Cast Set for Dominique Morisseau's SUNSET BABY at Signature Theatre

The production stars Moses Ingram, Russell Hornsby, and J. Alphonse Nicholson, with performances beginning on January 30.

By: Nov. 30, 2023
Cast Set for Dominique Morisseau's SUNSET BABY at Signature Theatre

Signature Theatre has revealed the cast of Signature Premiere Resident, Tony Award-nominee, and MacArthur Fellow Dominique Morisseau's Sunset Baby, directed by Steve H. Broadnax III. A “smart and bracing” play that “covers vast acres of social and political ground” (The New York Times), Sunset Baby highlights the collision of ideological conviction with the complexities of everyday survival in the story of a Black revolutionary's fraught reunion with his adult daughter. The production kicks off Signature's Winter/Spring 2024 season, with performances beginning January 30 in The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre at the Pershing Square Signature Center (480 W. 42nd Street).

 

Set in East New York, Sunset Baby explores the relationship between Nina and her estranged father Kenyatta. A former Black revolutionary and political prisoner, Kenyatta reappears to claim  a coveted piece of Nina's late Mother's legacy. While Kenyatta had visions of changing the world, his daughter became everything he feared. Now he's at her mercy for his own redemption. This is a story about love, political action, and one woman's journey from a brutal existence to her own liberation.

 

In Signature's production, Russell Hornsby (at Signature: King Hedley II; Fences on Broadway & 2016 film; “Lincoln Heights,” “BMF”) plays Kenyatta, Emmy nominee Moses Ingram (“The Queen's Gambit,” “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” Joel Coen's The Tragedy of Macbeth) plays Nina, and J. Alphonse Nicholson (at Signature: Paradise Blue; A Soldier's Play on Broadway; “P-Valley”) plays Damon, Nina's boyfriend.

 

In her Signature Premiere Residency, Sunset Baby follows Morisseau's Confederates (2022), for which she was praised for “pull[ing] audacious shifts of timeframe and tone with power and finesse” (Time Out) and her “powerful” and “truthful portrait of human suffering, awakening, and transformation” (New York Magazine), and Paradise Blue (2018). This new production re-teams Broadnax III both with Morisseau (he directed the world-and-NY premieres of Blood at the Root) and with Signature (where he staged the world premiere production of Katori Hall's Pulitzer Prize-winning The Hot Wing King).

 

About Dominique Morisseau (Playwright)

 

Dominique Morisseau is the author of The Detroit Project (A 3-Play Cycle): Skeleton Crew (Atlantic Theater Company), Paradise Blue (Signature Theatre), and Detroit '67 (Public Theater, Classical Theatre of Harlem and NBT). Additional plays include: Pipeline (Lincoln Center Theatre), Sunset Baby (LAByrinth Theatre), Blood at the Root (National Black Theatre), and Follow Me To Nellie's (Premiere Stages). She is also the TONY nominated book writer on the Broadway musical Ain't Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations (Imperial Theatre). TV/Film projects: She most recently served as Co-Producer on the Showtime series “Shameless.” She's currently developing projects with Netflix, HBO, and A24, and wrote the film adaptation of the documentary STEP for Fox Searchlight. Awards include: Spirit of Detroit Award, PoNY Fellowship, Sky-Cooper Prize, TEER Trailblazer Award, Steinberg Playwright Award, Audelco Awards, NBFT August Wilson Playwriting Award, Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama, OBIE Award (2), and the Ford Foundation Art of Change Fellowship, named one of Variety's Women of Impact for 2017-18 and a recipient of the 2018 MacArthur Genius Grant.

 

About Steve H. Broadnax III (Director)

Steve H. Broadnax III. Thoughts of a Colored Man (Broadway); Suzan-Lori Parks's Sally and Tom at the Guthrie Theatre (World Premiere) and The Public Theatre; Katori Hall's 2021 Pulitzer Prize Premiere The Hot Wing King at The Signature Theatre; Lee Edward Colston's The First Deep Breath at Chicago's Victory Garden Theatre (Premiere and Winner of Jeff Awards Best New Work) and Geffen Theatre; Dominique Morisseau's Blood at the Root at the National Black Theatre (Winner of Kennedy Center's Hip Hop Theater Creator Award); and William Jackson Harper's Premiere Travisville at NYC Ensemble Studio. Ensemble Studio Theatre member and serves as the Associate Artistic Director at People's Light Theatre and a Professor of Theatre at Penn State University; Co-Head of MFA Directing.

About the Cast

 

Russell Hornsby (Kenyatta) most recently starred as Don King in the Hulu limited series “Mike” and leads the hit Starz series “BMF” as patriarch Charles Flenory, which will see its season 3 premiere next spring. In 2016, he appeared opposite Denzel Washington and Viola Davis in the Oscar-winning Fences, reprising his critically acclaimed performance from the 2010 Tony-winning Broadway revival. Hornsby's credits also include The Hate U Give, Creed II, Netflix's “Seven Seconds,” “Lost in Space,” and Showtime's “The Affair.” Up next, he will star in the Searchlight film The Supremes at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat opposite Aunjanue Ellis and Uzo Aduba. Hornsby is represented by Independent Artist Group, Cohn/Torgan Management and Hansen, Jacobson.

