National Black Theatre's New Season Explores Theme of "Policing of the Black Body"

News   National Black Theatre's New Season Explores Theme of "Policing of the Black Body"
Harlem's National Black Theatre has announced the line-up for its 2015-16 season, kicking off this October with a New York City premiere production by Chisa Hutchinson. The 47th annual slate, which features a new work by Dominique Morisseau, winner of the Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama (Detroit '67), explores the timely theme of "The Policing of the Black Body."

"From police brutality to health disparities and beyond, the Black Body in this country is in a defining moment," said Jonathan McCrory, director of theatre arts program in a press statement. "Housed within our community is a diverse array of people under assault. This season's selections are geared toward the reclamation of the Black Body. Join us on the journey to Celebrate, Liberate, and Participate in the building of a new future."

NBT has expanded its I Am Soul - Playwright Resident program to support two Black playwrights during the 2015-16 season: Dennis Allen and Nambi E. Kelley (Native Son). The playwrights will each develop a new play during their residency, which will culminate in a workshop production in next year's season.

Highlights from the season, as described by NBT, are outlined below:

Oct. 28 - Nov. 23:
Dead and Breathing
A New York City Premiere by Chisa Hutchinson, directed by Jonathan McCrory.
Cranky old broad, Carolyn Whitlock, has been in hospice for far too long and just wants to die already.  When she tries to convince a loud, oversharing, and very Christian nurse to assist her suicide, she has to work harder than she ever has in her privileged life to end it. Through surprising humor and persistent questioning, Dead and Breathing investigates morality, mortality and the intense tug-of-war between the right to die with dignity and the idea of life as a gift.

Feb. 24 - 28, 2016:
Workshop Production (conceived within the I Am Soul - Playwright Residency) by Aurin Squire, directed by Ebony Noelle Golden.
Set in a dystopic future in an asylum for the criminally insane, Zoohouse is a twisted tale about who has narrative authority, where we keep history, and whose lives matter. April 19 - May 15, 2016:
Blood at the Root
A New York City Premiere by Dominique Morisseau, directed by Steve H Broadnax III. A co-production with Hi-Arts.
In December of 2006, six black teenagers were convicted in the beating of a white high school in Jena, Louisiana. Playwright Dominique Morisseau uses the "Jena Six" incident as the inspiration for this fictitious story about a group of high school students desperately trying to define themselves.

NBT will also continue its Keep Soul Alive Mondays reading series, which showcases the works of 20 playwrights. To learn more about this program and for a full schedule of events, visit NationalBlackTheatre.

Season passes are available for $99. NBT is located at 2031-33 National Black Theatre Way. 

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