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Announcing PASS OVER At SpeakEasy Stage

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From January 3-25, 2020, SpeakEasy Stage Company will join with The Front Porch Arts Collective, Boston's only black-led theatre company, to co-produce the New England Premiere of the acclaimed drama PASS OVER by Antoinette Nwandu.

A humorous and sometimes chilling mash-up of Waiting for Godot and the Exodus saga, PASS OVER tells the story of Moses and Kitch, two young Black men looking for ways to pass the time while hanging out on their local street corner. Crafting everyday profanity into poetic and humorous riffs, the friends share their dreams of deliverance, until an ominous stranger changes their world forever. Bold, thrilling, and breathtakingly theatrical, PASS OVER unflinchingly exposes the lives of generations of young Black men who dream of a promised land they have yet to find.

Content advisory: PASS OVER contains depictions of anti-Black racism, police harassment and brutality, gunshots, strong language, and frequent use of the n-word (both as an expression between two black friends and as a racial epithet used by a white person).

PASS OVER is the work of New York-based playwright Antoinette Nwandu, whose plays include Black Boy & the War (2011); Vanna White Must Die (2012); Flat Sam (2013); and Breach: a manifesto on race in America through the eyes of a black girl recovering from self-hate (2018). Ms. Nwandu is a MacDowell Fellow, a Dramatists Guild Fellow, and an Ars Nova Play Group alum. Honors include the 2018 Whiting Award, the 2017 Paula Vogel Playwriting Award, the Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award, and spots on the 2016 and 2017 Kilroys lists. She holds degrees from Harvard College, the University of Edinburgh, and New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.

Director Monica White Ndounou makes her SpeakEasy debut with this production. She is a freelance director, actor, author, and Associate Professor of Theater at Dartmouth College, and has directed for various professional companies and academic institutions. Credits include the Front Porch Arts Collective's benefit reading of August Wilson's Jitney featuring John Douglas Thompson, Marcus Gardley's A Wolf in Snakeskin Shoes, and a range of new and established works such as August Wilson's Joe Turner's Come and Gone and Gem of the Ocean, Ntozake Shange's for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf, Jewel Gomez's Waiting for Giovanni, and more.

The cast features Boston actors Kadahj Bennett, Hubens "Bobby" Cius, and Lewis D. Wheeler.

The design team is Baron E. Pugh (Scenic); Chelsea Kerl (Costumes); Kathy A. Perkins (Lighting); and Anna Drummond (Sound), and Brandon G. Green (Fight Choreographer). The Production Stage Manager is John Meredith.

PASS OVER will play for four weeks, from January 3 - 25, 2020, in the Roberts Studio Theatre in the Stanford Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont Street, Boston.

Ticket prices start at $25, with discounts for students, seniors, and those age 25 and under. For tickets or more information, the public is invited to call BostonTheatreScene Audience Services at 617.933.8600 or visit www.SpeakEasyStage.com.

PASS OVER premiered at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago, IL in June 2017 under the direction of Danya Taymor. The cast was Jon Michael Hill, Ryan Hallahan, and Julian Parker.

During the Chicago run, the production was filmed by Oscar-winning writer, director, and producer Spike Lee, and was later edited and released as a film on Amazon Prime.

A new production of PASS OVER made its New York debut Off-Broadway at LCT3/Lincoln Center on June 18, 2018, with Danya Taymor again at the helm. The cast was made up of Tony winner Gabriel Ebert, Tony nominee Jon Michael Hill, and Namir Smallwood. The Lincoln Center Production won the 2019 Lucille Lortel Awards for Outstanding Play and Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play (Gabriel Ebert).


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