National Black Theatre to Present Keith Josef Adkins' THE LAST SAINT ON SUGAR HILL, 10/29-11/24
Dr. Barbara Ann Teers's National Black Theatre (NBT) will open its 45th Season with the New York Premiere of The Last Saint On Sugar Hill, written by Keith Josef Adkins and directed by Seret Scottannounced NBT's Director of Theatre Arts Program, Jonathan McCrory. Preview performances begin Tuesday, October 29th at NBT, 2031 Fifth Avenue starting at 7:30pm. The opening night is set for Friday, November 1st at 7pm. The production will run through Sunday, November 24th.
The Last Saint On Sugar Hill is part of NBT's Main-stage Series Harlem Now, which celebrates the voices and issues impacting Harlem today. In conjunction with the production, there will be a photography exhibit in NBT's lobby curated by photographer Paul Rocheleau whose photographs appeared in the historical architecture book Harlem Lost and Found. With a 2012 Jeff-nominated Best Script by playwright Keith Josef Adkins and direction by award-winning director Seret Scott,The Last Saint On Sugar Hill follows Napoleon Pettigrew and his sons who are die-hard Harlemites and feared property owners who live in a Harlen now populated by a myriad of new residents and fancy eateries. The Pettigrew family hope to make a profit from this NEW Harlem, however, when they discover one of their properties is a real moneymaker, everything they hold sacred-family, loyalty and community-falls apart. Sitting on a gold mine, the Pettigrew men are faced with the biggest decision in their lives-save or destroy the last untouched neighborhood in Harlem.
The cast of The Last Saint On Sugar Hill includes David Fonteno (The Good Wife),Jaime Lincoln Smith (Hip Hop Theater Festival/CTH's Seed), Yaegel T. Welch,Terrell Wheeler and Chinaza Uche.
The creative team includes Harlan Penn (scenic design), Gail Cooper-Hecht (costume design), Marika Kent (lighting design), and Samuel Nacach (sound design). B'jai Pierce-Astwood is the production stage manager.
The Last Saint On Sugar Hill's regular performance schedule is Thursday - Saturday at 7:30pm; and Saturday and Saturday matinees at 2pm. Performances run October 29 through November 24. Tickets are $35 general admission. Opening Night Gala tickets are $50. For groups of 10+ please contact group sales leader Debbie McIntyre at 212 802 8200 or call the theatre at 212-722-3800. For students, active military and Seniors (65+) with ID the tickets are $25. Post-performance discussions will be announced on a later date
Tickets are available by calling 212-722-3800 or visiting www.nationalblacktheatre.org, or going to the NBT Box Office at 2031 Fifth Avenue between 125th & 126th Streets in Harlem, New York . Box Office hours are 1:00pm to 6:00pm, Tuesday through Saturday.
Keith Josef Adkins is a playwright, screenwriter and artistic director. His plays include PITBULLS, SUGAR AND NEEDLES (Epic Theatre's 2012 Blueprint Series), SAFE HOUSE, THE FINAL DAYS OF NEGRO-VILLE (2013 Act Now Playwright Series, 2012 Playwrights Foundation Rough Reading Series, 2011 Represent Festival at A.C.T. in Seattle), THE BUG PODS (radio play, 2013 The Greene Space/Flea Theatre, NYC), SWEET HOME (2012 MPAACT Theater, Chicago), among others. Keith's play Sweet Home earned six nominations (including Best Script) in 2013 from the African American Theater Alliance in Chicago. His play The Last Saint on Sugar Hill earned a 2012 Jeff nomination for Best New Work in Chicago. His awards include a 2010 Gateway commission from the Obie Award-winning Epic Theatre, a 2010 A Contemporary Theatre/Hansberry Project Commission, a 2009 New Professional Theater Playwright Award, a 2009 New York State Council on the Arts playwriting grant with The Public Theater, among others. Keith was also recently selected for a 2013-14 Project Residency at the Lark Play Development Center. As a screenwriter, Keith wrote for the CW hit series Girlfriends. He was commissioned by SimonSays Entertainment to pen a feature-length sci-fi drama called The Disappearing. He also wrote and directed an all-black sci-fi web series called The Abandon. Keith is in development with executive producers Eriq LaSalle and Michael Beach for the feature film version of The Abandon. Keith co-founded The New Black Fest and is currently the artistic director.
Seret Scott (Director): Seret Scott has directed a dozen productions at the Old Globe Theatre, San Diego. Off Broadway credits: New Victory, Second Stage, Playwrights Horizon's, PanAsian Rep. Regional credits: Actors Theatre-Louisville, South Coast Rep, ACT-San Francisco, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Denver Center, Court Theatre, Two River Theatre, Play Makers Rep, Indiana Rep, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Philadelphia Drama Guild, Arena Stage, Wooly Mammoth, Tribute Production-DC, Studio Theatre, Ford's Theatre, Long Wharf, Hartford Stage, National Black Theater, Crossroads Theatre, Virginia Stage, Alley Theatre, ALLIANCE THEATRE, ViVo Flamenco, among others. Workshops: Roundabout Theater, Pacific Playwrights, Eugene O'Neil, NY Stage and Film, Sundance, New Harmony, New Dramatist. Ms. Scott authored Second Line, produced by NJ's Passage Theatre and DC's Atlas Theatre and Funny Time, a 10-minute play produced by The Negro Ensemble and The Public Theatre. She is an Executive Board member of Stage Directors and Choreographers union.
