New Neighborhood’s new development collaboration with Rattlestick Playwrights Theater and Rattlestick West in LA. featured a reading of The Refuge Plays Trilogy: Protect the Beautiful Place, Walking Man, and Early’s House, written by Nathan Alan Davis, on February 19, 2016, at the Women’s Project Theater at the McGinn/Cazale Theatre in New York.
The Refuge Plays are the story of an eccentric and mystically inclined Black family, traced through four generations, as they carve out an existence for themselves in a southern Illinois forest.
Helmed by Patricia McGregor, the cast features Dense Burse (An American Daughter, Anesthesia, Black Mirror, Tyler Perry’s House of Payne), André Holland (The Knick, Selma, Black or White, 42, The Whipping Man), Amanda Warren (The Leftovers, LCT’s When I Come to Die), Jerome Preston Bates (Stickfly, Seven Guitars, Law and Order: SVU), Jocelyn Bioh (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, An Octoroon, Neighbors), Jessica Frances Dukes (Bootycandy), Frank Harts (Billions, The Leftovers, A Raisin in the Sun), Sekou Laidlow (The Mend, Airline Highway), Flor De Liz Perez (National Theatre’s Motherf**ker with a Hat, The Public Theater Mobile Shakespeare Unit’s The Comedy of Errors and Pericles, The Good Wife), and Brandon Micheal Hall (Unforgettable), with stage directions by Jakeem Powell.
During the two intermissions, a scrumptious soul food spread of deviled eggs, lobster mac & cheese, fried chicken, kale salad, cornbread and red velvet cupcakes catered by Chef Stefanie Kelly was served, with interlude music performed by Vernon Jeffrey Smith.
The reading was presented as part of a new, bi-coastal developmental series co-produced by New Neighborhood and Rattlestick Playwrights Theater.
Nathan Alan Davis’ play Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea received a 2015 National New Play Network rolling world premiere and was awarded a 2015 Steinberg/ATCA New Play Citation. Other plays include The Wind and the Breeze, The Art of Bowing and his most recent project, The Refuge Plays trilogy. His work has been produced or developed with New York Theatre Workshop, The McCarter Theatre, Baltimore Center Stage, NNPN, Theater Alliance, Cleveland Public Theatre, Phoenix Theatre, Skylight Theatre, Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble, Oregon Contemporary Theatre, The Kennedy Center, The Source Festival and The New Harmony Project. He is currently a Lila Acheson Wallace Fellow at Juilliard and a 2050 Fellow at New York Theatre Workshop.
Patricia McGregor has twice been profiled by the New York Times for her direction of world premieres. Credits include Ugly Lies the Bone, Roundabout Theater Company; Stagger Lee, Dallas Theater Center; The House That Will Not Stand, Berkeley Rep/Yale Rep; brownsville song (b-side for tray), Lincoln Center; Hurt Village, Signature Theatre; Raisin In The Sun, Winter’s Tale, and Spunk, Cal Shakes; Holding It a Down, Metropolitan Museum; Blood Dazzler, Harlem Stage; Indomitable James Brown, The Apollo; Four Electric Ghosts, The Kitchen; Adoration of the Old Woman, Intar. She regularly directs The 24 Hour Plays on Broadway. McGregor attended the Yale School of Drama where she was a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow and Artistic Director of the Yale Cabaret. She is a co-founder of Angela’s Pulse Collective along with sister and acclaimed choreographer Paloma McGregor.
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