The Public Theater (Artistic Director, Oskar Eustis; Executive Director, Patrick Willingham) announced complete casting today for the world premiere of CULLUD WATTAH, written by 2021 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize winner Erika Dickerson-Despenza and directed by Candis C. Jones. Developed by Dickerson-Despenza as the 2019-2020 Tow Playwright-in-Residence at The Public Theater, CULLUD WATTAH was originally scheduled to premiere in July 2020 and will now begin performances in the Martinson Theater with a Joseph Papp Free Performance on Thursday, November 2. The new play will run through Sunday, December 5, with an official press opening on Wednesday, November 17.
The complete cast of CULLUD WATTAH features Crystal Dickinson (Marion), Jennean Farmer (Marion/Ainee Understudy), Lizan Mitchell (Big Ma), Ta’Neesha Murphy (Plum/Reesee Understudy), Andrea Patterson (Ainee), Alicia Pilgrim (Plum), Chavez Ravine (Big Ma Understudy), and Lauren F. Walker (Reesee).
2021 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize winner Erika Dickerson-Despenza’s new Afro-surrealist play premieres at The Public about three generations of Black women living through the current water crisis in Flint, Michigan. It’s been 936 days since Flint has had clean water. Marion, a third-generation General Motors employee, is consumed by layoffs at the engine plant. When her sister, Ainee, seeks justice and restitution for lead poisoning, her plan reveals the toxic entanglements between the city and its most powerful industry, forcing their family to confront the past-present-future cost of survival. As lead seeps into their home and their bodies, corrosive memories and secrets rise among them. Will this family ever be able to filter out the truth? Directed by Lilly Award winner Candis C. Jones, CULLUD WATTAH blends form and bends time, diving deep into the poisonous choices of the outside world, the contamination within, and how we make the best choices for our families’ futures when there are no real, present options. CULLUD WATTAH comes to us from the same playwright and director duo behind the thrilling digital production of shadow/land.
CULLUD WATTAH will feature scenic design by Adam Rigg; costume design by Kara Harmon; lighting design by Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew; sound design by Sinan Refik Zafar; hair, wigs, and make-up design by Earon Chew Nealey; prop management by Corinne Golorgursky; original composition by Justin Hicks; and movement direction by Adesola Osakalumi. Janelle Caso will serve as the production stage manager.
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