National Black Theatre Announces The Cast Of SERIOUS ADVERSE EFFECTS By Derek Lee McPhatter

National Black Theatre Announces The Cast Of SERIOUS ADVERSE EFFECTS By Derek Lee McPhatterDr. Barbara Ann Teer's National Black Theatre [NBT] announces today the cast of the final workshop production for the 49th Season to conclude the I Am Soul Playwriting Residency for playwright Derek Lee McPhatter. McPhatter's workshop production will be Serious Adverse Effects which will be directed by Mary E. Hodges.

The production will feature Patrice Bell (Tv/Film: Six of One (2010), MAKI(2017) and Eleanor (2017)), Nadia Brown, Abigail Ramsay (Tv/Film: Girl with a Walkman (2007), Ocean Waves (2003) and La guerra que no fue (2004)), and Christopher Smith ( Tv/Film: Orange is the New Black; TURN: Washington's Spies; The Blacklist).

Running as a limited engagement (March 28 - April 1, 2018), Serious Adverse Effects is a scifi afrofuturistic play that follows an unconventional scientist, Dr. Vye (played by Ramsay). As Dr. Vye is on the cusp of a cure for a mysterious disease, she must find forgiveness from a Paula (played by Bell) to complete her research. With no reason to trust Dr. Vye, Paula must embrace the transformative potential of her own healing. From the marvels of the modern laboratory to the inner depths of the human psyche, Serious Adverse Effects is an imaginative contemporary drama inspired by the resilience of African-American women in the twenty-first century.

Launched in 2012, I AM SOUL - Playwright Residency Program is the only program in the country that is dedicated to Black playwrights, whose work demonstrates exceptional artistic merit and excellence in the theatrical field, with a commitment to production. Coined as a dream MFA program this eighteen (18) month residency also seeks to unleash the soul of a playwright on the page so that they can develop, hone and explore new ways of artistic expression in a safe, supported and transformative environment. With I AM SOUL, NBT seeks to deepen the artistic relationship between Black theatrical institutions and Black playwrights in order to re-establish Black theatrical institutions as the foremost supporters and producers of new works created by Black playwrights. Past residents: Dennis A. Allen II, Aurin Squire & Mfoniso Udofia Current residents: Angelica Chéri, Derek Lee McPhatter, Nambi E. Kelley, Eric Micha Holmes, & Lee Edward Colston II.

Tickets for Serious Adverse Effects are now on sale. The workshop runs for performances from Wednesday, March 28th 7:30pm to Sunday, April 1st at 4:00 p.m., with Saturday matinee at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $20.00 general admission. Tickets can be purchased online at, by calling NBT directly at (212) 722-3800 or at NBT's Box Office, open from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. National Black Theatre is located at 2031 Fifth Avenue between 125th and 126th Streets in Harlem. (Take the 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 subway to 125th Street.) Follow NBT on Facebook ( and Twitter/Instagram (@NatBlackTheatre).


Patrice Bell (Paula) - Patrice Bell is thrilled to be amongst the creative engine of Serious Adverse Effects, in her inaugural performance with The National Black Theatre! Off-Broadway: Office Politics. New York: New Shoes, Park Plays, A Midsummer Nights Dream Regional: You Can't Take it With You, Little Shop of Horrors and Smokey Joe's Cafe. Film/TV: Gabriel, Maki, Eleanor, "The Onion News" and "Feed The Beast." Patrice is a graduate of the University of Central Florida Theatre Conservatory with a BFA in Theatre. She is also a Mary Louise Rockwell Scholarship recipient of Primary Stages' Einhorn School of the Performing Arts. Special thanks to her family for their endless support. "Success through Longevity!"

Nadia Brown (Nia) - Nadia Denise Brown graduated from Marymount Manhattan College Summa Cum Laude and received her BFA in Acting in May 2016. Her most recent roles include Armande in Centenary Stage Company's production of The Learned Ladies and Annie Rice in the New Jersey Repertory Company's production of & Juliet. She has also returned from studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, UK. where she performed as Marina in Pericles, Prince of Tyre.

