Ron Parson hails from Buffalo, New York and is a graduate of the professional theatre program of the University of Michigan. He is the cofounder and former artistic director of the Onyx Theatre Ensemble of Chicago, and currently a resident artist at Court Theatre in Hyde Park. He has worked with such Chicago theatres as Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Goodman Theatre, Victory Gardens Theater, Northlight Theatre, Black Ensemble Theatre, eta Creative Arts Foundation, Chicago Theatre Company, Eclipse Theatre Company, Congo Square Theatre Company, City Lit Theater Company, Urban Theater Company and a variety of arts in education programs. Regionally Parson has directed at the Actors Theatre of Louisville, Portland Stage Company, Virginia Stage Company, Pittsburgh Public Theater, Madison Repertory Theatre, Studio Arena Theatre, Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati, New York's Signature Theatre Company, Centerstage and directed the world premiere of Palmer Park at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Ontario, Canada. Most recently he directed Court Theatre's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom and The Piano Lesson. He is a proud member of Actors' Equity Association.
This post-show discussion immediately followed the performance of The Island, Remy Bumppo Theatre Company's current mainstage show. Athol Fugard's daring drama is set in an unnamed prison based on the one where Nelson Mandela was held. John and Winston are cellmates who spend their days doing back-breaking labor, and their nights rehearsing Sophocles' Antigone to present to their fellow inmates. When John learns his sentence is being reduced, the men's friendship is tested. Fugard plays the parallels between Antigone's fight against political and patriarchal boundaries off of the imprisoned men's fight for their dignity. The Island is a testament to the resiliency of the human heart.
Recorded Saturday, February 20, 2010 at The Greenhouse Theater.