Skip to main content Skip to footer site map
Cast Announced for World Premiere of R. Eric Thomas' NIGHTBIRD at Austin Playhouse

Cast Announced for World Premiere of R. Eric Thomas' NIGHTBIRD at Austin Playhouse

Nightbird nails the difficult task of being wildly funny and thought-provoking, bringing fantastic characters and topical story to life in this world premiere.

Austin Playhouse has announced the cast for the world premiere of Nightbird by R. Eric Thomas and directed by Marcus McQuirter playing March 3-26, 2023. Tickets on sale now at austinplayhouse.com/nightbird.

Commissioned by the InterAct Theatre Company with funding from the National New Play Network, and written by author, playwright, and screenwriter R. Eric Thomas, Nightbird nails the difficult task of being wildly funny and thought-provoking, bringing fantastic characters and topical story to life in this world premiere.

The cast includes Taji Senior as Chelle, Indiia Wilmott as Thalia, and Hollis L. Edwards III as Willard.

"What is the elemental part that the world will remember when we are gone? And what of the world do we cherish and commemorate? What is elementally American? Where does it exist, who controls it, who is allowed to define it? I love that this play wrestles the question in a fantastic blend of humor and vulnerability in ways that are messy and complicated, and honest," said director Marcus McQuirter. "Self-determination, as an individual or as a collective is fraught. If it's easy, the answers you arrive at are likely not worth much."

Directed by Marcus McQuirter, the production team includes costume design by Desiree Humphries, lighting design by Mark Novick, set design by Theada Haining, sound design by Robert S. Fisher, and Jai Auzenne as stage manager.

McQuirter continued, "There is a line in the show that one of the characters delivers; they're talking about the search for what is elemental to the nation. I'm really taken with this idea: the quest for self-determination. And Nightbird frames it as both a quest that we as a nation are on, but also asks how we frame ourselves for the world as individuals, as artists, as Black Folk."

The performances will take place at Austin Playhouse's new interim performance space located in the heart of West Campus at 405 West 22nd. Free street parking is available with paid parking conveniently located across the street in the Callaway House Parking Garage.

PERFORMANCE DETAILS:

NIGHTBIRD | March 3-26, 2023 | WORLD PREMIERE

Nightbird by R. Eric Thomas

directed by Marcus McQuirter

March 3-26, 2023 | Thurs - Sat at 8:00 p.m. and Sun at 5:00 p.m. | Sun March 26 at 2:00 p.m.

Austin Playhouse (new West Campus location) | 405 West 22nd | Austin TX 78705

austinplayhouse.com/nightbird

Tickets are $34-38; with Pick-Your-Price Thursdays and Half-Price Student Tickets are available at austinplayhouse.com; group discounts are available for parties of 10+ with a pre-show party reception room available. Group inquiries can be made at boxoffice@playhouse.com

Chelle, an artist, has recently purchased her childhood home in Baltimore; her brother Willard is working on refurbishing it. But the home renovation takes a backseat as Willard prepares for a Juneteenth festival in the adjacent park and Chelle struggles with a recent commission: What should be built in place of a recently removed Confederate monument? An eyesore. And an opportunity.

Age Recommendation: Ages 13 and up and contains strong language.

Children under 5 are not permitted.​

About R. Eric Thomas

R. Eric Thomas is the winner of the Barrymore Award for Best New Play, the Dramatists Guild Lanford Wilson Award, and the Lambda Literary Award for LGBTQ Drama, and was a finalist for the Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award. Recent productions include four world premieres: upcoming Nightbird at Austin Playhouse, Backing Track at Philadelphia's Arden Theatre Company, The Folks at Home at Baltimore Center Stage, and Crying on Television at Everyman Theatre. He has been commissioned by Baltimore Center Stage, Theatre Exile, Simpatico Theatre, Act II Playhouse and more. Eric was on the writing staff for the Peabody Award-winning series Dickinson (AppleTV+) and Better Things (FX) and he is the author of four books, HERE FOR IT, a memoir-in-essays that was a Read with Jenna book club pick featured on Today, RECLAIMING HER TIME, a biography of Rep. Maxine Waters co-authored with Helena Andrews-Dyer, KINGS OF B'MORE, a YA novel, and the forthcoming essay collection CONGRATULATIONS, THE BEST IS OVER!. He is the co-lead artistic mentor of PlayPenn's playwriting cohort The Foundry, and a member of the Writers Guild of America - East and the Dramatists Guild. www.rericthomas.com

Covid Policy: Masks are recommended throughout the building except while drinking. For patrons who prefer extra precautions, a "Masks Mandatory" performance is available on Sunday, March 5.

