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MCC THEATER ANNOUNCES COMPLETE CAST AND CREATIVE TEAM FOR "BLKS"
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 06:08 pm EST 03/05/19

MCC THEATER

ANNOUNCES COMPLETE CAST AND CREATIVE TEAM FOR

NEW YORK PREMIERE OF

“BLKS”

BY AZIZA BARNES

DIRECTED BY ROBERT O’HARA

PREVIEWS BEGIN APRIL 20, 2019
OPENING NIGHT SET FOR MAY 9, 2019

MCC Theater (Bob LuPone, Bernie Telsey, Will Cantler, Artistic Directors; Blake West, Executive Director) announced today the complete cast and creative team for the New York Premiere production of BLKS, written by Aziza Barnes, and directed by Robert O’Hara.

The cast will feature Marié Botha, Antoinette Crowe-Legacy, Alfie Fuller, Paige Gilbert, Chris Myers and Coral Peňa. The creative team for BLKS includes scenic design by Clint Ramos, costume design by Dede Ayite, lighting design by Alex Jainchill, sound design by Palmer Hefferan, and casting by Telsey + Company/Adam Caldwell, CSA, William Cantler, CSA, Karyn Casl, CSA. The Production Stage Manager is Brett Anders.

BLKS begins performances on Saturday, April 20th in the Newman Mills Theater at The Robert W. Wilson MCC Theater Space (511 West 52nd Street), with an official opening night set for Thursday, May 9th. Tickets go on sale today. To celebrate its new home on 52nd and 10th, MCC is offering specially-priced $52 tickets for all performances of BLKS. The offer is only valid in person at the box office from 12:00pm noon to 8:30 pm today and tomorrow, March 6th. Additional restrictions may apply. As part of its public engagement programs, MCC offers $30 seats for all performances in the Newman Mills Theater as well as limited $30 accessible seating. These tickets will be available on a first come, first served basis. Audience members needing accessible seats may purchase online using code 30NMT.

When shit goes down, your girls show up. As sharply funny as it is poignant, BLKS introduces us to Octavia, Imani and June-three twenty somethings in New York City hunting for intimacy and purpose in a city that doesn’t seem to care. They drink a lot. They smoke a lot. They try to have sex…a lot. When they need each other the most, the women rally to “resurrect their fly” in a day full of humorous and painful attempts to be heard through the noise that surrounds them. Robert O’Hara (Booty Candy, Mankind) directs. Poet Aziza Barnes makes her playwrighting debut which signifies the arrival of a wholly original voice.

As part of MCC Theater’s “Let’s Talk” series, there will be talkbacks following the April 30th, May 5th, May 15th and May 22nd performances.

The world premiere of BLKS was produced and presented at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Chicago, IL, Anna D. Shapiro, Artistic Director and David Schmitz, Executive Director.

BLKS was developed at the Ojai Playwrights Conference; Robert Egan, Artistic Director/Producer.



BIOGRAPHIES

MARIÉ BOTHA (That Bitch on the Couch) recently graduated from the Yale School of Drama, where she was seen in Mies Julie, Slave Play, Titus Andronicus, Sweat, Blood Wedding and New Domestic Architecture. Originally from South Africa, she had a recurring role on the television drama “Erfsondes”. Other credits include: Circling the Drain and Slouch (Yale Cabaret); Alice in Wonderland, Antarctica! Which is to say Nowhere (Yale Summer Cabaret); Cate in Sarah Kane's Blasted (DUO Theater); Grace in Lars Von Trier’s Dogville(Tisch School of the Arts) and Elizabeth I in Mary Stuart (The Meisner Studio, NYU) both directed by Robert O'Hara. Marié is thrilled to make her MCC debut. Thanks to the fam, the team and the man of my heart.

ANTOINETTE CROWE-LEGACY (June) MCC debut. Antoinette graduated in 2018 from Yale School of Drama, where she played in shows such as The Three Sisters, Seven Guitars, and Our Lady of 121st Street. Born and raised in Texas, she attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas where she played in The Colored Museum, The Women, and more. TV: “Godfather of Harlem” premiering in 2019 on Epix. Off-Broadway Credits: If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must Be a Muhfucka (Playwrights Horizons).

ALFIE FULLER (Imani) Is God Is (Soho Rep. Obie winner, Drama League nom), Artney Jackson (Williamstown), Dangerous House (Williamstown. Berkshires Best Actress nom), Red Card Yellow Card (New Ohio), Antony & Cleopatra (Am. Theatre of Actors). She has also worked with numerous theatre companies including Playwrights Horizons, Long Wharf, Labyrinth, The Vineyard, The Alliance, Playwrights Realm and Arena Stage. Film/TV: Standing8 (Urban Film Festival winner), Simoune, We Don’t Know What We’re Doing. New School for Drama MFA, Hampton University BA. @TheAlfieShow



PAIGE GILBERT (Octavia) After recently reprising the role of Gifty in the Drama Desk Award winning School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play, Paige is thrilled to be returning to MCC Theater and to be part of the inaugural season here at their new home. Paige is grateful to Aziza for creating a body of work that provides an important platform for LGBTQ people of color, enabling Paige to continue the work she has begun as a core member of the STUDIO, where marginalized actors are emboldened and nurtured into stage, television and film careers. Paige’s most recent credits include Late Night with Emma Thompson and Mindy Kaling and ADAM, both Official Selections of 2019 Sundance International Film Festival, HBO series “The Deuce” and “High Maintenance.” Much love to everyone at Telsey, MCC, Jenevieve, Brad and the STUDIO family.



