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Tony-Nominee Joaquina Kalukango, Snoop Dogg and More Join HURT VILLAGE Virtual Benefit Reading

Broadcasting on YouTube-December 4 - 8, 2020.

Tony-Nominee Joaquina Kalukango, Snoop Dogg and More Join HURT VILLAGE Virtual Benefit Reading

A virtual reading of 2020 Tony Award- nominee Katori Hall's Hurt Village has been announced to benefit The Actors Fund. The play will be available to stream on YouTube, December 4 - 8, 2020.

The cast of the reading includes Slave Play Tony-nominee Joaquina Kalukango (Crank), rapper Snoop Dogg (Tony C.), Emmy Award- winner Loretta Devine (Big Mama), Stranger Things star Priah Ferguson (Cookie), P-Valley's J. Alphonse Nicholson (Buggy), Stori Ayers (Narrator), Gail Bean (Toiya), Cecil Blutcher (Skillet), Eric B. Robinson Jr. (Cornbread), and Bertram Williams (Ebony).

It's the end of a long summer in Hurt Village, a housing project in Memphis, Tennessee. A government Hope Grant means relocation for many of the project's residents, including Cookie, a thirteen-year-old aspiring rapper, along with her mother, Crank, and great-grandmother, Big Mama. As the family prepares to move, Cookie's father, Buggy, unexpectedly returns from a tour of duty in Iraq. Ravaged by the war, Buggy struggles to find a position in his disintegrating community, along with a place in his daughter's wounded heart.

Playwright Katori Hall, a 2020 Tony-nominee for Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, said of the reading, "It's an honor to be a part of WME and Cast Black Talent's first play reading, especially with Hurt Village-a play whose themes about economic strife and community are more relevant than ever. I am so proud of the wonderful cast we've assembled and their amazing work, all to benefit The Actor's Fund. I hope this is just one of many new initiatives put forth by the theater industry to amplify underrepresented and unsung Black artists."

Courtney Peck, founder of Cast Black Talent says, "The opportunity to perform at all, let alone with an established theater company, can open many doors both artistically and professionally for up and coming actors. Unfortunately, this pandemic has put a halt on this integral career pathway for many emerging Black actors. My hope is that this play reading series will help amplify Black actors during a time when it seems impossible for our voices to be heard."

Actress Courtney Peck created Cast Black Talent to create a more inclusive and equitable industry for emerging and undiscovered Black talent. While there are many programs geared towards creating opportunities for black filmmakers, there is a profound blindspot when it comes to the industry creating opportunities and access for undiscovered Black actors. This play reading series is the first of many programming and events planned that's geared towards amplifying their voices.

Tickets are available at https://www.castblacktalent.org/events/hurt-village.

*No admission fee, but all registered audience members are encouraged to make donations to The Actors Fund (https://actorsfund.org)


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