Jacobs-Jenkins Neighbors Will Move to Los Angeles in August; Casting Announced

News   Jacobs-Jenkins Neighbors Will Move to Los Angeles in August; Casting Announced Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' explosive play Neighbors, which examines the issues of race relations between an African American man living the "American Dream" and the new family next door, will receive its West Coast premiere beginning Aug. 19 at the Matrix Theatre in Los Angeles.

Cast member Baadja-Lyne
Cast member Baadja-Lyne

Neighbors made a highly publicized debut as part of the Public Theater/Labyrinth Theater's Public/LAB this past winter. Jacobs-Jenkins workshopped the play, which incorporates minstrelsy and brazen stereotypes, at the Matrix prior to its New York debut.

Nataki Garrett will direct the Los Angels run that will officially open Aug. 28 and run through Oct. 24.

"Branden is a part of a growing group of New York-based writers of color who have started a previously taboo conversation about identity politics in America," Garrett said in a statement. "In the play, Richard has cut himself off from major aspects of his identity. The family who moves in next door embodies his worst nightmare. They represent everything he's tried to deny in himself."

The cast will feature Baadja-Lyne, Keith Arthur Bolden, Leith Burke, Julia Campbell, James Edward Shippy, Rachae Thomas, Daniele Watts and Derek Webster.

Here's how the Matrix describes the play: "Have you seen the new neighbors? Richard Patterson is an upwardly mobile African-American academic. The family of black actors who has moved in next door is rowdy, tacky, shameless, and uncouth. They are not just invading his neighborhood - they're infiltrating his family, his sanity, and his entire post-racial lifestyle." Designing Neighbors will be John Iacovelli (set design), J. Kent Inasy (lighting design), Naila Aladdin Sanders (costume design) and John Zalewski (sound design).

Jacobs-Jenkins is a member of the Public Theater's Emerging Writers Group. His plays also include Appropriate and The Change. He most recently workshopped The Octoroon: An Adaptation Of The Octoroon Based On The Octoroon at Performance Space 122 in New York this summer.

For tickets phone (323) 960-7774 or visit Plays411.com. The Matrix Theatre is located at 7657 Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles.

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