Crossroads Theatre Company will take audiences on a journey through the ages during its 2012-2013 season of theatrical presentations that bring drama, poignancy and humor to different chapters of American history, from the 1920s to post-9/11 America.
“This season is dedicated to sharing with the world why Crossroads matters,” says Producing Artistic Director Marshall Jones. “Our plays not only deal with the African American experience but more important for our time, how we intersect with other races and cultures.”
“Crossroads is unique because this is our mission – every day we strive for the authentic telling of our stories, not just during the month of February. That is why we matter!”
Knock Me a Kiss
October 25-November 4
The season opens with Knock Me a Kiss, Charles Smith’s acclaimed play about the brief marriage of Yolande Du Bois, daughter of W.E.B. Du Bois, running October 25 through November 4.
Starring Tony Award-nominee André De Shields as W.E.B. Du Bois, Knock Me a Kiss is an insightful look at the marriage of Yolande Du Bois and the famed poet Counte Cullen. It was the royal wedding of the Harlem Renaissance, arranged by Du Bois himself, but soon ended in divorce because of Cullen’s latent homosexuality.
“If your sexual preference is different and you’re born a few generations too early then you are socially obligated to keep your homosexual identity in the closet, especially if you’re famous,” says Jones. “Knock Me a Kiss use humor and pathos along with a brilliantly funny and insightful performance by André De Shields to bring to life the complexities of race, class and sexuality in the 1920’s.”
The play’s mix of drama and humor won praise from The New York Times, which in reviewing the 2010 production, called it a “dandy play” that keeps a sense of humor “but muzzling it just enough to allow some drama and poignancy to enter the mix.”
Crossroads’ production features the same cast as the New York run, including De Shields as W.E.B. Du Bois. De Shields is returning to Crossroads after directing last season’s audience and critical smash Ain’t Misbehavin’.
Playing daughter Yolande Du Bois is Erin Cherry. Cherry is also a Crossroads veteran, having appeared in the 30th-Anniversary revival of Sheila’s Day, which went on to play at the famed Market Theater in South Africa.
The cast also features Sean Phillips as Countee Cullen, Marie Thomas as Nina Du Bois, Morocoo Omari as Jimmy Lunceford, the musician who loves Yolande, and Gillian Glasco as Lenora, the friend and confidant of Yolande. Chuck Smith directs.
With Knock Me a Kiss, Charles Smith takes an actual incident and fictionalizes it to create a compelling and thought-provoking play that examines an important moment of American history through drama and a good dose of humor.
Knock Me a Kiss is a co-production with veteran producer Woodie King’s Black Touring Circuit and the Crossorads Theatre Company. Crossroads has a long history with Mr. King. Their recent collaborations include Yesterdays: An Evening with Billie Holiday and Movin’ Man starring Glynn Turman.
A Crossroads tradition continues with the annual Holiday Jubilee, December 6-16. Conceived by Sibusiso Mamba, the 1970s-themed show will celebrate holiday traditions from around the world, inspired by the sounds of Motown that generations of music lovers hold special in their hearts.