Luna Stage Presents REPARATION, Previews Begin 2/9

Luna Stage Presents REPARATION, Previews Begin 2/9

Luna Stage will present the world premiere of Reparation, a new play about a real estate deal in trouble when the site is discovered to be a slave burial ground. Preview performances run February 9th-16th and opening night is February 17th.

The play runs through March 11th. Performance times are Thursdays at 7:30pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 3pm. Tickets are on sale now, $20-$30 per person (opening night with reception is $35 per ticket), and can be purchased in person, on the phone at 973-395-5551, or on the Luna Stage website: www.lunastage.org. The performance on Sunday, February 19th at 3pm will be followed by a talkback with playwright Gino DiIorio and other members of the creative team.

Reparation tells the story of David, a middle-aged African-American investment banker who has made his career by playing the race card. Now, in the midst of the financial meltdown, he finds himself out of options and out of friends. His last hope is an old flame with a potentially lucrative real estate venture. But he soon learns that there are secrets buried beneath the land, secrets that will force him to come to terms with his own past transgressions, reconsider his loyalties, and determine his legacy. Reparation was a 2010 Yale Drama Series Finalist.

This world premiere production of Reparation features original music by acclaimed jazz musicIan Oliver Lake and the cast includes star of stage and screen, Frankie Faison. Shane Taylor and Catherine Eaton complete the outstanding three-person cast. The set is designed by Maiko Chii. Lighting is by Rachel Budin, sound by Steve Brown and costumes by Deborah Caney. The production is stage managed by Mary Ellen Allison.

Luna Stage Artistic Director, Jane Mandel, who is directing the production, says of the piece, “Reparation is an incredibly timely play in so many ways. The relationship between morality and profit is at the forefront of our collective consciousness and has been the driving force behind the global political protests of the last couple of years. This country and much of its current corporate wealth was founded on slave labor and we haven’t really reconciled this as a nation. Reparation is about legacy and the perils we face when we put quick financial gain ahead of our humanity. The story of this play is about two people coming to terms with their personal histories, but as in any great play, the implications are to something much larger than these two individuals.”

In addition to being a 2010 Yale Drama Series finalist, Reparation won the 2011 E. Desmond Lee Playwriting Prize (University of Missouri-St. Louis). Playwright Gino DiIorio’s other work includes the play, The Jag, which was the winner of the 2010 Firehouse Theatre’s Great American New Play Award and a finalist in the 2011 Laurents Hatcher Award Competition. Dead Ringer and Apostasy, both of which received their world premieres at the New Jersey Rep, are published by Samuel French. Mr. DiIorio’s new play Release Point was a finalist for the 2011 Thomas Barbour Memorial Playwright’s Award. A Professor of Theatre at Clark University in Worcester, MA, Mr. DiIorio has also taught at The New School for Social Research, NYU, the Weist Barron School, and Rockland Community College.

Shane Taylor plays David. Mr. Taylor last appeared at Luna Stage in the company’s 2005 production of Topdog/Underdog by Suzan-Lori Parks. Frankie Faison is William, a custodian who has kept watch over the consecrated ground and holds the key to securing the real estate deal. Mr. Faison is best known for his role in HBO’s The Wire and was last seen at Luna Stage as King Lear in a benefit reading of Shakespeare’s masterpiece performed by an all African-American cast. Catherine Eaton rounds out the cast as Chrissy, a woman who inherited her father’s company and must find a way, any way, to keep it solvent. Ms. Eaton, a former member of the Guthrie Theatre's resident company, is a founding partner of the production house, Stir. She wrote and performs the solo-show, Corsetless, which has toured internationally and is being adapted for film.

Jazz artist Oliver Lake co-founded World Saxophone Quartet with Julius Hemphill, Hamiet Bluiett and David Murray and WSQ recently celebrated its 30th anniversary with an album of Jimi Hendrix pieces for Justin Time Records. While he has continued to tour regularly with his own groups, collaborations and guest appearances, Mr. Lake recognized the changing trends and new challenges facing creative artists, especially those working in the jazz tradition, and he founded Passin' Thru, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit, dedicated to fostering, promoting and advancing the knowledge, understanding and appreciation of jazz, new music and other disciplines in relation to music.

For information on this production and all other events and programs at Luna Stage, visit the company website: www.lunastage.org. Luna Stage is located at 555 Valley Road, West Orange, NJ 07052. 973-395-5551. The theatre is handicapped accessible and assisted listening devices are available.

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