Dule Hill, Daniel J. Watts to Star in LIGHTS OUT: NAT 'KING' COLE Workshop at The Old Globe
The high-profile creative team behind People's Light's upcoming world premiere of Lights Out: Nat "King" Cole will workshop the developing piece at San Diego's prestigious Old Globe Theatre from April 20-23, 2017.
Actors Dulé Hill, best known for his Emmy-nominated work on The West Wing, and Broadway star Daniel J. Watts are among a cast of five to join co-authors Colman Domingo (star of Fear the Walking Dead) and Patricia McGregor to develop their innovative exploration of race in America through the lens of Nat "King" Cole and the demise of his landmark NBC variety show.
It is the first workshop of this music-theatre event that will premiere at People's Light in October 2017. Casting for the fall premiere of the Lights Out at People's Light will be announced shortly.
People's Light Producing Director Zak Berkman will join the artists at McGregor's hometown theatre, The Old Globe. "We're delighted to have this concentrated laboratory time to flesh out Colman and Patricia's ambitious and compelling script," Berkman says. "All of us are eager to dig deeply into the inner workings of this fascinating, tormented, multi-talented artist with one another. And I am very thankful to Barry Edelstein and everyone at The Old Globe for hosting this critical moment in the project's evolution."
Lights Out: Nat "King" Cole focuses on Cole in the moments leading up to his final Christmastime broadcast as he weighs the advice of his friend Sammy Davis Jr. to "go out with a bang." Cole notoriously stated after the show's failure to attract a national sponsor that "Madison Avenue is afraid of the dark." In their theatrical deep dive into the soul of this American icon, Domingo and McGregor imagine the complicated space between the Cole the public experienced on their television sets and the man underneath the make-up and powder.
Lights Out will be replete with Cole's hits and holiday standards like "Nature Boy," "It's A Good Day," "Unforgettable," and "Joy to the World," also features appearances by Eartha Kitt and Peggy Lee. Directed by Patricia McGregor, with Music Supervision by John McDaniel, the finished production will debut on the Steinbright Stage in Malvern from October 11-December 3, 2017.
San Diego's Old Globe Theatre has a long and rich history of developing new works. In 1984, it received the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre for its contribution to the development of the art form. The Old Globe annually produces 15 mainstage productions from Shakespeare to new works. Over the theatre's eighty-year history, it has become one of San Diego's largest arts institutions, and ranks among the nation's most respected regional theatres. To learn more, visit www.theoldglobe.org.
Lights Out: Nat "King" Cole is supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS:
Colman is an Olivier, Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League Award nominated, OBIE and Lucille Lortel Award winning actor, playwright and director. Theatre Includes: As an actor, he starred in the London Evening Standard Award-winning The Scottsboro Boys (Young Vic in London); made his British and Australian theatrical debuts with his self-penned solo play A Boy and His Soul (Tricycle Theater, Brisbane Powerhouse Theaters, New York's Vineyard Theater); and starred in his play Wild with Happy (Public Theater). As a writer, his latest play Dot premiered at the Humana Festival at Actors Theater of Louisville and Off Broadway at the Vineyard Theatre; he co-wrote the new musical Summer: The Donna Summer Musical (La Jolla Playhouse) and Lights Out: Nat King Cole (People's Light), both premiering this fall. He has directed for the Lark, The Geffen Playhouse, Actors Theater of Louisville, The Working Theater, New Professional Theater, Berkeley Rep, and Lincoln Center Director's Lab. Coming up, he will direct Ken Urban's world premiere of A Guide for the Homesick this fall (Huntington Theater). Film/Television Includes: Currently stars on AMC's Fear The Walking Dead as Victor Strand. 2017 will find him guest starring on Bojack Horseman (Netflix), Timeless (NBC), American Dad (FOX) and Miles From Tomorrowland (Disney Jr); recurred on The Knick (Cinemax) and guest starred on Horace and Pete (Hulu) and Lucifer (FOX). He recently wrapped the independent feature First Match for Netflix and Assassination Nation and co-starred in many films such as the Academy Award-nominated Paramount film Selma; Lee Daniels' The Butler; All is Bright; Newlyweeds; Steven Spielberg's Lincoln; three films directed by Spike Lee including Miracle At St. Ana, Red Hook Summer and Passing Strange; Freedomland; True Crime directed by Clint Eastwood; and The Birth of A Nation.
