The world premiere of Grace begins performances March 19 at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. The musical features music and lyrics by Nolan Williams, Jr. and a book co-written by Williams and Nikkole Salter.
Grace examines the history of Black culinary tradition and the challenges faced by Black-owned businesses as it follows a day in the life of the Minton family, who gathers to mourn the loss of their matriarch and decide the future of the family restaurant in a changing Philadelphia neighborhood.
The cast features David Hughey, Arica Jackson, Raquel Jennings, Rayshun LaMarr, Jarran Muse, Solomon Parker III, Nova Y. Payton, and Virginia Ann Woodruff. Understudies are LaDonna Burns, Jay Frisby, Duawne Starling, and Kai B. White.
READ: Nolan Williams Jr. Explores the Intersection of African American Food Traditions and Theatre in Grace
Grace is directed and choreographed by Robert Barry Fleming, with music direction by Williams and orchestrations by Joseph Joubert. The production also has scenic design by Jason Ardizzone-West, costume design by Dominique Fawn Hill, lighting design by Xavier Pierce, sound design by David Budries, and hair and wig design by Nikiya Mathis. Sheldon Epps serves as creative consultant and Martine Kei Green-Rogers as dramaturg. New York casting is by Stephanie Klapper. The production stage manager is Craig A. Horness, the stage manager is Jessica R. Aguilar, and the assistant stage manager is Taryn Friend.
The production runs through May 14 at Ford's, by special arrangement with Dale Mott/Edgewood (Thoughts of a Colored Man, A Strange Loop) and NEWorks Productions.