Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ Neighbors Moves Into Mixed Blood Theater, Opening Sept. 16

News   Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ Neighbors Moves Into Mixed Blood Theater, Opening Sept. 16
Neighbors, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ unconventional comedy which uses minstrelsy to confront tensions in "post-racial" America, opens the 2011-2012 season at Mixed Blood Theater in Minneapolis, MN, Sept. 16.

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins
Branden Jacobs-Jenkins

Director Nataki Garrett, who again directs the play for Mixed Blood, previously staged a full production of Neighbors at Los Angeles' Matrix Theatre Company in August 2010. The play was developed at the Matrix prior to its highly publicized debut as part of the Public Theater/Labyrinth Theater's Public/LAB in winter 2010. Neighbors will run through Oct. 9.

The cast includes Bruce A. Young, Sarah Agnew, Brittany Bradford, Warren C. Bowles, Thomas W. Jones II, Christian Gibbs, Kalif Troy and Tatiana Williams.

Designing Neighbors are Wrara Plesoiu (set design), Cana Potter (costume design), Wu Chen Khoo (lighting design), Katharine Horowitz (sound design), Sean McArdle (prop design), Ricky Thompson (choreography) and Bruce A. Young (fight choreography).

According to Mixed Blood, "The plot is surreal; the issues, real and damning. An upwardly mobile African American professor, his white wife and biracial daughter witness the arrival of new neighbors, a loud and raucous family of black entertainers, each friendly but with an edge of anger. In its scathing exploration of denial and satire of black entertainment from minstrelsy to hip hop, Neighbors makes clear that we do not live in a post-race America."

Jacobs-Jenkins is the 2011 recipient of the Paula Vogel Playwriting Award. His plays also include Appropriate, The Change and The Octoroon: An Adaptation Of The Octoroon Based On The Octoroon. Jacobs-Jenkins' works have also been presented at New York Theatre Workshop, PS122, Soho Rep, New Dramatists, Theater Bielefeld in Bielefeld, Germany, and the National Theatre in London. He is currently at work on commissions from Lincoln Center Theater/LCT3 and Yale Repertory Theater.

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