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Second Thought Theatre has announced their second production of the 2022 season - PASS OVER by Antoinette Nwandu–opening later this month

Second Thought Theatre has announced their second production of the 2022 season - PASS OVER by Antoinette Nwandu–opening later this month

Nwandu’s politically charged work will be presented in conjunction with the Big D Reads ‘22 initiative.

Second Thought Theatre has announced their second production of the 2022 season-Pass Over by Antoinette Nwandu-opening later this month.

Harrowing and provocative, Nwandu's politically charged work will be presented in conjunction with the Big D Reads '22 initiative, a community-wide reading program championing Jim Schutze's incisive 1986 book The Accommodation: The Politics of Race in an American City.

"Pass Over is the biblical tale of our age," says director Sasha Maya Ada. "Nwandu skillfully and poetically captures the complexities of Blackness in our post 2020 world-a much needed reprieve from the chaos."

Evoking heartbreak, hope, and joy, Pass Over - the first full play to open on Broadway in 2021 after the pandemic-necessitated lockdown - crafts everyday profanities into poetic and humorous riffs, illuminating the unquestionable human spirit of young, black men looking for a way out. A sobering reinterpretation of Waiting for Godot, nuanced with elements of the biblical Exodus story, Nwandu's play is politically charged and necessarily critical in its social reflection.

As a community partner with Big D Reads, Second Thought seeks to correlate the enduring
themes of the play with those of Schutze's powerful novel.

"The Accommodation is an effective device," says STT Director of Communications Richard Oliver, "for reaching into the dark annals of Dallas' racial past and pulling out a clearer understanding of how and why we find certain things are the way they are. The synergy between it and Pass Over creates a unique opportunity for Dallasites to reconcile with some ugly, necessary truths and apply those truths globally."

The Big D Reads project this year, which officially launched in March, includes educational,
artistic, and social programming in support of the book's revival and redistribution throughout the city. The theatrical run of Pass Over will serve as a distribution site for copies of the novel. In addition, representatives of the project will join Second Thought for panels and talk-backs to follow performances on select evenings.


Sasha Maya Ada (Director) is Dallas-based and works throughout the greater DFW area as an actor, director, and collaborator. She serves as the first Artistic Director for Big Thought, an arts education and equity organization, and, when not performing, loves coaching young artists in preparation for their next steps-whether it be for high school, summer, undergrad, or graduate programs. She is also the co-coordinator and lead teaching artist for the Dallas Region of the Next Narrative Monologue Competition (formerly the National August Wilson Monologue Competition). She finds the intersection of artistic technique and restorative practices fascinating and allows that relationship to guide her professional and personal approach to storytelling.

Katie Ibrahim* (Stage Manager) is a theater artist originally from Orlando, FL. She graduated from Southern Methodist University with a degree in Theatre Studies where she directed, stage managed, and produced a number of productions, including directing Aaron Posner's Stupid F***ing Bird. Stage management credits include: For a Brief Moment I was Something Else (NYC), Let's Have a Seance (NYC). Since moving back to Dallas, she has worked as a lead teaching artist at The Playground Acting Program. She is thrilled to be working with Second Thought Theatre on this production!

Daniel Saunders (Moses) was introduced to acting in 2014 by longtime friend and brother,
Vandous. He was a junior in high school and has been in love with the craft ever since. He
moved on to get his BA in Dramatic Media at Texas Lutheran University, graduating in the midst of the pandemic in May 2020. Now, his plans are to move to New York in the fall and continue to pursue his passion for performing arts.

Vandous Stripling II (Kitch) is an Actor from Dallas, Texas who began acting in his later years of high school. He then went on to graduate with a B.A from Texas Lutheran University. Though he graduated during the pandemic, he kept busy with stage readings at The Black Academy of Arts and Letters directed by Akin Babatunde, who later became his mentor. Vandous' recent theatre credits include Berta Berta at the Jubilee and What to Send Up When it Goes Down at Stage West. He will begin his MFA program at The Old Globe & University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theatre program this Fall.

After not being able to use his theatre degree for two years, Matthew Manelli (Mister/Ossifer) is honored to be working with Second Thought to tell this impeccable story. Matthew graduated from SMU's undergraduate program with a B.F.A in Theatre and a B.A in Spanish. He is currently working as a teaching artist and a public high school teacher. Matthew would like to thank Sasha, Daniel, Vandous, and Katie for creating the best rehearsal room that he could've ever asked for. He would also like to thank Bethany for putting up with his antics and for being a seemingly infinite source of patience.

Second Thought Theatre (STT) provides an intimate and unique theatrical experience by
empowering top local theater artists to take risks, and by showcasing writers who boldly tackle the difficult and demanding questions of our rapidly changing world.

Big D Reads '22 is a community-wide reading program modeled on the widely acclaimed
community book club created in 2013. Partners will distribute a single title and facilitate
roundtables and panels, produce community events, and hold public gatherings. The
Accommodation, by Jim Schutze, tells the mid-century history of Dallas, centered on the civic response to the bombing of Black citizens' homes, and the ongoing housing crisis that traces its roots to the Civil War and Jim Crow. The goal of a city-wide read of Jim Schutze' The Accommodation - soon to be reissued by Deep Vellum with a new forward written by John Wiley Price - is to advance the understanding of Dallas' history among students, young professionals, leaders, and residents, while encouraging candid community conversations on how we create a more equitable future for our city.
Organized by volunteers from the Dallas Public Library, Deep Vellum Books, D Magazine
Partners, Communities Foundation of Texas, Better Block, City of Dallas Office of Equity and Inclusion, and Dallas Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation - along with the business community's support - Big D Reads will fund the printing of 25,000 paperback copies that will be distributed to Dallas community members for free for a September 2022 city-wide read. The program will have activation guides for schools and universities, cultural institutions, nonprofit partners, and more. This is a movement to unite the city in this critical time in the hope that these conversations, events, and programs will serve as launching points that lead to a more equitable future for all communities in Dallas.


(Pass Over)
By Antoinette Nwandu
July 13th-30th, Bryant Hall

Director Sasha Maya Ada
Stage Manager Katie Ibrahim*
Technical Director Ellie Wyatt
Set Designer Natalie Rose Mabry
Costume Designer Jasmine Woods
Sound Designer Noah Heller
Lighting Designer Aaron Johansen
Fight Choreographer Jeffrey Colangelo
Covid Safety Officer Kat Lozano

Moses Daniel Saunders
Kitch Vandous Stripling II
Mister/Ossifer Matthew Manelli

*Appearing under a Small Professional Theatres contract courtesy of Actor's Equity
Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

Photo Credit: Lee Hicks (GoldKodaks, LLC)

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