Category Archives: About

Fall News

Recently the team from the 2016 production of The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World got back together with Signature to participate in a reunion reading of Susan Lori Parks‘s timeless piece. On Tuesday the 27th at 6pm the reading will air and become available on demand until the 31st at 6pm. There will be a live talkback with Susan Lori Parks, Lileana Blain Cruz and the cast following the initial airing. More information and free tickets here.

Today I’m doing a reading of Carl Holder’s Goldberg Award winning play Until You Come Back To Me for NYU. It’s very dark, very funny and frighteningly relevant. Best of all I get to play with my bright dear friend April Matthis and lots other talented actors. Show’s free and starts at 7. Link is here!

UPDATE: Platonic was well received! Thank you to everyone who streamed it! Lauren Messman wrote in the NYT that it “feels like a bite-size version of ‘Girls’ or ‘High Maintenance.'” You can watch the entire thing and find all kinds of info here. I’m in episode 3 but good actors abound in it so expect to be drawn in…

In other news, I now live in the place where self tapes are made. It’s a total grind but I can’t deny that all the effort and multiple hat wearing has sharpened both my skills and point of view. So there’s that to be grateful for. If 2020 has taught me anything it’s to practice gratitude and that there’s always much much more to come. So take care of yourselves, be good to each other and VOTE. Hope to see your faces IRL again soon!

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Fefu!!!!

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What a ride the latter half of 2019 was!  Doing 3 shows back to back was as exhausting as it was rewarding–and playing Fefu in Fornez’s complex and iconic work was a crowning experience.  To lead such an impeccable cast in the midst of such distinct, detailed and delicious design was a dream come true.  Director Lileana Blain-Cruz and I have collaborated enough now that we’ve reached this wonderful place of trust and respect that invite another layer of bravery and richness into our work together.  I can’t get enough of being in the room with her and am endlessly grateful for her vision and support.

So far 2020 has been busy with auditions, a reading at EST and Clubbed Thumb’s Winterworks.  I did a gem of a little play called Panopticon by Gracie Gardner.  Directed by smarty Caitlin Sullivan with a sweet little cast it was quick, dirty and fun.  I also shot a few scenes for a digital series Platonic created by Erin C. Buckley.  The process was comfortable, focused and easy so I’m excited to see how it all turned out…

Lots of irons in the fire so more soon!  In the meantime, here are some of the looks from Brandon Jacobs-Jenkins’s Girls at Yale Rep.  And if you missed Fefu be sure to check out my press page!

Summer Feels…

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This summer I played Valeria at the Delacorte in Coriolanus.  With a cast of 32 it was the largest production I’ve ever been a part of.  It was an incredible experience to work with so many talented people under the deft direction of Daniel Sullivan.  His take on one of Shakespeare’s lesser known tragedies was raw and devastating and I feel so lucky to have been a part of making it come to life in such an iconic venue. Read our stellar review in the NYT here.

On one of my Mondays off from the Park I was able to shoot an episode of Succession. Shooting for television is generally pretty mapped out and you’re lucky if you get an extra take “to play,” but all bets were off on this set!  This team knows and trusts each other and obviously love making the show–which makes for a real synergy on set.  Briefly being a part of that was a totally fun and freeing experience.  We tried a few different things in my little scene with Sarah Snook, so I’ll be very exited to see which take they went with…

I’m currently working on the world premiere of Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ adaptation of The Bacchae titled Girls at Yale Rep.  I’ve been a fan of Branden’s writing for a while now so it’s a treat to finally get to work with him. I’m also so happy to be reuniting with director Lileana Blain-Cruz, choreographer Raja Feather Kelly, costume designer Montana Levi Blanco and wig designer Cookie Jordan.  The last time we all worked together it was on Susan Lori Parks’ The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World so I am entirely excited to be collaborating with them again.  Rehearsals have been explorative and difficult and so joyful.  We are making something that promises to be strange and beautiful. Catch us at Yale Repertory Theatre October 4th-26th.  Tickets here!

 

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2019!

