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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Shattered Globe Theatre and Chicago Dramatists to host 'Remembering Joel Drake Johnson' on April 30
-- From a press release
2022-04-08

This article shared 1943 times since Fri Apr 8, 2022
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CHICAGO (April 8, 2022) — Shattered Globe Theatre and Chicago Dramatists will celebrate the life and legacy of longtime Chicago playwright Joel Drake Johnson—a member of the LGBTQ+ community—at a public memorial on Saturday, April 30, 4-6 p.m., at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave.

Johnson died of cancer in January 2020 at age 70, and was inducted into the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame later that year.

Commented Shattered Globe Theatre Producing Artistic Director Sandy Shinner, "The theater community had planned to celebrate Joel's rich artistic and personal life in April 2020. Now, two years later, we will gather. Joel was a close friend, an extremely generous teacher and a gifted playwright with razor-sharp insight. He loved the theater. With great compassion, Joel created characters who revealed their hearts and their flawed humanity so that we could better understand each other and ourselves."

Chicago Dramatists' Artistic Director Carson Becker added, "Joel was one of the most beloved, respected, generous and gifted resident playwrights that Chicago Dramatists ever had. Chicago Dramatists is pleased to announce the 'Joel Drake Johnson New Play Commission.' In honor of Joel's profound body of work and his long history with Chicago Dramatists, we have created a memorial fund to support [LGBTQ+] playwrights through a commission process, with a long-term commitment to developing their work. Additionally, this fund will support our free [LGBTQ+] playwriting classes, so that this essential community of theater artists may continue to create meaningful and relevant work in safe and supportive spaces."

Mandatory reservations can be made by visiting bit.ly/rememberingjoel.

About Joel Drake Johnson

Joel Drake Johnson was an award-winning, internationally-produced playwright and teacher best known for his work at Chicago's Victory Garden's Theater, where he was a member of the company's Playwrights Ensemble for many years, as well as a Resident Playwright at Chicago Dramatists. Joel got his start as a writer at Chicago's Econo-Art Theater, which produced plays including Beautiful Dreamer and A Slim and Crooked Genius. Zebra Crossing presented his hit As the Beaver and Steppenwolf Theatre produced his Jeff Award-winning A Fall To Earth followed by A Blameless Life and Tranquility Woods. Other well-known works include Rasheeda Speaking, Four Places, A Blue Moon, Before My Eyes and The End of the Tour. Joel's work has been produced globally in New York City, Los Angeles, London, and many other cities. He was nominated five times for Best New Play by Chicago's Joseph Jefferson Award Committee and won the Chicago Dramatist's Marquee Award for his overall playwriting career. Joel also taught English and drama at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire for more than 20 years before happily retiring to concentrate on his writing.


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