Tennessee Women's Theater Project Opens 11th Season With LINES IN THE DUST
Tennessee Women's Theater Project launches its eleventh season at Nashville's Z. Alexander Looby Theater with the regional premiere of a play that addresses a timely dilemma: Nikkole Salter's Lines in the Dust, which probes the timely topics of integration, racial privilege and school zoning manipulation. Lines in the Dust runs October 6-22.
The plot: When her daughter loses out in the magnet school lottery, Denitra Morgan is determined to find another way to escape their underperforming neighborhood school. Six decades after Brown v. Board of Education, Lines in the Dust questions how far we've come in matters of race and class, and more importantly, asks where we must go from here.
"Reading Lines in the Dust, I recognized the play as something special," says Maryanna Clarke, TWTP Founder and Artistic Director. "Besides its depiction of a parent's driving instinct to provide her child with the best possible education, 'Lines' injects elements of gender and racial equity, class tension, community redlining and more. Nikkole Salter's characters are as natural and human as can be - just what I always look for in a script."
Divine plays Dr. Beverly Long, formerly an assistant superintendent in the Newark, New Jersey Schools, and now the interim high school principal in the well-off suburban town of Millburn, New Jersey. This is her fourth show with TWTP. She played a variety of characters in the 2013 world premiere of Voices of Nashville, toured with the show to area churches, schools and community centers, and returned for the Looby revival of Voices in 2015. In 2014, she played Patricia, a workaholic political aide to a right wing senator, in Lauren Gundersen's The Taming. This year she recreated the role for an Inauguration Day reading of The Taming at the Nashville Public Library.
Steele plays Denitra Morgan, a fiercely devoted single mother who fights to get her daughter enrolled at Millburn High. Steele first appeared with the company in Nickel and Dimed (2006), toured schools and other venues in the riveting one-woman show Warriors Don't Cry (2010-2011), played several roles in 2011's Impressionism, by Michael Jacobs, and was a memorable Cassandra, the clairvoyant housekeeper, in TWTP's regional premiere of Christopher Durang's Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.
Lee plays Mike DiMaggio, a retired Millburn police detective now working as a private investigator, and an avid member of the township's Concerned Citizen's Council. Alan appeared in TWTP's inaugural season production of Jane Anderson's Defying Gravity (2007), and last October helped to kick off TWTP's 10th Anniversary Season as Ulysses in Annapurna by Sharr White.
In its first 10 seasons, TWTP has presented 23 local and regional premieres, and commissioned three new plays. Complete details about the Tennessee Women's Theater Project production of Lines in the Dust are available at www.twtp.org.