Antoinette Chinonye Nwandu's Pass Over Bumps Up Broadway Opening

Broadway News   Antoinette Chinonye Nwandu's Pass Over Bumps Up Broadway Opening
 
The play is currently in previews at the August Wilson Theatre.
Pass Over_Broadway_First Performance_2021_HR
Antoinette Chinonye Nwandu Marc J. Franklin

Antoinette Chinonye Nwandu’s Pass Over will now open August 22 after starting previews August 4 at the August Wilson Theatre. Opening night was originally scheduled for September 12.

“We built our schedule with more time than we would need knowing there was a real possibility we would need to delay rehearsals or previews,” said producer Matt Ross. “Thanks to the extraordinary work of everyone in this company, we’ve been able to safely mount this production on schedule... We will still hold a larger scale celebration on September 12, out of respect to those who have planned for that date and so that we have the time to plan how to celebrate this moment safely, but at the scale that it merits.”

Pass_Over_LCT3_Production_Photo_2018_LCT3's PASS OVER - Namir Smallwood (left) and Gabriel Ebert (right) - credit to Jeremy Daniel_HR.jpg
Namir Smallwood and Gabriel Ebert Jeremy Daniel

Pass Over stars Tony nominee Jon Michael Hill, Namir Smallwood, and Tony winner Gabriel Ebert, all of whom appeared in the original Off-Broadway production. The staging marks the Broadway debuts of Nwandu, Smallwood, and director Danya Taymor.

The show is only the second production to hold performances on Broadway since the COVID-19 pandemic kept theatres dark for nearly 15 months.

READ: Broadway Will Require COVID Vaccines for Audiences

Inspired by both Waiting for Godot and the Exodus saga, Pass Over follows Moses and Kitch, two young Black men who dream of an existence beyond their street corner. After premiering at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company, the play opened Off-Broadway in 2018 as part of Lincoln Center Theater's LCT3 programming. A few months prior, a film version of the Chicago staging, directed by Spike Lee, debuted at Sundance Film Festival. It is now available to stream as an Amazon Prime original.

Between stagings, Nwandu modified the play to center on the joy rather than trauma. "Though much about Pass Over remains a lament over the lives of Black people stolen too soon, I am happy to confirm that my team and I, along with our producers, are presenting a new version that centers the health, hope, and joy of our audiences, especially Black people,” the playwright said in an earlier statement. “We are reuniting to envision this play again, to tell a version of the story on Broadway where Moses and Kitch both survive their encounter with white oppression.”

READ: 10 Moments That Made Pass Over Possible

Serving on the creative team are scenic designer Wilson Chin, costume designer Sarafina Bush, lighting designer Marcus Doshi, and sound designer Justin Ellington. Casting is by Erica A. Hart, Camille Hickman, and Daniel Swee.

Pass Over is produced on Broadway by Ross, Jujamcyn Theaters, Lincoln Center Theater, Concord Theatricals, Madeleine Foster Bersin, Imagine Equal Entertainment, Cornice Productions, Madison Wells Live, Shelly Mitchell, Tyler Mount & Maddie Reese, Olympus Theatricals & FireMused Productions, Sierra Lancaster, Vasthy Mompoint, Ayanna Prescod, Nina Marie Ward, Renee Montgomery, Blair Underwood, Heidi Schreck and Jose Antonio Vargas, and Antoinette Chinonye Nwandu.

For more information, visit LCT.org.

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