Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner | 2016-2017 Season

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Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

Feb 14 – Mar 12

Adapted by Todd Kreidler
From the screenplay by William Rose
Directed by Skip Greer
Scenic Design by Robert Koharchik
Costume Design by B.Modern
Lighting Design by Kendall Smith
Sound Design by Todd Mack Reischman
Dramaturgy by Richard J Roberts
Stage Manager Frank Cavallo
A co-production with Indiana Repertory Theatre

Joanna surprises her liberal white parents when she brings home John, her African-American fiancé, to meet them. However, she shocks even John by inviting his disapproving parents to dinner. A clash of generations and races ensues when both sets of parents must confront their own unexpected reactions and concerns for their children as their long-held beliefs are put to the test. This funny and poignant stage adaptation offers a fresh interpretation of the beloved Academy Award®-winning film.

Recommended for ages 12 and up

Run time: 2 hours and 20 minutes (including intermission)

Don't miss "Prologue" an hour before all performances (except for 8:00 PM on 2/18/2017 when it is abbreviated and at 7:30)

Godot's Bar and the Geva Kitchen will be open two hours prior to every performance.  Click to see the menu and drink offerings.


Mary Prentice

NORA COLE is glad to return to Geva Theatre Center so soon after Katherine’s Colored Lieutenant and Voices of the Spirits in My Soul, plays based on her Kentucky family WWII and slave history respectively.   Ms. Cole will also be familiar to Geva audiences for her portrayal of Calpurnia in To Kill a Mockingbird, Rheba in You Can’t Take it With You and Rose in Fences, numerous readings and has been a featured playwright in both the 2013 and 2014 Festival of New Theatre. Outstanding performance credits include Rinde Eckert’s two character chamber opera And God Created Great Whales (Obie Award, Drama League and Audelco Nominee) at the Culture Project (NYC) and other national  and international venues. With director, George C. Wolfe, Ms. Cole’s credits include Caroline, or Change at the National Theatre in London; Jelly’s Last Jam on Broadway opposite Gregory Hines and the national tour opposite Maurice Hines; and On the Town on Broadway. Regional credits include On Golden Pond, Doubt, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, The Colored Museum, The Good Times Are Killing Me, Avenue X, I Have A Dream, Langston Hughes Ask Your Mama: 12’ Moods for Jazz with Hale Smith original score and WNYC’s Selected Shorts. Ms Cole’s first solo show, Olivia’s Opus, is an ode to adolescence. Voices was her second solo show (Audelco nominee.)  She performed 15+ years with Vinnette Carroll’s Urban Arts Corp (NYC) and repertory company (Ft. Lauderdale). Productions included Your Arms Too Short to Box with God (Broadway, National & European tours), the title role in Medea, Boogie Woogie Rumble of a Dream Deferred (Theatre of Renewal Award), When Hell Freezes Over I’ll Skate (Kennedy Center). Television credits include “The Cosby Mystery Movie,” “All My Children,” “Loving,” “Another World,” “Guiding Light,” as well as numerous commercials and voice-overs. Ms. Cole received her B.F.A. at the Goodman School of Drama at the Art Institute of Chicago.  She is the recipient of the Actors Theatre of Louisville Women in Music Award, Spencer Cherashore Fund Individual Artist Grant, Joseph Jefferson and Connecticut Critics Award  Nominee, a Hedgebrook alum, TCG/Fox Foundation Resident  Actor Fellow and a Torch Bearer for Black Theatre passed  from composer, Micki Grant.


John Prentice, Sr.

CLEAVANT DERRICKS most recently appeared at Geva in the reading of A Journey to the Son, part of Geva’s festival celebrating the life of Son House. He created the role of James Thunder Early for Dreamgirls, receiving Tony and Drama Desk awards as well as the LA Drama Circle Award for vocal arrangements. Starring in Bob Fosse’s Broadway production Big Deal, he was nominated for Tony and Drama Desk awards for Best Actor. Other Broadway credits include the 1977 revival of Hair, Vinette Carroll’s Your Arms Too Short to Box with God, But Never Jam Today, and Brooklyn the Musical. He received the NAACP Theatre Award for Best Male Performance for his portrayal of Horse in the Full Monty national tour. Mr. Derricks was awarded the Heroes and Legends award for Outstanding Achievement in Theatre; served as composer, musical director, and featured actor for the musical When Hell Freezes Over I’ll Skate, which aired as a PBS special; and starred in Cy Coleman’s Like Jazz at the Mark Taper Forum. Film roles include Moscow on the Hudson, The Slugger’s Wife, Offbeat, Carnival of Souls, Bluffing It, Miami Magma, Basilisk, and World Traveler. His appearances as a TV series regular include “Sliders,” “Thea,” “Drexell’s Class,” “Good Sports,” and “Woops!” Some TV guest appearances include “Touched by an Angel,” “Charmed,” “The Practice,” “The Bernie Mac Show,” “Cold Case,” and David E. Kelly’s “Wedding Bells.”