Abigail Ramsay (Dr. Vye) - From her first professional production, where she played an over-taxed social worker in a London hostel, confronting the full scale of the post-Balkan war refugee crisis, Abigail has been committed to engaging audiences with innovative, adventurous, and socially relevant work. She is an actor, director, producer, and arts manager and has been honored to collaborate with extraordinary artists and work at the intersection of multiple genres.

Christopher Smith (Brandon) - National Black Theatre debut. Other theatre credits include: Sex With Strangers- Portland Center Stage; Clever Little Lies - Florida Studio Theatre; Other Desert Cities - Speakeasy Stage, Boston; Los Angeles premiere of The Pavilion - Lyric Theatre, L.A.; among many others in L.A. and NY. He co-adapted, devised and acted in 4-person adaptation of Washington Square by Henry James with The Actors' Ensemble in NY. TV credits: Orange is the New Black; TURN: Washington's Spies; The Blacklist. Upcoming: The Gun Show by E.M. Lewis, at PS21 in Chatham, NY. More info at:

Derek Lee McPhatter (Playwright) is committed to new work that engages diverse communities, emphasizing narratives at the intersection of race, class, gender, and technology. Recent plays include: This App is Not the Business, a corporate America cyberspace dramedy, and Bring the Beat Back, a queer, black, sci-fi, music-theatre experience. In addition to his National Black Theatre residency, Derek is currently a Tutterow Fellow at Chicago Dramatists where he is developing a new play on American political ambition. His works have been presented by The Lyric Opera of Chicago, The Institute of Contemporary Arts (London), The Drama League, Hi-ARTS, Otherworld Theatre Company, JACK, and the inaugural seasons of two Obie award-winning festivals: The Fire This Time Festival and 48 Hours in Harlem. Publications include Otherwise Oblivion, a featured play in the 2016 afrofuturism volume of Obsidian - Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora.

In 2012, Derek received a Guy Hanks & Marvin Miller Screenwriting Fellowship at the University of Southern California, launching an active slate of film and television projects. He is currently a consulting producer with OTV | Open Television, where he leads script development for a new digital pilot: Hair Story. He co-created She's Out of Order, which received an Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series Award at Los Angeles Webfest 2015. His work has been supported by grants and prizes from the Jerome Foundation, the Puffin Foundation, the Propeller Fund, the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, and the United States Embassy in the United Kingdom, to name a few.

Derek holds a Bachelor of Arts from Morehouse College and a Master of Arts in Humanities from New York University. He is originally from Pickerington, Ohio and splits his time between Chicago, New York and Los Angeles.

Mary E. Hodges (Director) was one of six directors for the dynamic 48 HOURS IN HARLEM hosted by Harlem9 and presented at NBT this past summer. She was paired with Stacey Rose, "The Ballard O' Nigg-O-Lee". Mary is grateful to NBT for this opportunity to work with I AM SOUL residency program. Mary has directed at Queens Theatre-The Park Plays (Ngozi Anyanwu); New Perspective Theatre-Short Play Lab (Holly Hepp-Galvan). Mary recently collaborated with director Elizabeth Margid on Ted Greenberg's one-person show ACE, as a movement coach. Mary has staged and directed in venues all across the city, working with writers on new work: The Davenport Theatre; The Kumble Theatre; The Castillo Theatre; Estrogenius Festival; Theatre For A New City; Libraries; Churches; The Black Theatre Festival; Baruch Performing Arts Center; Community Centers; and Living Rooms.


Founded by visionary Dr. Barbara Ann Teer in 1968, National Black Theatre (NBT) is a nationally recognized cultural and educational institution. Dr. Teer pioneered "the healing art of black theatre as an instrument for wholeness in urban communities where entrepreneurial artists of African descent live and work." In 1983, Dr. Teer expanded the vision of NBT by purchasing a 64,000-square-foot building on 125th Street and Fifth Avenue (renamed "National Black Theatre Way" by local law in 1994). This was the first revenue-generating Black arts complex in the country, an innovative arrangement through which for-profit businesses who shared NBT's spiritual and aesthetic values rented retail space to subsidize the arts. Out of her vision, NBT houses the largest collection of Nigerian new sacred art in the Western hemisphere and is considered the authentic representation of a model whose time has come. NBT is partially supported by grants from the City Council of New York, City of New York Department of Cultural Affairs, Ford Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts and private donations.

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