Subscriptions and Ticketing Information: The 2022-2023 3-play series is currently on sale for subscriptions now at austinplayhouse.com/subscriptions. Subscribers receive exclusive benefits including a savings of up to 20% on single ticket prices, early reservations, unlimited rescheduling, discounts on additional seating and special events, priority seating and more. Flex-pass subscriptions are also available in groups of 6, 10, or 14 to be used in any combination to be used throughout the year with the 3-play season or special events and include the same benefits as subscribers.

Single tickets on sale now at austinplayhouse.com.

About Austin Playhouse:

Austin Playhouse is dedicated to providing opportunities for Austin artists and audiences to celebrate the human experience. Austin Playhouse will nourish your mind, delight your spirit, and enrich your life through professional theatrical productions. For more information visit austinplayhouse.com.

Austin Playhouse is a professional theatre in its 22nd season. Austin Playhouse has grown from a three-play season on the campus of Concordia University, to a year-round operation producing a subscription season, theatre for youth productions, and a new play festival. Austin Playhouse plans to build a permanent home for the veteran theatre troupe and all of Austin's artistic community.



YOUTOPIA & SO DAMN EASY GOING (SÅ JÄVLA EASY GOING) to be Screened at aGLIF Photo
Austin’s oldest film festival, aGLIFF announced the Queer Spectrum screenings for April and May 2023.

Lisa Morales Comes to Lewisville Grand Theater in April Photo
Lewisville Grand Theater has announced that Mexican-American singer-songwriter Lisa Morales will perform as part of the Black Box Songwriter Series on Sunday, April 30, 2023, at 6:30 p.m. 

Tickets To Go On Sale This Week for The Heller Awards for Young Artists 2023 Photo
The Heller Awards for Young Artists announced tickets for the 2023 Awards will go on sale Wednesday March 29 at 6:00 p.m. 

SIX, BEETLEJUICE & More Set for Broadway in Austin 23-24 Season Photo
Texas Performing Arts’ Broadway in Austin 2023-2024 Season will include six Austin premieres and the return of two audience favorites. 


More Hot Stories For You


YOUTOPIA & SO DAMN EASY GOING (SÅ JÄVLA EASY GOING) to be Screened at aGLIFFYOUTOPIA & SO DAMN EASY GOING (SÅ JÄVLA EASY GOING) to be Screened at aGLIFF
March 28, 2023

Austin’s oldest film festival, aGLIFF announced the Queer Spectrum screenings for April and May 2023.

Lisa Morales Comes to Lewisville Grand Theater in AprilLisa Morales Comes to Lewisville Grand Theater in April
March 28, 2023

Lewisville Grand Theater has announced that Mexican-American singer-songwriter Lisa Morales will perform as part of the Black Box Songwriter Series on Sunday, April 30, 2023, at 6:30 p.m. 

Tickets To Go On Sale This Week for The Heller Awards for Young Artists 2023Tickets To Go On Sale This Week for The Heller Awards for Young Artists 2023
March 27, 2023

The Heller Awards for Young Artists announced tickets for the 2023 Awards will go on sale Wednesday March 29 at 6:00 p.m. 

SIX, BEETLEJUICE & More Set for Broadway in Austin 23-24 SeasonSIX, BEETLEJUICE & More Set for Broadway in Austin 23-24 Season
March 24, 2023

Texas Performing Arts’ Broadway in Austin 2023-2024 Season will include six Austin premieres and the return of two audience favorites. 

LUCHADORA! Comes to St. Edward's University Mary Moody Northen Theatre Next MonthLUCHADORA! Comes to St. Edward's University Mary Moody Northen Theatre Next Month
March 24, 2023

Luchadora!, the award-winning play by Alvaro Saar Rios that celebrates female empowerment, lucha libre wrestling and honors the rich Mexican culture comes to the arena stage at the St. Edward's University Mary Moody Northen Theatre April 13 – 23, 2023.