Childress' Trouble in Mind, About a Broadway-Bound Company, Gets Yale Rep Staging

News   Childress' Trouble in Mind, About a Broadway-Bound Company, Gets Yale Rep Staging Casting is complete for the upcoming Yale Repertory Theatre staging of Alice Childress' Trouble in Mind.

Irene Lewis — who staged the work earlier this year at Baltimore's Center Stage, where she serves as artistic director — will direct the New Haven run. Performances begin Oct. 26, and the show will officially open Nov. 1 for a run through Nov. 17.

The cast will include E. Faye Butler (Nunsense, Saving Aimee) in the lead role of Wiletta Mayer opposite Thomas Jefferson Byrd (Tony Award nominee for Ma Rainey's Black Bottom), Starla Benford (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof), Don Guillory, Kevin O'Rourke, Natalia Payne, Daren Kelly, Garrett Neergaard and Laurence O'Dwyer.

Trouble in Mind centers on "Wiletta Mayer, an African American actress of a certain age, [who] has spent her career playing stereotypes, trapped on a merry-go round of mammies, maids, and other menials," according to press materials. "The curtain rises on the first day of rehearsal for Chaos in Belleville, a Broadway-bound play that tackles the harsh truths of racism in America. But when those truths spill out of the play and into the rehearsal hall, will Wiletta's insistence on her dignity cost her the work she desperately needs?"

The work was Broadway-bound following an Off-Broadway run in 1955, but when Childress refused to change the ending for the producers, the transfer was canceled. Childress is also known for her children's novel, "A Hero Ain’t Nothin' But a Sandwich." 

The design team for Trouble in Mind features Michael Locher (set), Paul Carey (costumes), Melissa Mizell (lighting) and David Budries (sound). Richard II, starring Jeffrey Carlson, currently plays Yale Rep through Oct. 13. The new season continues with Jean-Baptiste Poquelin Molière's Tartuffe (Nov. 26-Dec. 22), the world premiere of David Adjmi's The Evildoers (Jan. 18-Feb. 9, 2008), Oscar Wilde's A Woman of No Importance (March 21-April 12, 2008) and a sixth play to announced (April 25-May 16, 2008).

Tickets to Trouble in Mind at Yale Rep, 1120 Chapel Street (at York Street) in New Haven, CT, are available by calling (203) 432-1234. For more information visit yalerep.org.

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