Previews begin April 23 for the Off-Broadway production of Alice Childress' Wedding Band: A Love/Hate Story in Black and White, presented by Theatre for a New Audience at the Polonsky Shakespeare Center in Brooklyn. Awoye Timpo directs the show which officially opens May 8 and will run through May 15.
Starring in the cast are Brittany Bradford as Julia Augustine, Rosalyn Coleman as Lula Green, Veanne Cox as Herman’s Mother, Rebecca Haden as Annabelle, Brittany-Laurelle as Mattie, Sofie Nesanelis as Princess, Renrick Palmer as Nelson Green, Phoenix Noelle Reece as Teeta, Thomas Sadoski as Herman, Elizabeth Van Dyke as Fanny Johnson, and Max Woertendyke as Bell Man.
The play is set in 1918 Charleston, South Carolina at the end of WWI and during the flu pandemic, and delves into the dynamics of a small community of Black women as a new addition reveals her long-term relationship with a white man and the many obstacles they all face.
The production features scenic design by Jason Ardizzone-West, costume design by Qween Jean, lighting design by Stacey Derosier, sound design by Rena Anakwe, music composition by Alphonso Horne, music direction by Nehemiah Luckett, movement direction by Renee Robinson, voice direction by Andrew Wade, dialect coaching by Cherie Corinne Rice, and dramaturgy by Arminda Thomas and TFANA Resident Dramaturg Jonathan Kalb.
“In both the 1960s, when the play was written, and in 1918, the time the play is set, we were asking: how are we shaping our society in a way that’s just, and how can we find a place where we can survive and support each other so that all of us can thrive?," Timpo explains in a statement. "It’s interesting and revealing doing this piece in a moment where we’re asking a lot of questions about who we want to be—and also rejecting many of the framings of the past.”
TFANA presents and produces the play as part of CLASSIX's residency. The theatre collective CLASSIX was formed by Timpo, Bradford, and Thomas with A.J. Muhammad and Dominique Rider as an exploration of Black performance history and dramatic works by Black writers. Wedding Band made its New York premiere in 1972 under the co-direction of Childress and Joseph Papp.
For tickets and more information, visit TFANA.org.