Monsignor Ryan

MARK GOETZINGER is pleased to make his Geva Theatre Center debut in this iconic play.  A professional actor for over forty years, starting in Chicago and New York, he has been a regular at the Indiana Repertory Theatre for over thirty years appearing in such roles as Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird, Angus in The Drawer Boy, Uncle Sid in Ah Wilderness, Milton Perry in The Immigrant, Mr. Bennett in Pride and Prejudice and Duncan in Macbeth.  Favorite acting roles at other theatres include Harold in Orphans, Nick in The Guys and Uncle Peck in How I Learned to Drive.  Also a singer, Mark originated the role of The Man Who Wears Grey Neckties in Opal at the Lambs Theatre in New York.  Other favorite singing roles include Tevya in Fiddler on the Roof, Emile de Becque in South Pacific, Horace Vandergelder in Hello Dolly and Shaw Moore in Footloose.


Matilda Binks

LYNDA GRAVÁTT returns to Geva Theatre Center where she appeared in A Raisin in the Sun and The Old Settler. Broadway credits include Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Doubt, King Hedley II and 45 Seconds from Broadway.  Off-Broadway credits include Skeleton Crew (2016 DramaLeague Nominee – Best Actress), The Hummingbird’s Tour, The Little Foxes, Zooman and the Sign, King Hedley II, Intimate Apparel, Dividing the Estate, The Old Settler; Theatre World Award, three Audelco Awards.  Regional highlights include The Widow Lincoln, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, A Raisin in the Sun, August Wilson’s Century Cycle, Crowns (Helen Hayes Award). Ms. Gravátt ‘s TV appearances include “Difficult People,” “30 Rock,” “Person of Interest,” “Elementary,” and “The Hoop Life.” Film credits include Delivery Man, Violet & Daisy, The Bounty Hunter, and more. She is the director of award-winning productions of Hair, The Wiz, and Dreamgirls at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, and is a proud graduate of Howard University and prouder member of Actor’s Equity.


Dr. John Prentice

CHIKÉ JOHNSON  makes his Geva Theatre Center debut in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. He recently appeared as Crooks in Of Mice and Men at Milwaukee Repertory Theatre and Arizona Theatre Company, as Marley in A Christmas Carol at Milwaukee Rep, and as Othello, Winston, and Pistol at American Players Theatre. He has been seen on Broadway in A Time to Kill and in Manhattan Theatre Club’s Wit, and Off-Broadway in Lost in the Stars for City Center’s Encores! and Ruined at the Manhattan Theatre Club. Chicago credits include Meet Vera Stark at the Goodman; Sizwe Banzi is Dead at the Court; and The Crucible, The Unmentionables, and Huck Finn at Steppenwolf. Other regional credits include The Unmentionables at Yale Repertory Theatre, Lincoln in Topdog/Underdog at Renaissance Theaterworks, Cornwall in King Lear at Milwaukee Rep, Cephus Miles in Home at In Tandem Theatre, Willie in “Master Harold”…and the Boys at Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, and Martin Luther King, Jr. in Smoldering Fires at First Stage Children’s Theater. Film credits include Friends with Benefits, Sleepwalk with Me, and The Machinist; television credits include “Law & Order,” “Girls,” “Veep,” and “Prison Break.”


Hilary St. George

CONSTANCE MACY made her Geva Theatre Center debut in 2014 in Good People. She lives in Indianapolis, Indiana where she has been a regular performer at the Indiana Repertory Theatre for 25 years in roles ranging from Roxanne in Cyrano to Belinda in Noises Off to every female character in A Christmas Carol, most recently playing Chelsea in On Golden Pond, Annette in God of Carnage, Barbara in Iron Kisses, the title role in Becky’s New Car, and a solo performance in Lost: A Memoir.  She founded ShadowApe Theatre Company, an Indianapolis-based ensemble, in 1999 and appeared in all of their critically-acclaimed productions including her original adaptations of Kurt Vonnegut’s Welcome to the Monkey House, Anne Sexton’s Transformations and the silent Not a Peep. Other companies include Playmakers Rep (N.C.), Pioneer Theatre Company (Utah), Syracuse Stage, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, the Phoenix Theatre (Indianapolis), Heartland Actors Repertory Theatre (Indianapolis) and Cardinal Stage Company (Bloomington, IN). Ms. Macy attended the drama school at Indiana University. She is a two-time Arts Council of Indianapolis Creative Renewal Fellow and a Lunt-Fontanne National Fellow.