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My contract with American Son is ending just as pilot season is beginning to take off.  It’s been a thrilling ride on my first Broadway show (to say the least). While I never went on for Kerry, I learned an immense amount from her and this experience. I’m so grateful for all the Black Girl Magic (see above!) and to be able to take everything I’ve learned into the next chapter of my journey.  What’s more, Netflix has decided to adapt American Son!  It feels good to have played a small role in such a culture shifting story and am excited that more people will get to experience its heart and weight.

In other good news, After The Wedding is set to premiere in the Opening Night Film slot at Sundance this week!  I had a wonderful time working on the film and can’t wait to see how it’s received.  I’m also more than eager to find out if my scene with the stunning and gracious Michelle Williams made the final edit!

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Baby’s First Broadway!

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This fall I have the distinct pleasure of understudying Kerry Washington in American Son on Broadway!  Steven Pasquale, Jeremy Jordan and Eugene Lee round out an impressive cast that’s helmed by Kenny Leon’s deft hand.  I have no idea if or when I might go on for Kerry but I can say that I’m honored to be her lady-in-waiting (of sorts).  Watching her work every day has been a profoundly unique and fortunate learning experience.  You have until January 27th to see Kerry (or myself!) and the rest of this incredible company chew up the stage in this provocative and timely play!  Do. Not. Miss. This.

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More…

2018 has been fantastic so far! I shot an episode of Elementary (CBS) a few weeks ago and have been lucky enough to be very busy this pilot season.

I’m also in rehearsals for a gorgeous new musical The Lucky Ones at Ars Nova. If you’re at all familiar with Shawn and Abigail Bengson then you know what incredible musicians and composers they are. This score is certainly no exception. The story we’re telling is epic and Sarah Gancher’s done a beautiful job collaborating with the Bengson’s to write the book. Sonya Tayeh’s stunning choreography and Annie Kaufman’s obvious intelligence have only stoked the fire! Every day I feel lucky to be a part of this room. We’ll be in performances at The Connelly from March 19th until April 21st and the first couple weeks are already sold out so get tickets here soon. This show is a special one. Don’t miss it!

Another Airdate!

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I’ll be on Blindspot on NBC on Wednesday March 29th at 8PM EST. What a well oiled machine this crew is!  Though I suppose there’s no other way to pull off stunts, special effects and fight choreography while three cameras film simultaneously!  I had so much fun shooting this scene and working with all the talented folks on this show.  Tune in to find out if I survive the episode!

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Screen Time!

Masquerade Premiere

With Writer/Director Andrew Hawkins and costar Max Lawrence (photo: Ryan Maxwell)

A short film I’m in Masquerade: A Story of the Old South was accepted into the DC International Film Festival.  Incidentally this screening was also our world premiere so most of the people who worked on the film travelled to be there.  Shooting that film was the kind of experience so special and singular it bonds everyone involved so it was wonderful to reunite to celebrate and be celebrated for our efforts.

Last month I was lucky enough to book a guest star on Bull on CBS.  I’ve had enough time on camera now to be able to relax and have fun on shoot days so it was a really fun few days of shooting.  Their set is filled with people so skillful, friendly and efficient it was a real pleasure to be a part of their ranks.  The episode I’m appearing on is titled “Free Fall” and airs Tuesday March 7th at 9PM (EST) on CBS.  I’ve got another little network something coming up soon so stay tuned…much is in the works!

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Signature With Susan Lori Parks!

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I can’t express what a blessing it’s been to be a part of the cast of The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World at Signature Theatre.  Written over 25 years ago it’s sadly still (if not more) relevant.  It’s been wonderful to reunite with Lileana Blain-Cruz (director) to reimagine this epic ritual.  Prophetess Susan Lori and our gorgeous talented ensemble have been a dream to work with.  Do yourself a favor and join us in the great hole of history…  Performances until December 18th.

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Introducing Willie Rosemont!

Here’s a first look at me playing passing starlet Willie Rosemont in Dizzy With That Dame.  The wonderfully resourceful and talented makeup artist Mai Shimura had her work cut out for her with these luscious brows okay!?    Click here to see a clip from the film!

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