Theatre Artistic Directors Douglas Aibel and Sarah Stern announce complete cast for the New York premiere of Ngozi Anyanwu’s GOOD GRIEF, directed by Awoye Timpo. Performances will begin at the Vineyard Theatre (108 East 15th Street) Thursday, October 11 with opening night set for Tuesday, October 30th.
GOOD GRIEF will star playwright Ngozi Anyanwu (HBO’s “The Deuce”) as Nkechi, Oberon K.A. Adjepong as Papa (THE HOMECOMING QUEEN, Crown Heights), Nnamdi Asomugha (Amazon’s Crown Heights and former All-Pro NFL Player) as Bro, Patrice Johnson Chevannes (THE HOMECOMING QUEEN, THE CRUCIBLE) as NeNe, Hunter Parrish (“Weeds,” GODSPELL, SPRING AWAKENING) as JD, Lisa Ramirez (TO THE BONE, EXIT CUCKOO) as MJ’s Mom / Neighbor, Ian Quinlan (“The Long Road Home,” “Gotham,” “Sneaky Pete,” THE LION KING) as MJ.
The design team includes scenic design by Emmy Award-winner Jason Ardizzone-West (NBC’s JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR), costume design by Andy Jean (Santa Fe Opera), lighting design by Oona Curley (THE HOMECOMING QUEEN), and sound design by Daniel Kluger (MARVIN’S ROOM). David Anzuelo serves as fight director.
Nkechi was a good Nigerian-American girl. She did everything right. Went to med school. Made plans. Then life happened. And plans changed. A first-generation coming-of-age journey of love, loss, and growing into adulthood, GOOD GRIEF follows Nkechi as she navigates Pennsylvania’s suburbs alongside her childhood crush, her would-be-philosopher brother, and her immigrant parents. Hailed as a “profound dramatic work” by LA Weekly, this hilarious and heartbreaking new play reunites playwright Ngozi Anyanwu and director Awoye Timpo following their acclaimed collaboration on THE HOMECOMING QUEEN.
Vineyard Theatre reunites with Audible, the world’s largest seller and producer of digital spoken-word entertainment, following their award-winning production of HARRY CLARKE.
GOOD GRIEF received its world premiere at Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles.
In winter 2019, The Vineyard and The New Group will co-produce the world premiere of Jeremy O. Harris’ “Daddy” directed by Danya Taymor, featuring Alan Cumming. The final production of the season in spring 2019 will be the New York premiere of DO YOU FEEL ANGER? by Mara Nelson-Greenberg, directed by Margot Bordelon. GOOD GRIEF and DO YOU FEEL ANGER? will be presented at Vineyard Theatre (108 East 15th Street) and the co-production of “Daddy” will be presented in The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre at The Pershing Square Signature Center (480 West 42nd Street).
Memberships are now on sale for The Vineyard’s 2018-2019 Season and can be purchased online at www.vineyardtheatre.org or by calling the box office at 212-353-0303. Becoming a member ensures great seats to all Vineyard productions for a fraction of the full ticket price. Other privileges include the ability to reserve seats before tickets go on sale to the general public, discounted guest tickets, invitations to new play readings and Developmental Labs, and other exclusive benefits.
Vineyard Theatre is an Off-Broadway theatre company dedicated to developing and producing bold new plays and musicals by both emerging and established artists. The theater is committed to creating an artistic home for daring and diverse artists and to nurturing their unique voices. For over 35 years the company has sought to produce work that challenges all of us to see ourselves and our world in new ways, and that pushes the boundaries of what theatre can be and do.
The Vineyard has consistently premiered provocative, groundbreaking works; most recently, the world-premiere of David Cale’s HARRY CLARKE, directed by Leigh Silverman and starring Billy Crudup, which played a sold-out extended run, won a Drama Desk, Obie, Lucille Lortel, Off Broadway Alliance and Outer Critics Circle Awards, and was released as an audio play on Audible; Jordan Harrison’s THE AMATEURS, directed by Oliver Butler; and THE BEAST IN THE JUNGLE by John Kander and David Thompson, directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman. The Vineyard has also premiered Paula Vogel and Rebecca Taichman’s INDECENT, which transferred to Broadway last season, winning two Tony Awards; Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ Pulitzer Prize finalist GLORIA; DOT by Colman Domingo; Nicky Silver’s THE LYONS; Marx, Lopez and Whitty’s Tony Award-winning musical AVENUE Q; