A Knee That Can Bend by Emma Goidel
When I first read Emma Goidel’s A Knee That Can Bend in 2015, I was sorry to reach the last page. I wasn’t yet ready to say goodbye to the complicated, wonderful characters I found there. I don’t often see queer women rendered so dimensionally in stories, and here, they are at once powerful and yearning, awkward and elegant, fly and funny and fallible and wise. As a young artist in the LGBTQ community, I was hungry for more stories centering female loves and lives in their full complexity. These women strive for connection, get stuck, challenge each other, mess up, grow.
Almost two years later, we are telling this story to a different America, a different Chicago. A Knee That Can Bend asks how we can set aside the filter of our own expectations to more fully understand and care for those around us—a question that seems more vital every day. It is an honor to share this piece with you. Thank you for joining us.
– Diana Raiselis, director
Cast & CREW
DIONNE ADDAI (AISHA) is excited to be part of this talented cast! Her recent Chicago credits include What of the Night (Cor and Stage Left Theatre), Aesop's Fables (Raven Theatre) Mutiny (Chicago Fringe Festival), and Direct from Death Row: The Scottsboro Boys (U/S Raven Theatre). She is a Loyola University graduate and a company member/performer with FYI, part of the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health. For more info on her sex-ed work with youth, check out icah.org/fyi.
LAWREN CARTER (CHORUS) is a graduate of Senn Arts. She was last seen in Men on Boats at American Theater Company. Her credits include the staged reading of Eclipsed with Steppenwolf Theater and Milk Like Sugar with Raven Theater. She is currently a company member of The Yard and more of her credits include: Greensboro: A Requiem at ATC, Metamorphoses and Our America: Ghetto Life 101/Remorse at Senn Arts. Lawren was a recipient of the Senn Arts Junior of the Year Award and the winner of the 2015 August Wilson Monologue Competition Regional Finals where she represented Chicago at the National Competition on Broadway at the August Wilson Theater.
EMILIE MODAFF* (KATE) is so pleased to have the opportunity to work with No Stakes, Diana Raiselis, and this incredible cast of women. Emilie is currently preparing to jump into rehearsals for No Stakes' spring production of Kander and Ebb's Cabaret. She performs regularly around the city as an actor, musician, and storyteller. She also serves as the Senior Producer of PleasureTown, a fictional podcast available on iTunes. Hi mom!
IREON ROACH (NENE) is a senior at Senn Arts High School last seen in The Yard & Victory Gardens’ Snack Break short play festival. She’s appeared in Rivendell Theatre Ensemble's Dry Land, Milk Like Sugar with The Yard & Raven Theatre, Timeline’s Timepieces reading of Cardboard Piano and portrayed Juice in Kristiana Rae Colon’s florissant&canfield with The Goodman. She is your 2016 Louder Than A Bomb Chicago Indy Poet Finalist and August Wilson Monologue Competition national finalist. Ireon belongs to Writers Theatre Youth Council and American Theater Company Youth Ensemble. She would like to thank her family and friends for their continued support. Ireon is represented by Paonessa Talent.
DIANA RAISELIS (DIRECTOR) is a director and producer with a focus on building community through the arts. Recent directing projects include Resolution (Pride Films & Plays), PUNK (workshop, The New Colony), THIRST: a climate change theater action (Jackalope), new-work series party/theater/party (Slaymaker Loft) and festival premieres with Collaboraction, Jackalope, Prologue, and Buzz22 Chicago. Upcoming collaborations include work with Chicago Home Theater Festival, Rabid Bat Theatricals, and The New Colony. Proud alumna of Northwestern University and the Steppenwolf Professional Leadership Program. www.dianaraiselis.com
CATHERINE SLADE serves as dialect coach.
* denotes a member of No Stakes Theater Project