Opening night for Philly's InterAct Theatre Company will be Jan. 30. This will be "the first of three productions as part of the National New Play Network's Continued Life of New Plays Fund, through which the play will be produced in two subsequent 'rolling' world premiere productions" — at Phoenix Theatre in Indianapolis and PROP Thtr Group in Chicago.
Written and directed by Philadelphia playwright (and InterAct producing artistic director) Rozin, the play won the 2007 Smith Prize, given by the National New Play Network. According to InterAct, "Black Gold is a funny, futuristic satire of race, class and greed in a country so dependent on foreign oil that it will go to any lengths to keep the cheap crude flowing."
The play is "written in a unique theatrical style, wherein six actors play over 100 characters creating an epic tale that chronicles actions all around the globe." It's billed as "a hilarious, fast-paced, vaudevillian take on what happens when Curtis Walker, a man living in Detroit's inner-city, tries to find a sure-fire way to earn the cash he needs to send his only son to college. His answer? He purchases an oil rig on eBay, drills in his back yard, taps into one of America's largest oil reserves, and turns world politics on its head."
Rozin stated, "The idea for Black Gold came to me in the wake of hurricane Katrina, when the federal government's response to the situation seemed to me to be appallingly slow and inept. I wondered how the same government might respond if, instead of being devastated by a natural disaster, the same region was discovered to be sitting on an untapped reservoir of riches. …Then, of course, the question is 'will this underserved community be able to reap the rewards from this discovery?'"
The cast includes Clark Jackson (Actor 1), Delanté G. Keys (Actor 2), Kaci M. Fannin (Actor 3), Sean Christopher Lewis (Actor 4), Maureen Torsney-Weir (Actor 5) and Tim Moyer (Actor 6). The creative team includes set designer Marka Suber, costume designer Karen Ledger, lighting designer Peter Whinnery, properties designer Richard Murray, sound designer Nick Rye, assistant director and dramaturg Peter Bonilla, technical director Andy Campbell and stage manager Michele Traub.
Opening night is Jan. 30. Performances play the Mainstage of The Adrienne, 2030 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA.
For more information, visit www.InterActTheatre.org
NNPN's Smith Prize is an annual award presented to the best new play focusing on American politics. Smith Prize winners are selected "for their excellence in writing and their success in examining America's civic and democratic institutions, illuminating issues that are best dealt with on a national or global level, and responding to the questions: Who are Americans as a people? What are we becoming? What are our global responsibilities?"
NNPN's Continued Life of New Plays Fund is a cooperative venture designed to insure that new plays will see future productions beyond the initial world premiere. Partnerships of three theatres receive funds in support of multiple productions of the same new play. Each theatre produces its own independent "rolling world premiere" production, which guarantees an opportunity for the play to grow and flourish through contact with a wider national audience.
As part of the program, InterAct's premiere of Black Gold will be followed by productions at Phoenix Theatre (Indianapolis, IN), April 10-May 4, and PROP Thtr Group (Chicago, IL), June/July 2008.
Founded in 1998 with InterAct as one of its original members, NNPN is an alliance of 20 not-for-profit professional theatres across the United States that champions the development, production and continued life of new plays for the American theatre. For more information about the National New Play Network visit www.nnpn.org.