SINGLE BLACK FEMALE to Open Crossroads Theatre's 2016-17 Season

Single Black Female, Lisa B. Thompson's two-woman comedy exploring the lives of 30-something middle-class African American women in urban America, will open Crossroads Theatre Company's 2016-17 season, Oct. 6-23.

Performances are Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays at 3 p.m. (except Oct. 8); Wednesdays at 10 a.m. Opening night is Oct. 8. Ticket prices are $25, $35, $45. Opening night tickets, including post-show reception, are $55. Purchase tickets online at crossroadstheatrecompany.org or by phone at 732-545-8100. Crossroads is located at 7 Livingston Ave., New Brunswick

In Single Black Female, actors Daphne Gaines and Stephanie Weeks portray two successful, professional women in their 30s - one a professor and the other a lawyer - who dish on their unmarried lives and the world around them in a series of rapid-fire comic vignettes. Few subjects remain unmentionable or unscathed as the women search for love, dignity and acceptance in a contemporary world that hasn't quite acknowledged their presence. Their snappy dialogue and humorous impressions take aim at men, clothing, sex, online dating, body image and family attitudes toward singlehood.

Shirley Jo Finney returns to Crossroads to direct Single Black Female. An award-winning actress and film and television director, Finney directed Buses, a fictionalized drama about Rosa Parks by Denise Nicholas, which drew a visit from the civil rights icon to Crossroads in 1990; Kathleen McGhee-Anderson's Oak and Ivy and Mothers, and Lynn Nottage's Crumbs from the Table of Joy. As an actress, she portrayed Wilma Rudolph in the acclaimed TV biography, "Wilma."

Daphne Gaines holds a B.A. in theater and psychology from the University of Georgia, and continued her acting studies at the Circle in the Square Theatre School in New York. Her credits on New York, regional, and international stages include Ruined by Lynn Nottage and American Night: The Ballad of Juan José, by Richard Montoya. She originated the role of Master Sunflower in the downtown hit, Lily's Revenge, (Obie Award) by Taylor Mac, and was in the Sound and the Fury at The Public Theater.

Born and raised in The Bronx, Stephanie Weeks holds a B.A. from Macalester College, MFA from the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, and received training at the London Academy of Music and Drama. She has performed at Actors Theater of Louisville, Florida Studio Theater and Playwrights Horizons, and off-off Broadway with Target Margin and Little Lord with whom she was nominated for an Innovative Theater Award. She starred in Melvin Van Peebles' "Confessionsofa Ex-Doofus-ItchyFooted-Mutha," screened at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2008.

Author Lisa B. Thompson is an associate professor in the African & African Diaspora Studies Department at the University of Texas at Austin. In addition to several plays, she wrote Beyond The Black Lady: Sexuality And The New African American Middle Class (University of Illinois Press, 2009) and also has been published in many scholarly publications on literature and drama.

Single Black Female is the first of four mainstage productions at Crossroads that reflect this season's theme, "celebrate a woman's gift," paying homage to the power, glory and struggles of women. The next production will be Langston Hughes' classic, Black Nativity, the story of Mary and the birth of Jesus told through gospel music with an all-black cast, Dec. 9-18.

Founded in 1978 by Ricardo Khan and L. Kenneth Richardson, Crossroads Theatre Company embraces the vision that African-Americ an theater is intended for a broad-based, diverse audience. As a major force in the development of new ideas and the introduction of formerly marginalized writers, Crossroads produces works that enrich and diversify the representation of African American culture on the American stage. Crossroads was the winner of the 1999 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theater in the United States. Marshall Jones III is producing artistic director.


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