Full casting has been announced for How to Raise a Freeman, the first production of Bard at the Gate's 2021–2022 season. The online play series, co-curated by Paula Vogel and Nicole A. Watson, has also added two new titles for next year.
The second edition of Bard at the Gate—created by Vogel in 2020—will kick off November 3 with a stream of the previously announced How to Raise a Freeman by Zakiyyah Alexander. The production stars Tony nominee Michelle Wilson (Sweat), Aric Floyd, Malcolm Barrett, Francois Battiste, Jamie Lincoln Smith, Tony nominee Veanne Cox (Company, An American in Paris), and Ben Horwitz. The dark comedy centers on middle class Black family raising a son in in a world where every 28 hours a Black man is killed by police. Reginald L. Douglas directs.
The streaming series has also added two new titles to the season: Lloyd Suh's Charles Francis Chan Jr.'s Exotic Oriental Murder Mystery and Dipika Guha’s Passing.
Ralph Peña of Ma-Yi Theater will direct Charles Francis Chan, opening January 26, 2022. The new play, set in 1967 Berkeley, follows two activists staging a revolution against the backdrop of the war in Vietnam and the Civil Rights Movement, resulting in a trip through the history of Asians in America.
Passing will premiere on March 9 under the direction of Watson, associate artistic director of McCarter Theatre Center. It is set on an imaginary island where a British couple live isolated from the indigenous population, until a child appears on their property and they can no longer ignore them.
Dates have also been set for Sonnets for an Old Century, the second production of the season. Jose Rivera's philosophical play, set in the afterlife, asks 18 strangers to make one last statement about their lives. It will premiere December 1.
The previously announced Bard at the Gate production Good Goods is no longer on the season roster.
For more information and to make reservations for the free programming, visit BardAtTheGate.org.