CHRIS MYERS (Justin) Selected Theatre: Henry IV pts 1 & 2 (with Tom Hanks), An Octoroon (Soho Rep; Obie Award for Acting), Julius Caesar (The Public/Shakespeare in the Park), Whorl Inside A Loop (Second Stage Theater), The Winter's Tale (The Public), On The Grounds of Belonging (The Public), Little Children Dream of God (Roundabout Underground), War (Lincoln Center/LCT3), Brownsville Song (Lincoln Center/LCT3), Fences (McCarter/Long Wharf; Dir - Phylica Rashad), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Shakespeare Theater DC). TV: "The Resident" (FOX), "Sneaky Pete (Amazon)," "She's Gotta Have It (Netflix - Dir: Spike Lee)," "The Break with Michelle Wolf (Netflix)," "The Good Fight (CBS)," "The Breaks (VH1)." Chris has also written and produced two short films, "Post-Emma" and "The Interruption" along with a half hour comedy about gentrification called "GUAP." His work and more can be found at chrismyersinc.com. Instagram/Twitter: @chrismyersinc.



CORAL PEÑA (Ry) originates from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and was raised in Harlem, New York. She has studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and is a proud graduate of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. Recent projects include: Steven Spielberg's The Post and FOX's "24: Legacy". She can be seen most recently in NBC's new drama "The Enemy Within" starring Morris Chestnut and Jennifer Carpenter. She is excited to be making her Off-Broadway debut. She wants to thank her agents at Innovative Artists and her amazing family for all their continuous love and support.

AZIZA BARNES (Playwright) Aziza is blk & alive. Aziza’s professional playwriting debut BLKS premiered in December 2017 at Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Winner of the 2015 Pamet River Prize, Aziza’s first full length collection i be but i ain’t is from YesYes Books 2016. Aziza is a Cave Canem Fellow, co-founder of The Conversation Literary Festival, and co-host of the podcast The Poetry Gods. Graduate of New York University and participant in the 2016 Ojai Playwrights Conference.

ROBERT O’HARA (Director) has received the NAACP Best Director Award, the Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding New Play, two Obies and the Oppenheimer Award. He directed the world premieres of Nikkole Salter and Dania Guiria’s In the Continuum, Tarell McCraney’s The Brother/ Sister Plays (Part 2), Colman Domingo’s Wild with Happy, Kirsten Childs’ Bella: An American Tall Tale, as well as his own plays, Mankind, Bootycandy and Insurrection: Holding History. His recent plays Zombie: The American and Barbecue world premiered at Woolly Mammoth Theater and New York Shakespeare Festival, respectively. His recent directing projects include, Kirsten Child’s Bubbly Black Girl at City Center/Encores Off Center, the Universes’ Uni/Son, inspired by the poetry of August Wilson at Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Shakespeare’s Macbeth at Denver Center for the Performing Arts. He holds a Directing MFA from Columbia University.



ABOUT MCC THEATER

MCC is one of New York’s leading nonprofit Off-Broadway companies, driven by a mission to provoke conversations that have never happened and otherwise never would. Founded in 1986 as a collective of artists leading peer-based classes to support their own development as actors, writers and directors, the tenets of collaboration, education, and community are at the core of MCC Theater’s programming. One of the only theaters in the country led continuously by its founders, Artistic Directors Robert LuPone, Bernard Telsey, and William Cantler, MCC fulfills its mission through the production of world, American, and New York premiere plays and musicals that challenge artists and audiences to confront contemporary personal and social issues, and robust playwright development and education initiatives that foster the next generation of theater artists and students.



MCC Theater’s celebrated productions include Jocelyn Bioh’s School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play; Penelope Skinner’s The Village Bike; Robert Askins’ Hand to God (Broadway transfer; five 2015 Tony Award® nominations including Best Play); John Pollono’s Small Engine Repair; Paul Downs Colaizzo’s Really Really; Sharr White’s The Other Place (Broadway transfer); Jeff Talbott’s The Submission (Laurents/Hatcher Award); Neil LaBute’s Reasons to Be Happy, reasons to be pretty (Broadway transfer, three 2009 Tony Award® nominations, including Best Play), Some Girl(s), Fat Pig, The Mercy Seat, and All The Ways To Say I Love You; Michael Weller’s Fifty Words; Alexi Kaye Campbell’s The Pride; Bryony Lavery’s Frozen (Broadway transfer; four 2004 Tony Award® nominations including Best Play, Tony Award® for Best Featured Actor); Tim Blake Nelson’s The Grey Zone; Rebecca Gilman’s The Glory of Living (2002 Pulitzer Prize finalist); Margaret Edson’s Wit (1999 Pulitzer Prize); and the musicals Coraline, Carrie, and Ride the Cyclone. Many plays developed and produced by MCC have gone on to productions throughout the country and around the world.



Blake West joined the company in 2006 as Executive Director. MCC opened the doors to its new home in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood, The Robert W. Wilson MCC Theater Space, in January 2019, unifying the company’s activities under one roof for the first time and expanding its producing, artist development, and education programming.
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