American Blues Theater proudly partners with the Illinois Farm Bureau, Lincoln Park High School Farmers' Market, Greater Chicago Food Depository, and Smile Train.
American Blues Theater was founded in 1985. Between the years 1998-2009, the Ensemble was known as American Theater Company. In 2009, the Ensemble again embraced its original name, reforming as American Blues Theater. ABT is an Ensemble of inherently collaborative theater artists. Our mission is to re-envision great American classics and reach out to the Chicago theater community to create new work that reflects mid-western roots and celebrates the diverse American character. They dedicate each production to the working people of the region and partner with social service and community organizations. For more information about ABT visit: Americanbluestheater.com
Tobacco Road features the work of 16 ABT Ensemble members and Artistic Affiliates!
ABT wanted to involve as many family members as possible to celebrate the 25th Anniversary on July 12, 2010.
*ABT Ensemble members
*ABT Ensemble members
^ABT Artistic Affiliates
Scenic and Lighting Designer
Costume and Properties Designer
Incidental Music, Choral Director
|Previews||Friday May 21 (7:30 PM)
Saturday May 22 (7:30 PM)
Sunday May 23 (2:30 PM)
|Regular run|| Thursday June 3, 10, 17 (8:00 PM)
Friday May 28, June 4, 11, 18 (7:30 PM)
Saturday May 29, June 5, 12, 19 (3:00 PM & 7:30 PM)
Sunday May 30, June 6, 13, 20 (2:30 PM)
Opening Thursday May 27 (7:00 PM)
“★★★, RECOMMENDED, ‘TOBACCO ROAD’
IS STILL CAPABLE OF STIRRING THE FLESH AND THE SOUL…
American Blues has a lot of heavy-hitting actors throbbing under all of Kirkland's mud…
This is the kind of show these actors, these fine actors, very much wanted their theater to do…
The commitment to truth and the depiction of the working person's perennial plight
is what makes this powerful and worthwhile.”
- Chris Jones, THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE
“‘TOBACCO ROAD’ IS EPIC THEATER WRIT SMALL, AND IN TERMS OF ACTING,
IT’S ONE OF THE BEST THINGS ON A CHICAGO STAGE RIGHT NOW.
A ferociously relevant and revelatory production by American Blues Theater—
the direction, design, and acting are very well damn near perfect…
IT WOULD BE A SHAME FOR ANYONE WHO CRAVES VISCERAL THEATER TO MISS IT.”
- Fabrizio O. Almeida, NEW CITY CHICAGO
“Keep your eye on actress Carmen Roman…she dominates the stage…
James Leaming's matchbox set and lighting, and the period-perfect costumes of Sarah E. Ross
and Kristin DeiTos, winningly evoke the play's back-country world of saints and sinners.”
- Hedy Weiss, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES
“‘TOBACCO ROAD’ IS POWERFUL, EARTHY THEATRE.
ABT’s expert cast is led by the steady work of Dennis Cockrum as Jeeter.
The ensemble work here is terrific, the pace is effective, and the direction is tight.
Filled with explosive sexuality, [it] is an emotionally shocking, outrageous and horrifying drama.”
- Tom Williams, CHICAGO CRITIC
“THIS PRODUCTION IS EXTREMELY WELL DONE…
the performances are spectacular.”
- Kelly Kleiman, DUELING CRITICS - WBEZ
“There’s a primal part of us that can relate to the drive to survive
and the sexual drive of the Lester clan.
[ABT] brought out some of their most prominent and best veteran players
to portray Jeeter Lester, his wife and children.”
-Jonathan Abarbanel, DUELING CRITICS - WBEZ
“Not only is the hunger for nourishment
among [‘Tobacco Road’s’] poor souls palpable,
but so, too, is an accompanying sexual thirst
that seemingly can't be quenched.
Keenan’s deft direction and exceptional American Blues Theater ensemble members
infuse this ‘Tobacco Road’ with a kinetic level of energy that’s remarkably contemporary
and years ahead of its time…pitch-perfect Kate Buddeke absolutely radiates brilliance.”
- STEVE ON BROADWAY
“‘TOBACCO ROAD’ IS A MUST SEE FOR TRUE THEATER LOVERS…
a powerful production that will have you laughing as well as thinking…
WELL PLAYED BY THIS SOLID CAST.”
- Alan Bresloff, STEAD STYLE CHICAGO
“AMERICAN BLUES THEATER IS BACK
AND EVEN BETTER THAN BEFORE.”
- Ruth Smerling, THEATRE WORLD INTERNET MAGAZINE
“AMERICAN BLUES THEATER’S PRODUCTION OF ‘TOBACCO ROAD’
IS LIKE THE VERY BEST KIND OF CHURCH.
It’s the kind of experience that leaves one in a reverent state…
At last I have seen a production of this play
that stays true to the core of the novel…”
- Scotty Zacher, CHICAGO THEATRE BLOG
'Tobacco Road' by American Blues: Laboring to find the real play under Depression-era dirt
In a Depression soap opera, the actors keep it real