Category Archives: About

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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Harvest!

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This fall has been chock full of new developments!  I’ve been in residency at The New Museum since the end of October.  They’ve created a pop up repertory company called X-ID Rep in an effort to further explore the theme of their season: persona.  More to the point: the company is investigating “cross play” in the theater or playing someone of a different race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. and what the politics of that are.  We’re talking stereotypes, appropriation, xenophobia, history, language, privilege and so much more.  It’s been a difficult heady tender meta journey to have the talents of eight performers, four writers and four directors meet.  But overall, everyone’s skills are so varied and wonderful it’s been a real gift to share this time and space together.  We’re essentially an ongoing exhibit at the museum until we have our final showing in January.  So anyone can stop by and check out the process during open studio hours.  More information including open studio hours (and eventually details regarding the final showing) can be found here.  Justine Williams is writing a series of articles about the project for Culturebot that can be found here.

I attended the Audelco awards a few weeks ago as Dancing on Eggshells (a show I was in the world premiere of earlier this year) was nominated for Best Choreography and Best Ensemble.  We didn’t win but it was wonderful to be acknowledged and invited.  There was a lot of talent in that room.

I just watched a final cut of Masquerade, a period short I’m in that tells the true story of William and Ellen Craft’s escape from slavery (see post below for more info).  It’s being submitted to festivals and will premiere in 2016 so I can’t post clips yet but I do have this screen shot to share:

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Last month I was in PlayTime at New Dramatists, which is one of their longer developmental workshops  (lasting two weeks) for five of their playwrights in residence.  What’s amazing is that they take such great care of everyone and go to such pains to make sure that people working on different shows intersect that it feels like a retreat though almost everyone in the company was in the city they call home.  There were free meals, yoga classes and writing workshops and the whole thing was totally kumbaya and rejuvenating.  I was lucky enough to work with Sibyl Kempson (writer/director) and Graham Reynolds (composer) on The Securely Conferred Vouchsafed Keepsakes of Maery S.  Sibyl is endlessly smart and creative and operating on a frequency that resonates in yet undiscovered parts of the psyche.  Graham’s music is inspired and hearty and satisfying.  Love them.  Love the work.  So excited to see what else we can make together…

Finally, I’m so excited to announce that I’m in the world premiere of Laura Jacqumin’s Residence directed by Hal Brooks at Humana Festival.  Humana is such a hotbed for great new American plays it’s been a goal of mine to be a part of it.  I’m really happy I’ll get to go with such a great creative team and more than a relieved to miss the worst of winter in NYC 🙂 More info here.

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