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The America Play

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A black gravedigger who thinks he resembles Abraham Lincoln digs out what he calls “the great hole of history” and creates a sideshow that reenacts Lincoln’s assassination at Ford’s Theatre.  Sitting in a rocking chair dressed as Lincoln, he attracts customers who stop by and shoot blanks at him.  In the second Act, his wife Lucy and son travel west to find him and, ultimately, to bury him.

Credits

Creative team

Suzan-Lori Parks

by

Suzan-Lori Parks

A.R.T.: Father Comes Home From the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3), The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess, The America Play. Plays: Topdog/Underdog (Pulitzer Prize), The Book of Grace, Fucking A, In the Blood (Pulitzer Prize finalist), Venus (Obie Award), The America Play. In 2003, Parks wrote a play a day and her project 365 Days/365 Plays was produced in over 700 theaters worldwide. Parks also performs Watch Me Work in the lobby of The Public Theater. Other plays: The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World, Imperceptible Mutabilities in the Third Kingdom (Obie Award). Broadway: Topdog/Underdog (for which Suzan-Lori won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, becoming the first African-American woman to do so); The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess (Tony Award, Best Revival). Screenplays for Brad Pitt, Spike Lee, Oprah Winfrey. Novel: Getting Mother’s Body (Random House). MacArthur “Genius” Award; one of TIME Magazine’s “100 Innovators for the Next New Wave.” Former writing student of James Baldwin; alumna of Mount Holyoke College and New Dramatists. Recipient of the Horton Foote Prize for Father Comes Home From the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3). The Public: Master Writer Chair.

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Directed by

Marcus Stern

In the Body of the World

Directed by

Marcus Stern

Associate Director of the American Repertory Theater and the A.R.T./ MXAT Institute for Advanced Theater Training, and Head Of Directing for Theater, Dance and Media at Harvard University.  His directorial work with the A.R.T. has included The Onion Cellar with The Dresden Dolls, Donnie Darko (adaptor/director/sound designer), Beckett’s Endgame, Adam Rapp's Nocturne, Suzan Lori Parks' The America Play, Adrienne Kennedy's The Ohio State Murders, Büchner's Woyzeck, Sam Shepard's Buried Child, and Christopher Durang’s Marriage of Bette and Boo (also at NYU and Harvard University). A.R.T. Institute: A Bright New Boise, The Flu Season, The 4th Graders Present An Unnamed Love-Suicide, Beckett Shorts: (Not I, Footfalls, Play, Rough For Radio II, Breath, Come and Go), Donnie Darko. Other: Hang Ong's The Chang Fragments and Martin Crimp's The Treatment at The Joseph Papp Public Theater; Fellini's Juliet of the Spirits at Theater Neumarkt in Zurich; Jose Rivera's Marisol at the Actors Theatre of Louisville, Humana Festival; Mac Wellman's Hyacinth Macaw at Primary Stages in New York; Instant Girl's On the Run at Dance Theater Workshop; Mac Wellman's The Land of Fog and Whistles at the Whitney Museum Biennial; Neena Beber's The Living Goddess at The Magic Theater; Erin Cressida Wilson's Cross Dressing in the Depression at Soho Rep; and Quincy Long's Whole Hearted at the Mark Taper Forum's Taper Too in Los Angeles. His adaptations include Fellini's Juliet of the Spirits (Zurich), Phoebe's Got Three Sisters (Cucaracha Theater in New York) and O'Neill's The Great God Brown at NYU and Harvard University.  He's currently working with ArtsEmerson on his adaptation of Don Delillo's short story, "Hammer & Sickle" for the stage. Mr. Stern has taught at the Yale School of Drama, New York University, and Columbia University. He currently teaches at Harvard University, Harvard's Extension School, and A.R.T./MXAT Institute for Advanced Theater Training.

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Set design by

Allison Koturbash

Set design by

Allison Koturbash

Allison Koturbash, the set designer for Woyzeck, previously created the sets for the American Repertory Theater productions of Buried Child, The Accident, Demons, and The America Play. Her work includes Juliet of the Spirits at Theater Neumarkt, Zurich; Life Is a Dream at the Los Angeles Theatre Center; Largo Desolato at the Yale Repertory Theatre; Phoebe Got Three Sisters at La Cucaracha Theater; Hamletmachine at the Yale School of Drama; Rough for Radio II and Catastrophe at Home for Contemporary Theatre.

