Photo Flash: First Look at Ensemble Studio Theatre's TRAVISVILLE; Opens Tonight!
Ensemble Studio Theatre (EST) (William Carden, Artistic Director, Sarah McLellan, Executive Director) is proud to present the world premiere of Travisville, a new play by William Jackson Harper ("The Good Place") and directed by Steve H. Broadnax III (The Hip-Hop Project). This marks the playwriting debut of Harper, who has been developing the piece with EST over the past 8 years. Travisville will begin previews at EST's Curt Dempster Theatre (549 W. 52nd Street, New York, NY 10019) on October 3, 2018, with opening night set for October 12, for a limited engagement through October 28, 2018.
Much of the South reacted to the 1964 Civil Rights Act with eruptions of violence, but Dallas prided itself on having more peaceable race relations than other cities. A decade earlier, bombings rocked the city, but local black ministers navigated a truce with the white politicians in power; the city remained segregated, and black citizens didn't need to fear for their lives. When a plan to expand the city's historic fairgrounds required the displacement of the mostly black neighborhood around it, residents had to choose: go quietly and preserve the peace, or protect their neighborhood and risk violence. In Travisville, William Jackson Harperimagines the complex debate within the ministerial alliance when an outside activist arrives to encourage the property owners in Travisville, a fictional version of the fairgrounds neighborhood, to fight for their homes. This newcomer triggers an age-old debate amongst the ministers: is it better to make change peacefully by playing along, even if the pace is glacial? Or is it only possible to win equality and respect by demanding it, no matter the cost?
The cast of TRAVISVILLE includes Stori Ayers (Pipeline), Denny Dale Bess (Year of the Rooster), Sheldon Best (Sugar in Our Wounds), Brian D. Coats (Jitney), Bjorn DuPaty (Office Hours), Lynnette R. Freeman (Luz), Nathan James ("Quantico"), Ivan Moore ("Luke Cage"), and Shawn Randall (Fish Men).
TRAVISVILLE features set design by Milagros Ponce de León, costume design by Suzanne Chesney, lighting design by Adam Honoré, and sound design by Shane Rettig. Lloyd Davis, Jr will serve as productions stage manager.
Tickets for TRAVISVILLE are now on sale for $30, with tickets for students and seniors available for $25. The performance schedule is as follows: Monday at 7pm, Wednesday - Saturday at 7pm, Saturday at 2pm, and Sunday at 5pm. Tickets can be purchased at www.ensemblestudiotheatre.org.
Photo Credit: Jeremy Daniel
Bjorn DuPaty and Denny Dale Bess