DC-Area Premiere of Stick Fly, Directed by Kenny Leon, Opens Jan. 7

News   DC-Area Premiere of Stick Fly, Directed by Kenny Leon, Opens Jan. 7
 
Director Kenny Leon, who was just announced to direct the new Broadway production of Fences, sees his production of Lydia R. Diamond's family comedy-drama Stick Fly open Jan. 7 at Arena Stage's temporary home in Crystal City, in Arlington, VA.

Stick Fly, which began previews Jan. 1, follows the affluent LeVay family, who come together to spend a summer weekend at their family's Martha's Vineyard home. The youngest son, Kent LeVay, brings his fiancée Taylor to the cottage to meet the family. Unaccustomed to the surrounding wealth and life of privilege, Taylor, challenges the household dynamic.

According to Arena notes, "The family ties rapidly unravel when Kent's womanizing older brother surprises everyone with his new, white girlfriend. Conflict and dysfunction ensue as the family attempts to coexist amid the new tensions and secrets they have each been concealing."

The play "explores the role of race and privilege in the African-American social aristocracy."

Director Leon directed the 2004 Tony Award-winning Broadway revival of A Raisin in the Sun. Playwright Diamond's plays include The Bluest Eye and The Gift Horse.

Stick Fly is produced in collaboration with the Huntington Theatre Company and continues to Feb. 7. Wendell W. Wright (Looking Over the President's Shoulder at Ford's Theatre and Black No More at Arena Stage) returns to Arena Stage as Joe LeVay, patriarch of the family. He is joined by Billy Eugene Jones (Broadway's Passing Strange and Radio Golf) as Flip, Jason Dirden (Off-Broadway's First Fall Breeze at Signature Theatre Company and August Wilson's 20th century at the Kennedy Center) as Kent, Nikkole Salter (co-author, performer and Helen Hayes Award winner of In the Continuum) as Taylor and Rosie Benton (Broadway's Les Liaisons Dangereuses and Accent on Youth) as Kimber. Amber Iman (The Amen Corner at Alliance Theatre and The Samson Musical at New Horizons Theatre) completes the ensemble as Cheryl, the housekeeper's daughter and close family friend.

Stick Fly premiered at Congo Square Theatre Company in Chicago in 2006. In 2008 it was performed at the Contemporary American Theatre Festival. Stick Fly is the recipient of the 2006 Black Theatre Alliance Award for Best New Play and was a nominee for the 2006 Joseph Jefferson Award for Best New Work and a 2008 Susan Blackburn Prize finalist. The Matrix Theatre Company's 2009 production of Stick Fly is currently nominated for five 2009 Ovation Awards.

The creative team for Stick Fly includes set designer David Gallo, costume designer Reggie Ray, lighting designer Allen Lee Hughes, sound designer Timothy Thompson, dramaturg Janine Sobeck and stage manager Angelita Thomas.

For tickets and information, call (202) 488-3300 or visit www.arenastage.org.

(clockwise from bottom left) Amber Iman, Rosie Benton, Billy Eugene Jones, Jason Dirden, Nikkole Salter and (center) Wendell W. Wright
(clockwise from bottom left) Amber Iman, Rosie Benton, Billy Eugene Jones, Jason Dirden, Nikkole Salter and (center) Wendell W. Wright Photo by Scott Suchman
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