Concord Theatricals has announced that it has acquired worldwide licensing rights to Jeremy O. Harris' Slave Play, which will join their Samuel French imprint. The initial release will be limited to professional theatres.
"Knowing that Slave Play, a work written with friends and small theatres in mind, is joining the work of idols like Adrienne Kennedy and Caryl Churchill at Concord Theatricals is still overwhelmingly humbling," says Harris. "In a time when the complexities of the Black American experience are being discoursed by citizens all around the world it is invigorating to know that my work will sit beside peers like Aleshea Harris and Antoinette Nwandu in deepening the global understanding of the Black American identity and our theatrical traditions."
Harris' work takes place in an "antebellum fever-dream," with three interracial couples working through present day relationship troubles by visiting MacGregor Plantation, where the Old South lives on and nothing is as it seems, yet everything is as it seems.
Harris wrote the play during his time at Yale School of Drama, where it was produced in 2017. The work's professional premiere came via Off-Broadway's New York Theatre Workshop in 2018 in a sold-out production directed by Robert O'Hara that transferred to Broadway in 2019. The production went on to become the most Tony-nominated play in history, with 12 2020 Tony Award nominations including Best Play, Best Original Score (Lindsay Jones), Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play (Joaquina Kalukango), and Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play (Ato Blankson-Wood and James Cusati-Moyer).
"Samuel French has built a legacy as a publisher who leans into big ideas and intrepid, theatrical voices," adds Concord Senior Director of Acquisitions and Artistic Development Amy Rose Marsh. "Jeremy O. Harris is a brilliant, game-changing dramatist, and we are honored to support his vision with the publication and licensing of Slave Play."
For more information on licensing Slave Play, visit ConcordTheatricals.com.