"The best new work here in years"

Chicago Tribune

April 1 - May 8, 2022 in Goodman's Owen Theatre

Around 3 hours including one intermission

After a sold out run this winter, Tyla Abercrumbie's world premiere play comes to the Goodman, weaving a mother's past with her daughters’ present in a centuries-spanning tale of family, legacy and progress.

TimeLine Theatre

Set in the Black Victorian era, Relentless looks at the deep personal secrets we keep to protect the ones we love most. The year is 1919. After the death of their mother, two sisters come home to Philadelphia to settle her estate. Annelle is a happy socialite desperate to return to the safe illusion of a perfect life with her husband in Boston. Janet is a single, professional nurse, determined to change history and propel Black women to a place of prominence and respect. After discovering diaries left by their late mother, they find themselves confronted with a woman they never really knew, exposing buried truths from the past that are chillingly, explosively Relentless.

Developed through TimeLine Theatre Company's Playwrights Collective


Please note: Proof of vaccination with an FDA or WHO-authorized vaccine is required for all guests. Masks are required at all times and patrons under 5 are not permitted. Learn more at GoodmanTheatre.org/Protocols.

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Critical Praise
  • "Smart, challenging and deeply moving...Catch it now.”

    - Chicago Tribune

  • "A historical masterpiece that will have you spellbound and wanting more.”

    - Let's Play

  • "A powerful and stunning new work, seamlessly performed by a talented cast.”

    - Splash Magazine

  • "[A] once-in-a-lifetime play”

    - Let's Play

  • "Make haste to see this production”

    - GoPride

  • "terrific performances”

    - Chicago Sun-Times

Audience Feedback
  • Excellent is an understatement!

    MzRosè A. via Facebook

  • This play entertains while challenging the audience to go deeper

    @linhaizgro via Instagram

  • Wonderful play...[a] must see.

    @mickuslee via Facebook

  • Run and see this remarkable play

    Shunda M. via Facebook

  • Tyla Abercrumbie

    Tyla Abercrumbie Playwright

  • Ron OJ Parson

    Ron OJ Parson Director

  • Ayanna Bria Bakari

    Ayanna Bria Bakari Annelle, Mother

  • Demetra Dee

    Demetra Dee Zhuukee, also called Annabelle Lee

  • Travis Delgado

    Travis Delgado Marcus

  • Rebecca Hurd

    Rebecca Hurd Mary Anna Elizabeth

  • Xavier Edward King

    Xavier Edward King Franklin

  • Jaye Ladymore

    Jaye Ladymore Janet

  • Saran Bakari

    Saran Bakari Understudy

  • Sierra Coachman

    Sierra Coachman Understudy

  • Jordan Gleaves

    Jordan Gleaves Understudy

  • Jordan Ashley Grier

    Jordan Ashley Grier Understudy

  • Dylan Rogers

    Dylan Rogers Understudy

  • Marlene Slaughter

    Marlene Slaughter Understudy

  • Jack Magaw

    Jack Magaw Scenic Designer

  • Christine Pascual

    Christine Pascual Costume Designer

  • Heather Gilbert

    Heather Gilbert Lighting Designer

  • Christopher A. Kriz

    Christopher A. Kriz Original Music & Sound Designer

  • Jennifer Wernau

    Jennifer Wernau Properties Designer

  • Megan E. Pirtle

    Megan E. Pirtle Wig & Hair Designer

  • Mike Tutaj

    Mike Tutaj Projection Designer

  • Khalid Y. Long

    Khalid Y. Long Dramaturg

  • Kaitlin Kitzmiller

    Kaitlin Kitzmiller Production Stage Manager

  • Rachel Flesher

    Rachel Flesher Intimacy & Violence Director

  • Tiffany Fulson

    Tiffany Fulson Assistant Director

  • Sammi Grant

    Sammi Grant Dialect Director

  • Hannah Weiss

    Hannah Weiss Assistant Stage Manager

Enhanced Performances

Join us for any of the following accessible & enhanced performances.

Questions? Please contact 312.443.3800 (voice), 312.443.3829 (TTY/TDD) or email Access@GoodmanTheatre.org.

Touch Tour and Audio Described performanceTouch Tour* and Audio-Described Performance
Sunday, April 24
12:30pm Touch Tour & 2pm Performance
Use code AUDIO for $20 tickets

American Sign Language Interpreted PerformanceAmerican Sign Language-Interpreted Performance
Saturday, April 30 at 2pm
Use code SIGN for $20 tickets

Open Caption Performance Open-Captioned Performance
Sunday, May 1 at 2pm
Use code OPEN for $20 tickets

Spanish Caption Spanish Subtitles Performance
Thursday, April 28 at 7:30pm
Use code SPANISH for $20 tickets

Learn More About Accessible & Enhanced Performances for Relentless

*Touch Tours for the 2021/2022 Season will not have access to the stage due to current health and safety protocols, but will feature alternate pre-show sensory introductions.

Recommended Reads
  • Tyla Abercrumbie

    How the Harlem Renaissance Inspired Relentless

    During rehearsals for Relentless, dramaturg Khalid Y. Long posed a few questions to playwright Tyla Abercrumbie about her inspiration for writing the play, being gobsmacked by the parallels between 1919 and today, and how this story fits into a larger narrative to come.


  • The Life and Times of Black Victorians

    The Life and Times of Black Victorians

    "During the late 19th century, Black Americans began to adopt traditions and values associated with Victorian culture. It is no secret that these traditions and values were steeped in white American culture, which, subsequently, was the conduit to respectability politics for Black Americans..."


Season Overview

Welcome back to your home for theater, Goodman Theatre.

A thrilling line-up awaits as we return to stage and resume performances. The 2021/2022 Season reflects the artistic excellence that you love, and the commitment to our Chicago community that you expect. Come share the moments—together, in-person, once again—that inspire our collective humanity.