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Darkly Comic End-of-Life Hospice Care Drama Premieres DEAD AND BREATHING Opens November 5 at National Black Theatre, New York

October 29, 2015

Darkly Comic End-of-Life Hospice Care Drama Premieres

DEAD AND BREATHING

Opens November 5 at National Black Theatre

 

4 Stars. "An engaging, heartfelt exploration on death and the need for

redemption." -- DC Metro Theater Arts

 

"Simultaneously thought provoking and as funny as it gets…. nasty,

funny, earthy, and surprisingly wise."  -- Communities Digital News

 

"Will provide a treasure trove of reflections about life’s value and

worth, the impact we have on each other, and living to the fullest, no

matter what." -- DC Theatre Scene

 

"Funny, insightful… this play is so well-finished it seems ready for a

trip to New York. " -- BroadwayWorld

 

Dr. Barbara Ann Teer's NATIONAL BLACK THEATRE, the oldest continually

operating black theater in New York, will present the New York City

Premiere of DEAD AND BREATHING by GLAAD Media Award winner Chisa

Hutchinson (She Like Girls). Directed by Obie winner Jonathan McCrory,

previews begin October 28 with press opening set for November 5. NOTE:

this limited engagement is produced on an Off-Broadway contract.

 

In DEAD AND BREATHING, cranky old Carolyn Whitlock has been in hospice

for far too long and just wants to die.  When she tries to convince a

loud, oversharing, and very Christian nurse to assist her suicide, she

has to work harder than she ever has in her privileged life to end it.

Through surprising humor and persistent questioning, DEAD AND

BREATHING investigates morality, mortality and the intense tug-of-war

between the right to die with dignity and the idea of life as a gift.

 

The production stars Lizan Mitchell (Helen Hayes Award for Best

Actress) and Nikki Walker with a production team that includes Maruti

Evans (scenic design), Alan Edwards (lighting design), Karen Perry

(costume design), Justin Hicks (sound design), Valerie Gladstone

(Special Effects) Halle Morse (stage management), Belynda Hardin

(production manager), Ngozi Anyanwu (production assistant).

 

Chisa Hutchinson was born in Queens, New York and raised in Newark,

New Jersey. She earned a B.A. in Dramatic Arts from Vassar College and

an M.F.A. in Playwriting from NYU.  Chisa's plays include She Like

Girls, The Subject, Dirt Rich, Mama's Gonna Buy You, This is Not The

Play, Alondra Was Here and Somebody's Daughter. Her plays have been

produced by companies including Lark Play Development Center, City

Parks' Summerstage, Working Man's Clothes, Partial Comfort, Atlantic

Theater Company, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, New Dramatists,

Rattlestick Theater, Contemporary American Theater Festival, Midtown

Direct Rep, Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey, Working Theater and

FilmGym. She is the recipient of numerous awards including GLAAD Media

Award, Lanford Wilson Award, Helen Merrill Award, NY Innovative

Theater Award, and the John Golden Award for Playwriting. Chisa has

written for and performed with the New York NeoFuturists and was a

Staff Writer for Blue Man Group.

 

Jonathan McCrory is an Obie Award winning, Harlem-based artist. He is

currently the Director of Theatre Arts Program at National Black

Theatre. His directing credits include: HandsUp: 6 Playwrights 6

Testament, Last Laugh, Hope Speaks, Blacken The Bubble, Asking for

More and Enter Your Sleep. A Washington, DC native, he attended Duke

Ellington School of the Arts, then New York University Tisch School of

the Arts. In 2013 he was awarded the Emerging Producer Award by the

National Black Theatre Festival in Winston Salem, NC and the Torch

Bearer Award by Woodie King Jr. He is a founding member of Harlem9

(where he shared an Obie for 48 Hours in Harlem) and The Movement

Theatre Company. For more info, visit www.jonathanmccrory.com.

 

Founded by Dr. Barbara Ann Teer in 1968, NATIONAL BLACK THEATRE (NBT)

is a nationally recognized cultural and educational institution. Dr.

Teer was a pioneer in brining black theatre where artists of African

descent actually live and work. In 1983, Dr. Teer expanded the vision

of NBT by purchasing a 64,000-square-foot building on 125th Street and

Fifth Avenue (renamed “National Black Theatre Way” in 1994). This was

the first revenue-generating black arts complex in the country, an

innovative arrangement through which for-profit businesses who shared

NBT’s values rented retail space to subsidize the arts. Out of her

vision, NBT now houses the largest collection of Nigerian new sacred

art in the Western hemisphere. NBT is partially supported by grants

from the City Council of New York, City of New York Department of

Cultural Affairs, Ford Foundation, Andrew Mellon Foundation, Columbia

University Service Society and private donations. Follow NBT on

Facebook (www.facebook.com/NationalBlackTheatre) and Twitter/Instagram

(@NatBlackTheatre). For more information visit

www.nationalblacktheatre.org.

 

DEAD AND BREATHING runs October 28 - November 23. Performances are

Monday, Thursday & Friday at 7:30pm; Saturday at 2pm & 7:30pm and

Sunday at 4pm.  NATIONAL BLACK THEATRE is located in the heart of

Harlem at 2031-33 National Black Theatre Way (at the corner of 125th

Street and Fifth Avenue -- accessible from the 2,3,4,5,6 trains at

125th Street).  Tickets are $30, available at 866-811-4111 or

www.nationalblacktheatre.org.

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