NYTW Presents FETCH CLAY, MAKE MAN Starring Nikki M James, Ray Fisher, K. Todd Freeman & More, Beg. Today
New York Theatre Workshop (NYTW) Artistic Director James C. Nicola has announced that Fetch Clay, Make Man, written by Will Power and directed by Des McAnuff, will begin performances tonight, August 23 at NYTW, 79 East 4 Street, between Bowery and Second Avenue. Opening night is set for Thursday, September 12 at 7pm. Fetch Clay, Make Man is scheduled to run through Sunday, October 13; tickets are on sale now.
In the days leading up to one of Cassius Clay's most anticipated fights, the heavyweight boxing champion forms an unlikely friendship with the controversial Hollywood star Stepin Fetchit. With a script by award-winning performer and playwright Will Power, who received rave reviews for his plays Flow and The Seven at NYTW, and direction by Tony Award winner Des McAnuff (The Who's Tommy, Jersey Boys), Fetch Clay, Make Manexplores the improbable bond that forms between two drastically different and influential cultural icons. One a vibrant and audacious youth, the other a resentful and almost forgotten relic, they fight together to form their public personas and shape their legacies amidst the struggle of the civil rights movement of the mid-1960s. This true story is as powerful and poetic as Clay himself while also humorous and irreverent like Fetchit's signature act. Finding commonality in contradiction, Fetch Clay, Make Man examines the true meanings of strength, resilience, and pride.
The scenic design for Fetch Clay, Make Man is by Riccardo Hernandez; costume design is by Paul Tazewell; lighting design is by Howell Binkley; projection design is by Peter Nigrini, soundscape is by Darron L West; original music is by Justin Ellington; the production stage manager is Megan Smith. The boxing consultant is former boxing champion Michael Olajide, Jr., and movement consultant is Lisa Shrive.
Will Power is an award-winning playwright and performer. Power's adaptation of the Greek tragedy Seven Against Thebes retitled The Seven, and his solo show Flow enjoyed a successful run at NYTW and La Jolla Playhouse. Power's numerous awards include a United States Artist Prudential Fellowship, a Lucille Lortel Award for Best Musical, the TCG Peter Zeisler Memorial Award, a Jury Award for Best Theatre Performance at the HBO US Comedy Arts Festival, a Drama Desk Award nomination, and the Trailblazer Award from The National Black Theater Network. Power's numerous film and television appearances include The Steven Colbert Report (Comedy Central) and Bill Moyers on Faith and Reason (PBS). Presently, Power is in the process of developing new works for The Dallas Theatre Center, The Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles, Hartford Stage and The Royal Shakespeare Company.
Des McAnuff is a two-time Tony Award-winning director and the immediate past Artistic Director of the Stratford Festival. He is also Artistic Director Emeritus of La Jolla Playhouse, where during his tenure he directed more than 30 productions of classics, new plays and musicals including Rex Pickett's Sideways, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, The Wiz, Dr. Zhivago, Palm Beach, Aaron Sorkin's The Farnsworth Invention, Tartuff andJesus Christ Superstar. Under his leadership, The Playhouse received more than 300 theatre awards including the 1993 Tony Award as America's Outstanding Regional Theater. This past year he was awarded Canada's esteemed Governor General's National Arts Center Award and the Order of Canada. In June 2011 he was honored with a doctorate from Ryerson University and in 2005 he received the prestigious Julia Hansen Award for lifetime achievement in directing. McAnuff's Broadway credits include Jesus Christ Superstar (2012); Guys and Dolls (2009); Aaron Sorkin's The Farnsworth Invention (2007); Jersey Boys (2006, four Tony Awards including Best Musical); Billy Crystal's 700 Sundays (2004, Tony Award for Best Special Theatrical Event); Dracula the Musical (2004); How to Succeed...(1995); The Who's Tommy (1993 Tony Award for Best Director; 1997 London Olivier Award for Best Director/Best Musical); A Walk in the Woods (1988); Big River (1985, seven Tony Awards including Best Director, Best Musical). Stratford: A Word or Two, The Tempest, and Caesar and Cleopatra (all starring Christopher Plummer), Tommy, Jesus Christ Superstar, Twelfth Night andA Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. His opera credits include Faust at the Met & ENO, Wozzeck at San Diego Opera.