Performances begin March 17 for the New York premiere of Tarell Alvin McCraney's Head of Passes, directed by Tina Landau at the Public Theater. The cast features Tony winner Phylicia Rashad (A Raisin in the Sun), Kyle Beltran (In the Heights) and Francois Battiste (Bronx Bombers).
The new Off-Broadway drama is inspired by the Book of Job and explores family, acceptance and the power of faith. Performances take place in the Public's Newman Theater, with an official press opening March 28.
Rashad, who leads the cast as Shelah, returns to the Public following her 2003 performance in Tracey Scott Wilson's The Story. The cast also features Alana Arenas, J. Bernard Calloway, Robert Joy, John Earl Jelks and Arnetia Walker.
Here's how press notes describe the play, which is a co-production with Berkeley Repertory Theatre: “At the mouth of the Mississippi River, Shelah’s family and friends have come to celebrate her birthday and save her from a leaking roof but unexpected events turn the reunion into the ultimate test of faith and love. As her world seems to collapse around her, Shelah must fight to survive the rising flood of life’s greatest challenges.“
McCraney is a MacArthur "Genius" Award winner whose earlier works Antony and Cleopatra and The Brother/Sister Plays have also been seen at the Public.
Head of Passes features scenic design by G.W. Mercier, costume design by Toni-Leslie James, lighting design by Jeff Croiter, sound design by Rob Milburn and Michael Bodeen and hair and wig design by Robert-Charles Vallance.
Tickets are available by calling (212) 967-7555 or visiting PublicTheater.org. The theatre is located at 425 Lafayette St., Manhattan.