Video: Watch a Preview of the New Musical LONG WAY DOWN at Olney Theatre Center

Performances begin on May 23.

By: May. 11, 2024
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Watch performance artist, musician, and writer Dahlak Brathwaite discuss his new musical LONG WAY DOWN, premiering at the Olney Theatre Center this month.

Olney Theatre Center, in association with TheaterWorksUSA and Edgewood Entertainment, will present the World Premiere of Long Way Down in Olney Theatre's Mulitz-Gudelsky Theatre Lab with Book, Music, and Lyrics by poet, performance artist and musician Dahlak Brathwaite, and additional writing by Khiyon Hursey, adapted from the bestselling novel by Jason Reynolds. The production will be directed by Ken-Matt Martin (Mosaic Theater's Nancy) who also serves as co-choreographer with cast member Victor T. Musoni (Goodman Theatre's Toni Stone, Steppenwolf's Columbinus). Performances begin on May 23, with the official press opening on May 25.

Published in 2017, Jason Reynolds' critically acclaimed novel written in verse, received a prestigious John Newbery Honor, along with a Printz Award Honor and the Coretta Scott King Honor.

Tyrese Shawn Avery stars in the musical as the central character Will, IO Browne plays his mother Shari, and Victor Musoni, in addition to serving as co-choreographer, plays Will's older brother Shawn. After Shawn is murdered by a rival gang, Will gets ready to hit the streets in search of vengeance. However, in his apartment's elevator, he is confronted by the spirits of people central to his predicament seeking to influence what decision he makes before the elevator reaches the ground floor.  Among them, Will encounters Frick (Colin Carswell), a leader of the rival gang; Buck (Parris Mone't Lewis) who served as a mentor to Shawn; his first girlfriend Dani (Cheryse Dyllan); his father Mike (Quincy Vicks), and his Uncle Mark (Naiqui Macabroad). Understudies for the production are Ciara Hargrove and Bryan Archibald.

The artistic team, in addition to Brathwaite, Hursey, Musoni, and Martin includes Cedric Lyles (Music Director), Nick Hernandez (Music Programmer), Simean Carpenter (Scenic and Lighting Designer), Danielle Preston (Costume Designer), Kevin Alexander (Sound Designer), Paul M. Callahan (Assistant Lighting Designer), and Robbie Armstrong III (Production Stage Manager).

Following the run at Olney Theatre Center, Long Way Down will be mounted in the Apollo's Victoria Theater – a new, recently restored, mission-focused arts venue located next door to and managed by the historic Harlem theatre.


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