The Black Rep will end its 41st season with a World Premiere production of “Torn Asunder” by Nikkole Salter. The final show of the 41st season previews on Friday, April 13. Opening night is April 20. The run closes Sunday, April 29. All performances will be held at the Edison Theatre on the campus of Washington University.
“Torn Asunder” is set in Prince George’s County, MD, 1859. Hannah, a relatively contented enslaved woman, has her world rocked when her master dies and she, for the first time, is separated from her family, new husband, and baby. But, just as she begins to lose all hope to ever see her husband and child again, the seceded south falls to the Union, slavery is abolished with the 13th Amendment, and Hannah has the opportunity to put her family back together…if she can find them. “Torn Asunder” dramatizes true stories of newly emancipated African Americans trying to overcome the ever-present vestiges of chattel slavery to reconnect with their families. Based on the research of Prof. Heather Andrea Williams in her book “Help Me to Find My People.” Nikkole Salter was commissioned by Prof. Heather Andrea Williams and Kathy A. Perkins to write the script.
“I feel like I’m always looking for my Celie stories: the stories that I’ve uniquely built—through my experience as a person alive and my experience in the craft—to tell.” —Nikkole Salter
Last season, The Black Rep produced Salter’s “Lines in the Dust,” directed by Producing Director Ron Himes. “We began a relationship,” Himes said, “and I wanted to do more of her work. When I read TORN ASUNDER I wept through the last forty pages and immediately called Nikkole and said we want to do this play next season. We want to do the World Premiere of this epic love story.”
The cast includes Erin Renee Roberts, last seen in “Sunset Baby” as Hannah and Myke Andrews as Moses, the two young lovers. Alan Knoll, last seen in “Intimate Apparel,” plays Master James and Carl Overly Jr., last seen in “Dreamgirls,” plays Henry. In addition, Brandi Threatt is Malinda and Graham Emmons is John.
Behind the scenes will be stage manager Tracy D. Holliway-Wiggins, set designer Dunsi Dai, lighting by Kathy Perkins, costumes by Daryl Harris, props by Kate Slovinski, sound by Kareem Deanes, and Jonah Scheckler as technical director.
Tickets for Torn Asunder are currently on sale. $45 for adults, $40 for seniors, and $20 dollars for Wednesday night performances. All Wednesday and Thursday performances will begin 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday performances will begin 8pm and Sunday matinees will begin 3pm. Students are encouraged to attend.
About The Black Rep:
Founded in 1976 by Producing Director Ron Himes, The Black Rep is one of the largest, professional African-American theatre companies in the nation and the largest African-American performing arts organization in Missouri.