VIDEO: First Look at THE BLACK CLOWN In Rehearsal at A.R.T.

American Repertory Theater at Harvard University (A.R.T.), under the leadership of Terrie and Bradley Bloom Artistic Director Diane Paulus and Executive Producer Diane Borger, announces complete casting and creative team for The Black Clown. The production begins previews Friday, August 31; opens Wednesday, September 5; and closes Sunday, September 23, 2018 at the Loeb Drama Center in Cambridge, MA.

"You laugh / Because I'm poor and black and funny...", begins Langston Hughes' poem, The Black Clown. This world premiere music theater experience fuses vaudeville, opera, jazz, and spirituals to bring Hughes' verse to life onstage to animate a Black man's resilience against a legacy of oppression. The production features Davóne Tines (Crossing and Run AMOC! Festival at A.R.T.) in the title role, an ensemble of twelve, and a new score by Michael Schachter (Run AMOC! Festival at A.R.T.).

Tines says, "Langston Hughes' expansive and penetrating engagement with the life of the other has been a guiding salve since I was first introduced to his work in elementary school. This production provides the opportunity to harness Hughes' words and my life experience as a Black man to claim humanity for myself, my race, and all people."

Paulus says, "At the A.R.T. we create work that helps us more fully see and hear each other-work that fosters empathy, dialogue, and transformation. Four years ago, we heard the beginnings of The Black Clown and we knew immediately that we had to commit to these artists and the development of this work. I'm so thrilled that The Black Clown is opening A.R.T.'s 2018/19 Season."

The ensemble includes Sumayya Ali (Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 at A.R.T.), Malcolm Armwood (Motown the Musical National Tour), Daniel Bellomy ("The Deuce"), Dawn Bless (Gypsy at Porchlight Theater), LaVon Fisher-Wilson (Disney's Newsies on Broadway), Brandon Michael Nase (Ragtime at Tulane Summer Music Theatre), Lindsey Hailes (The Lucky Ones at Ars Nova), Evan Tyrone Martin (Duke Ellington's Greatest Hits at Music Theater Works), Jhardon DiShon Milton (A Bronx Tale on Broadway), Amber Barbee Pickens (Cirque du Soleil's Paramour on Broadway), Jamar Williams (Burn All Night and Witness Uganda at A.R.T.), and Hailee Kaleem Wright (Hairspray with Jersey Shore Productions).

The Black Clown is adapted from the Langston Hughes' poem by Davóne Tines and Michael Schachter. It is directed by Zack Winokur (Artistic Director, Director, and performer in Run AMOC! Festival at A.R.T; Director of L'incoronazione di Poppea at Cincinnati Opera). Choreography is by Chanel DaSilva (Co-Founder and Co-Director of MOVE(NYC); spring 2018 Artist-in-Residence at Harvard Dance Center). Music direction is by Jaret Landon (Crowns at McCarter Theatre Center and Long Wharf Theatre; The Christians at Steppenwolf Theatre Company and Baltimore Center Stage).

The Black Clown creative team includes scenic and costume design by Carlos Soto (GIRLMACHINE at Performa 09; international tour Einstein on the Beach directed by Robert Wilson) and lighting design by John Torres (Lady Gaga's Video Portraits directed by Robert Wilson at Musée du Louvre Paris; Taylor Mac's A 24-Decade History of Popular Music 1900s-1950s at New York Live Arts), Sound design is by Kai Harada (The Band's Visit on Broadway, Tony Award; 2017 Broadway revival of Sunday in the Park with George).

Single tickets are now available online at, by phone at 617.547.8300, and in person at the Loeb Drama Center Ticket Services Offices (64 Brattle Street, Cambridge). Tickets for $25 are available, as well as discounts for subscribers, members, groups, students, seniors, Blue Star families, EBT card holders, and others.


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