Black Womanhood is on Display at the Pegasus Theatre

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Pegasus Theatre Chicago is proud to announce the first production in its 2017 – 2018 season, “Legacies,” Shakin’ the Mess Outta Misery, written by Shay Youngblood and directed by Pegasus Theatre Chicago’s Producing Artistic Director Ilesa Duncan, with music direction by Shawn Wallace and choreography by Nicole Clarke-Springer, November 8 – December 10, at Chicago Dramatists, 773 N. Aberdeen, where Pegasus is a resident artist.

Shakin’ the Mess Outta Misery is the story of a young black girl’s coming of age in the 1960s South. “Daughter,” the main character and 25-year-old narrator lost her mother when she was very young and a community of women raised her, some blood related, some not. As she remembers how her ‘Big Mamas’ prepared her for womanhood, the women enter to tell their stories and “Daughter” becomes a child again reliving her vivid memories of growing up–recalling the rituals, the faith healings, the stories she was told and the lessons she learned about survival, healing, deep faith and mystery. Pegasus Artistic Director Ilesa Duncan originally directed this hit play in 1998 at Chicago Theater Company. The Chicago Reader said, “Duncan deftly weaves a seamless narrative fabric from the disparate elements of Youngblood’s script.” when Duncan originally directed this hit play in 1998 at Chicago Theatre Company.

“I am honored to be returning to this project,” said Duncan. “This memory play, Shakin’ the Mess Outta Misery, speaks to me and audiences about the importance of relationships, passion, faith, sisterhood and so much more. This heartwarming story originally done in by me in the 90s about life in the 60s still teaches invaluable lessons for all of us living at this time in the 21st century.”

The cast of Shakin’ the Mess Outta Misery includes Melanie Loren, “Daughter;” Felicia McNeal, “Big Mama;” Stacie Doublin, “Aunt Mae;” Tina Marie Wright, “Aunt Mae;” Toni Lynice Fountain, “Miss Lamama;” debrah neal, “Miss Corinne;” Sandra Watson, “Miss Tom/Miss Mary;” Takesha Meshé Kizart, “Maggie/Dee Dee” and Darian Tene, “Fannie Mae/Miss Shine.”

The production team of Shakin’ the Mess Outta Misery includes Elyse Balogh, scenic designer; Paul Kim, costume designer; Kirstin Johnson, sound designer; Katy Vest, props designer and Liam Fitzgerald, production manager.

Previews are Wednesday, Nov. 8 – Saturday, Nov. 11 at 7:30 p.m. Opening night is Sunday, Nov. 12 at 3 p.m. or Monday, Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. The performance schedule is Thursdays – Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. Tickets are $30 with $25 for seniors and $20 for students. Tickets are available at or by calling 866.811.4111. Groups of 10 or more contact [email protected] for group discounts.


About the author / 

Kelsey Stone

Chicago native with a passion for writing, music, and social justice. Creative, intelligent, and bold, but can be a little sophistaratchet sometimes.

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