Artist Bio

Sydney Chatman

Sydney Chatman is a director, educator, mentor, producer, writer, and founding director of The Tofu Chitlin’ Circuit featuring the self-pinned and directed award-winning play, Black Girls (Can) Fly!

Ms. Chatman is an African-American Arts Alliance Award and 3Arts Make a Wave winner. Her credits include: New York: Tony Nominated-The Trip to Bountiful and a directing fellow with the Lincoln Centers Director’s Lab. The Goodman Theatre: Associate Director for the World Premiere of How to Catch CreationAssistant Director for Father Comes Home from the Wars Parts 1, 2, and 3, and Stage Management intern for Gem of the OceanAssociate Director for The Last Wife (TimeLine Theatre Company), Assistant Director for Sunset Baby (TimeLine Theatre Company), Jitney (Court Theatre), St. James Infirmary (Congo Square Theatre Company), and Drip! (eta Creative Arts).

Rooted in her community, she passionately bridges the divide between the audience and the stage through creative theatrical performances and collaborations with the Adler Planetarium, Hyde Park Jazz Festival/Back Alley Jazz, The Reva and David Logan Center, Court Theatre and Victory Gardens Theatre.

In 2008 she created innovative programming called The A La Carte (a monthly thought-provoking theater discussion for South side audiences) and the Tuxedo Junction (community field trips to see plays and other artistic performances). She is a featured artist in Black Theater is Black Life; An Oral History of Black Theater in Chicago 1997-2000.

Chatman has been a theater leader; writing a theater directing blog, featured panelist at The Goodman Theatre and board member for the African-American Arts Alliance of Chicago. She is a community partner with the Green Line Performing Arts Center in the Washington Park neighborhood, an arts cohort member with the Community Program Accelerators with the University of Chicago. Sydney is also committed to servicing in her home town of Gary, Indiana as a committee member for the Gary International Black Film Festival.

Sydney has been a theater teacher for sixteen years, at the University of Chicago Charter School, where she writes and directs countless plays rooted in social justice and empowerment for the youth. Her arts integration has made her a mainstay in the arts education community and a unique voice in creating stories for Black children.

She is a champion for new work that seeks to support, challenge, empower, and make space for Black women and girls.