 

Moses Ingram (Nina) made her television debut in Netflix's “The Queen's Gambit,” for which she received her first Emmy nomination. She recently completed filming on Neon's “The End,” directed by Joshua Oppenheimer. Ingram recently wrapped on Apple's “Lady in the Lake.” Ingram simultaneously shot Apple's “The Big Cigar.” Ingram also stars in the Star Wars series “Obi-Wan Kenobi.” Ingram can currently be seen in A24's "All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt,” directed by Raven Jackson. Ingram's film credits also include “The Tragedy of Macbeth” directed by Joel Coen, “The Same Storm” directed by Peter Hedges, and “Ambulance” directed by Michael Bay. Ingram has been named one of The Hollywood Reporter's 2022 Next Gen recipients, Variety's 10 Actors to Watch for 2021, and one of ELLE's 2021 Young Hollywood honorees. A Baltimore native, Ingram attended the Yale School of Drama where she won the Princess Grace Award and the Herschel Williams Prize.

 

J. Alphonse Nicholson (Damon) is an American born actor/percussionist. Notable TV/Film credits include: series regular on “P-Valley” (STARZ), Just Mercy (Warner Bros. Pictures), “Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker” (Netflix), “Blue Bloods” (CBS), “Mr. Robot” (USA), “Shots Fired” (FOX), Marvel's “Luke Cage” (Netflix), “Tales” (BET), “The Blacklist” (NBC), and “Chicago PD” (NBC). Notable Theater credits include: Tony award for Best Revival: A Soldier's Play on Broadway (Roundabout), Signature Theatre's Off-Broadway production Paradise Blue, Freight: The 5 Incarnations of Abel Green (NFT), and Days of Rage (2nd stage). Next up for J. Alphonse are “The Sterling Affairs” (FX), Black Spartans (Buffalo 8 Productions), and Albany Road. Recently seen in the remake of White Men Can't Jump (Disney/20th Century Studios) and They Cloned Tyrone (Macro/Netflix).

 

Funding Credits


Signature Theatre's Season Sponsor is Bloomberg Philanthropies. The Premiere Residency program is supported by The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust.


About Signature Theatre

 

Signature Theatre is an artistic home for storytellers. By producing several plays from each Resident Writer, Signature continues its deep dive into their bodies of work.

Signature serves its mission by hosting distinctive resident playwrights and cultural communities at its permanent home at The Pershing Square Signature Center, a three-theater facility on West 42nd Street designed by Frank Gehry Architects. At the Center, which opened in January 2012, Signature continues its original Playwright-in-Residence model with Spotlight Residency (formerly Residency 1), an intensive exploration of a single writer's body of work. The Premiere Residency (formerly Residency 5), the only program of its kind, supports playwrights as they build a body of work by guaranteeing each writer three productions over a five-year period. The Legacy Program, launched during Signature's 10th Anniversary, invites writers from both residencies to premiere or restage earlier plays. Inaugurated in 2022, the LaunchPad Residency seeks to advance an early-career playwright's voice, body of work, and professional development. In 2020, Signature launched SigSpace, to bring free artistic programming to the Center's public spaces and more fully activate Signature's lobby as a free public workspace and social hub for New York artists.

The Pershing Square Signature Center is a major contribution to New York City's cultural landscape. The Center supports and encourages collaboration among artists, cultural organizations and local communities by providing free, public access throughout the space. In addition to its three intimate theaters, the Center features a studio theater, a rehearsal studio and a public café, bar and bookstore.

Founded in 1991 by James Houghton, Signature Theatre is now led by Artistic Director Paige Evans and Executive Director Timothy J. McClimon. Signature's Resident Playwrights include: Edward Albee, Annie Baker, Lee Blessing, Martha Clarke, Will Eno, Horton Foote, María Irene Fornés, Athol Fugard, John Guare, Stephen Adly Guirgis, A.R. Gurney, Katori Hall, Quiara Alegría Hudes, Samuel D. Hunter, David Henry Hwang, Bill Irwin, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Adrienne Kennedy, Tony Kushner, Romulus Linney, Kenneth Lonergan, Dave Malloy, Charles Mee, Arthur Miller, Dominique Morisseau, Lynn Nottage, Suzan-Lori Parks, Sarah Ruhl, Sam Shepard, Anna Deavere Smith, Regina Taylor, Paula Vogel, Naomi Wallace, August Wilson, Lanford Wilson, Lauren Yee, The Mad Ones, and members of the historic Negro Ensemble Company: Charles Fuller, Leslie Lee, and Samm-Art Williams.

Signature and its artists have been recognized with Tony Awards, Pulitzer Prizes, MacArthur “Genius” grants, and Lucille Lortel, Obie, Drama Desk, AUDELCO, and Artios Awards as well as the 50/50 Award for Gender Parity in Theatre, among many other distinctions. In 2014, Signature became the first New York City theater to receive the Regional Theatre Tony Award for its body of work and accomplishments as an institution. For more information, please visit signaturetheatre.org.

The groundbreaking Signature Access (formerly the Signature Ticket Initiative), which in 2019 celebrated its one millionth ticket sold, guarantees affordable tickets to every Signature production through 2032. Serving as a model for theaters and performing arts organizations across the country, the Initiative was founded in 2005 and is made possible, in part, by Lead Partner The Pershing Square Foundation.

Cast Set for Dominique Morisseau's SUNSET BABY at Signature Theatre




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