Christina Drayton

BRIGITT MARKUSFELD most recently appeared in Stella and Lou at CRT. Geva credits include To Kill a Mockingbird, Stranded on Earth, You Can’t Take It With You, Over the Tavern and one of her favorite roles as Miss Shields/Witch in A Christmas Story. Other Geva credits include Our Town, Smell of the Kill, House and Garden, The Wier, Stop Kiss, The Triumph of Love, A Girl’s Life, The Illusion, Picasso at the Lapin Agile and The Comedy of Errors. Regional credits include Richard III and Rumors with the Sacramento Theatre Company, I Remember Mama at A.C.T., On the Verge at Marin Theatre Company, The Tempest and The Comedy of Errors at the Valley Shakespeare Festival, Way of the World and Blood Wedding at A Noise Within and The Taming of the Shrew and Country Wife at the Grove Shakespeare Festival. Ms. Markusfeld has also appeared in television and radio commercials. TV credits include “Picket Fences,” “The Bold and the Beautiful,” “Tour of Duty,” and “Second Chances.” Ms. Markusfeld received her training at the American Conservatory of Theatre in San Francisco.


Joanna Drayton

CHELSEA MORGAN (Joanna Drayton) is delighted to be making her Geva Theatre Center debut in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. Chicago-based Chelsea  was last seen as Kathy in the critically acclaimed production of Company at Writers Theatre. Other Chicago credits include Oklahoma!, Les Misérables (Paramount Theatre), Golden Boy, Gifts of the Magi (Porchlight Music Theatre), A Christmas Carol (Drury Lane Theatre) and Alice in Wonderland (Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire). TV credits include Sloane Tuxhorn in Chicago PD. Ms. Morgan obtained her B.F.A. in Musical Theatre Performance from Western Michigan University. When she is not performing, she is also an accomplished visual artist. All her love and gratitude to Mom, Dad, Trevor, and Philip.


Matthew Drayton

CRAIG SPIDLE makes his Geva Theatre Center debut in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. Chicago credits include Steppenwolf: The Tempest, As I Lay Dying, Libra; Goodman Theatre: Sweet Bird Of Youth, The Beard Of Avon, The Little  Foxes, Brigadoon, Desire Under the Elms, Passion Play, Oedipus Complex, Pericles, Black Star Line, As You Like It, Black Snow; Court Theatre: Life’s a Dream, The Little Foxes, Nora, Desire Under The Elms, The Cherry Orchard; Northlight Theatre: The Immigrant, Over The Tavern, Experiment With An Airpump; Lookinglass Theatre: Brothers Karamazov, Manuscript Found In Saragossa; Porchlight Theatre: A Catered Affair; Chicago Symphony Hall as Santa in Christmas Show; About Face Theatre: The Wedding Play; Trinity Rep: The Crucible, The Workroom; Zebra Crossing Theatre: The Workroom; National Jewish Theatre: The Price, Sight Unseen; Writers Theatre: Heartbreak House,The Chosen,The Subject Was Roses; Chicago Shakespeare Theatre: Troilus and Cressida, Macbeth, Measure For Measure; First Folio Theatre: The Dr. Seward’s Dracula, Gravedigger; Stage Left Theatre: A Bright Room Called Day; Phoenix Theatre: Two For the Seesaw, Silent Night Lonely Night, The Boyfriend; Chicago Dramatists: Cadillac Harrys’ Way; Victory Gardens Theatre: Hauptmann, Hospitality Suite, Never the Sinner, Jacob and Jack. Latino Chicago Theatre: The Jungle;  Teatra Vista Chicago: Dreamlandia; Apple Tree Theatre: Mountain; Marriot Theatre Lincolnshire: Man of La Mancha, Big River, Cabaret; Drury Lane Oak Brook: Ten Little Indians, Fiddler on the Roof, The Man Who Came to Dinner, The Sound of Music; Timeline Theatre: To Master The Art, Concerning Strange Devices, Blood and Gifts, Spill; Broadway Playhouse: To Master The Art; Remains Theatre: Lolita, Moby Dick; Arla Productions: Splintered Soul.  Regional Theatre credits include Madison Rep, Music Theatre North New York, Arizona Theatre Co. (Tucson and Phoenix), Indiana Repertory, Notre Dame Shakespeare, Huntington Theatre, Freedom Theatre, Arden Theatre, Public Theatre in Pittsburgh, American Players Theatre, Utah Shakespeare, Off-Broadway credits include Cherry Lane Theatre. Television credits include “Early Edition,” “America’s Most Wanted,” “Jack and Mike,” “The Untouchables,” “Chicago Code,” “Chicago P.D.,” “Boss,” “The Magic Door” and “Under Employed.” Film credits include Public Enemy, Road to Perdition, The Color of Money, The Wakening and The Untouchables. Mr. Spidle has done many voice-overs, commercials, and industrials.