David Fonteno is approaching 30 years as a professional actor, and as Socrates said, "I am wise enough to know that I know nothing". He is currently recurring as Judge RoBert Parks on The Good Wife. He last appeared onstage as part of Atlantic Theatre Company's 10 by 25. Other recent credits include: Homeland, Royal Pains, Bluebloods, Smash, Treme, The Dictator, Morning Glory, and Choke. He is a life member of The Actors Studio.
Jaime Lincoln Smith hails from Bloomfield, CT. His recent credits include: Holla if you Hear Me(wkshp) dir. Kenny Leon, Off-Broadway: Ruined(MTC), Lights Rise on Grace(45 Bleeker St.), SEED(Classical Theatre of Harlem) Birthright(Billie Holiday Theatre). Regional: Carnaval by Nikkole Salter(Luna Stage), he has also worked at Steppenwolf, Baltimore Centerstage, Arena Stage, and City Theatre. TV/Film: NYC 2-2, Law and Order, Knights of Prosperity, Titans of G.E.F.A., Remember the Titans. Mr. Smith has also done numerous National network commercials and voice-overs. Education: BA-Clark Atlanta University, MFA: Rutgers University. Mr. Smith would like to dedicate each performance to his late-great father Lennox Lincoln Smith.
Yaegel T. Welch, was most recently seen as Ogun in the "Brothers Size" at the Seattle Rep and the Everyman Theatre in Baltimore. At Playmakers Rep in" Fences"," Jitney" at Kenny Leons True Colors Theatre, Studio Theatre's In the Red and Brown Water, and Alabama Shakespeare Festival's "Bear Country". Off Broadway he has been seen in the Lincoln Center's "Fly", with The Crossroads Theatre. Other credits include "The Revenger's Tragedy" at Red Bull Theatre and" The Darker Face of the Earth" with TWAS Productions. Regionally, he has appeared in" The Piano Lesson" at The Arden Theatre (Barrymore Award nomination);" My Children! My Africa"! at The Studio Theatre and Wilma Theatre; "Beaux Stratagem" at Everyman Theatre;" As you like it" and "Of Mice and Men" with The Acting Company;" Fences" at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre;" A Midsummer Night's Dream" with the Bridgeport Free Shakespeare Festival; "Fences" with Ruben Santiago-Hudson at Boston's Shubert Theatre, "Cobb" at the Chautauqua Institution and "Professional Skepticism" at the Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theatre. Mr. Welch's has a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Morehouse College, an M.F.A. in Acting from Brandeis University and an M.F.A. from The Shakespeare Theatre's Academy for Classical Acting.
Terrell Wheeler was raised in Westchester, New York alongside his twin sister and older brother who introduced him to the lovely medium of storytelling. Upon graduating high school, Terrell pursued a major in Theater Arts graduating with a BFA in acting from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. His credits include: The American premiere of Children of Killers by Katori Hall, the world premiere of Carnavalby Nikkole Salter, Kings River by Ean Myles Kessler & Andrew Rosenberg, andMourning Sun by Antu Yacob. "I am thrilled to work in the community which boasts the fostering of some of America's most prominent artists of color."
Chinaza Uche is a graduate of the Experimental Theater Wing and The Classical Studio at New York University's Tisch School of The Arts. He can now be seen in 'Mother of George' (Sundance 2013) which premiered in theaters September 13th. Film: Terry Richardson's Last Hours (Cannes 2012), Threading Needles. Recent TV: Blue Bloods, Deception and Golden Boy. Recent Theater: 'Othello' with The Kinetic Theatre Ensemble. 'Honeyfist', 'Hearts Like Fists' and 'Ajax in Iraq' with The Flux Theatre Ensemble. 'Obskene' with The Talking Band. 'Flipside' with The HartBeat Ensemble (New York Fringe Festival - Best Ensemble; Broadway World Connecticut Awards - Best Actor Nomination). 'The Brothers Size' at The Everyman Theatre (Best of Baltimore Awards 2012 - Best Play). 'Bintou' with The Movement Theatre Company (North American Premiere). He's a collaborator with The HartBeat Ensemble and The Flux Theatre Ensemble.
Founded by visionary Dr. Barbara Ann Teer in 1968, National Black Theatre is a cultural and educational Institution. Dr. Teer pioneered "the healing art of black theatre as an instrument for wholeness in urban communities where entrepreneurial artists of African descent live and work." In 1983, Dr. Teer expanded the vision of NBT by purchasing a 64,000 square foot building on 125th and Fifth Avenue (renamed "National Black Theatre Way" by local law in 1994). This was the first revenue-generating black arts complex in the country, a visionary arrangement through which for-profit businesses who shared NBT's spiritual and aesthetic values rented retail space to subsidize the arts. She worked tirelessly to shift the cultural identity of people of African descent born in America in every area of human concern. Out of her vision, NBT houses the largest collection of Nigerian new sacred art in the Western hemisphere and is considered the authentic representation of a model whose time has come. Where else but in community based cultural institutions can artists and writers replace what has been wiped clean in the American history books? NBT is a place where we can still weave our own stories and determine our own destiny. It is a place where we can create our own legends and move forward back into self-love to mutual love of others based on respect and shared visions. As a cultural and educational anchor institution, NBT's contribution is not only recognized in Harlem, but also citywide and nationally. Visit www.nationalblacktheatre.org or follow them on Facebook (www.facebook.com/NationalBlackTheatre) and Twitter/Instagram(@NatBlackTheatre).