Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Interact Theatre Company Returns with THIS BITTER EARTH

This Bitter Earth marks InterAct's 2nd return to live, in-person theatre since closing critically acclaimed The Chinese Lady  in November 2021. 

Interact Theatre Company Returns with THIS BITTER EARTH

InterAct Theatre Company continues its 2021-2022 season with This Bitter Earth, by Harrison David Rivers, a "compassionate and devastating" play (Chicago Theatre Beat) "equal parts searing and touching, gut-wrenching and romantic." This Bitter Earth marks InterAct's 2nd return to live, in-person theatre since closing critically acclaimed The Chinese Lady in November 2021.

Seen on stages from San Francisco to Chicago -This Bitter Earth follows Jesse and Neil, whose deep love is challenged by divisive political realities. Jesse, an introspective black playwright, finds his choices called into question when his boyfriend, Neil, a white Black Lives Matter activist, calls him out for his political apathy. As passions and priorities collide, this couple is forced to reckon with issues of race, class and the bravery it takes to love out loud. Ruthless, truthful and authentic, "Gay black love isn't depicted much on stage; interracial gay love less so. But more than portray it, Rivers' work analyzes it, with key details of meeting the others' families, and thoughtful considerations about why black men grow up so tough, 'because maybe gentle gets you killed.'" (Broadway World)

"When I first read THIS BITTER EARTH," says InterAct Producing Artistic Director Seth Rozin, "I was moved by its intelligence, nuance, poetry and humanity. Here is a rare play that both interrogates and celebrates interracial, gay love better than any other play, book or movie I can think of. And through the jumbled lens of memory, Harrison David Rivers manages to tell an incredibly timely story."

Under the direction of Tyrone L. Robinson, Owen and Mzee (tour) for Vital Theatre Company in New York , This Bitter Earth stars David Bazemore as Jesse, with Gabriel Elmore portraying Neil. 3 time Barrymore Award nominee, Larry Fowler will design the sound.

In the course of its 34 year history, InterAct has made a name for itself by producing new plays that get audiences talking. At times, their plays seem almost prescient, as with their Fall 2019 production of Eureka Day by Jonathan Spector which dealt with what happens when the question of vaccination divides a community, and last year's virtual production of Eleanor Burgess's The Niceties about racial justice in the classroom of an elite university.

Because InterAct tends to do plays that beg to be discussed, the company will once again offer audiences the chance to go deeper with post-show discussions three nights a week. Following the Sunday matinee performances on February 6, 13 and 20, InterAct will hold Speaker Sunday

talkbacks with guest speakers such as the director Tyrone L. Robinson and Harrison David Rivers, author of This Bitter Earth. Company Conversations will occur on Wednesday and Thursday nights (February 9-10 and February 16-17), featuring informal conversations facilitated by Rozin.

A "Pay What You Can" Final Dress Rehearsal will be held on Thursday, January 27 at 7 PM, with proceeds collected at the door to benefit The William Way LGBT Community Center.

Performances take place at the Proscenium Theatre at the Drake, located at 302 S Hicks St. (between 15th & 16th and Spruce & Pine, and run January 28-Febuary 20. More information about the show and tickets can be found here:

All attendees will be required to show proof of vaccination and wear a mask. For more about COVID safety at the Drake, please see our box office policies:

Join Team BroadwayWorld

Are you an avid theatre goer in Philadelphia? We're looking for people like you to share your thoughts and insights with our readers. Team BroadwayWorld members get access to shows to review, conduct interviews with artists, and the opportunity to meet and network with fellow theatre lovers and arts workers.

Interested? Learn more here.

Related Articles View More Philadelphia Stories

More Hot Stories For You