Antoinette Chinonye Nwandu’s PASS OVER To Reopen Broadway's August Wilson Theatre
Last Edit: Official_Press_Release 08:25 pm EDT 05/04/21
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 08:22 pm EDT 05/04/21


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Directed by DANYA TAYMOR


"Searing, daring, blazingly theatrical and thrillingly tense."
Jesse Green, The New York Times

(May 4, 2021 – New York, NY) The Lincoln Center Theater/LCT3 production of Antoinette Chinonye Nwandu's acclaimed, award-winning play PASS OVER, directed by Obie Award winner Danya Taymor ("Daddy", Heroes of the Fourth Turning) will reopen Broadway's August Wilson Theatre (245 W 52nd Street, New York, NY) for a limited engagement, with exact dates to be announced shortly. This will mark the Broadway debut of both Nwandu and Taymor. PASS OVER will be produced on Broadway by Matt Ross, Jujamcyn Theaters, Lincoln Center Theater, Concord Theatricals, Renee Montgomery, Blair Underwood, Madeleine Foster Bersin and Antoinette Chinonye Nwandu.

Playwright and producer Antoinette Chinonye Nwandu said "In the summer of 2017, soon after our nation had elected Donald Trump as president, my creative team and I opened a production of Pass Over that shocked the conscience of our audiences. It premiered in Chicago at Steppenwolf and was captured by Spike Lee for Amazon Prime.

"In the summer of 2018, wanting to prick the conscience of liberal Americans who remain tentative in their condemnation of violence against Black people, I changed the ending of the play, and my team and I opened Pass Over at LCT3 in New York. That version of the play was then produced throughout the United States, as well as in Canada, London, and South Africa.

"And now, as my team and I prepare to produce this play again, I've asked myself: when the state-sanctioned murder of Black people in the United States remains visible and routine, and the world continues to reckon with the loss, trauma, and alienation caused by the global pandemic, how do I meet this moment?

"Though much about Pass Over remains a lament over the lives of Black people stolen too soon, I am happy to confirm that my team and I, along with our producers, are presenting a new version that centers the health, hope and joy of our audiences, especially Black people. We are re-uniting to envision this play again, to tell a version of the story on Broadway where Moses & Kitch both survive their encounter with white oppression."

PASS OVER is Antoinette Chinonye Nwandu's "masterful" (Afira Akbar, The Guardian) new play, drawing inspiration from Waiting for Godot and the Exodus story, placed on a city street corner. Moses and Kitch stand around – talking shit, passing the time, and hoping that maybe today will be different. As they dream of their promised land, a stranger wanders into their space and disrupts their plans. Evoking heartbreak, hope, and joy over its 85 minutes, PASS OVER crafts everyday profanities into poetic and humorous riffs, illuminating the unquestionable human spirit of young men looking for a way out. Casting for the Broadway engagement will be announced in the coming weeks.

"As August Wilson did almost 4 decades ago, Antoinette Chinonye Nwandu is leading us towards the Broadway of our best imagination," said Jujamcyn Theaters president Jordan Roth. "Her brilliant vision, her unwavering voice, her galvanizing spirit show us the way forward, and all of us at Jujamcyn are so grateful that Antoinette and her exquisite play Pass Over are coming home to the August Wilson Theatre."

The Lincoln Center Theater/LCT3 (Andre Bishop, Producing Artistic Director/Evan Cabnet, Artistic Director LCT3) New York premiere of PASS OVER opened at the Claire Tow Theater where, where it had an acclaimed, sold-out, and extended run and received the 2019 Lortel Award for Outstanding Play. The world premiere was produced and presented at Steppenwolf Theatre Company (Anna D. Shapiro, Artistic Director and David Schmitz, Managing Director). A filmed version of Taymor's Jeff Award-winning Steppenwolf production, directed by Spike Lee, premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and at SXSW.

The production reunites the full design team from the Lincoln Center Theater/LCT3 production, with set design by Wilson Chin (Cost of Living, Wild Goose Dreams), costume design by Sarafina Bush (Plot Points in Our Sexual Development, Heroes of the Fourth Turning), lighting design by Marcus Doshi (Linda Vista) and sound design by Obie and Grammy Award winner Justin Ellington (Pipeline, Heroes of the Fourth Turning). Casting is by Daniel Swee.

