Abbott-Pratt, Battiste, Calloway and Dunn-Baker Set for The Good Negro at the Public

News   Abbott-Pratt, Battiste, Calloway and Dunn-Baker Set for The Good Negro at the Public Complete casting has been announced for the Public Theater presentation of Tracey Scott Wilson's Civil Rights-era work The Good Negro, which will begin performances March 3.

A co-production with the Dallas Theater Center, The Good Negro premiered in 2008 as part of the inaugural Public LAB developing works series. The play, which reunites many of its original cast members, is the first of the Public LAB works to receive a transfer to a full production at the Public.

Liesl Tommy again directs the drama that officially opens March 16 and runs through April 5 in the Public's LuEsther Hall.

"This is the perfect moment for us to reflect anew on the Civil Rights Movement, and to understand that these seemingly inevitable victories are anything but assured," said Public Theater artistic director Oskar Eustis in a statement. "The heroic men and women who led that struggle seem even larger when we unleash their fragility and fears."

The Good Negro will feature Joniece Abbott-Pratt ("Why Did I Get Married?"), Francois Battiste (Prelude to a Kiss), J. Bernard Calloway ("Rescue Me"), Quincy Dunn-Baker (Romeo and Juliet), Erik Jensen (Spain), LeRoy McClain (Cymbeline), Curtis McClarin (King Hedley II), Rachel Nicks ("Life Support") and Brian Wallace (A Christmas Carol).

The Good Negro, according to press notes, "is a gripping new play that rips through the pages of history to uncover the human story at the heart of the 1960s American Civil Rights movement. In the increasingly hostile South, tensions build as a trio of emerging black leaders attempts to conquer their individual demons amidst death threats from the Klan and wire taps by the FBI. Through personal and intimate stories inspired by the political upheavals of the era, The Good Negro examines the human frailties behind the historic headlines." The production has scenic and costume design by Clint Ramos, lighting design by Lap Chi Chu and sound design by Daniel Baker.

Tracey Scott Wilson's plays include The Story, Exhibit #9, Order My Steps and Leader of the People.

For tickets, priced $60-$70, phone (212) 967-7555 or visit PublicTheater.

The Public Theater is located at 425 Lafayette Street in Manhattan.

Francois Battiste, Joniece Abbott-Pratt, Brian Wallace, Quincy Dunn-Baker in <i>The Good Negro</i>
Francois Battiste, Joniece Abbott-Pratt, Brian Wallace, Quincy Dunn-Baker in The Good Negro Photo by Joan Marcus