Award-Winning Poetry Cycle Citizen Sets NY Stage Premiere | Playbill

News Award-Winning Poetry Cycle Citizen Sets NY Stage Premiere Claudia Rankine's collection examines racism in America.
Claudia Rankine John Lucas

The stage adaptation of Citizen, Claudia Rankine's award-winning book of poems about racism in America, will get its New York premiere next season.

Subtitled “An American Lyric," Rankine's book won the 2014 National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry and many other awards.

Scheduled for January 2017, Citizen will headline the Primary Stages 2016-7 season. Rankine premiered the stage adaption at the Fountain Theatre in Los Angeles in 2015. She reportedly has updated the text with the help of playwright Stephen Sachs for the New York bow.

The play is described thus in production notes: “An intensely provocative and unapologetic rumination on racial aggression in America...heralded as one of the best books of the past decade. In this new stage adaptation by Rankine and Stephen Sachs of this masterful New York Times bestseller, seemingly everyday acts of racism are scrutinized as part of an uncompromising testimony of 'living while Black' in America. A winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry, Rankine's work echoes the voices heard around dinner tables and in demonstrations across the country. From the shooting of Trayvon Martin, to the tennis career of Serena Williams, and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Citizen powerfully explores life in the face of unrelenting and pervasive acts of injustice, whether they are political affronts on the global stage or passing slurs at the local supermarket.”

Also announced for the Primary Stages season: The Roads to Home by Horton Foote (starring Hallie Foote); Michael McKeever’s Daniel’s Husband, directed by Joe Brancato; and Fade by Tanya Saracho.

For more information and to purchase season tickets, visit

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