Pascale Armand, Tamara Tunie & More to Star in BERNARDA'S DAUGHTERS World Premiere Off-Broadway

Previews begin May 2 in advance of an Official Opening Night on Tuesday, May 23. A limited Off-Broadway engagement is slated through June 4.

By: Apr. 05, 2023
Pascale Armand, Tamara Tunie & More to Star in BERNARDA'S DAUGHTERS World Premiere Off-Broadway
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The New Group and National Black Theatre have announced complete casting for the world premiere of Bernarda's Daughters, by Diane Exavier, directed by Dominique Rider, featuring Pascale Armand, Alana Raquel Bowers, Kristin Dodson, Malika Samuel, Taji Senior and Tamara Tunie. Previews begin May 2 in advance of an Official Opening Night on Tuesday, May 23. A limited Off-Broadway engagement is slated through June 4 at The Pershing Square Signature Center (The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre, 480 West 42nd Street).

Amid gentrifying construction, street protests and a sweltering summer in Flatbush, the five Abellard sisters take refuge in their family home. Simmering in the losses of their father and their neighborhood, they clash over how to contend with the legacy of their Haitian parents in a city that is no longer theirs. Inspired by Federico García Lorca's The House of Bernarda Alba but with a breathtaking immediacy, playwright Diane Exavier brings to life a powerful ensemble of women to create this sensual and entrancing portrait of a family at a crossroads.

Bernarda's Daughters features Pascale Armand (Eclipsed, Tony Award nominee), Alana Raquel Bowers (What to Send Up When It Goes Down), Kristin Dodson (Flatbush Misdemeanors), Malika Samuel (Our Dear Dead Drug Lord), Taji Senior (Off-Broadway debut) and Tamara Tunie (Law & Order: SVU; Familiar, Obie Award winner).

This production includes Scenic Design by Carlos J. Soto, Costume Design by Rodrigo Muñoz, Lighting Design by Marika Kent and Sound Design by Kathy Ruvuna. The Dramaturg is Nissy Aya. Dialect Coach is Cherie Rice. Movement Coordinator is Ashley Chavonne. Casting Director is The Telsey Company/ Destiny Lilly, CSA. Production Stage Manager is Rachel Denise April. Assistant Stage Manager is Sydneii Colter.

Tickets start at $29 for all performances. Tickets, complete performance schedule and information are available on The New Group's website www.thenewgroup.org.

This co-production from The New Group and National Black Theatre marks the world premiere of Bernarda's Daughters, which debuted as an audio play from The New Group Off Stage with Audible Originals in March 2022.

"When The New Group first began its Off Stage collaboration with Diane and Dominique on the audio recording of Bernarda's Daughters we knew immediately that we had to bring this compelling and surprising New York story to the stage. And we are so grateful to our producing partners at National Black Theatre for their commitment to making that goal a reality," said Adam Bernstein, Executive Director and Scott Elliott, Founding Artistic Director of The New Group.

"It is an honor to create space to celebrate lead artists Diane Exavier and Dominique Rider, providing the creative space and team to share this beautiful story centering a powerful, familiar and complex bond housed in sisterhood. Through Bernarda's Daughters, there is an opportunity for NBT and our producing partners at The New Group to welcome members of the Haitian community and many of our Caribbean kinfolk to the theatre to feel seen, celebrated, and uplifted. This piece is a great way to bookend NBT's 55thTheatrical Season themed "Love, A Ritual Of Repair" said Sade Lythcott, Chief Executive Officer and Jonathan McCrory, Executive Artistic Director, National Black Theatre.

"I am so unbelievably excited to be working on this production of Bernarda's Daughters with The New Group and National Black Theatre," shared Diane Exavier, "Dominique and I have been stewarding this play through a number of different iterations for the last four years and it feels absolutely right on time to finally be able to share it live with audiences in all of its fullness and dimension, a kind of ultimate collaboration. The images, the sounds, that particular Flatbush heat...we're hoping to make summer come early with what we've got in store!"

