We Happy Few Opens Chalk Tonight

Jun 22, 2016

In an ever­changing world where nothing is black and white, how can we judge what's right?

We Happy Few productions, named by DCist as one of the Best Small Theatre Companies of 2015, delves into this moral conundrum with CHALK presented at the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, June 22 - July 9.

A story is told. A wise judge draws a chalk circle on the ground to determine the true mother of a contested child. At its core, it is a story of motherhood. However, it is also a story about revolution and rebellion. It is about the choices we are forced to make for ourselves, for our families and for the causes we believe in. It is about the working class and the wealthy, justice and family, duty and survival.

CHALK is adapted from the legend of The Chalk Circle, a morality tale that appears across multiple cultures: in Yuan dynasty Chinese theatre, in the bible with King Solomon, and in Sanskrit texts as the judgement of the Indian Sage Mahosadha. The story has evolved over the years as it's been retold by Klabund, Bertolt Brecht, Charles Mee and the Peking Opera. And now We Happy Few provides its very own adaptation while incorporating their signature approach of stripped down, small cast, ensemble productions, which have been praised by the Washington Post as "interesting, hyper­watchable, impressively brisk."

CHALK is presented as the first major adaptation project for We Happy Few. This is a new and exciting deviation from their acclaimed Shakespearian productions, including THE WINTER'S TALE (2015 Fringe Festival) and Romeo & Juliet (2013 Fringe Festival).

Director Kerry McGee (THE WINTER'S TALE, We Happy Few) is leading a cast of seven, Josh Adams (THE TEMPEST, We Happy Few); Raven Bonniwell (THE WINTER'S TALE, Romeo & Juliet, HAMLET, We Happy Few); Louis E. Davis (DONTRELL, WHO KISSED THE SEA, Theater Alliance), Ann Fraistat (Romeo & Juliet: CHOOSE YOUR OWN ENDING, writer and director); Natasha Gallop (BLACK NATIVITY, Theater Alliance); Robert Pike (SHE KILLS MONSTERS, Rorschach Theatre); and Jon Reynolds (BEERTOWN, dog & pony dc).

Founded in 2012 by Hannah Todd and Raven Bonniwell, We Happy Few is committed to presenting productions that offer a unique perspective on classic texts. We Happy Few has established itself as one of Washington D.C.'s best small theatre companies (named by DCist, 2015) by nurturing a creative environment that thrives on ensemble collaborations with some of the nation's most promising emerging theatre artists. WHF's flagship production of a six-actor, 90-­minute HAMLET premiered at the 2012 Capital Fringe Festival to great acclaim. Exploring the idea that the entire play unfolded in the title character's mind. WHF continued with lauded ensemble productions of THE TEMPEST, Romeo & Juliet, THE DUCHESS OF MALFI, and THE WINTER'S TALE.

CHALK is presented at the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop (545 7th St SE) located in the Eastern Market neighborhood, Washington, DC. Performances are June 22 - July 9. Wednesday through Saturday at 7:30, with Saturday matinees at 2pm and one industry night Monday, June 27 at 7:30. Tickets are available at chalk.brownpapertickets.com or linked through the We Happy Few website: www.wehappyfewdc.com.