Ohio State Murders, Starring LisaGay Hamilton, Opens Off-Broadway Nov. 4

News   Ohio State Murders, Starring LisaGay Hamilton, Opens Off-Broadway Nov. 4
LisaGay Hamilton stars in Adrienne Kennedy's Ohio State Murders, which officially opens at The Duke Nov. 4. Previews of the Theatre for a New Audience production began Oct. 27.

Evan Yionoulis directs the work, which is currently scheduled to play a limited engagement at the West 42nd Street venue through Nov. 18.

Joining Hamilton in the cast are Cherise Boothe, Kobi Libii, Aleta Mitchell, Julia Pace Mitchell and Saxon Palmer.

Hamilton (Gem of the Ocean, "The Practice") stars as a "fictional African American writer, whose life both is and is not based on Ms. Kennedy's own life experiences," according to show notes. "When Suzanne enters Ohio State University in 1949, little does she know what the supposed safe have of academia holds in store. Years later, Suzanne is invited to return to the University to talk about the violence in her writing. A dark mystery unravels."

The work was part of the Signature Theatre's 1995-1996 season devoted to Kennedy's work, but the production was not open for review.

Kennedy's work includes Funnyhouse of a Negro, June and Jean in Concert and Sleep Deprivation Chamber (co-written with her son Adam Kennedy) as well as Pale Blue Flowers, Deadly Triplets, A Movie Star Has to Star in Black and White and The Owl Answers, among others. Hamilton appeared on Broadway in August Wilson's The Piano Lesson and Gem of the Ocean. Her Off-Broadway credits include Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Family of Mann, Measure for Measure, Henry IV Parts I & II and Athol Fugard's Valley Song — for which she earned an OBIE Award. She was also a regular on the television drama "The Practice."

Yionoulis — who last staged Sore Throats for TFANA — has previously directed The Violet Hour, Everett Beekin, Three Days and Bhutan. She recently staged the Yale Rep production of Richard II — where she serves as resident director.

The design team for Ohio State Murders includes Neil Patel (set), Chris Akerlind (lighting), Emilio Sosa (costumes) and Leah Gelpe (projections). Fabian Obispo provides original music.

The company's 29th season — billed under the title "Africa, Europe, America: Exploring the Connections" — will continue with the American premiere of Oroonoko, adapted by Biyi Bandele and based on the novella by Aphra Behn (Feb. 2-March 9, 2008) and William Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra (March 22-May 2, 2008).

Tickets for Ohio State Murders at The Duke, 229 West 42nd Street, are available by calling (646) 223-3010 or online at dukeon42.org. For more information visit tfana.org.

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