"One of the key provocations couched inside of Bernarda's Daughters has always been a question of how to represent the house on stage. What Diane, our scenic designer Carlos Soto, and I are attempting to do with the space is offer something that motions towards a house, but also something that might be big enough to hold the emotions of the women inside the play. Can we make a space that holds their grief, their longing, their rage, and most importantly their desire? With the commitment of The New Group and National Black Theatre, we're excited to find out!" shared Dominique Rider.

Diane Exavier

is a writer, theatermaker and educator working at the intersection of performance and poetry. Her work has been presented with The New Group, BRIC Arts, The Bushwick Starr, Sibiu's International Theater Festival, Bowery Poetry Club, Dixon Place, and more. Diane concerns herself with what she recognizes as the 4 L's: love, loss, legacy, and land. Her writing can be found in such places as Staatstheater Hannover Magazine, The Atlas Review, and The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind. Her book-length lyric, The Math of Saint Felix, was recently published by The 3rd Thing Press. A 2021 Jerome Foundation Finalist, Diane holds an MFA in Writing for Performance from Brown University. She lives and works in Brooklyn.


Dominique Rider

is a Brooklyn-based director whose work seeks to answer the question: "What is a world unmade by slavery?" while attempting to analyze the layers of anti-blackness that maintain the world we live in. Deploying theatre and performance as tools of Afropessimism, Dominique has developed and staged work with Audible, The New Group, NYTW, Roundabout, The Atlantic, Princeton, Rattlestick, BRIC Arts, Two River, Portland Center Stage, and more. Past fellowships/residencies include TheaterWorks Hartford, NYSAF, BRIC Arts, Roundabout, and NAMT. Currently, Dominique is a resident director at The National Black Theatre, a Hi-Arts Critical Breaks resident, and a producer with CLASSIX.

The New Group

is currently represented by the world premiere of The Seagull/Woodstock, NY, by Thomas Bradshaw, adapted from Chekhov, with David Cale, Ato Essandoh, Patrick Foley, Hari Nef, Daniel Oreskes, Parker Posey, Bill Sage, Aleyse Shannon, Amy Stiller and Nat Wolff, directed by Scott Elliott, playing in an extended run through April 9. In Fall 2022, the company was represented Off-Broadway by Will Arbery's Evanston Salt Costs Climbing, directed by Danya Taymor. Also ahead from The New Group Off Stage, the world premiere of Lypsinka: Toxic Femininity, a new film written and performed by John Epperson and directed by Chloë Sevigny.

National Black Theatre

National Black Theatre's 55th season, NBT: Beyond Walls: Love, A Ritual of Repair, serves as a platform to uplift and amplify the transformative and healing power of the love emanating from within the Black community. On June 18, 2023, NBT will host Hidden Conversations in partnership with Park Avenue Armory - a celebration of Juneteenth and National Black Theatre's Founder's Day, centering new work by Claudia Rankine, and complete with an investigation of a lost interview between Audre Lorde and James Baldwin. From June 15 through June 25, 2023, NBT will celebrate the debut of Black Mother Lost Daughter (BMLD) - a co-production with The Flea - a searing and haunted play from the mind of playwright Fedna Jacquet that invites viewers to consider the gap between justice and responsibility. Intimate and emotional, Black Mother Lost Daughter details how a national reckoning echoes in the lives of three women.

The Pershing Square Signature Center

is the permanent home of Signature Theatre, is a three-theatre facility on West 42nd Street designed by Frank Gehry Architects to host Signature's three distinct playwrights' residencies and foster a cultural community. The Center is a major contribution to New York City's cultural landscape and provides a venue for cultural organizations that supports and encourages collaboration among artists throughout the space. In addition to its three intimate theatres, the Center features a studio theatre, rehearsal studio, a bookstore, and the Signature Cafe + Bar, open to the public from noon-midnight Tuesdays -Sundays. For more information on renting the Center, please visit www.signaturetheatre.org/rentals.




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