Radha Blank's SEED Off-Broadway Opening
â€œSEEDâ€ is my love letter to Harlem,â€ says playwright Radha Blank. â€œHarlem has survived so much and while she continues to evolve,
Playwright Radha Blank's play "SEED" premiered Off-Broadway September 16.
The opening night benefit was hosted at Red Rooster Restaurant in Harlem and a Who's Who in entertainment and theater attended.
The play opened at the National Black Theatre. Niegel Smith is the director.
The play was presented by OBIE award-winning Classical Theater of Harlem (Ty Jones, producing director) in conjunction with Hip-Hop Theater Festival (Clyde Valentin, executive director and Kamilah Forbes, artistic director).
The play is one of two works the National Endowment of the Arts awarded a $90,000 grant to in November 2011 under its New Play Development Program.
SEED explores themes of abandonment, poverty, class differences and by products of the crack epidemic that swept through Harlem in the 1980s and 90s.
It tells the story in vibrant and exciting style, infused with rhythm and verse integral to hip-hop culture. As a compelling new drama that examines class and cultural fault lines in one of America’s most prominent Black communities, SEED begs the question: How far are you willing to go to protect the future of a community and its children?
The play follows burnt-out social worker Anne Colleen Simpson, who decides to leave the field on a high note, with a book detailing her career. When Chee-Chee, a gifted 12-year-old from the “projects” collides into her life, she’s forced to confront his young mother and shadows of her past.
Anne and Chee-Chee develop an unlikely friendship that lead to an explosive encounter threading both their futures.
“SEED” is my love letter to Harlem,” says playwright Radha Blank. “Harlem has survived so much and while she continues to evolve, Harlem maintains a fiery spirit by way of its inhabitants, new and old. I’m thrilled we get to premiere this play in the community that inspired it!”