Jujamcyn Theaters and the producers are deeply committed to the health and safety of our audiences, performers, and staff. Among many enhancements, Jujamcyn has now upgraded all of its auditorium ventilation systems with MERV 13 filters, created a contactless experience for guests at the box office, entering the theatre and in bathrooms, and established rigorous cleaning and sanitation protocols. Based on CDC and New York state guidelines at the time of performance, protocols may include contact tracing survey, vaccination or negative test verification, limitations on belongings in the theatre, proper mask usage, assigned entry times, contactless temperature check, social distancing, and more. Specific health & safety protocols are subject to change but will be clearly communicated to ticket holders in advance of their performance. Ticket holders who do not comply with venue protocols will not be admitted.

Lincoln Center Theater Members ticket-buying options and details regarding LincTix are forthcoming.

To sign up to receive more information on PASS OVER, visit www.passoverbroadway.com.

Additional praise for PASS OVER:

"A powerfully imaginative drama...there's no denying that the work packs a powerful punch, one that's fully realized in this production, superbly staged by Danya Taymor." – Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter

"An intimate political play that grapples with epic themes and is likely to leave you shaken." - Raven Snook, Time Out New York
"Antoinette Nwandu's Pass Over — a provocative, inflammatory, exquisitely written work — is a new masterpiece of modern drama." Pete Hempstead, TheaterMania

"The most viscerally unsettling and provocative play I have ever seen on stage...Ms. Nwandu's text bristles, snaps, and pops...giving voice to these black men, ensuring we see and hear them. It's powerful and potent stuff." – Rob Russo, Stage Left


INSTAGRAM: @PassOverBway
TWITTER: @PassOverBway
FACEBOOK: @Pass Over on Broadway

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ANTOINETTE CHINONYE NWANDU (Playwright/Producer) is a New York-based writer for stage, film, and television. Her play Pass Over made its New York debut at LCT3/Lincoln Center in 2018. A filmed version of the Jeff Award-winning Steppenwolf production—directed by Spike Lee— premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and at SXSW and is currently streaming on Amazon Prime. Victory Gardens produced the World Premiere of her play Breach: a manifesto on race in america through the eyes of a black girl recovering from self-hate in February of 2018. Antoinette is a MacDowell Fellow, a Dramatists Guild Fellow, an Ars Nova Play Group alum, and a Eugene O'Neill Playwrights Conference Literary Fellow. Honors include a Lilly Award (2020); a Lucille Lortel Award (2019); the Whiting Award (2018); the Paula Vogel Playwriting Award (2017); the Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award (2008); the Negro Ensemble Company's Douglas Turner Ward Prize (2008), and spots on the 2016 and 2017 Kilroys lists. Her work has been supported by the Sundance Theater Lab, Space on Ryder Farm, Ignition Fest, the Cherry Lane Mentor Project, the Kennedy Center, Page73, PlayPenn, Southern Rep, The Flea, Naked Angels, Fire This Time and The Movement Theater Company. Antoinette has a bachelor's degree in English, magna cum laude, from Harvard College; an MSc from The University of Edinburgh; and an MFA from NYU Tisch. Antoinette is a writer on the second season of Spike Lee's She's Gotta Have It for Netflix, and will premiere her play Tuvalu, or The Saddest Song at the Vineyard Theater in New York City once the theater is allowed to re-open.