Theatre Includes: Most recently appeared in the Tony nominated musical After Midnight (Broadway's Brooks Atkinson Theatre). First came to prominence as The Kid opposite Savion Glover and Jeffrey Wright in Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk (Public Theatre, Broadway's Ambassador Theatre). Other stage credits include the Alicia Keys produced play Stick Fly (Broadway's Cort Theatre), Black and Blue (Broadway's Minskoff Theatre), Shenandoah (Paper Mill Playhouse), The Little Rascals (Goodspeed Opera House), and Amiri Barka's Obie award-winning play Dutchman (Cherry Lane Theatre). Film/Television Includes: Best known for his work as Charlie Young on The West Wing, for which he garnered an Emmy Award nomination and four Image Award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, as well as receiving two Screen Actors Guild Awards as part of the ensemble in a drama series. He has been nominated for four NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series for his work on USA's Psych, in which he portrayed Burton 'Gus' Guster for eight seasons and served as a producer. He recently finished filming the third season of the HBO series Ballers with Dwayne Johnson. Hill will next star in the J.D. Dillard film Sleight, which hits theaters April 28th and received rave reviews at its 2016 Sundance Film Festival debut. Previous film credits include the Independent Spirit Award nominated film Gayby; David H. Steinberg's Miss Dial alongside Robinne Lee, Sam Jaeger and Jon Huertas; Stuart Gordon's adaptation of David Mamet's Edmond, opposite William H. Macy; Andrew Davis' The Guardian; Disney's Holes, an adaptation of the award-winning children's novel by Louis Sachar in which he appeared as Sam the Onion Man alongside co-stars Sigourney Weaver, Jon Voight and Shia LaBeouf; Gravy; Sugar Hill; She's All That; Sexual Life; and the independent comedy Remarkable Power, directed by Brandon Beckner starring Kevin Nealon and Kip Pardue.
McGregor has twice been profiled by The New York Times for her direction of world premieres. Theatre Includes: Recently Good Grief (Center Theater Group), Hamlet (The Public Theater), Measure for Measure (Old Globe), The Parchaman Hour (The Guthrie), Ugly Lies the Bone (Roundabout), brownsville song (b-side for tray) (Lincoln Center), and Holding It Down (Metropolitan Museum). Other credits include A Raisin in the Sun, The Winter's Tale, and Spunk (California Shakespeare Theater); Adoration of the Old Woman (INTAR); The House That Will Not Stand (Berkeley Repertory, Yale Repertory); Blood Dazzler (Harlem Stage); Four Electric Ghosts (The Kitchen); Indomitable James Brown (The Apollo) and the world premiere of Hurt Village (Signature Theatre Company). She served as Associate Director of Fela! on Broadway. For many years she has directed The 24 Hour Plays on Broadway. She co-founded Angela's Pulse with her sister, choreographer and organizer Paloma McGregor. Training: Attended the Yale School of Drama, where she was a Paul & Daisy Soros Fellow and Artistic Director of the Yale Cabaret.
Daniel J. Watts
Theatre Includes: Eight Broadway shows including Hamilton, In The Heights and Memphis. An accomplished spoken word artist, in 2012 Watts launchEd WattsWords Productions. Daniel J. Watts' The Jam, an homage to his great grandmother who made homemade jam from scratch and gave away what she couldn't eat herself, is a spoken word/storytelling experience fusing a live band, song, dance and multimedia where Watts encourages audiences to focus on social similarities opposed to differences. Film/Television Includes: Recurring roles on NBC's Blindspot and HBO's Vinyl; The Good Wife (CBS); Blue Bloods (CBS); Odd Mom Out (Bravo); The Night Of (HBO); Boardwalk Empire (HBO); Person of Interest (CBS); Broad City (Comedy Central); and Smash (NBC). Film credits include Breakup at a Wedding; Among Brothers; and Freedom. Watts served as an adjunct professor of NYU's Tisch New Studio. He teaches his own course on how to truly engage in one's self in order to contribute meaningful and personal artistic work. Training: BFA, Elon University Music Theatre Program. 2011 Young Alumnus Award Recipient. Website: www.wattswords.com @dwattswords
Now in its 42nd season, People's Light, a professional, not-for-profit theatre in Chester County, Pennsylvania, makes plays drawn from many sources to entertain, inspire, and engage our community. We extend our mission of making and experiencing theatre through arts education programs that excite curiosity about, and deepen understanding of, the world around us. These plays and programs bring people together and provide opportunities for reflection, discovery, and celebration. Founded in 1974, we produce eight to nine plays each season, in two black box theatres with 340 and 160 seats respectively, mixing world premieres, contemporary plays, and fresh approaches to classic texts for our subscription series.