Cast Complete for National Black Theatre World Premiere of Amani, Starring Denise Manning | Playbill

Broadway News Cast Complete for National Black Theatre World Premiere of Amani, Starring Denise Manning

Josiah Davis will direct a.k. payne's drama, presented in partnership with Rattlestick Theater.

Denise Manning Courtesy of NBT

Casting has been announced for the National Black Theatre's world premiere of a.k. payne's Amani, presented in partnership with Rattlestick Theater.

Directed by current NBT Soul Series Directing Resident Josiah Davis (Mr. Saturday Night, Lessons in Survival: 1971), performances will be held February 6-March 5, 2023, at Off-Broadway's Rattlestick Theater. Opening night is February 16.

The cast will feature Omari K. Chancellor (Soft) as Robert Richards/Davion/Lamar Davis/A Series of Men, Kai Heath (On Sugarland) as Kofa, Denise Manning (What To Send Up When It Goes Down) in the title role, Eden Marryshow (INK) as Smith, and Mars Rucker (A Strange Loop) as Daisa.

The play follows the journey of Amani, who grows up building a rocket ship with her father, who vows to make it to outer space where his child can breathe easy, where there are no gangs to take his first love’s life, nor prisons to take Black boys’ best years. As Amani moves into adulthood, she seeks her voice and her own dreams. 

The creative team also includes set designer Maruti Evans, lighting designer Marika Kent, sound designer and composer Kathy Ruvuna, music director and pianist Nehemiah Luckett, costume designer Mika Eubanks, projection designer Brittany Bland, dramaturg Nissy Aya, intimacy coordinator Ann C. James, props master Daniel Brothers, assistant costume designer Allison Esonnason, master electrician Tom Dyer, set fabricator Sightline Fabrication, casting director Destiny Lilly, and casting assistant Alex Cortinas.

“I am so excited to begin this journey of building Amani! It is a tremendous gift to nurture this new work in a space as supportive, nourishing, intentional, collaborative and reminiscent of home—those seemingly ever-elusive spaces of rest for Black folks moving in this diaspora—as National Black Theatre,” says playwright payne. “Working with Josiah to imagine the community that will inhabit this universe—in which Black folks can: be free, genius, mourn and move, be children, grow, change, love, touch and breathe—it has all been such a dream. We are thrilled to invite more collaborators into what has already been such an abundant journey of imagining worlds in which we can fly.”

This production comes as a part of NBT’s Soul Directing Residency, a rigorous yet creative playground for Black directors to gain exposure, New York City credentials, and technical skills.

For ticket information click here.

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