The Signature Theatre revival of Lynn Nottage's By the Way, Meet Vera Stark, directed by Kamilah Forbes, begins January 29 in the Signature Center's Irene Diamond Stage. The play, first seen Off-Broadway in 2011, charts a 70-year journey through the life of an actor whose career begins with a portrayal of a slave in an antebellum epic.
Forbes directs a cast led by Jessica Frances Dukes as Vera. Rounding out the company are Jenni Barber as Gloria, Tony Award nominee Manoel Felciano as Max/Peter, Warner Miller as Leroy/Herb, Carra Patterson as Anna Mae/Afua, Heather Alicia Simmsas Lottie/Carmen, and David Turner as Brad/Slavick.
It’s the Golden Age of Hollywood, and aspiring starlet Vera Stark works as a maid to Gloria Mitchell. Worlds collide when Vera lands a trailblazing role in an antebellum epic starring her boss. While Vera’s portrayal of a slave turns out to be groundbreaking, decades later scholars and film buffs still grapple with her legacy in Hollywood and the impact that race had on her controversial career.
The production runs through March 3 with a February 19 opening night.
The creative team for the Off-Broadway revival is made up of Clint Ramos (scenic design), Dede M. Ayite (costume design), Matt Frey (lighting design), Mikaal Sulaiman (sound design), Katherine Freer (projection design) and Daniel Kluger (composition). The production stage manager is Laura Wilson and casting is by Caparelliotis Casting.
With By the Way, Meet Vera Stark, two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Nottage continues her playwriting residency at the Signature. Previously, the theatre presented Nottage's play Fabulation.