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Theater Close-Up and REPAIRING A NATION 2/18 at 9 p.m. on THIRTEEN

Theater Close-Up -- the unique collaboration between THIRTEEN and the large community of New York City area non-profit Off-Broadway theaters -- will present its first regional production, Nikkole Salter's Repairing a Nation, from Crossroads Theatre Company in New Brunswick, New Jersey, captured live on-stage, in THIRTEEN's signature "up-close" style.

Repairing a Nation will premiere Thursday, February 18 at 9 p.m. on THIRTEEN, with an encore presentation on Friday, February 19 at 2 a.m. The play will also air on WLIW21 Sunday, February 21 at 9 p.m. with an encore Thursday, February 25 at 1 a.m. Beginning Friday, February 19, the play will be available online in the tri-state area (www.thirteen.org/topic/programs/theater-close-up/).

The broadcast will again be hosted by Blythe Danner, Tony Award-winning star of stage, screen, and television. No stranger to public television, Danner memorably starred in the Great Performances productions of Chekhov's The Seagull and Tennessee Williams' Eccentricities of a Nightingale.

Repairing a Nation - directed by Marshall Jones III, Crossroads' producing artistic director -- chronicles a holiday celebration of the Davis family in their native Tulsa, Oklahoma. All goes awry when the family matriarch insists they join a lawsuit seeking reparations for the Tulsa Race Riots that devastated their family 80 years ago. The cast includes Chantal Jean-Pierre, Angel Moore, Landon Woodson, Stephanie Berry, and Phil McGlaston.

"We are delighted and proud that new audiences throughout New York, New Jersey and Long Island will be able to see Repairing a Nation, a searing new play by a truly gifted writer who reveals a little-known tragic episode in American history - the Tulsa Race Riots," said Jones who also directed the original stage production. "Nikkole Salter deftly uses the Davis family to capture the lasting impact of this historic event in the conflicts within contemporary family life."

Founded in 1978 by Ricardo Khan and L. Kenneth Richardson, Crossroads Theatre Company embraces the vision that African-American theater is intended for a broad-based, diverse audience. As a major force in the development of new ideas and the introduction of formerly marginalized writers, Crossroads produces works that enrich and diversify the representation of African American culture on the American stage. Crossroads was the winner of the 1999 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theater in the United States.

In her review of the production last year, Ronni Reich of the Newark Star-Ledger posited the question: "What if you knew an injustice had been done, and you had it in your power to make it right? 'Repairing a Nation,' an ambitious new play by Nikkole Salter at Crossroads Theatre Company deals with the question on three levels: in a country, in a family, and in a relationship. Marshall Jones III directs an engaging production...In maintaining some lightness and focusing on family, the play becomes relatable rather than didactic as it asks difficult questions...Salter addresses worthy issues in an accessible way, and at least one of them gets a satisfying resolution."

Theater Close-Up's second season will continue this spring (airdate TBA) with Signature Theatre's Off-Broadway revival of Incident at Vichy, by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Arthur Miller.

Last October, THIRTEEN debuted nine plays on Theater Close-Up, encompassing works ranging from vintage playwright John Van Druten to today's Richard Nelson, and drawing on the resources of some of New York's finest theater companies.

The second season of Theater Close-Up on THIRTEEN has thus far featured Rasheeda Speaking from The New Group, Fashions for Men from Mint Theater and Wiesenthal filmed at the Acorn Theatre at Theatre Row.

THIRTEEN is using its unrivaled expertise in producing national PBS arts programming - which began with such classic series as Theater in America, part of the award-winning series Great Performances and special limited series such as Stage on Screen -- to provide New Yorkers with unparalleled access to one of the City's greatest underexposed cultural assets.

Theater Close-Up is a production of THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET. The plays were directed for television by David Horn. Mitch Owgang is producer; Bill O'Donnell is series producer; and David Horn is executive producer. Executive-in-charge: Neal Shapiro.

Major support for Theater Close-Up, Season Two is provided by the Howard Gilman Foundation, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, the President's Innovation Fund and Leo Shull and Family. Major support for the Crossroads Theatre broadcast of Repairing a Nation is provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Health System, Anthony & Wendy Carter, John Hinds, Juanita Jones and M. Ishmael Griffin, MD.

About WNET

As New York's flagship public media provider and the parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21 and operator of NJTV, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to over 5 million viewers each week. WNET produces and presents such acclaimed PBS series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, PBS NewsHour Weekend, Charlie Rose and a range of documentaries, children's programs, and local news and cultural offerings available on air and online. Pioneers in educational programming, WNET has created such groundbreaking series as Get the Math, Oh Noah! and Cyberchase and provides tools for educators that bring compelling content to life in the classroom and at home. WNET highlights the tri-state's unique culture and diverse communities through NYC-ARTS, Reel 13, NJTV News with Mary Alice Williams and MetroFocus, the multi-platform news magazine focusing on the New York region. WNET is also a leader in connecting with viewers on emerging platforms, including the THIRTEEN Explore iPad App where users can stream PBS content for free.

Photo Credit: William M. Brown


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