PURE CONFIDENCE Races Into 59E59 Theaters For The Americas Off Broadway Festival, Previews Begin 5/22
59E59 Theaters (Elysabeth Kleinhans, Artistic Director; Peter Tear, Executive Producer) is thrilled to welcome Tony Award-nominee Marion McClinton and Carlyle Brown, one of this country’s most prolific playwrights, to 59E59 Theaters and Americas Off Broadway. The NYC premiere of Mr. Brown’s playPure Confidence, directed by Mr. McClinton and from Minneapolis’ Mixed Blood Theatre, begins previews on Friday, May 22 for a limited engagement through Friday, July 3. Opening Night is Wednesday, May 27 at 8 PM. The performance schedule is Tuesday at 7:00 PM, Wednesday – Friday at 8:00 PM; Saturday at 2:00 PM and 8:00 PM; Sunday at 2:00 PM and 7:00 PM. There is an added matinee performance on Wednesday, July 1 at 2 PM. The regular ticket price is $45 ($31.50 for 59E59 Members). A 5-StarCard (one ticket to each show in the festival) is available for $100 ($85 for 59E59 Members). Tickets are available by calling Ticket Central at 212-279-4200 or online at www.ticketcentral.com. For more information visit www.59E59.org.
Set against a backdrop of fast horses, gritty racetracks, and high stakes betting, Pure Confidence is an exhilarating story of human triumph that explores the meaning of freedom. On the eve of the Civil War, champion jockey Simon Cato is one of the most successful athletes of his day, dominating the sport of horse racing. But Simon is also a slave. Hired out regularly by his owner to Colonel Wiley Johnson, owner of the prize thoroughbred Pure Confidence, Simon wants the one thing the Colonel by law can’t give him: his freedom. A funny and daring look at the complexity of race, love, and dignity, Pure Confidence chronicles the story of Simon’s race to freedom.
Carlyle Brown entered the world of great black jockeys by chance but his knowledge of and incisive looks at little known aspects of African-American history made him a perfect match for this subject matter. Pure Confidence is based on a period when African American riders dominated America’s first national sport.
The production features Christiana Clark, Casey Greig, Karen Landry, Gavin Lawrence, Chris Mulkey, Mark Rosenwinkel and Mark Sieve.
The design team includes Joseph Stanley (set design), Michael Wangen (lighting design), Christine A. Richardson (costume design) and C. Andrew Mayer (sound design).
Marion McClinton (director) is known for his award-winning Broadway and Off-Broadway productions of August Wilson’s work with whom he had a long friendship and professional relationship. Productions include: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Broadway revival), King Hedley II (Broadway premiere, regional theaters), Jitney (Off-Broadway, regional and international theaters), Gem of the Ocean (Goodman Theatre, Mark Taper Forum), Seven Guitars and Two Trains Running (CenterStage), Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (Missouri Repertory), and Fences (Indiana Repertory Theatre, Paramount Pictures). Other directing credits include Breath Boom (Playwrights Horizons), Jar the Floor (Off-Broadway), Roar (New Group), Thunder Knocking on the Door (regional theaters), Drowning Crow (premiere, Broadway MTC), Elmina’s Kitchen (CenterStage), Yellowman (Mixed Blood/Guthrie Theatre), Bulrusher (Pillsbury House) andPure Confidence (Mixed Blood). Mr. McClinton is an Associate Artist of CenterStage. His plays include Police Boys, Stones and Bones (1994 Humana Festival). Awards include two Audelco Awards, OBIE, NEA/TCG Pew Charitable Trust Grant, and Drama Desk, Evening Standard and Tony Award nominations.
Carlyle Brown (playwright) is a writer/performer and artistic director of Carlyle Brown & Company based in Minneapolis, which has produced The Masks of Othello: A Theatrical Essay, The Fula From America: An African Journey, and Talking Masks. His plays include The African Company Presents Richard III, The Little Tommy Parker Celebrated Colored Minstrel Show, Buffalo Hair, The Beggars’ Strike, The Negro of Peter the Great,Pure Confidence, A Big Blue Nail and others. He has received commissions from Arena Stage, the Houston Grand Opera, the Children’s Theatre Company, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Goodman Theater, Miami University of Ohio and the University of Louisville. He is recipient of playwriting fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, McKnight Foundation, the Minnesota State Arts Board, Jerome Foundation, Theatre Communications Group and the Pew Charitable Trust. Mr. Brown has been artist-in-residence at New York University School of the Arts Graduate Acting Program, The James Thurber House in Columbus, and Ohio State University Theater Department where he directed his music drama, Yellow Moon Rising. He has been a teacher of expository writing at New York University; African-American literature at the University of Minnesota; playwriting at Ohio State University and Antioch College; African American theater and dramatic literature at Carlton College as the Benedict Distinguished Visiting Artist, and “Creation and Collaboration” at the University of Minnesota Theater Department. He has worked as a museum exhibit writer and story consultant for the Charles Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit and the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage in Louisville. Mr. Brown is a core member at Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis and he is an alumnus of New Dramatists in New York and a member of the Dramatists Guild. He is on the board of directors of The Playwrights’ Center and Theatre Communications Group, the national organization for the non-profit professional theater and the Jerome Foundation. He is a member of the Charleston Jazz Initiative Circle at the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture at the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina where his works and papers are archived. He is the 2006 recipient of The Black Theatre Network’s Winona Lee Fletcher Award for outstanding achievement and artistic excellence and a 2008 Guggenheim Fellow.
Pure Confidence was commissioned and developed by Actors Theatre of Louisville and the Alabama Shakespeare Festival and premiered at the 29th Annual Humana Festival of New American Plays in March of 2005. It subsequently went on to various regional productions across the country, including the Denver Center Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse and Florida Studio Theatre.