Raja Feather Kelly Will Make Playwriting Debut With The Fires | Playbill

Off-Broadway News Raja Feather Kelly Will Make Playwriting Debut With The Fires

Off-Broadway’s SoHo Rep venue will present the celebrated choreographer's new play this summer.

Raja Feather Kelly Michaelah Reynolds

Celebrated choreographer Raja Feather Kelly (A Strange Loop, Lempicka) will make his playwriting debut with the premiere of his play The Fires at SoHo Rep this summer. The work centering on three different men in a South Brooklyn railroad will play the Off-Broadway venue May 8-June 16. An official opening night is set for May 21.

In 1971, 1998, and 2021, three different men in a South Brooklyn railroad apartment write, read, flirt, eat, and fight at the same time. Kelly will direct his own play.

The cast will include Beau Badu as Eli, Sheldon Best as Sam, Phillip James Brannon as Jay, Janelle McDermoth as Rowan, Ronald Peet as George/Sean/Kayne, Jon-Michael Reese as Maurice, Jason Veasey as Billy/Reggie, and Tony Award-nominee Michelle Wilson as Leslie. 

The production will feature music by Emily Wells, dramaturgy by Dominique Rider, scenic design by Raphael Mishler, co-costume design by Naoko Nagata and Enver Chakartash, lighting design by Bryan Ealey, sound design by Salvador Zamora, hair and makeup design by Karine Ivey, intimacy direction by Teniece Divya Johnson, and creative circle by Lauren Morrow and Ayanna Thompson.

The premiere of The Fires arrives during a prolific season for the creative, with Kelly's choreography seen onstage in Teeth at Playwrights Horizons and Lempicka on Broadway this season. 

“I'm an experimental artist, and I believe The Fires is a continuation of my interest in experimentation while also realizing my excitement about creating a proper play. I am equally excited to direct this, to apply the things that are paramount to my vision of the form: I'm so fond of behavior as storytelling—it’s what led me to become a choreographer—and now it’s leading me back to writing and wanting to direct more," said Kelly in a statement.

For tickets and more information, visit SoHoRep.org.

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