Broadway In Chicago is pleased to announce full casting for the Chicago premiere of Unspeakable, a dramatic fantasia inspired by the life of comedic legend Richard Pryor.  Unspeakable features a cast of many prominent Chicago performers and will play the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place (175 E. Chestnut St.) for a limited five-week engagement Oct. 6 through Nov. 8, 2015.
The cast of ten – many playing multiple roles – features James Murray Jackson, Jr. as “Richard Pryor,” a role he originated in the 2005 New York International Fringe Festival earning him a New York Times rave for his “magnetic lead performance.”  The cast also includes Chicago natives E. Faye Butler (Working, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike), Lamar N. Barnes, Ebony Joyand Akilah Perry.  Also featured are Northwestern University alum Taryn Reneau (Much Ado About Nothing, The Taming of the Shrew), Roosevelt University alum Chris Amos (Both Your Houses, Tom Jones), Kierra Bunch (The Sun Always Shines for The Cool), Jeff Award winner Ginneh Thomas (The Submission) and Chicagoan Ronald L. Conner (King Hedley II).
Unspeakable cast headshots available for download in the following link:
To buy tickets, visit
Sex, Drugs and Comedy.  Unspeakable is an unflinching ride through the emotional landscape of Richard Pryor spanning sixty-one years and focused on the period between 1967 and 1982.  Born and raised in a Peoria brothel owned and operated by his grandmother, Pryor faced situations that forever shaped and scarred his sensitive soul.  With a pimp for a father and his mother a whore, young Pryor’s imagination helps him escape and ultimately leads him to comedy. Unspeakable captures the energy of a man battling success and the demons it invites.
Director and Co-Author Rod Gailes OBC brings a cinematic vision to the provocative odyssey of Pryor with an ensemble approach highlighting the comedian’s journey from damaged child to comic legend, based on a script by OBC and Jackson. 
Unspeakable is presented by Tenacity Park, Creative Mind Entertainment, OBC DreamTheatre, Stefani Nicole Von Huben and Kenneth Schapiro.
For his portrayal of Richard Pryor in the 2005 New York International Fringe Festival production of Unspeakable, Jackson received the Festival’s Outstanding Lead Actor Award.
Given the strong language and adult situations inherent in this story, this production is recommended for audiences 16 years of age and older.  This play is in no way supported, endorsed or created by, nor does it in any manner emanate from, Richard Pryor, his estate or other successor(s).
Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m.
Fridays at 7:30 p.m.
Saturdays at 2 & 8 p.m.
Sundays at 2 & 7:30 p.m.
Individual tickets for Unspeakable are now on sale.  Group tickets for 10 or more are now on sale by calling Broadway In Chicago Group Sales at (312) 977-1710. For more information, please visit
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JAMES MURRAY JACKSON, JR. (Richard / Author / Producer) Theater credits: The Awakening (Ohm Theatre), Port Authority Throw Down (Working Theatre) and Risk (Looking Glass Forum).  Film work: The Beginning is the End (Economy Productions),Recently Trained (OBC DreamTheatre) and Underground Railroad (A&E Network). Voiceover and commercial credits: McDonalds, Budweiser, United Negro College Fund (directed by Spike Lee), Capital One, Nike and Verizon Wireless.
E. FAYE BUTLER (Mama / Ensemble) Chicago credits: Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Pullman Porter Blues, Christmas Carol (Goodman); Caroline Or Change, Little Foxes, La Bête (Court); Black Pearl Sings, Ella (Northlight); Crumbs From The Table Of Joy (Steppenwolf); Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Wiz (Marriot’s Lincolnshire); An Issue of Blood, Blue Sonata (Victory Gardens);Hello Dolly, Sophisticated Ladies (Drury Lane); Working (Broadway In Chicago’s Broadway Playhouse).  Regional Credits: King Hedley ll, Smokey Joe’s Café, Oklahoma, Polk County, Trouble In Mind, Pullman (Arena Stage); Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,Caroline Or Change (Centerstage); Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Philadelphia Theatre Company); Saving Amiee, Gospel According To Fishmen (Signature); Wizard Of Oz (Arkansas Rep.)., Trouble In Mind (Yale rep); Ella (Dallas Theater Center); Purlie (Pasadena Playhouse); Showboat (Asolo Rep.) Pullman Porter Blues (Seattle Rep.); The Wiz (La Jolla Playhouse). National and Regional Tours:Mamma Mia, Dinah Was, Ain’t Misbehavin, Nunsense, Nunsense ll, Don’t Bother Me I Can’t Cope.  Recipient of Six Joseph Jefferson Awards, Two Helen Hayes Awards, Four Black Theatre Alliance Awards, RAMI Award, John Barrymore Award, Excellence In The Arts Award, After Dark Award, Ovation Award, Kathryn V.  Lampkey Award, Sarah Siddons Leading Lady Award, Black Excellence Award. Lunt – Fontaine Fellowship, Women In Arts Museum in Washington, D.C.  
RONALD L. CONNER (Moody / Bucky / Ensemble) is a St. Louis native, currently residing in Chicago with his wife and two children.  Ron is an ensemble member of Congo Square Theatre where he was last seen in the title role of the Jeff Nominated production ‎King Hedley II.  Other Chicago Credits include: The Court Theatre and Chicago Shakespeare. Regional Credits: The St. Louis Black Rep, Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati, Portland Stage Company and Geva Theatre of Rochester.  TV and Film: Sirens,Chicago P.D., Mind Games, The Secret Santa, The Onion (web series) and The Layover. Awards: 2008 BTAA “Best Actor in an Ensemble, 2009 BTAA “Best Lead Actor.”
