Stew: What’s Cooking In Mama’s Kitchen

The Tucker women are up early to prepare the family stew for an important meal. Drama unfolds in and out of Mama's kitchen as the day wears on.

Your Chicago Guide’s tickets for two to the press viewing of Stew courtesy of Shattered Globe Theatre.

Zora Howard’s Stew is the finalist for 2021 Pulitzer Prize in Drama. Says Shattered Globe Theatre’s Producing Artistic Director Sandy Shinner: “Our entire cast and production team is excited that Ms. Howard continues to be in conversation with us about the play, and will join us in Chicago for several rehearsals. I am equally thrilled to welcome nationally recognized actor, director and producer Malkia Stampley as director of Stew. The entire artistic team is inspired by her passion for this important play.”

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The place: Mt. Vernon, New York. Or a neighborhood like it. The time: some time ago, but not too long ago. Let’s say somewhere around the millennium. The most recent millennium. Three generations of Tucker women come together to cook an important meal. It’s important because Mama says so. Velma Austin shines as the no-nonsense matriarch. Her lines come at rapid fire pace, but her delivery is effortless, almost effervescent. The conversation in the kitchen ebbs and flows at her direction.

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Production photo by Michael Brosilow.

Shattered Globe Theatre seeks to discover new connections between story, artist and audience by exploring drama from bold, challenging perspectives, and continuously redefining what it means to be an ensemble theatre. Shattered Globe’s values are rooted in a commitment to racial equity, respect for all artists and support for the ensemble. They strive to amplify traditionally marginalized voices and collaborate in all aspects of their work. Stew is a great example of their collaborative ensemble approach.

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Production photo by Michael Brosilow.

The intimate space Stew occupies at Theater Wit is perfectly suited to place the audience inside Mama’s kitchen. Every viewer will feel engaged and part of the drama. As tensions rise, they grow more and more palpable. And the audience cannot help but feel involved in the family goings on. Secret pregnancy, unannounced marital separation, and even a clandestine audition for a Shakespeare play all make an appearance. As Mama steers her family ship with a firm hand, she has a secret too. One that makes her mix up her words and put carrots in the dish cabinet. The audience is along for the ride of it all.

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Production photo by Michael Brosilow.

Shattered Globe’s Stew is now playing through October 22, 2022, at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave., in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood.

Tickets are currently available at, by calling (773) 975-8150 or in person at the Theater Wit Box Office.