World Premiere of THE COTILLION by Colette Robert to be Presented at A.R.T./New York in May

The Cotillion will begin previews May 3, 2023, with opening night set for May 7, for a run through May 27, 2023.

By: Mar. 01, 2023
World Premiere of THE COTILLION by Colette Robert to be Presented at A.R.T./New York in May
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New Georges and The Movement Theatre Company will present The Harriet Holland Social Club Presents The 84th Annual Star-Burst Cotillion in the Grand Ballroom of The Renaissance Hotel (aka The Cotillion) written and directed by Colette Robert (Behind the Sheet). Featuring music and lyrics by Dionne McClain-Freeney (The Movie Star and The Mammy), additional lyrics by Robert, and choreography by nicHi douglas (Weightless), The Cotillion will begin previews May 3, 2023, in the Mezzanine Theater at A.R.T./New York (502 W 53rd Street, New York, NY 10019), with opening night set for May 7, for a run through May 27, 2023.

It's the Black high society event of the year.

As six high-achieving debutantes interrupt their preparations to peek into the shimmering ballroom, The Harriet Holland Social Club's esteemed Madam President does her damnedest to ensure it all goes well. She needs no stumbles tonight. No teary-eyed smudges, no unraveling lace, no unraveling ANYTHING. Because if she can't control these girls, whatever will they think over at Table 4?

Experienced as a Black debutante ball in a large American city in real time-and featuring an all-Black-women company and creative team, down to its three-piece band-The Cotillion interrogates the complexities of Black debutante ball culture and finds that beneath all the respectability politics and sweet serenades lie contradictions even quality make-up can't cover up. It puts us all in our evening shoes-ya know, those fancy ones that start to pinch as the night wears on-to ask how we choose to uplift young Black women in a world that seeks to diminish them.

The product of a close 5-year collaboration between New Georges and The Movement Theatre Company, The Cotillion has received funding and development support from Edgerton Foundation New Play Award; an inaugural NYC Women's Fund for Media, Music and Theatre grant; BOLD Ventures; The Edith Lutyens and Norman Bel Geddes Design Enhancement Fund; New Georges Audrey Residency; Mabou Mines' Resident Artist Program; Fuller Road Artist Residency; The Drama League's Beatrice Terry Residency for Women+ Writer/Directors; New York State Council on the Arts; and the National Endowment for the Arts.

The performance schedule for The Cotillion will be as follows: Wednesday-Saturday at 7:30pm; Saturday at 2pm; Sunday at 5pm. Exceptions: there will be an additional 2pm performance on Friday May 26. There will be no 2pm performance on Saturday May 27.

Tickets for The Cotillion begin at $30 and are available at

Full casting and creative team for The Cotillion will be announced at a later date.

Colette Robert

(Playwright and Director) directed the world premieres of Stew by Zora Howard, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize now being produced around the country, at Page 73, and New York Times Critic's Pick Behind the Sheet by Charly Evon Simpson at Ensemble Studio Theatre, where she is a member. Regional credits include City Theatre Company, Penumbra Theatre, and Williamstown Theatre Festival. Colette is an alumnus of The New Georges Jam (co-leader), The Drama League's Beatrice Terry Residency, Lincoln Center Directors Lab, and The Public Theater's Van Lier Directing Fellowship. The Harriet Holland Social Club Presents The 84th Annual Star-Burst Cotillion in The Grand Ballroom of The Renaissance Hotel, generated in New Georges' Audrey Residency and Mabou Mines Resident Artist programs, is her first play. She is the 2023 SDCF Denham Fellow.

Dionne McClain-Freeney

(Composer). Composer: The Movie Star & The Mammy (Joe's Pub), The Sugar Hill Sisters (NYMF). Composer & Lyricist: "Not So Fair-y Tales," "The Beautiful Son," Rainbow Lullaby (Broadway Records), The Harriet Holland Social Club (Movement Theatre Company), Rice & Rocks (Brooklyn Children's Theatre), Going Home: Movement of Voices (N.Y. Philharmonic's New World Initiative), This One Girl's Story (NC A&T, NYMF, Gayfest, GLAAD Media Award nominee). Music direction: Sweeney Todd (UNCSA), The Color Purple (Cape Fear Regional Theatre),Passing Strange (UNCSA), "Queering The Canon: Kander & Ebb" (Ring of Keys), Brecht on Brecht (Off-Broadway) Spiritual Uprising (People's Light & Theatre), Black Queens Screen Test (The Tank), "Turn The Volume Up!- Amplifying Black Keys" (Ring of Keys), For Colored Girls (Public Theatre), The Addams Family, Shrek, Beauty and The Beast (Piper Theatre), The Fourth Wall (Off-Broadway). Bring The Beat Back (Polyphone Theatre Festival). BMI Lehman Engel Advanced Musical Theatre Workshop & Steering Committee. TGBTG!

nicHi douglas

(Choreographer) is a Brooklyn-based artist, educator, organizer and 2021 Princess Grace Award winner. they have developed original theater work at The Public Theater, Roundabout Theatre, New Victory, Long Wharf, Pig Iron, Denver Center, and Berkeley Rep, among others. nicHi has been commissioned by Mimi Lien & Itohan Edoloyi to create a social sculpture on Lincoln Center's campus this Summer 2023. Ars Nova + National Black Theatre will co-produce nicHi's commission, (pray), in Fall 2023. Recent work (choreographer and associate choreographer): Weightless (WP Theater), SKiNFoLK: AN AMERICAN SHOW (Bushwick Starr + NBT), Girl From The North Country (The Public Theater), Last Stop On Market Street (Atlantic Theater). nicHi teaches at NYU/Tisch and guest lectures at Yale School of Drama. upcoming: (pray) (National Black Theatre + Ars Nova, Playwright/Director/Choreographer - co-composed by S T A R R Busby, JJJJJerome Ellis and Tariq Al-Sabir) |


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