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Extended Runs

Ars Nova To Take Underground Railroad Game On Tour This Summer

Jazmine Harper-Davis

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Ars Nova has announced an international tour of their critically acclaimed Off-Broadway hit, Underground Railroad Game, created by and starring Jennifer Kidwell and Scott R. Sheppard.

The tour will begin in Theater Der Welt in Hamburg, Germany, in June 2017, followed by a 3-week run in Washington, D.C., at Woolly Mammoth in April 2018. Additional tour dates to be announced.

Ars Nova

Tamara Rodriguez Reichberg

Underground Railroad Game began in Philadelphia’s FringeArts Festival. The entire run of 10 performances sold out and over 1,200 people attended.  As a result of overwhelming sales and demand, FringeArts remounted URG in May of 2016. In the fall, URG made it’s New York premiere in Ars Nova’s 2016 season.

Underground Railroad Game welcomes audiences (as fifth-grade students) to Hanover Middle School, where a pair of teachers get down and dirty with the day’s lesson. The nimble duo goes round after round on the mat of our nation’s history, tackling race, sex, and power in this R-rated, kaleidoscopic and fearless comedy. Forget everything you thought you knew about history. They take history off the page and make it real again.

Check out arsnovanyc.com for more information.

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Celebrity Takeover

Head of Passes Starring Phylicia Rashad Extends + Win Two Tickets

Drew Shade

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The Broadway Black approved production of Head of Passes by Tarell Alvin McCraney has officially been extended and rightfully so. It will now play until April 24th at the Public Theater. Tony Award winner Phylicia Rashad leads the cast as Shelah, a woman who “must fight to survive the rising flood of life’s great challenges” as her family and friends come to celebrate her birthday.

Completing the cast and telling this moving story is Alana Arenas (The Bluest Eye) as “Cookie”, Francois Battiste (Bronx Bombers) as “Aubrey”, Kyle Beltran (The Fortress of Solitude) as “Crier”, J. Bernard Calloway (All the Way) as Spencer, Robert Joy as “Dr. Anderson”, John Earl Jelks (Holler If Ya Hear Me) as “Creaker Johnson”, and Arnetia Walker (Dreamgirls) as “Mae”.

It’s also time for a giveaway and this is a really special one for us! The return of “Mutha”, aka Phylicia Rashad, to an Off-Broadway stage is nothing to be taken lightly. She is currently serving the people all kinds of master class skills in the production of Head of Passes at The Public Theater. You can’t NOT see this show so, we want to give you the opportunity to do so.

If you don’t know why we’re so adamant about making sure you see it, read about our experience in our #WeWereThere article HEREAfter you’ve finished that and you’re clearly sold on the experience, follow the rules below to qualify to win a pair of tickets to the April 22nd performance. There will be more than one winner and each winner will receive a pair of tickets to that show ONLY. If you can’t make it on that date you can still purchase tickets HERE.

How to WIN!:

1. Must be following @BroadwayBlack & @PublicTheaterNY on twitter

2. Like our Broadway Black Facebook page HERE!

3. Comment below & tell us: What has been your greatest challenge in life & why?!

Must enter before Wed April 20th at 5pm! Winners will be announced on that same day at 7pm!

 

Check out Head of Passes production photos by Joan Marcus below!

Giveaway made possible by our friends at PPLMVR! Thank you!

 

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A Must See

Nilaja Sun’s “Pike St.” Extended Through December 19th at Abrons Arts Center

Jerrica White

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Obie Winner Nilaja Sun is currently filling an entire stage with her humor, wit, and story of resilience in her one-woman show, Pike St., on stage at the Abrons Arts Center. This story strikes close to home—Sun’s home, that is. This realness, this truth, this diverse portrait of the lives of those stricken by tragedy and natural disaster, has been extended and will play through December 19th.

Sun started writing Pike St. in 2013, reflecting on the effects that Hurricane Sandy had on the inhabitants of New York City. Told from the point of view of a Puerto Rican family in residence in Lower East Side (L.E.S.) Manhattan, Pike St. brings to life the story of Evelyn, whose teenage daughter Candace is paralyzed and not able to breathe on her own, and the preparations the family must make in the face of a looming storm.

This project is a bit of a homecoming. Sun was born and raised in L.E.S. and took her first art classes at Abrons Art Center. She has sought to tell a story that embodies the unique diversity of the landscape. 

The artistry is what has me most intrigued by this story. Telling a story from one point of view is one thing, but seamlessly transforming from a matriarch who will protect her daughter by any means necessary, to the daughter who is bound by the dependance of a breathing machine and not being able to walk, to a woman who has survived the Holocaust, to a brother who has fought in Afghanistan, speaks to a special dexterity that you don’t see everyday. 

The nature of all of these characters combined seems heavy. But nightly, like Evelyn, Sun leaves her heart on the stage in an effort to plant seeds of healing and redemption, three years after Hurricane Sandy. 

Sun is a playwright and performer. It is in her Off-Broadway play, No Child, where she played an entire classroom of children and the teacher, that garnered her an Obie award, as well as a Lucille Lortel Award and two Outer Critics Circle Awards. Her TV and film credits include “30 Rock,” “Law & Order: SVU,” and “Louie.”

Pike St. held previews starting November 10 and opened November 15. The direction is helmed by Ron Russell and the show is presented by Epic Theatre Ensemble. Visit Abrons Arts Center for tickets.

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