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Meet the New World, Same as the Old World WELCOME TO BRAGGSVILLE

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To close out their 27th season, Book-It presents a darkly funny, world-premiere adaptation of Welcome to Braggsville, a novel by T. Geronimo Johnson. When good ol' boy D'aron Davenport lets it slip that his hometown in Georgia hosts an annual Civil War reenactment, his new friends at UC Berkeley plan to stage a protest in the form of a "performative intervention." Armed with youthful exuberance and misguided ideas of the South, the intervention has devastating consequences.

Welcome to Braggsville is an astonishing, razor-sharp satire of contemporary American issues following a college student whose personal tragedy becomes the center of a national media storm. With a sincere heart, this coming-of-age novel for a new generation intimately explores how all Americans are linked to - and culpable in - the country's racial injustices.

"This story feels so necessary in the current state of our country. Many people got a serious wake-up call in November as to how divided we still are along racial lines. Braggsville brings to light the faces we may want to deny but need to acknowledge, from our troubled past and our complicated present," says co-adapter Daemond Arrindell.

Director and co-adapter Josh Aaseng is Book-It's literary manager and has directed Book-It shows including Slaughterhouse-Five, Jesus' Son,Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay (associate director). Arrindell was a teaching artist at Book-It's first Twain Talk in 2013 during the run of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: Uncensored; this is his debut as an adapter for Book-It.


The cast includes Naa Akua as Poet/Ensemble, Sylvie Davidson* as Candice, Rebecca Davis as Mrs. Brooks/Ensemble, Brace Evans as Otis/Ensemble, Doug Graham as Quint/Ensemble, Justin Huertas* as Louis, Andrew McGinn* as Sheriff/Ensemble, Olivia Martin** as LeeAnn/Ensemble, Chris Mayse as Mr. Davenport/Ensemble, Mia Morris as Mrs. Davenport/Ensemble, Drew Starmer** as Jo-Jo/Ensemble, Zack Summers as D'aron, Jazmyne Waters** as Student/Ensemble, and Dimitri Woods* as Charlie.

*Member of Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States

** Intern

The design team is led by Scenic Designer Pete Rush with lighting design by Andrew D. Smith, costume design by Candace Frank, and sound design by Matt Starritt.

Welcome to Braggsville plays June 7-July 2, 2017 (opening on Saturday, June 10) at The Center Theatre at the Armory (305 Harrison Street, Seattle, WA 98109). Tickets range from $25-$50 with group rates available. $15 tickets will be available to students during the entire run. Purchase at book-it.org or by calling the box office at 206.216.0833. The box office is open Tues through Fri, 12:00pm - 5:00pm (Tues - Sat during production run), located in the outer lobby of The Center Theatre at the Armory.

Book-It will announce a series of community engagement events that will explore the issues in the novel at a later date.

For information or to arrange interviews, please contact Communications Manager Val Brunetto at valb@book-it.org.

About Josh Aaseng
Josh Aaseng is a director and writer based in Seattle. Directing credits include Slaughterhouse-Five, ReEntry, Jesus' Son, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay (associate director). He is a consulting director on Frank Boyd's The Holler Sessions, which has performed at On the Boards and ACT in Seattle, the Noorderzon Performing Arts Festival in the Netherlands, and PS 122 COIL Festival in New York. Josh received two Seattle Theatre Writers awards for excellence in playwrighting and direction for his production of Slaughterhouse-Five. Josh is the literary manager for Book-It Repertory Theatre where he has helped developed several new works, a member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab, and a graduate of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.

About Daemond Arrindell

Daemond Arrindell is a poet, performer and teaching artist. He has written for City Arts and Crosscut magazines, has self-published two chapbooks, "Hungry for the Word," and "Mission Statement," and is working on a full length poetry manuscript, "When the Music Box Won't Open." Daemond is Adjunct Faculty at Seattle University; a 2013 Jack Straw Writer; and a 2014 VONA/Voices Writers' Workshop fellow. He has performed across the country and has been repeatedly commissioned by Seattle and Bellevue Arts Museums.

During the 2016-17 season, Book-It's Arts and Education Program is producing and touring three works of literature for young people: Last Stop on Market Street, by Matt De La Peña (performed bilingually in English and Spanish); Goin' Someplace Special, by Patricia C. McKissack; and El Deafo, by Cece Bell, also performed bilingually in spoken English and American Sign Language. These productions, performed by professional actor/teaching artists, tour to schools, libraries, and community centers statewide. Tours may be booked by calling 206.428.6266.

ABOUT BOOK-IT REPERTORY THEATRE

Book-It Repertory Theatre, a leader in the narrative theatre movement, was founded in 1990. Book-It is a non-profit organization with a dedication to great literature and quality theatre experiences employing simple, sensitive, and imaginative production techniques, and to inspiring its audiences to read. The company is funded, in part, by generous contributions from corporations and foundations, and hundreds of individuals who share its passion for literature.


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