Sunset Baby

Midwest Premiere

Jan 13, 2016 - Apr 10, 2016

The personal and the political collide in this powerful and timely drama—already a hit in New York and London—from one of the country’s most exciting playwrights (“[she] knows the code for getting under our skins” raves The New York Times). A tough, independent woman in Brooklyn is visited by her father, a former revolutionary in the Black liberation movement who seeks to mend their broken relationship. As father and daughter circle one another, old wounds are revealed, generational differences exposed, and blazing truths laid bare. Morisseau’s smart, entertaining and moving story about family, survival and the nature of liberation is “not only dynamic, it’s dynamite” (The New York Times).



Production Team


* Member of Actors Equity Association

# Member of United Scenic Artists

~ Member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society

+ TimeLine Company Member

^ TimeLine Associate Artist

§ TimeLine Playwrights Collective


  • Chicago Tribune

    January 22, 2016

    3 STARS. “In some of its more fascinating moments, Sunset Baby is a play about two men of different generations trying to force cracks in the shell of a woman they love, to the extent that they have allowed themselves to love her. … [Ron OJ] Parson’s TimeLine production is very solid … Sunset Baby is well worth seeing. And [AnJi] White is unstinting. “

    —Chris Jones

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  • Chicago Sun-Times

    January 22, 2016

    HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. “A volcanic TimeLine Theatre production brilliantly directed by Ron OJ Parson, and performed by a trio of actors — with a starmaking turn by actress AnJi White — sure to leave you gasping for breath. … It is, quite simply, one of the more breathtaking performances you will see all season.

    —Hedy Weiss

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  • NewCity

    January 22, 2016

    RECOMMENDED. “Dominique Morisseau’s Sunset Baby is an exquisitely damaged and devastating play about the personal cost of revolution. … Directed by Ron OJ Parson, one of our city’s indisputable and undersung talents, and performed with edge-of-your-seat intensity by [Kelvin] Roston Jr., Phillip Edward Van Lear and AnJi White, this is the first great production of 2016. Not so much a dream deferred as an endlessly irreconcilable reality, Sunset Baby is as fierce and bright, warm and beautiful as its namesake.

    —Kevin Greene

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  • WTTW Chicago Tonight

    January 26, 2016

    “AnJi White … is phenomenal. … She really bares her soul in this play, it’s a phenomenal performance.”

    —Hedy Weiss

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  • Stage and Cinema

    January 21, 2016

    “In Ron OJ Parson’s solid staging very little action gets in the way of 110 minutes of raw feeling … Sunset Baby pulses with the characters’ raw, often righteous, hunger for happiness. Morisseau’s eloquent script inspires passionate performances from three driven actors, their hard-earned lines from the heart as much as the lungs.”

    —Lawrence Bommer

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  • Chicago Stage Standard

    January 22, 2016

    4 STARS. “A raw AnJi White, whose anger felt as visceral as any I’ve encountered on stage, reveals a good amount of her assets … Nina reached more deeply into my stores of empathy than any character I’ve met on stage in a long, long time. … However effectively it might function as polemic against systemic racism, Sunset Baby is first and foremost a very powerful story.”

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  • Chicago Theatre Review

    January 23, 2016

    HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. “This emotionally charged, gut-wrenching production continues TimeLine’s legacy, a 19th season of bringing history to life with intelligent excellence. Dominique Morisseau’s new play offers thinking audiences a soul-shattering theatrical experience that’s bound to stay with them long after the final curtain. This rage-filled stage of characters ultimately offers theatergoers a story of love, trust and forgiveness that surpasses everything they may have thus far known or experienced.”

    —Colin Douglas

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  • Around the Town Chicago

    January 22, 2016

    4 STARS. “Finely directed by the always reliable Ron OJ Parson, on a set designed by Regina Garcia, this is 105 minutes (no intermission) of pure story-telling.”

    —Alan Bresloff

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  • Windy City Times

    December 27, 2015

    “Dominique Morisseau’s willingness to explore the legacy of lost causes marks her as a refreshingly original voice in a genre too often mired down in preconceived platitudes. This refusal to traffic in stereotypes is echoed in Ron OJ Parson’s direction of the three talented actors assembled for this Timeline Theatre production, whose uniformly focused intensity keeps our attention riveted through the performance’s entire 110 minutes.”

    —Mary Shen Barnidge

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  • Chicago on the Ailse

    February 2, 2016

    4 STARS. “Dominique Morisseau’s taut, gritty, redemptive play Sunset Baby, [has] much to be recommended in a blistering account directed by Ron OJ Parson at TimeLine Theatre. … But how is the game won, and what is the real prize anyway? With elegance and plausibility, Morisseau provides answers on both counts. And what looks like redemption may be the mirror image of a coming of age, an unveiling of truth at a soul’s core.”

    —Lawrence B. Johnson

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  • Chicago Theater Beat

    January 22, 2016

    3 STARS. “[TimeLine’s] Chicago premiere of Sunset Baby combines an award-winning playwright, three accomplished actors, and the director who spearheaded TimeLine’s uber-successful production of A Raisin in the Sun two years ago. … Parson’s terrific cast has no trouble making their characters’ dualities believable and compelling. They play off each other with exceptional acumen.”

    —Keith Glab

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  • Third Coast Review

    January 22, 2016

    “Director Ron OJ Parson has crafted a tough, sometimes warm-hearted play about a family torn apart by drugs, crime and broken dreams. … The three actors all are strong performers.”

    —Nancy Bishop

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  • Chicago Splash

    January 22, 2016

    “A raw and riveting play about three characters struggling to cope with life, love and survival against a backdrop of drugs, crime and violence … well done and riveting on the whole. And the acting is excellent, particularly the portrayal of Nina, by AnJi White she’s fearless, strong and true to her beliefs.”

    —Debra Davy

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  • Edge Media Network

    February 5, 2016

    “Dominique Morrisseau’s fearless, intermissionless Sunset Baby, directed by Ron OJ Parson, gives African-American disenfranchisement, as well as activism then and now, a fresh and savvy perspective, alongside TimeLine’s always well-curated lobby display (dramaturgy by Jared Bellot). … In this runaway train of a play (that simultaneously takes its time to set scenes and moods), the trio indefatigably illuminates Morriseau’s mediation on the “new age underground railroad” to reach African-American enlightenment in a predominantly white world.”

    —Louise Adams

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Discussions & Events

  • Post-Show Discussion
    January 27, 2016, 7:30 pm

    Join us for post-show discussions with a TimeLine Company Member, the production dramaturg and members of the cast.

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  • Sunday Scholars Series
    Sunday, September 27 from 4:30 - 5:30 pm

    SUNDAY SCHOLARS PANEL DISCUSSION featuring guest speakers with expertise and experience related to the themes of Sunset Baby.

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