Cori Thomas's Latest CITIZENS MARKET Premieres at City Theatre
City Theatre's season of bold new work progresses with the world premiere of Citizens Market by Cori Thomas, which explores the lives and complications of a group of immigrants as they find their footing in America. Thomas's work was last seen at City Theatre with the world premiere of When January Feels Like Summer, winner of the 2011 Osborne New Play Award. Directed byArtistic Producer Reginald L. Douglas, Citizens Market runs on the Main Stage March 3 - 25, 2018. Tickets are on sale now.
"What a treat it is to have Cori Thomas back in Pittsburgh!" said City Theatre Artistic Producer, Reginald L. Douglas. "Cori has a unique ability to explore the complexities of our world through heartfelt characters, honesty, and humor; and Citizens Market is a great example of her special talents. By showcasing the rich diversity of our country, the play reminds us how love, laughter, and the pursuit of one's dreams against the odds ultimately unite us all. It is a quintessential City Theatre play: engaging, thought-provoking, timely, and above all else, an entertaining night at the theater."
"I am so excited to return to City Theatre with this play, which-like When January Feels Like Summer-has a mix of the everyday people who make up most cities in America," said Playwright Cori Thomas. "Pittsburgh and City Theatre embraced me the first time around, and I feel privileged to get to share this new play with these audiences for its first outing.
"As a first generation American-a child of two immigrants-and as a diplomat's child, who lived in the many countries where my father was posted, I've always been aware of what it is to be new, to have to try to find your rhythm in a new place so that you can fit in," she continued.
"I wrote this play as an exploration of that experience: so that I could celebrate my parents coming to a new land and choosing to start their family there. It is timely in this political climate, in a different way from when I first began writing it; then, we had a President who was the child of an immigrant who embraced and celebrated that fact with pride. I am hopeful the audience will take away from my play that America without everyone is not an America we want to live in."
About Citizens Market: A good New York City supermarket has everything its neighborhood needs, including a charming cast of characters behind the counter. Citizens Market, the latest from City Theatre favorite Cori Thomas, follows a hopeful group of immigrants as they form an unlikely family, working to master the ups and downs of language, love, and staying afloat in the city that never sleeps. Full of laughter and life, this world premiere celebrates an ever-shifting and eclectic America.
City Theatre continues its season-long community engagement initiative, City Connects, with this production, featuring an opportunity to learn more about Jewish Family & Community Services at a Happy Hour on Wednesday, March 7 from 5:30 -7:00 p.m. Patrons are invited to bring donations of toiletries throughout the run to benefit clients of JFCS's Immigrant Services and Refugee Resettlement Program.
Citizens Market is directed by Reginald L. Douglas. The cast includes Ngozi Anyanwu as Akosua, Juan Francisco Villa as Jesus, Jeff Howell as Bogdan, Ann Talman as Morfina, and Shamika Cotton as Ciata. Tony Ferrieri is scenic designer, Karen Perry is costume designer, Andrew David Ostrowski is lighting designer,Zachary Beattie Brown is sound designer, and Patti Kelly is stage manager.
Cori Thomas's writing credits include When January Feels Like Summer; Pa's Hat; Citizens Market; The Ballad of Ella May; My Secret Language of Wishes; The Princess, The Breast, and, The Lizard; The Unusual Love Life of Bedbugs and Other Creatures; Flight 109; The Hair Play; Waking Up; His Daddy; our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor. Cori's plays have been developed and produced at Sundance Theatre Institute; City Theatre Company, Goodman Theater, New Dramatists, Page 73, Playwrights Horizons, Lark Play Development Center, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Going To The River, Pillsbury House Theatre, Mixed Blood Theatre, Mosaic Theatre Co; Central Square Theatre; Penumbra Theatre, Passage Theatre, The Working Theater, The Playwrights Realm, New Federal Theatre, New Georges, The New Black Fest, and The Black Rep. She has been commissioned by South Coast Rep Theatre, Sloan Foundation, Pillsbury House Theatre; Central Square Theatre; Ensemble Studio Theatre; Rattlestick Theatre; New Black Fest; The Working Theater. Cori is a Resident Playwright at New Dramatists. She has been a two time Sundance Fellow, a MacDowell Fellow. Her upcoming residencies include the Bogliasco Foundation and Baryshnikov Center. Awards and Honors: (When January feels Like Summer) American Theater Critics Association Osborn Award, Edgerton Foundation New Play Award. 2016 Finalist for The Horton Foote Playwriting Prize, two time Theodore Ward Prize Winner. Publications: When January Feels Like Summer at Dramatic Publishing. Cori is a co-founder of the nonprofit organization pashatfoundation.org, which does work with former male child soldiers in Liberia, West Africa.