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
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 www.signaturetheatre.org.
11 Jan 2012