Acclaimed Philip Ridley Drama TENDER NAPALM Returns July 18
African-American director David Norwood will premiere a uniquely re-envisioned American version of TENDER NAPALM by renowned British playwright Philip Ridley (The Pitchfork Disney, Mercury Fur, The Fastest Clock in the Universe). This poetic two-hander originally premiered in London in 2011, before making a limited engagement Off-Broadway debut in 2012 to critical acclaim. Previews begin July 18 at HERE with opening set for July 24.
In TENDER NAPALM, a young couple face an unnamed catastrophe. They wind their love back to its beginnings through a fantastical, erotic world of serpent slayings, monkey wars, alien abductions and a shipwrecked paradise. Explosive, poetic and brutal, the play re-examines and re-defines the language of love?and how that love struggles to survive in the face of catastrophe.
With approval from Ridley, director David Norwood has set his production on the East Coast and with an African-American cast. Norwood brings a unique vision to this acclaimed play, re-examining and re-defining how black love and loss is portrayed in the American theatre.
TENDER NAPALM stars Amara James Aja (The White Devil at Red Bull Theater) and Ayana Major Bey (After Midnight directed by Warren Carlyle). The production features set and costumes by David Norwood, lighting by Stacey Derosier (Lewiston/Clarkston), original music & sound design by Brian Morales (The Color Purple at Menier Chocolate Factory Purple starring Cynthia Erivo), casting by Eisenberg/Beans Casting (Baghdaddy, Bedlam's Pygmalion), and stage management by Acacia S. Drake (Playing Hot for Pipeline). It is executive produced by Ayana Parker Morrison (Stephen Belber's Joan).
David Norwood was nominated for the 2014 New York Innovative Theatre Award, as well as the AUDELCO Award for Outstanding Choreography/Movement for his work on Salome: Da Voodoo Princess of Nawlins. His other recent work includes Summer and Smoke, The Remembrance Project: Trail of Tears, The Little Rock Nine Project, The Remembrance Project: Darfur, The Remembrance Project: Rwanda, Next to Normal, NighoftheLivingDead the Musical and Nevermore. He studied at The Ailey School and the Joffrey Ballet School. He has danced with Graham II, performed with Broadway legend, Carol Channing and has worked with many esteemed artists such as Tony Award nominee Camille A. Brown, Sidra Bell, Ronald K. Brown and many others. His work has been awarded grants from the Actors' Equity Foundation and Dramatists Guild Foundation. He is a proud member of SDC, the League of Off-Broadway Theatres and Producers, and an alum of the Commercial Theatre Institute. He holds a BA in Directing from the City College of New York.
Philip Ridley has been cited as a pioneer of 'In-yer-face theatre', with his debut play The Pitchfork Disney (1991), considered by many to be a seminal work in the development of the style, with one critic even dubbing it "the key play" of the 1990s. In addition to Tender Napalm and The Pitchfork Disney, Ridley has written 11 other full length plays for adults: the multi-award-winning The Fastest Clock in the Universe(1992), Ghost from a Perfect Place (1994), Vincent River (2000), the controversial Mercury Fur (2005), Leaves of Glass (2007), Piranha Heights (2008), Shivered (2012), Dark Vanilla Jungle (2013), Radiant Vermin (2015), Tonight with Donny Stixx (2015) and Karagula (2016).
This production is a part of SubletSeries@HERE: a curated rental program, which provides artists with subsidized space and equipment, as well as technical support.
TENDER NAPALM runs July 18 ? August 4, Tuesday - Saturday at 7pm and Sunday at 2pm. Running time is 75 minutes. HERE is located at 145 Sixth Avenue (enter on Dominick, 1 block south of Spring Street). Tickets are $35 / $20 for students. For tickets visit here.org or call 212-352-3101. For more information visit www.tendernapalm.com.