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"Tambo & Bones" Joins Douglas 2021 Season


Los Angeles Dates to Be Announced for the World Premiere Co-Production with Playwrights Horizons

The world premiere production of Dave Harris’ “Tambo & Bones” will be a part of the Center Theatre Group’s upcoming season at the Kirk Douglas Theatre following the play’s New York engagement. A co-production with Playwrights Horizons, this explosive new work from one of the country’s fastest rising playwrights will be directed by Taylor Reynolds. Dates for the engagement of “Tambo & Bones” at the Kirk Douglas Theatre and the other productions in Center Theatre Group’s upcoming season at the Douglas will be announced at a later date.

Tambo and Bones are two characters trapped in a minstrel show. It’s mad hard to feel like a real person when you're trapped in a minstrel show. Their escape plan: get out, get bank, get even. A rags-to-riches hip-hop triptych, “Tambo & Bones” roasts America’s racist past, wrestles America’s racist present, and explodes America’s post-racial future — where what’s at stake, for those deemed less-than-human, is the fate of humanity itself.

“Dave Harris is an important young writer and a voice that needs to be heard,” said Center Theatre Group Artistic Director Michael Ritchie. “We have been following his work for some time and were riveted after witnessing a reading of ‘Tambo & Bones’ at the Ojai Playwrights Festival last year. We approached Dave and the director, Taylor Reynolds, to let them both know that we hoped we could be a part of their journey with this piece. We are now thrilled to be able to publicly announce that, in partnership with Playwrights Horizons, we can make sure Los Angeles and New York audiences have the opportunity to see his vital and undeniably electric new work. It’s a powerful play that exemplifies exactly what we are missing while stages around the country sit empty—the unquestionable power of live theatre, diverse voices and provocative stories to expand the way we see the world and understand different perspectives.

“While we had been excited to announce our next Douglas season, including ‘Tambo & Bones,’ earlier this year, the ongoing shutdown of our venues has shifted our season planning process. We do, however, feel it's important to remind ourselves that art will certainly go on when we can all once again safely gather in the theatre. This is just one more piece in the puzzle as we prepare for that moment but it helps set a high bar as we continue to plan the rest of our upcoming seasons at the Mark Taper Forum and Kirk Douglas Theatre and as we evolve as an organization and make meaningful changes to better serve our community.”

“I began writing this play while watching the founding fires of this country continue to burn,” said Dave Harris. “I began writing this play to confront the fact that now, through the theatre and writing, those fires have somehow become a gateway to artistic success. Now in this moment, when everywhere we turn there is another fire and another reckoning. In this moment when Black people are tearing down racism in the white community and reckoning with capitalism in our own. When our pain is demonized in the media and rewarded onstage. This play was the most fun way to explore something that terrified me, and I am thrilled that it will be a part of theatre's return to both L.A. and New York. Center Theatre Group and its staff have been so incredibly supportive since this play had its first public reading and throughout this pandemic. It brings me tremendous joy to know that, when theatre returns, Taylor and I will be bringing this wild ass play to life.”

Dave Harris is a poet and playwright from West Philly and the Tow Playwright-in-Residence at Roundabout Theatre Company. His play “Exception to the Rule” will have its world premiere at Roundabout Underground in spring 2021. Honors include the 2019 Ollie Award, Lorraine Hansberry Award, Mark Twain Award from The Kennedy Center, 2018 Venturous Fellowship from The Lark and a Cave Canem poetry fellowship, amongst others. His adapted film “Summertime” had its premiere at Sundance in 2020. His first full-length collection of poetry, “Patricide,” was published in May 2019 from Button Poetry.

Taylor Reynolds is a New York-based director from Chicago and one of the Producing Artistic Leaders of the Obie-winning The Movement Theatre Company. She has worked as a director, assistant and collaborator with companies including Clubbed Thumb, Page 73, Signature Theatre Company, Ars Nova and The 24 Hour Plays. Selected directing credits include “Richard & Jane & Dick & Sally” (Baltimore Center Stage/Playwrights Realm), “Tough” (AADA), “Plano” (Clubbed Thumb, Drama Desk nomination for Best Director), “Songs About Trains” (Radical Evolution), “ALLOND(R)A” (New Georges Audrey Residency), “Think Before You Holla” (creator/deviser). New Georges Affiliated Artist, 2017-2018 Clubbed Thumb Directing Fellow, Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab alum and member of SDC.

Center Theatre Group, one of the nation’s preeminent arts and cultural organizations, is Los Angeles’ leading nonprofit theatre company, which, under the leadership of Artistic Director Michael Ritchie, Managing Director Meghan Pressman and Producing Director Douglas C. Baker, programs seasons at the 736-seat Mark Taper Forum and 1600 to 2100-seat Ahmanson Theatre at The Music Center in Downtown Los Angeles, and the 317-seat Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City. In addition to presenting and producing the broadest range of theatrical entertainment in the country, Center Theatre Group is one of the nation’s leading producers of ambitious new works through commissions and world premiere productions and a leader in interactive community engagement and education programs that reach across generations, demographics and circumstance to serve Los Angeles.

Ticket and subscription on-sale dates will be announced at a later date. For more information please visit The Kirk Douglas Theatre is located at 9820 Washington Blvd. in Culver City, CA 90232.

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July 14, 2020