Colman Domingo and Scott Shepherd Are Blood Knot's Blood Brothers, Opening Feb. 16 Off-Broadway | Playbill

News Colman Domingo and Scott Shepherd Are Blood Knot's Blood Brothers, Opening Feb. 16 Off-Broadway
Playwright-director Athol Fugard's staging of his Blood Knot — launching the Signature Theatre Company's new home, The Pershing Square Signature Center on West 42nd Street — opens Feb. 16 following previews from Jan. 31, kicking off the company's 2012 "Residency One" season devoted to the works of South African dramatist Fugard. The drama stars Colman Domingo (The Scottsboro Boys) as Zachariah and Obie Award winner Scott Shepherd (Gatz) as Morris.

Scott Shepherd and Colman Domingo
Scott Shepherd and Colman Domingo Photo by Joan Marcus

The play about two biracial South African brothers inaugurates the Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theater, one of three Signature venues at the new Frank Gehry-designed Pershing Square Signature Center. 

Here's how the drama (nominated as Best Play for its 1985 Broadway run) is billed by Off-Broadway's Signature: "Between patchwork walls in a one-room shack, two biracial South African brothers grapple with crippling poverty and lonely isolation. Morris, the punctilious force that keeps their room tidy, is light-skinned enough to pass for white, but dark-skinned Zach feels imprisoned by his job at a whites-only park. When they find themselves on some dangerous new ground, the brothers must come face to face with the blood knot between them. Athol Fugard's revolutionary breakthrough play is a searing indictment of apartheid and one of his most celebrated works."

Blood Knot (which starred Fugard and Zakes Mokae on Broadway) is the first play in the Residency One: Athol Fugard Series. The production runs to March 11. The season also includes Fugard's My Children! My Africa! and The Train Driver.

The Blood Knot production team includes Christopher H. Barreca (set design), Susan Hilferty (costume design), Stephen Strawbridge (lighting design), Brett Jarvis (sound design) and Barbara Rubin (dialect coach). The production stage manager is Pamela Salling and assistant stage manager is Maggie Swing. Casting is by Telsey + Company.

A revival of Fugard's The Road to Mecca is currently being presented by Roundabout Theatre Company at the American Airlines Theatre. His best-known work may be the play Master Harold...and the boys. Read the recent Playbill magazine A Life in the Theatre feature on Fugard.  Signature Theatre is under the leadership of James Houghton, founding artistic director, and Erika Mallin, executive director. Read the Playbill Brief Encounter interview with Houghton, who talks about the expanded mission of Signature.

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