*NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. Crossroads Theatre Company (Marshall Jones, III, producing artistic director), one of the nation’s premiere African-American theaters, will present the world premieres of two one-act plays as its Season Finale this May: the powerful drama White Lilies, by best-selling novelist Walter Mosley, and the adult comedy The Talk, by France-Luce Benson. Previews begin on Thursday, May 9, and Friday, May 10; the plays open on Saturday, May 11, and run through Sunday, May 19, at Crossroads in New Brunswick.
Set in the early 1970s, White Lilies is a one-act drama from one of America’s most revered authors about the power of love, faith and forgiveness. Mosley reconnects audiences with the popular character Mouse from his “Easy” Rawlins book series, a role immortalized by Don Cheadle in his film debut in Devil in a Blue Dress. White Lilies is directed by Marshall Jones, III, and includes cast members Bridgid Coulter (EttaMae), Chantal Jean-Pierre (Sophie), Ruffin Prentiss (LaMarque) and Landon G. Woodson (“Mouse”).
“My writing is kind of made for people to speak, and as a writer, I want to extend my range as far as possible,” said Mosley. “Having the story up onstage means I can get that many more insights, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to do so with Marshall, the entire creative team at Crossroads, and the terrific ensemble of actors they’ve assembled.”
In The Talk, by France-Luce Benson, a recently widowed Haitian mother approaches her daughter for a bit of intimate advice; the resulting conversation leads them into some unexplored territory. The Talk is directed by Sibusiso Mamba. The cast includes Chantal Jean-Pierre (Manu) and Shashone Lambert (Claire).
Both plays feature scenic design by A Ram Kim, lighting design by Timothy Cook and costume design by Caity Mulkearns.
“Crossroads is pleased to present two playwrights with unique and compelling voices. Walter is a natural-born storyteller in any medium, whether books, short stories, screenplays or plays. White Lilies, which has several characters that his fans will recognize, was first conceived of 20 years ago, and we are honored to introduce it to the world,” said Jones. “France-Luce is perhaps New York’s best-kept secret, a playwright who demonstrates a firm grasp of character in challenging situations that probe our humanity, all while presenting the Haitian culture in an authentic manner.”
The show will run through Sunday, May 19, at Crossroads Theatre Company (7 Livingston Avenue in New Brunswick, NJ). Tickets range from $40 to $65 for Opening Night and may be purchased by calling 732-545-8100 or online at www.CrossroadsTheatreCompany.org.
Founded in 1978 by Ricardo Khan and L. Kenneth Richardson, Crossroads Theatre Company embraces the vision that African-American theater is intended for a broad-based, diverse audience. As a major force in the development of new ideas and the introduction of formerly marginalized writers, Crossroads produces works that enrich and diversify the representation of African American culture on the American stage. Crossroads has presented more than 40 world premieres and received the Tony Award® in 1999 for Outstanding Regional Theatre in the United States.