Byhalia, Mississippi
Ran January 08, 2016 - February 14, 2016
Extended Through February 21, 2016

Written by Evan Linder
Directed by Tyrone Phillips
A World Premiere Conversation Co-Produced with Definition Theatre Company


Jim and Laurel Parker are about to become new parents. They are broke. They are loud. They are “proud white trash.” When Laurel finally gives birth to their overdue child, she and Jim are faced with the biggest challenge of their lives. Byhalia, Mississippi explores a couple in the midst of turmoil and a town with a racially-charged past that finds its way into the present. Winner of Playhouse on the Square in Memphis, Tennessee, 2014 NewWorks@TheWorks playwriting competition.

Production Sponsors: Sue and Frank Guarino
Distinguished Sponsors: Mary Pat Studdert, Nancy Jaffe-Faloona and Dave Faloona


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The Den Theatre

1333 N Milwaukee Ave
2nd Floor
Chicago, IL 60622

Accessible via:
The Division Blue Line Stop
#9 Ashland Bus
#50 Damen Bus

Street parking in the vicinity of The Den Theatre is very limited. A more dependable option is to use the parking lot at 1215 N. Paulina, one block from The Den, where theatre patrons can park for a flat rate of $10 (cash, Visa, MasterCard, or Discover).

The easiest route to The Den parking lot, shown in red on the map, is to travel west on Division St. and turn right onto N. Paulina (the first street west of Ashland Ave). Then immediately turn right into the alley leading to the parking lot entrance.Please keep in mind that cars without a visible permit will be towed at owner’s expense. Also, The Den is not responsible for any property that is lost, stolen, or damaged.

Print at home parking permits are now available! You are now able to purchase and print your parking permits ahead of time – simply purchase through Brown Paper Tickets for the date you will be visiting the Den Theatre, and display ticket face up (with barcode visible) in your windshield. Permits allow for parking from 7am-midnight on the date listed. Entrance located near Al’s Beef on Paulina.
1. Visit
2. Select date you will be visiting the Den
3. Purchase 1 ticket per vehicle
4. Print and display parking permit face up in windshield.

Parking passes are also available for purchase in person from any of the Den Theatre bars.
1. Visit the Den Theatre’s Coffee Haven before parking and purchase a permit.
2. Head to our lot at 1215 N Paulina St.
3. Display parking permit face up in windshield.
4. Enjoy parking in our lot!
There is no attendant at The Den Theatre’s parking lot at this time. Permits can be purchased at The Den Theatre or online only.
World Premiere Conversation
Byhalia, Mississippi will receive world premiere openings the weekend of January 8, 2016 in Chicago, Memphis, TN (Playhouse on the Square), Charleston, SC (Village Rep Co.) and Toronto, ON (Cue6 Productions). The following week, the drama will also receive staged readings in Birmingham, AL (Theatre Downtown), Boulder, CO (square product theatre), and Los Angeles, CA (Sixth Avenue). Audiences in all seven cities will come together for an online talkback on Monday, January 18 (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day) to discuss the play's impact on their local audiences. Follow the CONVERSATION at! ">
Participating in Chicago Theatre Week
Chicago Tribune
★★★½ out of ★★★★ "I've long been interested in Linder's work. But it took until Monday night for him to deliver an honest-to-goodness play. By that I mean a really good new American drama: something wise, truthful, funny and moving; a piece that other theaters should do; a script that hangs easily with shows by the leading writers of our day and a show that might bring a little moistness to one's cheek. BYHALIA, MISSISSIPPI is that play. I fell for it quite hard. I think you would, too. It's lovely." - Chris Jones
Chicago Reader
Highly Recommended! "A world-premiere coproduction from the New Colony and Definition Theatre Company, this superb play by Evan Linder follows Jim and Laurel Parker, “proud white trash” in the titular Mississippi town...Directed by Tyrone Phillips, the work broadens into a thoughtful examination of racism’s tentacles and the grip they have on even the most intimate of relationships." -Marissa Oberlander
Chicago Theater Beat
★★★★ out of ★★★★ "This is a beautifully acted and brutally realistic exploration of betrayal and the price of truth...BYHALIA is uncompromising in its peeling away of the layers of a hypocritical façade that are not unique to the American South, from whence playwright Linder comes." - Clint May
Chicago Theatre Review
Highly Recommended! "...that realism comes from Tyrone Phillips’ direction and John Wilson’s spectacular set, which not only captures the dated furniture and weather-worn wooden siding of the Parker’s country home, but even the gravel outside their front original, challenging play that only furthers the Chicago theater community’s peerless examination of race in the 21st century." -Peter Thomas Ricci
Edge: Chicago
"...the heart of the story is ultimately that of the characters: funny, flawed, deeply and approachably human characters that promise to leave every audience member moved by their plights...'Byhalia, Mississippi' is a wonderful production, and Chicago is fortunate to have the opportunity to host part of its world premiere." - Colleen Cottet
Theatre by Numbers
"[Linder's] characters are real people. They have real problems. They have real feelings. They speak in very real cadences that bring the viewer into the world of the play. This is a really well-crafted work. When that script with great characters is then put on the stage with great care, you get a show like this one, which is surely the best that I’ve seen in a while, not just in the brief beginnings of 2016." -Christopher Kidder-Mostrom