Casting Is Complete for Premiere of Katori Hall's Hurt Village, Starring Tonya Pinkins

News   Casting Is Complete for Premiere of Katori Hall's Hurt Village, Starring Tonya Pinkins
Lloyd Watts and Charlie Hudson III have joined the cast of the Signature Theatre Company world-premiere production of Hurt Village, the new play by Katori Hall, author of Broadway's The Mountaintop. Current rehearsals lead to a Feb. 7 first preview that will christen the new Signature Center's Romulus Linney Courtyard Theater on West 42nd Street.

As previously reported, the play set in a Memphis housing project will feature Marsha Stephanie Blake (The Merchant of Venice; Joe Turner's Come and Gone), Nicholas Christopher (Rent, In the Heights), Corey Hawkins (Suicide, Incorporated), Ron Cephas Jones (Gem of the Ocean, The Bridge Project), Joaquina Kalukango (Godspell), Tonya Pinkins (Play On!; Jelly's Last Jam; Caroline, or Change; "All My Children") and Saycon Sengbloh (Fela!, Hair). Amari Cheatom, originally announced for the play, is no longer attached to the project.

Patricia McGregor will direct the gritty drama about life and change in a family. Hurt Village will open Feb. 27 and continue to March 18.

The play is part of the Off-Broadway Signature's expanded mission to produce new works, in a program dubbed Residency Five, which guarantees five playwrights three world-premiere productions each over the course of a five-year residency.

Here's how Signature bills Hurt Village, which has received a 2011 Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award from TCG: "It's the end of a long summer in Hurt Village, a housing project in Memphis, Tennessee. A government Hope Grant means relocation for many of the project's residents, including Cookie, a 13-year-old aspiring rapper, along with her mother Crank and great-grandmother Big Mama. As the family prepares to move, Cookie's father Buggy unexpectedly returns from a tour of duty in Iraq. Ravaged by the war, Buggy struggles to find a position in his disintegrating community, along with a place in his daughter's wounded heart."

The gritty work earned Hall the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, given annually to an outstanding female playwright. The design team of Hurt Village includes David Gallo (set and projection design), Clint Ramos (costume design), Sarah Sidman (lighting design), Rob Kaplowitz (sound design), Cookie Jordan (hair and make-up design), Kate Wilson (dialect coach), Rick Sordelet (fight direction) and Luqman Brown (additional music). Casting is by Telsey + Company. The production stage manager is Jane Pole; assistant stage manager is Megan J. Alvord.

The not-for-profit Signature's new home is in the Frank Gehry-designed Signature Center at 480 W. 42nd Street between Dyer and 10th Avenues.

Single tickets are now on sale for Hurt Village and Athol Fugard's Blood Knot, which runs Jan. 31-March 11, as the inaugural production in The Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre.

All regularly priced single tickets ($75) for the initial run of both shows will be made available for $25 through The Signature Ticket Initiative: A Decade of Access. Tickets and season subscriptions can be purchased by calling the box office at (212) 244-7529 or online at

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