Prema Cruz, Alfie Fuller and More Announced in Casting of BLUES FOR AN ALABAMA SKY
Today Keen Company Artistic Director Jonathan Silverstein announced the cast for the New York Premiere of Blues for an Alabama Sky by Pearl Cleage. La Williams will direct a cast that features Prema Cruz, Alfie Fuller, John-Andrew Morrision, Khiry Walker, and Sheldon Woodley. The design team includes You-Shin Chen (scenic), Asa Benally (costumes), Oona Curley (lighting), and Lindsay Jones (original music & sound design). Casting is by Billy Hopkins Casting. Fran Rubenstein will serve as Production Stage Manager and Drew Francis will be the Production Manager.
"I am thrilled to announce the cast and creative team for the next show in our 20th Anniversary season, Pearl Cleage's Blues for an Alabama Sky. It's been a true pleasure working with director La Williams as he assembled this truly stellar team. LA's passion for this play is inspiring to witness and I have no doubt he and his team and going to create a remarkable production befitting its New York premiere," said Silverstein.
Keen will present this limited Off-Broadway engagement of Blues for an Alabama Sky, beginning Tuesday February 4th. Performances will continue through Saturday March 14th only, with opening night set for Wednesday February 18th.
Keen will bring this well-loved play to New York for the first time since its premiere 25 years ago. Playwright Pearl Cleage (Flyin' West and Oprah Book Club Selection What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day) tells a strikingly timely story about four friends whose lives and passions collide when an innocent newcomer from Alabama arrives in Harlem during the summer of 1930, as the promises of the Harlem Renaissance are being swept away by the Great Depression.
"The story of Blues for an Alabama Sky arrived while I was driving with my husband, Zeke, through rural Alabama one cool, clear night when the stars were so thick I hung my head out the window like a dog so I could take it all in. For weeks after we got back to Atlanta, I couldn't stop wondering what it would be like to leave those stars behind and have to settle for the artificial lights of the big city. Now, 25 years later, Angel and Doc and Guy and Leland and Delia will finally have a chance to walk around Manhattan and see how they like it. It is an honor for me to have this play make its New York debut as part of the Keen Company's 20th Season and to have these characters come to life here under the direction of La Williams who loves them almost as much as I do. Almost," said Cleage
Pearl Cleage, an award-winning playwright, bestselling novelist, published poet and popular newspaper columnist, has earned praise from critics and from her peers for her passionate writing across several genres. An incredibly multifaceted talent, Cleage offers a fresh perspective on the universal themes of cultural enrichment, social identity and the power of love. With the rhythms of Black life as her muse, she focuses on the experiences of love, sex and female empowerment that she sees as vital to the African American community. As The New York Times said "Cleage writes with amazing grace and killer instinct." Cleage has a way with both character and language. Widely regarded for her collection of plays, her play Flyin' West was the most produced new play in the country in 1994 and has enjoyed multiple productions every year following its world premiere. She is also the author of many best-selling books, including What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day, Seen It All and Done the Rest and Just Wanna Testify. Most recently, Cleage published her memoir, Things I Should Have Told My Daughter: Lies Lessons and Love Affairs, giving readers an insight into her world and personal journey. An important advocate for women, Pearl's work speaks to women from all walks of life. Her poem, "We Speak Your Names," co-authored with husband, Zaron W. Burnett, Jr., provided the centerpiece of Oprah Winfrey's Legends Weekend honoring 25 extraordinary African American women. Cleage's 1990 collection of essays and performance pieces Mad at Miles: A Black Woman's Guide to Truth, is a classic among those working to end violence against women. Mad at Miles has been adapted for the stage and is frequently performed around the country.
La Williams is a New York-based director. Off-Broadway directing credits include Shakespeare's Measure for Measure (Public Theater, Mobile Unit), Rated Black: An American Requiem by Kareem M. Lucas (Next Door at New York Theatre Workshop). Regional directing credits include Skeleton Crew by Dominique Morriseau (Westport Playhouse); Too Heavy for Your Pocket by Jirèh Breon Holder (George Street Playhouse). Additional credits include Father Comes Home from the Wars, Parts 1, 2 & 3 by Suzan-Lori Parks (Juilliard Drama). He is an inaugural Old Globe Classical Directing Fellow and was a member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, Clubbed Thumb Directing Fellowship and a recipient of the Kenny Leon Directing Fellowship. Education: MA: Emerson College, BA: Alabama State University.
Keen Company creates theater that provokes identification, reflection, and emotional connection. In intimate productions of plays and musicals, we tell wholehearted stories about people striving to do their best and the decisive moments that change us. Keen has been honored with eleven Drama Desk nominations, two Drama Desk Awards, two Drama League nominations, and two Obie Awards.
All performances will be at Theatre Row (410 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues) and will be Tuesday through Thursday evenings at 7pm; Fridays at 8pm; Saturdays at 2pm & 8pm; and Sunday matinees at 3pm. All tickets will be $65 with premium tickets available for $80. All tickets to all Tuesday evening performances will be just $28, no code needed! (All ticket prices include restoration fees).
For tickets for Blues for an Alabama Sky visit the Theatre Row Box Office (410 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues), order online at Telecharge.com, or by phone at 212-239-6200.