National Black Theatre Announces The Cast Of THE FIRST DEEP BREATH By Lee Edward Colston II

National Black Theatre Announces The Cast Of THE FIRST DEEP BREATH By Lee Edward Colston II

Dr. Barbara Ann Teer's National Black Theatre [NBT] announces today the cast of the first workshop production for this years cohort of I Am Soul Playwriting Residency by playwright Lee Edward Colston II. Colston's workshop production (February 13 - 17, 2019) will be The First Deep Breath which will be directed by Malika Oyetimein. This production with feature Vanessa A. Jones & C. Kelly Wright. As part of NBT's Soul Series L.A.B. [Liberating Artistic Bravery], The First Deep Breath will conclude an 18-month residency for Lee Edward Colston II as the institution celebrating NBT's 50th season which is themed "Liberation: A Journey Beyond Walls."

The full cast for this workshop production will be: Paris Campbell (Albert), Paris Crayton III (Leslie), SJ Hannah (Abdul Malik), Vanessa A. Jones (Ruth), Drew Shade (Tyree), Cole Taylor (AJ), Chelsea Lee Williams (Dee Dee), C. Kelly Wright (Pearl). NBT is also excited to have on the creative team: Izmir Ickbal (Set/Lights), Elia Chuaqui (Sound), Beylnda Hardin (PSM).

The First Deep Breath will run February 13 - 17, 2019. Pastor Albert Jones plans a special church service to honor his late daughter Diane on the sixth anniversary of her death. But when his eldest son, Abdul-Malik, returns home from prison, the First family of Mother Bethel Baptist Church is forced to confront a hornet's nest of long-buried secrets. With each member of the Jones clan desperately fighting to stay afloat, sometimes a family that stays together drowns together.

Launched in 2012, I AM SOUL - Playwright Residency Program is the only program in the country that is dedicated to Black playwrights, whose work demonstrates exceptional artistic merit and excellence in the theatrical field, with a commitment to production. Coined as a dream MFA program this eighteen (18) month residency also seeks to unleash the soul of a playwright on the page so that they can develop, hone and explore new ways of artistic expression in a safe, supported and transformative environment. With I AM SOUL, NBT seeks to deepen the artistic relationship between Black theatrical institutions and Black playwrights in order to re-establish Black theatrical institutions as the foremost supporters and producers of new works created by Black playwrights. Past residents: Mfoniso Udofia, Aurin Squire, Angelica Chéri, Derek Lee McPhatter, Nambi E. Kelley, Dennis A. Allen II Current residents: Eric Micha Holmes, Lee Edward Colston II, Tracey Conyer Lee & Darrel Holnes.

Tickets for The First Deep Breath are now on sale. The workshop is from Wednesday, February 13, 2019 to Sunday, February 17, 2019, at 4:00 p.m., with Saturday matinees at 2:00 p.m. and evening shows on February 13 - 16 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $20.00 general admission. Tickets can be purchased online at, by calling NBT directly at (212) 722-3800 or at NBT's Box Office, open from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. National Black Theatre is located at 2031 Fifth Avenue between 125th and 126th Streets in Harlem. (Take the 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 subway to 125 th Street.) Follow NBT on Facebook ( ) and Twitter/Instagram (@NatBlackTheatre).


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