“Black Out” Performance Of “Slave Play” Hosted By Center Theatre Group

Center Theatre Group hosted it’s first Black Out Performance of “Slave Play”
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Photo: Center Theatre Group

Center Theatre Group hosted it’s first Black Out Performance of “Slave Play”, Friday, February 11, 2022, at 8 p.m. at the Mark Taper Forum. Playwright Jeremy O. Harris and Los Angeles-born artist Martine Syms welcomed the audience to this special performance of “Slave Play” with a pre-show address.

Guests included, Tracee Ellis Ross, Mara Brock Akil, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Logan Browning, Ashley Blaine Featherson, Malia Obama and other notable celebrities and tastemakers. In order to continue the conversation and celebration of Black artists, the performance was followed by a reception on the Music Center Plaza featuring live music by Sugi Dakk and live painting by Ariel Shipp. Food by Barbeque King and hosted bar with Sapere Wines. Sip & Sonder provided coffee and Gwen’s Bakery provided desserts.

The first Black Out was created by Jeremy O. Harris in 2019 during the Broadway engagement of “Slave Play” to provide a freeing environment for Black-identifying audience members to experience the unflinching new work free from the white gaze. Based on the success of the first Black Out, “Slave Play” hosted a second in January of 2020, to bookend its first Broadway run and Black Out performances were incorporated into the second Broadway run of “Slave Play.”

Other Broadway and regional productions have also adopted the practice.

Hailed as “the single most daring thing I’ve seen in a theater in a long time” by Wesley Morris of The New York Times and “a fascinating explosive-device of a play” by Peter Marks of The Washington Post, “Slave Play” takes place at the MacGregor Plantation, where nothing is as it seems, and yet everything is as it seems. It’s an antebellum fever-dream as three interracial couples converge to rip open history at the intersection of race, love, sex and sexuality in 21st century America.”

The cast of “Slave Play” features Broadway company members Antoinette Crowe-Legacy, Jonathan Higginbotham, Devin Kawaoka, Chalia La Tour, Irene Sofia Lucio, Paul Alexander Nolan, Jakeem Dante Powell and Elizabeth Stahlmann. Understudies include Jordan Lis Cooper, Rashaad Hall, Kineta Kunutu, James Patrick Nelson and Galen J. Williams.

The West Coast premiere of “Slave Play” directed by Two-time NAACP and Obie Award winner, Robert O’Hara opens Wednesday, February 16 and continues through March 13, 2022.

Tickets for the full run of “Slave Play” are currently on sale at Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum and start at $30. They are available through CenterTheatreGroup.org, Audience Services at (213) 972-4400 or in person at the Center Theatre Group Box Office (at the Ahmanson Theatre at The Music Center, 135 N. Grand Avenue in Downtown L.A. 90012).

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