BWW TV: Ato Blankson-Wood and James Cusati-Moyer Look Back on the Importance of SLAVE PLAY
Provocative. Scalding. Explosive. Radical. Daring. These are just a few words that have used to describe Jeremy O. Harris's latest work- Slave Play, which just concluded its Broadway run at the Golden Theatre in January. The critically acclaimed play, brought to life onstage by director Robert O'Hara, rocked the world of audiences since it opened on October 6, and long before that, during its off-Broadway run at New York Theatre Workshop.
"It's still very much in our bodies," explains cast member James Cusati-Moyer. "What a gift as an artist, actor and storyteller to be so invested- naturally, because we are part of it, but in this play in particular, our higher purpose was to tell this story. It challenged my body, my soul, and made me stronger as an artist."
The Old South lives on at the MacGregor Plantation - in the breeze, in the cotton fields...and in the crack of the whip. It's an antebellum fever-dream, where fear and desire entwine in the looming shadow of the Master's House. Jim trembles as Kaneisha handles melons in the cottage, Alana perspires in time with the plucking of Phillip's fiddle in the boudoir, while Dustin cowers at the heel of Gary's big, black boot in the barn. Nothing is as it seems, and yet everything is as it seems.
"The show itself requires so much of both the audience and the cast," recalls Ato Blankson-Wood. "I think I learned that I'm a lot stronger and capable of a lot more than I thought I was because the challenges of this play brought out a strength in me."
Below, watch as Blankson-Wood and Cusati-Moyer recall some of there favorite memories from the experience and look back on what it meant to them to tell such an important story eight times a week!