The world premiere of Cori Thomas' Lockdown, about the impacts of long-term incarceration and the reality of life inside prison, has found its cast. The Off-Broadway production will feature Eric Berryman (currently starring in his show The B-Side at St. Ann's Warehouse), Curt Morlaye (Gotham), Keith Randolph Smith (Jitney, Fences), and Zenzi Williams (School Girls, Henry V).
Lockdown will be directed by Kent Gash (Barbeque) at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater. Performances will begin April 17 ahead of a May 2 opening.
Inspired by playwright Thomas' time with people serving life sentences at San Quentin Prison, Lockdown explores the possibilities for transformation through human connection.
“We need to honor these remarkable men I’ve come to know and care about, and their very great and resilient spirit, and ability to live meaningful lives despite terrible and unfair circumstances," says Thomas. "I am inspired to attempt to make sure that their dignity and resolve to return back to a society that has never given them a fair chance is paid attention to and understood. One of the men once said to me, ‘I wish people on the outside saw us as individuals.’ My wish to make his wish come true drives this play and my continued efforts on behalf of the millions of men, mostly of color, spending their entire lives, incarcerated, with very little hope of freedom.”
Following each performance of Lockdown Off-Broadway will be a moderated community conversation featuring guest speakers who have firsthand knowledge and expertise in criminal justice reform. This 25-minute discussion will give the audience an opportunity to expand knowledge, deepen engagement and inspire action towards policy changes.
Lockdown will feature set design by Jason Sherwood (Rent Live!), costume design by Kara Harmon (The Wiz!), lighting design by Dawn Chiang (Zoot Suit), and sound design by Justin Ellington (The House That Will Not Stand). The dramaturg is Ignacia Delgado, the production manager is Jenny Beth Snyder, the technical director is Aaron Gonzalez, and the production stage manager is Genevieve Ortiz.
Thomas' other plays include When January Feels Like Summer, Pa's Hat, Flight 109, and My Secret Language of Wishes.
For tickets and more information visit Rattlestick.org.