 PM and March. 14 @ 3:00 PM) Intimate Apparel will be directed by Jan Hunter with a cast that features Jeunee Simon*, Marjorie Crump-Shears*, Jasmine Milan Williams, Kim Saunders, Lucas Brandt and Dameion Brown.

(*Member of Actors' Equity Association)

Jan Hunter (Director) is an actress, director and retired theatre educator of 40 years. She was the Performing Arts Director at Skyline High School for 24 years directing and producing 4 productions a year. She directed The Vagina Monologues for BAWAR in 2018. She recently performed in African American Shakespeare Theatre's productions of Cinderella, Streetcar Named Desire and For Colored Girls, nominated for Outstanding Ensemble performance by Theatre Bay Area. She’s performed in Oedipus, School for Scandal and Pygmalion. Jan is a Board of Directors member of the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre. She holds a B.A. in Drama, M.A. in Education and M.A. in Teacher of the Arts.

The Cast

Jeunée Simon* (Esther) is an actor and director in the Bay Area. Recent credits include: La Ronde (Cutting Ball Theater), Men On Boats u/s (American Conservatory Theater), HeLa (TheatreFIRST) The Daughters (SF Playhouse), Bamboozled and Roan at the Gates (Central Works). Simon is a proud recipient of the 2017 RHE Artistic Fellowship and a 2019 Directing Apprentice with PlayGround. She is delighted to be part of this Bay Area community and humbled by the talent of those around her. (*Member of Actors' Equity Association)

Marjorie Crump Shears* (Mrs. Dickson) is enjoying an “encore career” as a professional, working actor having retired from education after 33 years in 1999.  She has been privileged to work in many theaters in the Greater Bay Area, and in Sonoma County where she resides. The roles she has played have been varied and cover plays in most genres, including the classics, modern drama and comedy and musical.  In addition to stage work, her acting career has expanded to include TV, screen, internet and medical training schools (Standardized Patient). She is an AEA member and a member of SAG/AFTRA. She is a proud and longtime member of Theater Bay Area. (*Member of Actors' Equity Association)

Jasmine Milan Williams (Mayme) is a Bay Area artist. Her main discipline is acting but she also enjoys collaborative, explorative, multiple discipline works that fall under the artist spectrum. Her recent work includes: Bull in a China Shop by Bryna Turner (Aurora Theatre), Inked Baby by Christina Anderson (Crowded Fire Theater Company), The Last Sermon of Sister Imani (TheatreFIRST), and Waafrika (TheatreFIRST). She has also worked with: Campo Santo (Company Member),TheatreFIRST, Those Woman Production company, African American Shakespeare Company, and New Conservatory Theater Company.

Kim Saunders (Mrs. Van Buren) is thrilled to be working with the LHT. She holds a BA in Theatre from Marymount Manhattan College.   In New York she worked with The Nat Horne Theatre, Neighborhood Playhouse, Academy Arts Theatre Company and ABT at Lincoln Center. She also performed with The Oregon Shakespeare Festival for 6 years. In California, she's performed with: San Jose Repertory Theatre, San Jose Stage, African American Shakespeare Company and others. Kim is a company member of Custom Made Theatre and Left Coast Theatre.  She was nominated twice by BATCC for best female principal as well as choreography and a nomination from TBA for choreography. Kim is a professional director/choreographer and works as a teaching artist in high schools supporting teachers and students.

Dameion Brown (George) performed the title role in Othello (Marin Shakespeare Company, MSC) in 2016, and was awarded “Best Lead Actor” from the Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle. He was also nominated by The Fallstaff Awards as “Best Principal Actor.” Dameion appeared in The Seagull (Utopia Theatre Project), Waafrika and The Farm (TheatreFIRST) winning another BATCC award, Dance of the Holy Ghost (Ubuntu Theatre Project), and Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing (MSC). He played the lead role in Pericles (MSC) in July 2018. He’s a Teaching Artist in the Department of Juvenile Justice in Stockton, CA, as well as in the Alameda Juvenile Hall Facility, and an Artist in Residence at MSC.

Lucas Brandt (Mr. Marks) is a Bay Area based actor and educator.  He was last seen on stage in Word for Word and Z Space's production of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Magic Theatre in Visible from Four States.  He has worked with a variety of companies around the bay, including Cal Shakes, SF Shakespeare Festival, Santa Cruz Shakespeare, Shotgun Players, Cinnabar Theater, Boxcar Theater and Berkeley Rep's PlayGround.  Brandt graduated from UC Santa Cruz with both his Bachelors’ and Masters’ degree in Theater Arts.


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