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Unexpected Stage Company Presents Keith Powell's SOPHISTICATED NEW ONES

Identity, belonging, and antique furniture intersect in this new play by Keith Powell, directed by Dawn Thomas Reidy.

Unexpected Stage Company Presents Keith Powell's SOPHISTICATED NEW ONES

As part of its thirteenth season, Unexpected Stage Company presents Sophisticated New Ones by Keith Powell (This Is Us, 30 Rock), directed by Dawn Thomas Reidy (Raisin in the Sun at Chesapeake Shakespeare Company). The production will run June 15 to July 3 in the Fireside Room, an intimate 30-seat venue, at the River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation building, located at 6301 River Road in Bethesda. The production will also be offered virtually.

General admission tickets, priced $12.50 to $37.50, are on sale via phone at 301-337-8290, online at unexpectedstage.org/tickets, and at the door subject to availability. A special Pay-What-You-Wish preview performance is scheduled for Wednesday, June 15 at 7:30 p.m. For information, please call 301-337-8290 or visit www.unexpectedstage.org.

Sophisticated New Ones explores the intersection of identity, belonging, and antique furniture, as a family grapples with living within a country they no longer recognize. Having long since given up on love, Avery has made herself content running an antique repair shop with her adult son in Philadelphia. When a charming new man enters the shop and her life, Avery's past, present, and future collide, forcing her to make a decision that will have lasting implications on her family. Set in 2007 during Barack Obama's political rise, the play asks the question: What do we lose in the face of progress?

Playwright Keith Powell is an American television actor, writer, director, and web series creator, known for his roles as James "Toofer" Spurlock on 30 Rock and as Dr. Vance on This Is Us, and for creating and starring in the web series Keith Broke His Leg, for which he won several Indie Series Awards in 2016.

Powell explains that the play, written in the lead-up to President Obama's election in 2008, deals with the distinct choice about the future America was, and still is, facing: "Who do we leave behind when we are going forward?"

Director and Unexpected Stage Company board member Dawn Thomas Reidy is known to area audiences from Unexpected Stage productions such as The Few and Candy and Dorothy. Dawn was most recently seen on stage as Ruth Younger in A Raisin in the Sun and in Henry V at Chesapeake Shakespeare Company. Last spring, she directed a reading of Sophisticated New Ones at Unexpected Stage.

"I'm looking forward to engaging with the question of how we connect to history - our connection to 'stuff'," shares Reidy. "How can an object hold a legacy? A legacy of upward mobility...a legacy of inequity. How one person's burden can be another's opportunity for freedom."

The cast of Sophisticated New Ones features Lisa Hill-Corley (Creative Cauldron's Having Our Say) as Avery, DeJeanette Horne (Chesapeake Shakespeare Company's Henry V) as H, and Lloyd Ekpe (Chesapeake Shakespeare Company's A Raisin in the Sun) as Satcher.

In addition to Reidy, the creative team includes Kristen Jepperson (set design), Ian Claar (lighting design), Sharlene Clinton (costumes), and Matthew Datcher (sound design).



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