Performances begin November 1 for the New York premiere of Party People by award-winning ensemble Universes, with development and direction by Tony nominee Liesl Tommy (Eclipsed). The new work, which blends theatre, poetry, jazz, multimedia, hip-hop, and politics, explores the complicated legacies of the Black Panther Party and the Young Lords Org/Party, and is based on dozens of interviews with members.
Universes is made up of Steven Sapp, Mildred Ruiz-Sapp, and William Ruiz a.k.a Ninja. They are joined onstage at The Public by Oberon K.A. Adjepong, Michael Elich, Gizel Jiménez, Ramona Keller, Christopher Livingston, Jesse J. Perez, Sophia Ramos, Robynn Rodriguez, and Horace V. Rogers. The show is scheduled to run through December 4 with an official opening set for November 15.
Here’s how the Public bills the new work: “Party People imagines a present-day reunion at an art opening curated by two young counter culturalists; but the curators themselves have complex relationships with the Party members, who fought injustice and provided free food and medical care for their communities—often at the expense of the people who loved them most. Old wounds and generational divides collide in this astonishing, multi-media theatrical event about the price of being a revolutionary, and what it means for those who come after.“
Scroll through rehearsal photos below:
Photos: Inside Rehearsals for Party People at the Public
The Off-Broadway premiere features scenic and lighting design by Marcus Doshi, costume design by Meg Neville, sound design and vocal direction by Broken Chord, music composition by Universes and Broken Chord, projection design by Sven Ortel, and hair and wig design by Cookie Jordan.
Beginning November 16, talk-backs with the creative team will take place following every performance. There will be an additional talk-back November 10.
Single tickets starting at $60 can be purchased by calling (212) 967-7555, publictheater.org, or in person at the Taub Box Office at The Public Theater, located at 425 Lafayette Street, New York.