DANYA TAYMOR (Director) is an Obie Award-winning New York-based director, writer, and translator. Recent direction includes Will Arbery's Heroes of the Fourth Turning (Playwrights Horizons, Pulitzer Prize Finalist, Lortel Award for Outstanding Play), Jeremy O. Harris's "Daddy" (Almeida London, New Group/Vineyard), Khat Knotahaiku's Graveyard Shift (Goodman Theatre), Antoinette Nwandu's Pass Over (Lincoln Center Theater & Steppenwolf, Lortel Award for Outstanding Play), Danai Gurira's Familiar (Steppenwolf), Martyna Majok's queens (Lincoln Center Theater), Justin Kuritzkes's The Sensuality Party (The New Group), Susan Soon-He Stanton's Cygnus (WP Theater), Brian Watkins's Wyoming (Lesser America) and My Daughter Keeps Our Hammer (The Flea), and Sarah Gancher's The Place We Built (The Flea). Translations include Alejandro Ricaño's We Are Getting Better at Saying Goodbye, Luis Enrique Guitierrez Ortiz Monasterio's I Hate Fucking Mexicans, and Ettore Scola's Working on a Special Day. Her production of Antoinette Nwandu's Pass Over was filmed in collaboration with Spike Lee and premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video. Awards and fellowships include the Cullman Award for Extraordinary Creativity from Lincoln Center, SDCF's Joe A. Callaway Award, Time Warner Directing Fellowship at WP Theater, 2050 Fellowship at New York Theatre Workshop, Van Lier Directing Fellowship, Gates Foundation Grant, Rough Draft Residency at the Drama League, and the Lincoln Center Directors Lab. She has taught theater in Ecuador and Slovakia. BA: Duke University.

WILSON CHIN's (Set Design) designs include the Pulitzer Prize-winning Cost of Living (Manhattan Theatre Club), Next Fall (Broadway), Pass Over (Steppenwolf/LCT3, Lortel Award nominee), The Thanksgiving Play (Playwrights Horizons), Wild Goose Dreams (Public Theater/La Jolla Playhouse), Teenage Dick (Ma-Yi Theater/Public Theater). Opera: Lucia di Lammermoor (Lyric Opera of Chicago), Eine Florentinische Tragodie/Gianni Schicchi (Canadian Opera, Dora Award). Film/TV: Pass Over (directed by Spike Lee), "Blindspot" (NBC). IG: @wilsonchindesign.

SARAFINA BUSH (Costume Design). Off-Broadway: Heroes of the Fourth Turning (Obie Award: Playwrights Horizons); Broadway Bounty Hunter (Greenwich House); Plot Points, Pass Over (LCT3). Regional: Slow Food (Geva Theatre); Cry It Out and The Royale (Kitchen Theatre Company); Not Medea and Grace, or The Art of Climbing (Art House Productions); The White Dress (Araca Project); One Flea Spare (Playhouse Creatures); This Time (Rising Circle); Good Men Wanted (Arena Stage); Couriers and Contrabands (Barrow Group); Why You Beasting? (New York Rep). Associate and assistant costume design credits on and off Broadway. Education: BA, Adelphi University.

MARCUS DOSHI (Lighting Design) designs lighting and sets for theater, opera, and dance, and collaborates with artists and architects on a variety of non-performance-based work. His work has been seen extensively in New York (Broadway and many off-Broadway theatres, including a longstanding collaboration with Theatre for a New Audience), in Chicago (Steppenwolf, The Goodman, Lyric Opera, others), at most major regional theatres and opera companies, and internationally in 18 countries across five continents, notably at La Comédie Française, Dutch National Opera, La Monnaie, Sydney Festival, and National Arts Centre Mumbai. He is Associate Chair of Department of Theatre at Northwestern University, where he teaches design. marcusdoshi.com

JUSTIN ELLINGTON (Sound Design) is an award-winning composer and sound designer whose work has been featured on stages nationally and internationally on Broadway and off. Ellington has received OBIE Awards, an Audelco Award, and is the proud recipient of a Henry Hewes Design Award for his work in the theater. Credits include Other Desert Cities. Off-Broadway credits include Heroes of the Fourth Turning (Playwrights Horizons); The Rolling Stone, Pass Over, Pipeline (Lincoln Center); Mrs. Murray's Menagerie (ArsNova); The House That Will Not Stand, Fetch Clay Make Man (New York Theatre Workshop); He Brought Her Heart Back in a Box, The Winter's Tale (Theatre for a New Audience). Additional theaters include Steppenwolf, Goodman Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Alliance Theater, Guthrie Theater, The Stratford Festival (Canada), The Royal Shakespeare Company (UK), and The Old Vic (UK). Mr. Ellington has also been recognized by The American Society of Composers and Publishers along with The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences for his composition work in the recording industry. He has also received a Cinema in Industry Award for his soundtrack to the MOVE ACT FREE exhibit in the National Museum for Human and Civil Rights (Atlanta, Georgia).

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