In Kia Corthron's drama, Seeking The Genesis, C Ana [sic], a single mother battles to raise her children in a big-city housing project. Her 15-year-old son, Justin, earns his stripes in the culture of drugs and guns, but C Ana wants to keep her youngest, Kite, out of that circle. He already has violent tendencies, so a schoolteacher suggests medicating him with Ritalin -- a cure that turns out to be worse than the sociological disease. Seeking The Genesis received its world premiere Oct. 28-Nov. 17 in Chicago as part of the Goodman Studio Series. Now the play is getting a production on the second stage of New York's prestigious Manhattan Theatre Club, opening June 17 and running to July 6. Previews of the drama, staged by Washington DC actress/director Kaia Calhoun, began May 20.
Kia Corthron wrote Seeking The Genesis on commission by the Goodman. Her other plays include Cage Rhythm, Come Down Burning and Wake Up Lou Riser. As recipient of Manhattan Theatre Club's first Van Lier Playwriting Fellowship, Corthron wrote Catnap Allegiance.
Starring in the MTC production of Genesis are Soraya Butler, Aunjanue Ellis (as C Ana), Lindsay E. Finnie, Lloyd Goodman, Kevin Rahsaan Grant, Chris McKinney, Armand Schultz, Donn Swaby and Sharon Washington. Designing the show are Christine Jones (sets), Tom Broeker (costumes), Scott Zielinski (lighting) and Fabion Obispo (sound).
For tickets ($32) and information on Seeking The Genesis call (212) 581-1212.
-- By David Lefkowitz