Chance Theater, Anaheim’s official resident theater company, announces the Orange County premiere of “The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity,” a dramatic comedy by Kristoffer Diaz that was one of the final nominees for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and snagged numerous “Best Play” Awards. Directed by Jeremy Aluma, “The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity” previews from September 23rd through September 30th, with regular performances running October 1st to October 23rd on the Cripe Stage at the Bette Aitken theater arts Center.
Experience pro wrestling in a whole new light — or perhaps for the first time — in Kristoffer Diaz’s Pulitzer Prize-nominated play. “Chad Deity” follows the life of wrestler Macedonio Guerra. As a lifelong fan, he has followed wrestling only to become a “jobber,” one who is paid to lose to bigger-name stars in the ring. Macedonio meets Vigneshwar Paduar, and together they find a way to push it to the limit and say what needs to be said. But will it finally get Mace his big shot at Chad Deity himself? Unspoken racism, politics, and courage are all woven into this play that leaves it all on the mat.
“Wickedly intelligent humor… Vibrantly entertaining.” – Variety
“Flashy, fleshy and ridiculously entertaining.” – New York Daily News
“The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity” had its world premiere at Chicago’s Biograph Theater on Sept. 25, 2009, in a Victory Gardens Theater production starring Desmin Borges, Kamal Angelo Bolden, Usman Ally, Jim Krag and Christian Litke. Philadelphia’s InterAct Theatre Co. followed the show’s debut a month later with its own production. Over the next three years, “The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity” saw no fewer than seven major productions — at Mixed Blood Theatre in Minneapolis, and New York’s Second Stage Theatre (both in 2010); the Geffen Playhouse (2011); and Actors Theater of Louisville, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Co. in Washington, D.C., Curious Theatre Co. in Denver and Dallas Theater Center (all in 2012). More recently, it’s been seen at Carolina Actors Studio Theatre and Sacramento’s Capital Stage (both in 2013) and Barebones Productions, Pittsburgh (2017).
“The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity” was a finalist for the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, won the 2008 National Latino Playwriting Award, and was roundly proclaimed as Best Play via the Lucille Lortel Award, Obie Award, and the New York Times Play Prize. It also won the 2011 New York Times Outstanding Playwright award and the Jeff Award for Best Production and Best New Work.
Jeremy Aluma, director of Chance’s production, is electrified by the play and what it accomplishes, calling it “entertaining, thought-provoking and relevant. In our country of divided politics and tribalism, is it even more timely now than when it premiered?”
“What makes a hero?,” Aluma asks. “Must we compromise our morals and values in order to become something greater than we are – someone whom our children can look up to? Those are some of the questions this play asks which I’m interested in exploring.”
Aluma also praises playwright Diaz for raising questions crucial to us all: “How does one pursue the American Dream in a country that isn’t yet ready to open the door to everyone? How do we reconcile this while staying true to ourselves? And when we betray our code of ethics for a piece of the American Dream, can we still live with ourselves?”
As always, Chance Theater will have post-show conversations after every performance with artists in the production.
Joining director Jeremy Aluma on the design team are Scenic Designer Fred Kinney (“Parade”), fight director Martin Noyes (“Talk about the Passion”), projection designer Nick Santiago (“Green Day’s American Idiot”), lighting designer Kara Ramlow (Chance debut), costume designer Bradley Allen Lock (“Green Day’s American Idiot”), sound designer Marc Antonio Pritchett (“Cry It Out”), stage manager Kaylee Mesa (Chance debut), and dramaturg Joseph Galizia (Chance debut).
The cast of “The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity” will feature a mix of newcomers and returning actors – Rudy Solis III (Chance debut) will play Macedonio Guerra, Londale Theus Jr. (OTR reading of “Hearts Like Planets”) is Chad Deity, James Michael McHale (“in a word,” Chance Resident Artist) is Everett K. Olson, RJ Navarra Balde II (“Alice in Wonderland”) plays Vigneshwar Paduar, Aaron McGee (“The Little Prince”) is The Bad Guy, and Matt Takahashi (“Ragtime”, Chance Resident Artist) will play the Referee. For this production, Steven Linhares (Chance debut) will be the understudy for Macedonio Guerra and Jeff Lowe (“Big Fish”) will be the understudy for Everett K. Olson, The Bad Guy, and the Referee.
The Executive Producers for this production are Sophie & Larry Cripe. Susan Bowman & Freddie Greenfield, Rachelle Menaker & Eddie Schuller, and Laurie Smits Staude are Associate Producers. Bette & Wylie Aitken are producers for the entire 2022 Season and The Family of Mary Kay Fyda-Mar are the season’s associate producers.
To schedule press interviews, arrange for press comps, request press photos, or for any additional information regarding this production, please contact Casey Long, the Chance’s managing director, at 714-900-3284 or [email protected]
About Chance Theater
Proud to be one of the leading ensemble-driven theatre companies in Southern California, CHANCE THEATER has received the National Theatre Company grant from American Theatre Wing for “nurturing a community of artists in ways that strengthen and demonstrate the quality, diversity, and dynamism of American theatre.” The Chance recently won eight OC Theatre Guild Awards, including Outstand Production of a Musical for its intimate revival of Fun Home. Previously, Chance Theater won eight Ovation Awards, including four for Best Production of a Musical (Intimate Theatre), as well as four LADCC Awards, including the Polly Warfield Award for Outstanding Season. The Anaheim City Council named Chance Theater “the Official Resident Theater Company of Anaheim” in 2014, and Arts Orange County has twice named the Chance as “Outstanding Arts Organization.” Known for using bold and personal storytelling to promote dialogue and connection within the Southern California theatrical landscape, the Chance is committed to contributing to a more compassionate, connected and creative community. As a constituent member of Theatre Communications Group, The Theatrical Producers League of Los Angeles, and OC Theatre Guild, Chance Theater continues to bring national attention to the Southern California and Orange County theater scenes.