Manhattan Theatre Club celebrates the opening of the world premiere of Donja R. Love's drama Sugar in Our Wounds June 19. The play, which is the recipient of the prestigious Laurents/Hatcher Foundation Award, is part of Love's trilogy of plays that explores queer love at pivotal moments in Black history.
Sugar in Our Wounds is playing at The Studio at Stage II – Harold and Mimi Steinberg New Play Series at New York City Center – Stage II, where it began performances June 5.
Saheem Ali directs a cast led by Sheldon Best, who plays a young slave living on a plantation during the Civil War.
Completing the cast are Stephanie Berry (Drowning Crow, The Hummingbird's Tour) as Aunt Mama, Fern Cozine (Off-Broadway debut) as Isabel, Tiffany Rachelle Stewart (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time) as Mattie, and Chinaza Uche (Sojourners/Her Portmanteau, Nigerian Prince) as Henry.
In Sugar in Our Wounds, a mystical tree stretches toward heaven and protects James (Best), who reads newspapers about the imminent possibility of freedom. When a brooding stranger arrives, James and his makeshift family take the man in—the start of an unexpected bond and striking romance.
Love is a poet, filmmaker, and playwright. He is The Lark's 2016 Van Lier New Voices Playwriting Fellow, The Playwrights Realm's 2016-2017 Writing Fellow, the 2016 Arch and Bruce Brown Playwriting Award recipient, and a Eugene O'Neill 2017 National Playwrights Conference finalist. His plays include The Love Plays (Sugar in Our Wounds, Fireflies, in the Middle) and Soft; Or the Dead N---- Poem.
The creative team for the world premiere of Sugar in Our Wounds is made up of Arnulfo Maldonado (scenic design), Dede Ayite (costume design), Jason Lyons (lighting design), Palmer Hefferan (sound design), Michael Thurber (original music), Darrell Grand Moultrie (movement), and Cookie Jordan (hair and makeup design).