TARYN RENEAU (Rat / Jessica / Ensemble) is thrilled to return to Chicago to make her Broadway Playhouse debut. Chicago credits include: Much Ado About Nothing, The Taming of the Shrew, Romeo & Juliet (First Folio Shakespeare Festival) and Little Egypt (The School at Steppenwolf).  L.A. credits include: The Life (L.A. premiere, JAXX Theatricals/Stella Adler Theatre), A Chorus Line (Hollywood Court Theatre), Lucid Sound (Sight Unseen Theatre Group), The Skin of Our Teeth, Lysistrata (Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum) and the workshop of new musical Big Money (Pasadena Playhouse).  Film and TV credits include: 11 Minutes Ago, Glass Desert, Nickelodeon’s All That and short film Artemis and Bow (2015 California Women’s Film Festival – Nominee, Best Supporting Actress).  Taryn is a graduate of Northwestern University (Music Theatre Certificate Program) and The School at Steppenwolf.  In addition to her acting career, she is a screenwriter and singer-songwriter. 
CHRIS AMOS (Smitty / Jimmy / Roxy / Mike Douglas / Ensemble) is thrilled make his Broadway In Chicago debut as part of the UNSPEAKABLE team.  Chicago credits: Both Your Houses (Remy Bumppo), Tom Jones (Northlight), Hauptmann (BoHo Theatre),It’s a Wonderful Life: The Radio Play (American Theatre Company), The Foreigner (Provision) and Troilus and Cressida (Chicago Shakespeare).  Regional credits include The Comedy of Errors, Peter and the Starcatcher, Sense and Sensibility, Scapin, Henry IV Part 1 and Titus Andronicus (Utah Shakespeare Festival), The Tempest, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Richard III (Illinois Shakespeare Festival).  Chris holds an MFA in acting from Roosevelt University in Chicago and BAs in both music and theatre from Oklahoma State University.
KIERRA BUNCH (Hildegarde / Debbie / Lady Fiend / Ensemble) is elated to be making her Off-Broadway debut with such an amazing cast.  She has worked with many theater companies in Chicago, notably, UrbanTheater Company’s productions of The Sun Always Shines for The Cool and Runaways, Black Ensemble Theater’s A Misplaced Love and ETA’s production of Mississippi Delta (Black Theater Alliance Awards Nomination for Best New Actress and Best Performance in an Ensemble).  Besides stage work, Kierra can be seen in various commercials.  Most recently, she can be seen on the Emmy Award-winning children’s television show Green Screen Adventures as a series regular cast member.
GINNEH THOMAS (Shelly / Lola / Ensemble) is thrilled to be a part of UNSPEAKABLE.  Hailing from Michigan, she has spent the past several years in Texas and received an MFA from Southern Methodist University.  She received a Jeff Award for her work inThe Submission (Pride Films and Plays).  Other credits include Home (Jubilee Theatre), Julius Caesar (Shakespeare Dallas), Trysts in Toledo (Theatre Three), Woyzeck (Kitchen Dog Theater), The Story (Boarshead/Plowshares Theatre) and The Santaland Diaries(Boarshead Theatre).
LAMAR N. BARNES (Ensemble, u/s) began his acting career at an early age in the park districts of Chicago.  These years saw him portray characters such as Danny Zuko in Grease, George Murchison in A Raisin In The Sun and Papa Ge in the musical Once On This Island.  In addition to many regional and national commercials, Lamar can be seen on television in such shows as Chicago P.D., NBC’s Crisis and Fox’s new hit Empire, as well as on film in the soon-to-be released Before “I Do”.  Most recently, Lamar has been seen Off-Broadway in The Black Social Network at the Producers Club Theater NYC, and A Soldier’s Story.  Represented by Paonessa Talent Agency, Lamar continues his training and career forward in Chicago, Atlanta and Los Angeles.
EBONY JOY (Ensemble, u/s) is a Chicago native who’s thrilled to have the honor of performing in the Chicago premiere of UNSPEAKABLE.  Recent credits: Chi-Raq (The Movie) Crime Scene (Collaboraction), And In This Corner… (Stage One),Forgotten Future (Collaboraction), Intimate Apparel (Eclipse Theatre), Spark (Adventure Stage Chicago), Rasheeda Speaking(Rivendell Theatre), WOZA ALBERT (FJT), For Colored Girls… (FJT), ONE -The Radio Play (POP Theatre Project), ALL RISE(Walkabout Theatre), Ceremonies in Old Dark Men (eta Creative Arts Foundation) and BODIES (MPAACT). 
AKILAH PERRY (Ensemble, u/s) Chicago native, Akilah Perry is elated to make her debut to the Broadway In Chicago stage with the brilliant cast of UNSPEAKABLE.  Most recently, she delighted in eta Creative Arts Foundation’s production of Two Twenty-Seven as Lenora and held numerous roles in the Foundation’s Chicago premiere of If Scrooge Was a Brotha.  Having attended University of IL-Chicago and Columbia College Chicago, Akilah earned main stage credits in both starring and supporting roles and has gained a number of credits in independent and short films in Chicago.  Akilah started work on her own written works and is currently co-creating a web series with a production slated to begin in spring 2016.
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