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IU Theatre and Dance presents ‘Jump’

By IU Theatre and Dance

November 11, 2021

  • JUMP by Charly Evon Simpson. Directed by Chika Ike. At IU Theatre and Dance
    Artwork by Reuben Lucas & Laura Judson

IU Theatre and Dance’s fall season continues withJumpby Charly Evon Simpson.

In a richly layered story, Fay copes with the death of her mother and loss of her childhood home, and seeks solace by visiting the bridge her mother took her and her sister Judy to as children. There she meets Hopkins, who walks the bridge as a balm for his own grieving.

Simpson’s play highlights the healing process, shedding light on the mental and emotional realities of communities of color, which are often underrepresented as experiences onstage. In the midst of grief, two strangers find solace and the promise of human connection in shared space. “Jump” is a play full of flickering lights, the memories we carry, and the magic of hope in the midst of loss.

Simpson’s work has been seen and/or developed with The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, Vineyard Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Lark, Page 73, Ars Nova, the National New Play Network National Showcase of New Plays and others. She was the 2019-20 recipient of the Paula Vogel Playwriting Award from the Vineyard Theatre and was co-recipient of the Dramatists Guild’s Lanford Wilson Award. She’s currently a core writer at The Playwrights’ Center and a resident of New Dramatists. Simpson also writes for TV and film and has worked on the second seasons of both “Perry Mason” and “Industry” for HBO, and Showtime’s “Rust.”

“Jump” is directed by IU Theatre alum Chika Ike, who directed last season’sLittle Women: The Musical.” In addition to Ike, “Jump” features guest artists Nilan in the role of Dad and Jerrilyn Lanier-Duckworth in costume design.

Actor, writer and producer Nilan is the associate artistic director of The Drama League of New York and a founder of the award-winning production company, A Certain Something. Lanier-Duckworth recently designed costumes for IU’s production of “The Well of Horniness.” In addition to costume design work, Lanier-Duckworth’s company Bridging the Gap seeks to educate designers and creatives working in the industry on the struggles BIPOC performers face in the industry, focusing on hair and makeup terminology, techniques, products and research.

The creative team also features MFA candidates Spencer Donovan on scenic design and Jeremiah Kearns on lighting design, as well as faculty member Andrew Hopson on sound design. The cast includes MFA candidates Eboni Edwards as Fay and Bobby Ayala Perez as Hopkins, and undergraduates Alanna Porter as Judy and Abhishek Soniminde as  Hopkins understudy. 

What: IU Theatre and Dance presents “Jump” by Charly Evon Simpson

When: Nov. 18 to 20, 2021

Where: The Wells-Metz Theatre at the Lee Norvelle Theatre and Drama Center, 275 N. Jordan Ave., (812) 855-3602

Tickets: Purchase tickets through IU Theatre and Dance.