ArtsWest Kicks Off Their 19/20 Season With SUNSET BABY By Dominique Morisseau
ArtsWest is excited to be kicking off their new season, Agents of Change, with the Seattle premiere of SUNSET BABY- an emotional and powerful play examining internal retrospection and change by acclaimed playwright Dominique Morisseau, running from September 26 through October 20.
This season ArtsWest continues to dig into their mission statement to produce artistic events that provoke conversation, incite the imagination, and use live theater as a powerful agent of change, focusing a lens on the idea of revolutions and the characters who participate in them - unpacking the concepts of change and renewal in shifting paradigms of the contemporary American experience.
Season-opener SUNSET BABY will be helmed by artist, teacher, and prominent director of countless productions across the country, Valerie Curtis-Newton - also the current Head of Directing at the University of Washington School of Drama and the Founding Artistic Director for The Hansberry Project, a professional African American theatre lab.
"We're so honored and thrilled to be producing our second Dominique Morisseau play after last year's celebrated SKELETON CREW. She is one of the most exciting and profound playwrights working today," says Mathew Wright, Artistic Director at ArtsWest. "...and to have Val on hand to direct is nothing short of a blessing."
SUNSET BABY features dynamic characters speaking truth to power with the story of Nina, a strong and independent woman named after the rebellious songstress, as she is visited by her estranged father and former revolutionary in the Black liberation movement, Kenyatta. She can't tell what he's after, a fix to their broken relationship or the only physical items of value she ties to her mother - a collection of love letters written by her infamous parents. As the lives of father and daughter begin to intertwine, old wounds are revealed, generational differences exposed, and smoldering truths laid bare. Morisseau's SUNSET BABY is an energetic and vibrant narrative of the duality and intersectionality of family, legacy, and liberation.
The Guardian proclaims SUNSET BABY as "Smart, entertaining and moving as it grapples with the tensions between past and present... Morisseau's script sings with intelligence."
SUNEST BABY is being produced in collaboration with The Hansberry Project, "a professional black theatre company dedicated to the artistic exploration of African American life, history and culture" led by African American artists and designed to provide the community with consistent access to the African American artistic voice.
The three-person cast features the return of Tyler Trerise (MY MAÑANA COMES, PETER & THE STARCATCHER, ArtsWest), Aishé Keita (LYSISTRATA,THE WEDDING BAND, Intiman Theater), and Marcel Davis making his ArtsWest debut (BEHOLD THE DREAMERS, Book-It).
The Creative Team features director Valerie Curtis-Newton (BULRUSHER, Intiman Theater; LADY DAY AT EMERSON'S BAR & GRILL, ArtsWest), Stage Manager Aviona Rodriguez Brown (JANE EYRE THE MUSICAL, HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH; LADY DAY AT EMERSONS BAR & GRILL, ArtsWest), Scenic Designer Christopher Mumaw (OFFICE HOUR; HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH; LADY DAY AT EMERSONS BAR & GRILL; SWEENY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET, ArtsWest), Lighting/Projection Designer Bryce Bartl-Geller (FEATHERS AND TEETH, Washington Ensemble Theater), Sound Designer D.R. Amromin (OFFICE HOUR, ArtsWest), Costume Designer Jessica Morena Caycho (BODY AWARENESS, Jones Playhouse Theater; DESIRE UNER THE ELMS, Firehouse Theater), Properties Master Jessamyn Bateman-Iino (MY ANTONIA, Book-It Repertory Theatre).
- Director - Valerie Curtis-Newton
- Stage Manager - Aviona Rodriguez Brown
- Scenic Designer - Christopher Mumaw
- Lighting/Projection Designer - Bryce Bartl-Geller
- Sound Designer - D.R. Amromin
- Costume Designer - Jessica Morena Caycho
- Properties Master - Jessamyn Bateman-Iino
SUNSET BABY plays September 26 - October 20, 2019 at ArtsWest, 4711 California Ave SW, Seattle WA 98116. Tickets ($20-$42) available online at www.artswest.org, by phone at 206-938-0339, or at the box office Thursday through Saturday, 2-7:30 p.m.