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Playwrights Horizons Postpones TAMBO & BONES by One Week, Adds Booster Shot Requirement

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The world premiere production will now open February 7 and run through February 27.

Playwrights Horizons Postpones TAMBO & BONES by One Week, Adds Booster Shot Requirement

Playwrights Horizons, responding to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant in New York City, has announced a one-week delay of the start of Dave Harris' Tambo & Bones, from January 12 to January 19, and a requirement that all audience members receive booster shots in advance of attending. The world premiere production, directed by Taylor Reynolds and co-presented with Center Theatre Group (Michael Ritchie, Artistic Director; Meghan Pressman, Managing Director/CEO), will now open February 7 (instead of January 31) and run through February 27 (instead of February 20) in Playwrights Horizons' Mainstage Theater before being produced at Center Theatre Group's Kirk Douglas Theatre, May 1 - 29, 2022 (opening May 8).

Opening, as Harris' stage directions describe, in "a fake ass pasture" with "some fake ass trees and a fake ass bush" and "a fake ass sky with a fake ass sun" and "a lil bit of fake ass grass," Tambo & Bones follows two characters who realize they've been written into a minstrel show. Their escape plan: get out, get bank, get even. A rags-to-riches hip-hop odyssey, the play roasts American capitalism's desire for certain Black narratives, highlighting the narrow confines within which Black characters are placed. As Tambo and Bones test the limits of the frameworks they're given, Harris' work wrestles with the country's racist past and present, and explodes its post-racial future-such that the stakes, for characters deemed less-than- human, becomes the fate of humanity itself.

Tambo & Bones was conceived as Harris considered his artistic origins doing poetry slams, and how he often found, in this competitive setting, an expectation for Black artists to revisit and present trauma-often in front of snapping, largely white audiences. Affirming these expectations became a currency. He describes, "I was working through this and thinking through minstrelsy as the beginning of Black fictive imaginations and Black performative capitalism. Minstrelsy is so demonized in society, but it was also a pathway to freedom for so many performers. So much of this play is about individual agency and upwards mobility within these given systems. And once you have the freedom to create your own world, what then are you reaching for? In my play, the characters' relationship to the playwright is: 'You had the possibility to dream up any world you could have and the extent of your imagination was to put us in a minstrel show? You're doing this, why?'"

In Reynolds' world premiere production, W. Tré Davis (Seared, Zooman and the Sign) and Tyler Fauntleroy (Tempest, "Succession") play the titular characters. The performers are tasked with nothing less than hurtling the show into new genres, forms, and eras with a relentless, combustible energy - all while giving emotional complexity and uncontainable nuance to characters trapped within crude archetypes. Harris is keenly aware of what's being asked of performers: this is central to the play, as is the question of what storytellers reify with their words.

The cast also features Brendan Dalton (Plano, Blue Man Group) and Dean Linnard (Time Temple, The Winter's Tale). The creative team includes Stephanie Osin Cohen (Scenic Designer), Dominique Fawn Hill (Costume Designer), Amith Chandrashaker (Lighting Designer), Mikhail Fiksel (Sound Designer), Justin Ellington (Original Music), John C. Moore (Stage Manager), and Bryan Bauer (Assistant Stage Manager).

Playwrights Horizons' Commitment to Health and Safety

To best protect audiences, artists, and staff members, Playwrights Horizons will now require all audience members to provide proof of a booster shot (via CDC vaccination card, NY State Excelsior Pass Plus, or NYC Covid Safe app), in addition to full vaccination, and to wear face masks at all times while at the theater. N95 or KN95 masks are strongly encouraged (and are required of staff, and of artists when not on stage during a performance). The company has outlined all current updates in their full health and safety policy.

The theater's ventilation system complies with the CDC's standards (MERV-13 filters), high-touch surfaces are being cleaned regularly, and paperless ticketing is offered for all performances.

Playwrights Horizons encourages anyone interested in getting vaccinated to visit this site for guidance.

Performance Schedule and Ticketing

Tambo & Bones now runs January 19 - February 27 and officially opens on February 7. There will be post-performance discussions with members of the creative team and Playwrights artistic staff following the Sunday, January 23 and Tuesday, January 25 evening performances. A Black Theater Night performance will be held on February 3, and an audio description matinee will take place on Sunday, February 13.

Tickets can be purchased at https://my.playwrightshorizons.org/events.


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