Antoinette Chinonye Nwandu's Pass Over Opens on Broadway August 22

Broadway News   Antoinette Chinonye Nwandu's Pass Over Opens on Broadway August 22
Jon Michael Hill, Gabriel Ebert, and Namir Smallwood star at the August Wilson Theatre.
Namir Smallwood and Jon Michael Hillin <i>Pass Over</i>
Jon Michael Hill, Gabriel Ebert, and Namir Smallwood in Pass Over Joan Marcus

Antoinette Chinonye Nwandu’s Pass Over opens August 22 after beginning previews August 4 at the August Wilson Theatre. It's just the second show to hold performances on Broadway since the COVID-19 pandemic kept theatres dark for nearly 15 months. The show was originally slated to open September 12, but producers pushed up the opening.

The entire Off-Broadway cast reunites for the production: Tony nominee Jon Michael Hill, Namir Smallwood, and Tony winner Gabriel Ebert. The staging marks the Broadway debuts of Nwandu, Smallwood, and director Danya Taymor.

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Inspired by both Waiting for Godot and the Exodus saga, Pass Over follows Moses and Kitch, two young Black men who dream of an existence beyond their street corner. After premiering at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company, the play opened Off-Broadway in 2018 as part of Lincoln Center Theater's LCT3 programming. A few months prior, a film version of the Chicago staging, directed by Spike Lee, debuted at Sundance Film Festival. It is now available to stream as an Amazon Prime original.

Pass_Over_LCT3_Production_Photo_2018_LCT3's PASS OVER - Namir Smallwood (left) and Gabriel Ebert (right) - credit to Jeremy Daniel_HR.jpg
Namir Smallwood and Gabriel Ebert Jeremy Daniel

As previously announced, Nwandu has modified the play between its iterations. "Though much about Pass Over remains a lament over the lives of Black people stolen too soon, I am happy to confirm that my team and I, along with our producers, are presenting a new version that centers the health, hope, and joy of our audiences, especially Black people,” the playwright said in an earlier statement. “We are reuniting to envision this play again, to tell a version of the story on Broadway where Moses and Kitch both survive their encounter with white oppression.”

READ: 10 Moments That Made Pass Over Possible

Returning creative team members include scenic designer Wilson Chin, costume designer Sarafina Bush, lighting designer Marcus Doshi, and sound designer Justin Ellington. Casting is by Erica A. Hart, Camille Hickman, and Daniel Swee.

Pass Over is produced on Broadway by Matt Ross, Jujamcyn Theaters, Lincoln Center Theater, Concord Theatricals, Renee Montgomery, Blair Underwood, Madeleine Foster Bersin, Imagine Equal Entertainment, Cornice Productions, Madison Wells Live, Shelly Mitchell, Tyler Mount & Maddie Reese, Olympus Theatricals & FireMused Productions, Sierra Lancaster, Vasthy Mompoint, Ayanna Prescod, Nina Marie Ward, and Antoinette Chinonye Nwandu.

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