On May 2, the American Theatre Critics Association bestowed its Betty Osborn Award for an emerging playwright on Keith Glover's Thunder Knocking On The Door. Only four days later, May 6, CT's Yale Repertory Theatre officially opens its production of the musical drama, which runs through May 24.
Glover's play takes place in 1966 and concerns the family of a great but undiscovered bluesman who dies from black lung disease. With his family in financial and emotional need, in steps Marvell Thunder, a guitar wielding stranger who may be their salvation -- or ruination.
Starring in Thunder at Yale Rep are Kim Brockington, Jerry Dixon, Sheyvonne Wright, Ron Cephas Jones and Cedric Turner. Directing the piece will be Hartford Stage veteran Reggie Mongomery; Hope Clarke will choreograph. Designing the show are Charles McClennahan (sets), Jess Goldstein (costumes), Donald Holder (lighting), and Jane Shaw (sound). Elizabeth Bennett serves as dramaturg.
Adding music to the mix will be Keb' Mo' (aka Kevin Moore), a contemporary blues artist; and music director Steve Bargonetti.
Glover's other works include Dancing On Moonlight (NY Shakespeare Festival, 1995), Coming Of The Hurricane, and In Walks Ed. Also an actor, Glover appeared in Baltimore Center Stage's Two Trains Running. According to an interview with Simon Saltzman in This Month ON STAGE magazine (Nov. 1996), Glover discovered theatre when his mother took him to see For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When The Rainbow Is Enuf. An athletic high school student, in 1981 Glover wrote a play about football that came to the attention of New York's Young Playwrights Festival, where he was especially encouraged by mentor Ruth Goetz (The Heiress).
For tickets ($25-$30) and information on Thunder Knocking On The Door at Yale Rep, May 1-24, call (203) 432-1234.
--By David Lefkowitz