TODD KREIDLER  worked with August Wilson as dramaturg on his plays Gem of the Ocean and Radio Golf. He developed and directed Wilson’s one-man show How I Learned What I Learned when Wilson performed it at Seattle Rep in 2003. He co-founded the August Wilson Monologue Competition, a national program aimed at integrating August Wilson’s work into high school curriculum. Kreidler’s stage adaptation of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner premiered at True Colors Theatre Company in Atlanta in 2012. He wrote the book for the 2014 Broadway musical Holler If Ya Hear Me featuring the rap music of Tupac Shakur. He is currently working on several projects, including The Heroin Diaries, a musical with Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx based on Sixx’s memoir and music, and a one-man show with songwriter-producer David Foster.



WILLIAM ROSE (1914-1987) was born in Missouri. Before the United States entered World War II, he volunteered for the Canadian Black Watch regiment. After the war, he stayed in England and took a screenwriting course. He wrote several successful British comedies, earning Oscar nominations for Genevieve (1953) and The Ladykillers (1955). He eventually returned to the United States, writing such hits as It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963) and The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming! (1966), for which he received a third Oscar nomination. In 1967 he won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.



SKIP GREER serves as Artist in Residence and Director of Education at Geva Theatre Center.  His directing credits at Geva include Red,The MountaintopLast Gas; A Midsummer Night’s Dream (co-director); Freud’s Last SessionOn Golden PondOver the TavernAlmost, Maine; the world premiere of The House in HydesvilleDoubt; American Buffalo; Inherit the Wind; Key West; Death of a Salesman; Lobby Hero; Below the Belt; The Weir; Women Who Steal; Beast on the Moon; Triumph of Love and Geometric Digression of the Species.  Skip was the Co-Producer for Journey to the Son: A Celebration of Son House in 2015. He directed King Lear at Shakespeare Santa Cruz for their 25th anniversary.  Other regional directing credits include Indiana Repertory Theatre, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Studio Arena Theatre, Cape Playhouse, White Heron Theatre, Totem Pole Playhouse, State Theatre of Austin, and Gary Marshall’s Falcon Theatre, where he directed Golf with Alan Shepard starring Jack Klugman and Charles Durning.  Mr. Greer has also been an actor at Geva appearing in To Kill a Mockingbird (Atticus Finch), Clybourne Park (Russ, Dan),You Can’t Take It With You (Paul Sycamore), Superior Donuts (Arthur),The Music Man, (Mayor Shinn) Evie’s Waltz (Clay)Our Town (the Stage Manager), Hamlet (Ghost/Player King), 1776 (John Hancock), House and Garden(Giles), Art (Serge), Twelve Angry Men (Juror #1), A Girl’s Life (Ken), Every Good Boy Deserves Favor (Alexander), The Illusion (Alcandre), Picasso at the Lapine Agile (Sagot) and State of the Union (Spike McManus).  Regional credits include seven seasons in the resident acting company of Sacramento Theatre Company, San Jose Repertory Company, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, American Conservatory Theatre, Utah Shakespeare Festival and Pacific Conservatory of Performing Arts.  Film and TV credits include “Bloodhounds,” “LA Law” and “VR5.”  Mr. Greer has toured Europe, Africa, Indonesia, New Zealand, Australia and the Cook Islands, teaching and performing.


Scenic Designer

ROBERT KOHARCHIK is a designer living in Indianapolis where he has designed productions for the Indiana Repertory Theatre, the Phoenix Theatre, and the Lilly Theatre at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum. In addition to Red, The Mountaintop, Last Gas, Freud’s Last Session, On Golden Pond,  Doubt, Pyretown, Sherlock Holmes: the Last Adventure and A Christmas Story at Geva Theatre Center, he has also designed productions for The Walnut Street Theatre (Philadelphia, PA), The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis (St. Louis, MO), The Cleveland Playhouse (Cleveland, OH), The Weston Playhouse of Vermont (Weston, VT), Contemporary American Theatre of Columbus (Columbus, OH), and American Players Theatre (Spring Green, WI). In 1999 and 2011 Mr. Koharchik received a Lilly Endowment Creative Renewal Fellowship from the Arts Council of Indianapolis. He is an Associate Professor in theatre design at Butler University.


