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New American Play WHITE GUY ON THE BUS to Make UK Premiere

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New American Play WHITE GUY ON THE BUS to Make UK Premiere

"Do you want that money to get your son to a nice safe neighbourhood, or are you going to make some noble, moral stand which means absolutely nothing?"

In a production commissioned by the Finborough Theatre, the European premiere of American playwright Bruce Graham's White Guy on the Bus opens at the Finborough Theatre for a four-week limited season on Tuesday, 27 March 2018 (Press Nights: Thursday, 29 March and Friday, 30 March 2018 at 7.30pm).

Ray and Roz are a white, liberal couple living in the safe, staid suburbs of Philadelphia. He is a financial consultant who makes "rich people richer". She is a passionate teacher who commutes every day to educate the mainly black students of an inner-city school.

On the face of it, life runs smoothly. But Ray seems to hanker after change. He leaves his Mercedes in the drive, and takes to riding the public bus through the African-American neighbourhoods of the city - the only white guy on the bus.

Ray becomes a regular on the same route as Shatique - a young, black single mother who is studying to become a nurse, and determined to make a different life for her 9-year-old son. They strike up a relationship. But what does Ray really want from Shatique?

Bruce Graham's excoriating and shocking play blows open the racial fault-lines of Trump's America. With an all too familiar resonance here in the UK, it questions us all - what deals are we willing to make, and with which devils?

White Guy on the Bus, a Critics' Pick in The New York Times for its New York City production, is a European premiere from award-winning American playwright Bruce Graham. It is directed by Jelena Budimir, a former Associate Director at Chickenshed Theatre.

Playwright Bruce Graham plays include Burkie, Early One Evening at the Rainbow Bar and Grille, Moon Over the Brewery, Minor Demons, Belmont Avenue Social Club, The Champagne Charlie Stakes, Desperate Affection, Coyote on a Fence (winner of The Rosenthal Prize and seen at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, and in the West End), According to Goldman, Something Intangible (winner of seven Barrymore Awards including Best New Play), Any Given Monday (Barrymore winner for Best New Play), The Outgoing Tide (Joseph Jefferson Award for Best New Play), Stella and Lou, North of the Boulevard, Rizzo and Funnyman. Fully Accessible and The Happy F!@#$%G Blind Guy have been published in Best Ten Minute Plays of 2013 and 2014. His one man show The Philly Fan plays semi-continuously throughout the Philadelphia area. He has received grants from the Pew Foundation, the Princess Grace Foundation (Statuette Award Winner), the Rockefeller Foundation and the Philadelphia Theatre Initiative. Along with Michele Volansky, he is the author of the book, The Collaborative Playwright. Graham is a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He teaches film and theatre courses at Drexel University, and also works as an actor. He divides his time between South Philly and Elkton, Maryland.

Director Jelena Budimir returns to the Finborough Theatre after directing Athena Stevens' new play Genie for Vibrant 2017 - A Festival of Finborough Playwrights. Jelena was Associate Director at Chickenshed Theatre for 22 years where she developed the Studio Theatre, and led on Chickenshed's emerging writers' programme Write Here, Write Now. Direction includes Benjamin Zephaniah's Refugee Boy adapted by Lemn Sissay, Sarah Daniels' The Gut Girls, The Comedy of Errors, Dario Fo's Can't Pay! Won't Pay!, Lysistrata, Our Country's Good by Timberlake Wertenbaker, Yard Gal by Rebecca Prichard and Ariel Dorfmen's Widows (Chickenshed) and Life After Death by Antuneil Thompson (Camden People's Theatre). She has worked on projects with Clean Break Theatre Company and Hampstead Theatre, and was a member of the Crescent Theatre Ensemble. She has also written extensively for young people and children. Jelena originally trained as an actor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama - her performance work includes fringe, rep and West End alongside film, TV and radio. New American Play WHITE GUY ON THE BUS to Make UK Premiere


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