PROVIDENCE, RI: Trinity Rep will
continue its 2018-19 Season with the epic tale of black odyssey
by Marcus Gardley. Inspired by Homer’s Odyssey, this story examines
Ulysses Lincoln’s journey home from war when the world – and the gods – are
against him. This adventure brings the combination of history and heart
together in a poignant and imaginative story that will captivate audiences.
This production will feature resident acting company members, Jude Sandy
and Joe Wilson, Jr. as co-directors, with Joe Wilson, Jr. as Ulysses
Lincoln. black odyssey runs January 3 – February 3 with press
opening on Monday, January 7 at 7:30 pm. Tickets start at $25. More
information can be found at www.trinityrep.com/odyssey.
One man’s journey home from war leads him on an adventure
connecting him with his own ancestors and our shared humanity, before finally
delivering him back to his wife and son. Throughout his epic voyage, Ulysses
Lincoln’s fate is controlled by a host of gods including the dignified Deus, as
played by resident company member Jude Sandy, the scheming Paw Sidin (Omar
Robinson), and radiant Aunt Tina (Broadway veteran Julia Lema). This
breathtaking, vibrant, and gloriously theatrical production is a lyrical, musical,
and spiritual celebration of storytelling and what it means to find home.
The Arthur P. Solomon and Sally E. Lapides Artistic Director, Curt
Columbus, said, “Marcus Gardley's black odyssey is one of the
greatest contemporary plays that I've read in years. It combines one of
the foundational texts of Western Civilization - Homer's Odyssey - with
the distinctive voice of one of the most extraordinary young playwrights in
America. Marcus takes the deeply resonant story of Ulysses, returning
from war, and marries it with images and events from African American history
of the last two centuries in a thrilling, epic story of hope, loss, family, and
CAST AND CREATIVE TEAM
is a poet-playwright whom The New Yorker describes as “the heir to Garcia
Lorca, Pirandello and Tennessee Williams.” His most recent play X or
the Nation v Betty Shabazz was a New York Times Critic Pick and was
remounted off-Broadway in the spring of 2018. In 2019, he will be named the
Library Laureate of San Francisco by the city’s mayor. He is the recipient of
the 2017 Special Citation Theater Award for his play black odyssey,
which swept the Theater Bay Area Awards garnering 6 other prizes including Best
Production. Gardley is the recipient of the 2015 Glickman Award for The
House That Will Not Stand, which recently ended its run at New York Theater
Workshop. He is one of the most produced playwrights in the US with over two
dozen productions, some of which include: Every Tongue Confess at Arena
Stage (starring Phylicia Rashad and directed by Kenny Leon) and On the Levee,
which premiered in 2010 at Lincoln Center. Gardley served as an Assistant
Professor of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies for Brown University.
Co-directors Jude Sandy and Joe Wilson, Jr., both
longtime members of Trinity Rep’s resident acting company, will be working
alongside Edward E. Haynes, Jr. (set design), Kara Harmon (costume
design), Dawn Chiang (lighting design), and Peter Hurowitz (sound
Joe Wilson, Jr.
says of the production, “Trinity Rep’s production of black
odyssey represents everything that this institution holds dear. It
will be a celebration of company, community and education, as well as a
celebration of the ancient practice, and building the power of storytelling.”
Co-director Jude Sandy adds, “black odyssey is a play that
encourages us to love all the parts that make up who we are, to embrace our
histories, our personal pasts, and our families. It’s a play that teaches us
that the first, crucial step to bringing healing into this world is to accept,
celebrate, forgive and find healing in all the things that make us who we are.”
The cast of this production features resident company members Joe
Wilson, Jr. as the ill-fated Ulysses Lincoln, Jude Sandy as the god
Deus. Brown/Trinity Rep MFA students Kalyne Coleman ’20 will play Nella
Pell, Anwar Ali ’20 plays Artez Abine, and Cloteal L. Horne ’20
plays Alsendra Sabine. Guest artists Omar Robinson will play Paw Sidin,
with Broadway veteran Julia Lema as Aunt Tina, Kai Tshikosi as
Malachi, and local actor Jackie Davis as Benevolence.
COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS AND SPECIAL EVENTS
FOR black odyssey
Continuing Trinity Rep’s tradition of offering affordable
tickets for all, the theater will have discounted previews of black odyssey.
Thursday, January 3 is a Pay What You Can performance. Pay What You Can
tickets go on sale at 6:30 pm that evening, and are limited to one per person.
Other special performances for black odyssey include an Open
Captioned performance for the show on Sunday, January 6 at 2:00 pm and
Wednesday, January 23 at 2:00 and 7:30 pm. The Next Generation Night
will be held on Thursday, January 10 and includes a pre-show reception for the
next generation of theater-goers. The Teens Talk performance will be
held on Friday, January 11, which features Trinity Rep’s Teen Ambassadors
discussing their perspective on the show following the 7:30 performance.
A Context & Conversation panel discussion will be
held on Thursday, January 17 at 6:00 pm at Sophia Academy in Providence. At
this free event, panelists from Sophia Academy and from within the community
will discuss the roles of family and community. Christina Bevilacqua, Trinity
Rep’s conversationalist-in-residence will moderate the discussion.
black odyssey is
sponsored by Cornish Associates. The 2018-19 Season Sponsors are Ocean
State Job Lot and Rhode Island Council on the Arts. Southwest
is the official airline of Trinity Rep.
TRINITY REPERTORY COMPANY
Rhode Island’s Tony Award-winning theater, Trinity Rep has
created unparalleled professional theater for and with its community since its
founding in 1963. Trinity Rep strives to facilitate human connection and has
been a driving force behind the creativity that fuels and defines the region
for more than 50 years.
Trinity Rep is committed to reinventing the public square and
inspiring dialogue by creating emotionally-stimulating live productions that
range from classical to contemporary and innovative education programs for all
ages and abilities. Its annual production of A Christmas Carol has
brought families together for 41 years and made memories for over a million
?Subscriptions for the 2018-19 Season are now on sale. The
season includes Pride & Prejudice by Kate Hamill, black odyssey
by Marcus Gardley, a special limited-engagement of An Iliad by Lisa
Peterson and Denis O’Hare, Macbeth by William Shakespeare, The Song
of Summer by Lauren Yee, Little Shop of Horrors with book and lyrics
by Howard Ashman and music by Alan Menken, and José Rivera’s Marisol.
For more information on our 2018-19 Season, call the box office
at (401) 351-4242 or visit Trinity Rep's website at www.TrinityRep.com.