Kerry Butler, Kelly AuCoin, Eisa Davis to Star in Off-Broadway's The Call, About Adoption, Race and Parenthood
By Kenneth Jones
Tanya Barfield's foreign-adoption drama The Call, a world-premiere co-production by Playwrights Horizons and Primary Stages, will feature Kelly AuCoin, Tony Award nominee Kerry Butler, Obie Award winner Eisa Davis, Crystal A. Dickinson and Obie and Screen Actors Guild Award winner Russell G. Jones, March 22-May 19 at PH's Peter Jay Sharp Theater on West 42nd Street.
Directed by two-time Obie Award winner Leigh Silverman (Go Back to Where You Are and Blue Door at PH; Hunting and Gathering at Primary Stages; Golden Child, Chinglish, Well, In the Wake), the production will officially open April 14.
Here's how the Manhattan not-for-profits bill the play: "When Annie (Butler) and Peter (AuCoin) decide to adopt, they come to set their sights on a child from Africa. But when the reality of this choice sinks in, it opens a well of uncertainty that speaks to their very identity as White Americans. Politically-charged and tack-sharp, The Call is a startling portrait of cultural divide, casting global issues into the heart of an American home."
The production will feature scenic design by Rachel Hauck, costume design by Emily Rebholtz, lighting design by Matt Frey and sound design by Jill BC DuBoff. Production stage manager is Vanessa Coakley.
Barfield's plays include Of Equal Measure (Center Theatre Group), Blue Door (Playwrights Horizons, South Coast Repertory, Seattle Repertory, Berkeley Repertory, and additional theaters), Dent, The Quick, The Houdini Act and 121º West. She wrote the book for the Theatreworks/USA children's musical Civil War: The First Black Regiment. She was a recipient of the 2003 Helen Merrill Award for Emerging Playwrights, 2005 Honorable Mention for the Kesselring Prize for Drama, a 2006 Lark Play Development/NYSCA grant and she has been twice been a Finalist for the Princess Grace Award. She has been commissioned by Playwrights Horizons, Center Theatre Group, South Coast Repertory, Primary Stages and Geva Theatre Center. She is a member of New Dramatists and the Dramatists Guild Council.
AuCoin's credits include Primary Stages' Happy Now?; Boy; The Two of Us; Broadway's Julius Caesar; and the national tour of Copenhagen, plus Off-Broadway's Radiance (LAByrinth), Some Men (Second Stage), Jailbait (Cherry Lane), The Fifth Column (Mint Theater), The Ladies of the Corridor (13th Street Playhouse).
Butler starred in Broadway's Gore Vidal's The Best Man, Catch Me If You Can, Rock of Ages, Xanadu (Tony Award nomination), Little Shop of Horrors, Hairspray, Beauty & the Beast and Off-Broadway's Miracle Brothers (Vineyard), Bat Boy (Union Square).
Davis appeared in Playwrights Horizons' This, Broadway's Passing Strange (also at The Public), Off-Broadway's Luck of the Irish (LCT3), June and Jean in Concert (Public, Signature) and Angela's Mix Tape (Obie Award, New Georges).
Dickinson appeared in Clybourne Park (at Playwrights Horizons and on Broadway) and Off-Broadway's Born Bad (Soho Rep), Broke-ology (Lincoln Center), Ruined (MTC), The First Breeze of Summer (Signature).
Jones' Off-Broadway credits include Marie & Bruce (New Group); Ruined (Obie, BTAA and NAACP awards; OCC and Jeff nominations; MTC, Goodman); A View from 151st Street, Our Lady of 121st Street, The Fairy Tale Project (LAByrinth); God, The Crackhouse and the Devil (La Mama); the film "Traffic" (SAG Award/Outstanding Ensemble).
The performance schedule for The Call is Tuesdays through Fridays at 7:30 PM, Saturdays at 2 & 7:30 PM and Sundays at 2 & 7 PM, with additional Wednesday matinee performances on April 24 at 2 PM and May 1 at 2 PM.
Single tickets are $60 with some premium seats available at $72. Visit TicketCentral.com, call (212) 279-4200 (Noon-8 PM daily), or visit the Ticket Central Box Office, 416 West 42nd Street (between Ninth & Tenth Avenues).
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