'Slave Play' To Return To Broadway This Fall For A Limited Engagement


Photo: Matthew Murphy

Last night Jeremy O. Harris announced to a cheering crowd at his Tony afterparty celebrating Slave Play that his acclaimed drama will return to Broadway later this fall and play the August Wilson Theatre.

Jeremy O. Harris said, “Slay Play’s return engagement marks for me a chance for New York and the world to re-meet a play that many met at New York Theatre Workshop and Broadway in 2018 and 2019, and that thousands of others met in its published edition in a year when theaters around the world were dark. To be doing it in 2021 with the Kaneisha who originated the role at Yale and members of the original cast fills me with the same joy I had I had watching the play for the very first time in a classroom five years ago.”
Producer Greg Nobile said, “Slave Play was a precursor to the historic number of plays on Broadway this fall written by Black artists and proudly joins them this November. I remind myself that Jeremy’s words presaged the tough and necessary conversations the American theater is having right now. We invite audiences to the August Wilson to experience this masterpiece. Slave Play challenges us in ways few other works do. It will be a work talked about and studied for generations. And that is the true measure of a great play.”

The return engagement of Slave Play, directed by Tony Award nominee Robert O’Hara, will begin performances Tuesday, November 23 ahead of an official opening night of Thursday, December 2 for a strictly limited eight-week engagement through Sunday, January 23, 2022. Tickets are on sale now at www.seatgeek.com/slave-play-tickets or by visiting the August Wilson box office.

The cast for the production’s return engagement will feature Tony Award nominee Ato Blankson-Wood, Tony Award nominee Chalia La Tour, Irene Sofia Lucio, Tony Award nominee Annie McNamara, and Paul Alexander Nolan, all of whom starred in both of the play’s previous New York runs on Broadway and Off-Broadway at New York Theatre Workshop. Joining the ensemble will be Antoinette Crowe-Legacy who will play Kaneisha, a role Harris wrote for the actress when he was a student at Yale School of Drama and which she originated in Slave Play’s first developmental production in 2017 as part of Yale’s Langston Hughes Festival. Additional casting for Slave Play at the August Wilson Theatre will be announced shortly.

Slave Play is furthering its guiding principle of “radical accessibility” by doubling its ticketing initiative’s weekly commitment from the initial Broadway run. For the run at the August Wilson Theatre, 10,400 tickets will be made available for just $39.

Additionally, the production will soon announce plans for the return of their historic Black Out performances, which makes tickets available to private, invitation-only performances to an all-Black-identifying audience so they can experience and discuss the play. Harris birthed the idea of Black Out performances in recognition of Broadway’s rich, diverse, and fraught history of Black work. Additional details on these and other accessibility initiatives will be announced in the coming weeks.

Following the run at the August Wilson Theatre, the Broadway production, under the direction of O’Hara, will travel to Los Angeles as part of Center Theatre Group’s upcoming Mark Taper Forum season.

The creative team for the production includes Tony Award winner Clint Ramos (scenic design), two-time Tony Award nominee Dede Ayite (costume design), Tony Award nominee Jiyoun Chang (lighting design), two-time Tony Award nominee Lindsay Jones (sound design and original music), Amauta Marston-Firmino (dramaturg), Byron Easley (movement), Drama Desk Award winner Claire Warden and Teniece Divya Johnson, (intimacy and fight directors), Doug Nevin (production counsel), and Taylor Williams (casting director).

Slave Play at the August Wilson Theatre is produced by Seaview Productions, Troy Carter, Level Forward,and Nine Stories, founded by Jake Gyllenhaal and Riva Marker, Sing Out, Louise! Productions, Shooting Star Productions, Roth-Manella Productions, Carlin Katler Productions, Cohen Hopkins Productions, Thomas Laub, Blair Russell, WEB Productions, Salman Al-Rashid, Jeremy O. Harris, and New York Theatre Workshop. Mark Shacket serves as Executive Producer.

Slave Play received 12 Tony Award nominations, the most for any play in Broadway history. Slave Play is also the recipient of the Rosa Parks Playwriting Award, the Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award, The Lotos Foundation Prize in the Arts and Sciences, and the 2018 Paula Vogel Award. The play was nominated for the Outer Critics Circle’s John Gassner Playwrighting Award and the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Play.

The Old South lives on at the MacGregor Plantation — in the breeze, in the cotton fields...and in the crack of the whip. It’s an antebellum fever-dream, where fear and desire entwine in the looming shadow of the Master’s House. Jim trembles as Kaneisha handles melons in the cottage, Alana perspires in time with the plucking of Phillip’s fiddle in the boudoir, while Dustin cowers at the heel of Gary’s big, black boot in the barn. Nothing is as it seems, and yet everything is as it seems.