The Lincoln Center Theater/LCT3 production of Antoinette Chinonye Nwandu’s acclaimed, award-winning play Pass Over, directed by Obie Award winner Danya Taymor (“Daddy”, Heroes of the Fourth Turning) will reopen Broadway’s August Wilson Theatre (245 W 52nd Street, New York, NY) for a limited engagement, with exact dates to be announced shortly. This will mark the Broadway debut of both Nwandu and Taymor. Pass Overwill be produced on Broadway by Matt Ross, Jujamcyn Theaters, Lincoln Center Theater, Concord Theatricals, Renee Montgomery, Blair Underwood, Madeleine Foster Bersin, and Antoinette Chinonye Nwandu.
Playwright and producer Antoinette Chinonye Nwandu said “In the summer of 2017, soon after our nation had elected Donald Trump as president, my creative team and I opened a production of Pass Over that shocked the conscience of our audiences. It premiered in Chicago at Steppenwolf and was captured by Spike Lee for Amazon Prime.
“In the summer of 2018, wanting to prick the conscience of liberal Americans who remain tentative in their condemnation of violence against Black people, I changed the ending of the play, and my team and I opened Pass Over at LCT3 in New York. That version of the play was then produced throughout the United States, as well as in Canada, London, and South Africa.
“And now, as my team and I prepare to produce this play again, I’ve asked myself: when the state-sanctioned murder of Black people in the United States remains visible and routine, and the world continues to reckon with the loss, trauma, and alienation caused by the global pandemic, how do I meet this moment?
“Though much about Pass Over remains a lament over the lives of Black people stolen too soon, I am happy to confirm that my team and I, along with our producers, are presenting a new version that centers the health, hope and joy of our audiences, especially Black people. We are re-uniting to envision this play again, to tell a version of the story on Broadway where Moses & Kitch both survive their encounter with white oppression.”
PASS OVER is Antoinette Chinonye Nwandu’s “masterful” (Afira Akbar, The Guardian) new play, drawing inspiration from Waiting for Godot and the Exodus story, placed on a city street corner. Moses and Kitch stand around – talking shit, passing the time, and hoping that maybe today will be different. As they dream of their promised land, a stranger wanders into their space and disrupts their plans. Evoking heartbreak, hope, and joy over its 85 minutes, PASS OVER crafts everyday profanities into poetic and humorous riffs, illuminating the unquestionable human spirit of young men looking for a way out. Casting for the Broadway engagement will be announced in the coming weeks.
“As August Wilson did almost 4 decades ago, Antoinette Chinonye Nwandu is leading us towards the Broadway of our best imagination,” said Jujamcyn Theaters president Jordan Roth. “Her brilliant vision, her unwavering voice, her galvanizing spirit show us the way forward, and all of us at Jujamcyn are so grateful that Antoinette and her exquisite play Pass Over are coming home to the August Wilson Theatre.”
The Lincoln Center Theater/LCT3 (Andre Bishop, Producing Artistic Director/Evan Cabnet, Artistic Director LCT3) New York premiere of PASS OVER opened at the Claire Tow Theater where, where it had an acclaimed, sold-out, and extended run and received the 2019 Lortel Award for Outstanding Play. The world premiere was produced and presented at Steppenwolf Theatre Company (Anna D. Shapiro, Artistic Director and David Schmitz, Managing Director). A filmed version of Taymor’s Jeff Award-winning Steppenwolf production, directed by Spike Lee, premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and at SXSW.
The production reunites the full design team from the Lincoln Center Theater/LCT3 production, with set design by Wilson Chin (Cost of Living, Wild Goose Dreams), costume design by Sarafina Bush (Plot Points in Our Sexual Development, Heroes of the Fourth Turning), lighting design by Marcus Doshi (Linda Vista) and sound design by Obie and Grammy Award winner Justin Ellington (Pipeline, Heroes of the Fourth Turning). Casting is by Daniel Swee.
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