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Costume design by

Gail A. Buckley

Lighting design by

John Ambrosone

Lighting design by

John Ambrosone

Lighting Designer John Ambrosone has designed over thirty productions for the American Repertory Theater, including Lysistrata, Absolution, Marat/Sade, Othello, Animals and Plants, Mother Courage (2001 Elliot Norton Design Award), The Doctor's Dilemma, Three Farces and a Funeral, Nocturne, IvanovThe Cripple of Inishmaan, The King Stag, Boston Marriage, Charlie in the House of Rue, Valparaiso, The Marriage of Bette and Boo, How I Learned to Drive, Nobody Dies on Friday, Man and Superman, The Old Neighborhood, When the World Was Green (A Chef's Fable), Alice in Bed, Slaughter City, and Buried Child. On Broadway he designed The Old Neighborhood. Work in resident theaters includes the Alley Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre, the Coconut Grove Playhouse, Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), Walnut Street Theatre, Trinity Repertory Company, and Arena Stage. Mr. Ambrosone also has designed in Singapore, Moscow, Japan, Brazil, Taiwan, Mexico, Germany, and France.

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Sound design by

Christopher Walker

Sound design by

Christopher Walker

Christopher Walker has composed music and designed sound for We Won't Pay! We Won't Pay!, Phaedra, Beckett Trio: Eh Joe, Ghost Trio, and Nacht und Traüme, and An Evening of Beckett, and designed sound for The King Stag, Loot, The Idiots Karamazov, Ivanov, The Cripple of Inishmaan, Charlie in the House of Rue, The Merchant of Venice, Valparaiso, The Taming of the Shrew, The Bacchae, The Wild Duck, Woyzeck, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, The Wild Duck, Alice in Bed, Slaughter City, Buried Child, Ubu Rock, The Threepenny Opera, The Accident, Demons, Waiting for Godot, The Oresteia, Hot 'n' Throbbing, The America Play, A Touch of the Poet, The Cherry Orchard, What the Butler Saw, and Those the River Keeps at the A.R.T. Previously he composed music and designed sound for productions at the Intiman Theatre, the Bathhouse Theatre, and the Alice B. Theatre. He also scores for dance and has composed for the Allegro Dance Festival, the Bumbershoot Festival, and On The Boards.

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Cast

The Founding Father

Terry Alexander

The Founding Father

Terry Alexander

Terry Alexander has appeared at the American Repertory Theater as Tuck in Slaughter City and as the Foundling Father in The America Play. He appeared in Streamers and Playboy of the West Indies at Lincoln Center, No Place to Be Somebody on Broadway, Dancin' On Moonlight at the Public Theater, Naomi Court at Manhattan Theatre Club, Pantomime at Boston Shakespeare Company, To Die for Grenada at Cleveland Playhouse, Fences at San Jose Repertory, Two Trains Running at Alliance Theatre, Black Girl at Second Stage, To Die for Grenada at the Cleveland Playhouse, and Some Sweet Day at Longwharf Theatre. His feature films include All that Jazz, Day of the Dead, Deathwish, The Amateur, and Flashpoint, and he appeared on television in Hill Street Blues, Equal Justice, Fame, Bernie's Place, Angel on My Shoulder, Benson, and One Life to Live, among many others.

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Lucy

Kim Brockington

Lucy

Kim Brockington

Brazil

Royal Miller

Brazil

Royal Miller

A Woman

Siobhan Juanita Brown

Siobhan Juanita Brown is from Roxbury, MA. Performance credits include Suzan-Lori Parks’s The America Play at the American Repertory Theater, The Emancipation of Valet de Chambre (premiere) at Cleveland Play House, Studs Terkel’s American Dreams: Lost and Found (premiere) with the Acting Company, and several seasons with Commonwealth Shakespeare Company. She is currently the manager of performance programs in the Education Department at Citi Performing Arts Center in Boston. Siobhan began her work there as a teaching artist, and has also taught with the Strand Theatre, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, and nationally with the Acting Company, America’s foremost touring company. She is a board member for Up You Mighty Race Theatre Company and will direct the premiere of Tears at the Hip Hop Nation, based on the lives of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls, this season. Siobhan also holds a bachelor of fine arts degree in performing arts and African American studies from Emerson College, and completed the graduate acting program at the American Repertory Theater/Moscow Art Theater Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University.

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A Man

Vontress Mitchell

Vontress Mitchell appeared as Zeinvel Shmeckel in the American Repertory Theater's world premiere of Shlemiel the First and as the Man in the A.R.T. New Stages production of The America Play. He has recently appeared as Rodrigo in Othello with the Juggernaut Theatre in New York, which will be performed at the Royal Shakespeare Company in spring 1997. Other A.R.T. credits include Henry IV, Black Snow, and The Threepenny Opera. He is also a 1995 graduate of the American Repertory Theater/Moscow Art Theater Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University.

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