A virtual reading of Katori Hall’s Hurt Village, benefiting The Actors Fund, is presented December 4–8. A Cast Black Talent Production, the stream of the play by 2020 Tony nominee Hall (Tina: The Tina Turner Musical) is directed by Steve H. Broadnax III (The Hot Wing King).
The cast includes Snoop Dogg as Tony C., Emmy winner Loretta Devine as Big Mama, 2020 Slave Play Tony nominee Joaquina Kalukango as Crank, Stranger Things' Priah Ferguson as Cookie, P-Valley’s J. Alphonse Nicholson as Buggy, Stori Ayers as the Narrator, Gail Bean as Toiya, Cecil Blutcher as Skillet, Eric B. Robinson Jr. as Cornbread, and Bertram Williams as Ebony.
The play is set in Hurt Village, a housing project in Memphis, as 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.
Hurt Village is produced by Courtney Peck. Ian Olympio serves as associate producer, and Conrad Woolfe and Leigh Anne Smith are the casting directors. The reading also features sound design by Daniel Ison, video editing by Jordyn Alexis Bush, stage management by Lissette Velez-Cross, general management by Dash Perry, and graphic design by April Keomorokot and Franziska Stetter.
In a statement, playwright Hall said, “It’s an honor to be a part of WME and Cast Black Talent’s first play reading, especially with Hurt Village—a play whose themes about economic strife and community are more relevant than ever. I am so proud of the wonderful cast we’ve assembled and their amazing work, all to benefit The Actors Fund. I hope this is just one of many new initiatives put forth by the theatre industry to amplify underrepresented and unsung Black artists.”
The world premiere of Hurt Village was produced by Signature Theatre Company in 2012.