TheaterWorks of Hartford will present Samm-Art Williams' play Home, beginning performances Aug. 13 for a run through Sept. 19.
Home traces the history of Cephus Miles, an orphaned black boy who gives up his tiny farm in North Carolina when his sweetheart leaves him for a better life. Cephus then loses his farm for refusing to fight in Vietnam and winds up in prison. When he is released, he travels north to the city, but finds himself caught up in drugs and ends up a derelict on the street. Only a message from North Carolina brings him back from the edge, returning him to the woman he once loved and the land that was his. Home received a Tony nomination for Best Play in 1980 and an Outer Critics' Circle Award.
Williams, currently a successful producer who has worked on "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," "Hangin' With Mr. Cooper," "Martin" and "Vibe," began acting in 1973 with the Negro Ensemble Company, who would first produce his Home. His other playwriting credits include Woman From the Town, Cork, Brass Birds Don't Sing, In My Father's House and Welcome to Black River. According to a TheaterWorks spokesperson, he is also working on a musical version of Home.
Raphael Nash Thompson stars as Miles. Thompson has performed with numerous regional and New York theatres including Actors Theatre of Louisville, Charlotte Repertory Theatre, La Mama, ETC, Lincoln Center Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, TheatreWorks and the York Theatre. Kwana Martinez (Milwaukee Repertory's Blues For an Alabama Sky) as Woman One/Pattie Mae Wells and Nadine Mozon (Crossroad's Crumbs from the Table of Joy) as Woman Two round out the cast.
Tickets ($30-$20) are available by calling the box office at (860) 527 7838. *
The rest of the 1999-2000 season at Hartford's TheaterWorks includes Martin McDonagh's The Beauty Queen of Leenane (Oct. 22-Dec. 5), Terrence McNally's Master Class (Jan. 21-Feb. 27, 2000), David Hare's The Blue Room (March 24-April 30, 2000), a choice of either Kenneth Lonergan's This is Our Youth or Lee MacDougal's High Life (May 26-July 2, 2000) and John Henry Redwood's The Old Settler (Aug. 11-Sept. 17, 2000).
January will also bring the debut of the theatre's new renovations in their space on Pearl Street. With $250,000 in contributions, TheaterWorks hopes to expand from 190 to 220 seats while upgrading the seating accommodations for comfort and view.
-- By Christine Ehren