Costume Design

B. MODERN is pleased to return to Geva Theatre Center for her eighteenth season. She is an Associate Artist and has designed over 20 productions including Last Gas, On Golden PondOver the Tavern, The House in HydesvilleA Christmas StoryDial M for Murder, Death of a Salesman, The Brighton Beach Trilogy, Proof, Ghosts, The Miser; The Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Importance of Being Earnest, Twelve Angry Men, My Fair Lady, The Illusion, The Comedy of Errors and A Christmas Carol. Ms. Modern is also an Associate Artist and has designed over 50 productions at Shakespeare Santa Cruz, CA. Regional theatre credits include costume designs for Oregon Shakespeare Festival; Indiana Repertory Theatre; American Players Theatre, WI; TheatreWorks, CA; Asolo Repertory Theatre, FL; The Globe Theatres, CA; Repertory Theatre of St. Louis; The Jewel Theatre Company, CA, Georgia Shakespeare Festival; The Jewel Theatre Company, CA. Opera design credits include productions at Opera Theatre of St. Louis and Opera San Jose. Ms. Modern has served as Guest Lecturer and designer at UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, and San Francisco State University. She shares a home and studio in Santa Cruz, California with three cantankerous cats.


Lighting Design

KENDALL SMITH returns to Geva Theatre Center where he has designed Red, Last GasOn Golden PondAmadeusAlmost, MaineKey West; Death of a Salesman; Lobby Hero and A Christmas Carol. Theatre credits include Oregon Shakespeare, Indiana Repertory, Walnut Street Theatre, Pioneer Theatre, North Shore Music Theatre and Alabama Shakespeare Company.  As the Resident Designer for Michigan Opera Theatre for the last twenty seven years, he has designed over 70 productions.  Regional Opera companies include Florida Grand Opera, San Diego Opera, Opera Pacific, Boston Lyric Opera, Indianapolis Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City and Virginia Opera. 


Sound Design

TODD MACK REISCHMAN returns to Geva Theatre Center where he designed sound for The Whipping Man, Dracula, The Piano Lesson, Gem of the Ocean, and Hamlet. Mr Reischman has been the resident sound designer at Indiana Repertory Theatre for 15 seasons where he has designed nearly100 productions, many of which have included his original music. Todd also works as a freelance musician, composer, and audio consultant. In his leisure, Todd labors endlessly on his theory proving the existence of audio goblins, and likes taking very short barefoot walks through minefields.


Associate Sound Designer

IAN HILDRETH has been designing and audio engineering at Geva Theatre Center for eight years. Past designs include The Marvelous Wonderettes, Spamalot!, the world premiere of The Road to Where, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Pump Boys and Dinettes, MoM: A Rock Concert Musical, Next to Normal, Avenue Q, Fences, 3 Mo’ Divas and Carry It On. Associate designs include The Whipping Man, Dracula, Two Jews Walk Into a War and Radio Golf.



RICHARD J ROBERTS has been resident dramaturg for 19 of his 27 seasons with the Indiana Repertory Theatre. He has also been a dramaturg for the New Harmony Project and Write Now and was the dramaturg for Geva’s production of The Whipping Man. He has directed the IRT’s productions of Bridge & Tunnel, The Night Watcher, Neat, Pretty Fire, The Giver (2009), The Power of One, and Twelfth Night, as well as four editions of A Christmas Carol; this season he directs The Cay. Other directing credits include Actors Theatre of Indiana, the Phoenix Theatre, Edyvean Repertory Theatre, Indianapolis Civic Theatre, IndyShakes/Wisdom Tooth, Butler University, and Anderson University. Mr. Roberts studied music at DePauw University and theatre at Indiana University. In 2003 he was awarded a Creative Renewal Arts Fellowship from the Arts Council of Indianapolis.


Stage Manager

FRANK CAVALLO has stage managed numerous productions for Geva over several seasons. Earlies this season he stage managed A Christmas Carol. Previous productions include The May Queen, Spamalot!, Women in Jeopardy!, A Christmas Carol, Good People, Last Gas, The 39 Steps, Superior Donuts, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Anything Goes, The Glass Menagerie, 5 Guys Named Moe, Below The Belt, A Raisin In The Sun, Dancing At Lughnasa, Jitney, Vigil and several world premieres including Geva’s original productions of Convenience and 5 Course Love. He has also stage managed for several other regional theatres, been the production manager for the Rochester Children’s Theatre and toured for Poetry In Motion with Ms. Salome Jens’ one woman show…About Anne, featuring the poetry of Anne Sexton.