Penned by Jessica Blank and April Yvette Thompson, Liberty City will begin performances Feb. 15, 2008, and open March 4 for a run through March 16. Blank directs the solo featuring Thompson.
The new work is set in the title town, "a place where people of the African Diaspora have settled; where urban and island cultures rub up against each other, and the site of Miami's infamous 1980 riots," according to show notes. Billed as "part history, part imagination," the work centers on the personal story of its star: "a child of children of the 60's, the daughter of a Bahamian and Cuban father and an African American mother: free thinkers, movement people, and sometimes just plain poor. As the hope of the 60's and 70's gave way to the disintegration of the 80's, April's family struggled to survive and stay together."
Thompson has previously played on stage in the world premieres of Tanya Barfield and Lynn Nottage's The Antigone Project, Kia Corthron's Light Raise the Roof and Zakiyyah Alexander's SICK???. Other credits include The Exonerated, The Rivals, Macbeth, Medea, The Blacks, 365 Plays/365 Days and The Venus De Milo is Armed. The actress has also been seen in film and on television in "Accidental Husband," "Doris & Bernard," "The Exonerated," "Third Watch" and "The Dave Chappelle Show."
Blank co-wrote The Exonerated (with Erik Jensen). An actor, writer and director, her credits also include "The Namesake" "Undermind," "You're Nobody Till Somebody Kills You," "On the Road With Judas," and television's "The Bronx is Burning," "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" and "Rescue Me." She is currently adapting her first novel, "Almost Home," (again with Jensen) for the screen.
The NYTW season began with Rinde Eckert's Horizon and Betty Shamieh's The Black Eyed. Ivo van Hove's staging of The Misanthrope currently plays (through Nov. 11). Forthcoming at the venue are JoAnne Akalaitis directing Mikhail Baryshnikov in short plays by Samuel Beckett and the Elevator Repair Service's staging of The Sound and the Fury. Tickets to Liberty City at New York Theatre Workshop, 79 East Fourth Street (between Second Ave. and Bowery), will go on sale in January through (212) 239-6200. For more information visit the website at nytw.org.