Surface Transit will not surface. The American Place Theatre has canceled writer-actress Sarah Jones' engagement, which was to begin performances Nov. 8. APT's artistic director Wynn Handman was set to direct the piece, which would have opened Nov. 17 and run until Jan. 2, 2000.
In a released statement, American Place Theatre general manager Carl H. Jaynes cited contract negotiations as the culprit for the cancellation. "We were unable to resolve contract differences between both parties and felt it was in the best interest of the production to cancel the show," he said. A replacement has yet to be announced. For refunds, contact Telecharge at (212) 239-6200.
Transit features slices of the lives of eight ordinary people riding a New York City bus. Old and young, poor and rich, male and female, they're all either victims of hate or the victimizers. Jones performs the characters including Miss Lady, an elderly street person, Joe, a racist Italian-American cop, and Rashid, a recovering addict.
Jones, born into a mixed marriage in Baltimore but raised in Queens, is a 25 year old "zebra" as she calls herself. Other projects have included fine-tuning The Capeman, the poetry piece "Blood" and tracks on the hip hop albums, "Eargasms" and "Lyricist Lounge Vol. 1." A 1997 Nuyorican Grand Slam winner, Jones already presented her Surface Transit: More Sketches of Ordinary People Aug. 26 for an invited audience at the American Place Theatre. She also brought the show to the Roger Smith Gallery in New York City on Oct. 13. -- By David Lefkowitz & Christine Ehren