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Rehearsals Underway for 'Father Comes Home'



"By turns philosophical and playful, lyrical and earthy, Suzan-Lori Parks’ new play swoops, leaps, dives and soars … reimagining a turbulent turning point in American history through a cockeyed contemporary lens." - Charles Isherwood, The New York Times

Rehearsals are underway for Pulitzer Prize-winner Suzan-Lori Parks’ acclaimed drama, “Father Comes Home From The Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3),” opening April 17 and continuing through May 15, 2016, at the Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum. Previews begin April 5.

Directed by Jo Bonney, the production features, in alphabetical order, Steven Bargonetti (“Father Comes Home…,” Public Theater; “Hair,” Broadway), Sterling K. Brown (“Father Comes Home…,” Public Theater; “The People v. O.J. Simpson,” FX), Russell G. Jones (“Father Comes Home…,” Public Theater; “Ruined,” Manhattan Theatre Company, Obie Award), Sameerah Luqmaan-Harris (“The Emperor Jones,” Irish Repertory Theatre; “Advantageous,” Sundance Special Jury Award), Michael McKean (“Better Call Saul,” AMC; “This is Spinal Tap;” “Harps and Angels,” Mark Taper Forum), Patrena Murray (“Father Comes Home…,” ART; “Julius Caesar,” Irondale Center), Tonye Patano (“Father Comes Home…,” Public Theater; “Weeds,” Showtime), Larry Powell (“The Christians,” Mark Taper Forum; “The Mountaintop,” Actors Theatre of Louisville), Roger Robinson (“Joe Turner’s Come and Gone,” Tony Award; “Seven Guitars,” Tony nomination), Julian Rozzell Jr. (“Father Comes Home…,” Public Theater; “Boardwalk Empire,” HBO) and Josh Wingate (“Justified,” FX; “General Hospital”).

Scenic design is by Neil Patel, costume design is by ESosa, lighting design is by Lap Chi Chu, sound design is by Dan Moses Schreier and Bargonetti is the music director. Casting is by Meg Fister and the production stage manager is Evangeline Rose Whitlock.

In this devastatingly beautiful new play set during the Civil War, a slave named Hero (played by Sterling K. Brown) is offered his freedom if he joins his master (Michael McKean) in the ranks of the Confederacy. The choice is to leave the woman and people he loves for what may be an empty promise. His decision brings him face to face not only with a nation at war with itself, but with what freedom truly means.

David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter said of the play’s 2014 world premiere at the Public Theater, “This haunting work is funny and tragic, whimsical and lacerating, poetic and poignant, navigating its radical tonal shifts with fluidity and grace. The trilogy also manages, with stylized language, wit and economy of design, to plug historical experience directly into the socket of contemporary life.”

A MacArthur “Genius” Award recipient, Suzan-Lori Parks was the first African American woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize (in 2002) for “Topdog/Underdog.” She was a 2015 Pulitzer Prize finalist with “Father Comes Home From the Wars,” for which she won the 2015 Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama and the 2014 Horton Foote Prize. She received a Tony Award in 2012 for her work on “The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess.” Her plays include “The Book of Grace,” “In the Blood” (2000 Pulitzer Prize finalist), “Venus” (1996 Obie Award), “365 Days/365 Plays” and “The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World,” among others. She’s written a novel, “Getting Mother’s Body” (Random House). Her first film was “Girl 6,” written for Spike Lee, and she has written screenplays for Brad Pitt, Denzel Washington and Jodie Foster. Her adaptation of Zora Neale Hurston’s “Their Eyes Were Watching God” premiered on ABC’s Oprah Winfrey Presents. Parks is currently writing an adaptation of the film “The Harder They Come” for a live stage musical.

Tickets for “Father Comes Home From the Wars” are available by calling (213) 628-2772 or online at Tickets range from $25 - $85 (ticket prices are subject to change). The Mark Taper Forum is located at the Music Center, 135 N. Grand Avenue in Downtown L.A. 90012.

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March 18, 2016