"Weeds" Star Tonye Patano Will Help Sew The Blood Quilt By Mountaintop Writer Katori Hall

News   "Weeds" Star Tonye Patano Will Help Sew The Blood Quilt By Mountaintop Writer Katori Hall Katori Hall's The Blood Quilt, about four sisters exploring their history and heritage, which received its first reading at the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., will be presented in April at Arena's Kreeger Theater.

Directed by Kamilah Forbes, the comedy-drama will begin performances April 24 and continue through June 7.

The Jernigan sisters will be played by Tonye Patano ("Weeds," Father Comes Home From The Wars) as Clementine, the eldest sister; Caroline Clay (Doubt, The Royal Family) as Gio, the second sister; Nikiya Mathis (By The Way, Meet Vera Stark) as Cassan, the third sister; and Meeya Davis (Twelfth Night, House for Sale) as Amber, the youngest sister. Afi Bijou (Holler If Ya Hear Me, Fela!) will play Cassan's teenage daughter Zambia.

"Gathering at their childhood island home off the coast of Georgia, four disconnected sisters meet to create a family quilt to honor their recently deceased mother," press notes state. "When their reunion turns into a reading of their mother's will, everyone must grapple with a troubling inheritance. Stitched with history and ritual, laughter and tears, will their 'blood quilt' bind the family together or tear them apart forever?"

"In this moment in time, baby boomers are experiencing the slow dance of death in the older generation as well as the shock of the unexpected death of a parent," artistic director Molly Smith said in a statement. "Katori's story of four complex sisters delves into this issue and all its implications fearlessly and beautifully. This is a very personal play — personal for Arena as well, as the very first reading was held here and now we have the distinct pleasure to produce its world premiere."

"I'm honored that The Blood Quilt is premiering at Arena Stage as part of the 65th anniversary season," Hall added. "Writing the play was a transformative experience for me, driving me to learn about the rich, cultural heritage of African-American quilters that extends even throughout my own family. I love each and every one of the Jernigan sisters as if they were my own, and I'm excited to share this new piece with D.C.-area audiences." Hall's plays include the Olivier Award-winning The Mountaintop, Hurt Village, Children of Killers, Hoodoo Love, Saturday Night/Sunday Morning, WHADDABLOODCLOT!!!, Our Lady of Kibeho and Pussy Valley. She is an inaugural resident playwright through Arena Stage's American Voices New Play Institute. The Blood Quilt is one of three plays from Hall receiving world premieres around the country this season.

The creative team includes set designer Michael Carnahan, costume designer Dede Ayite, lighting designer Michael Gilliam, sound designer Timothy M. Thompson, composer and vocal consultant Toshi Reagon, New York casting director Geoff Josselson, stage manager Kurt Hall and assistant stage manager Kristen Mary Harris.

Tickets and more information are available by by calling (202) 488-3300 or visiting arenastage.org.

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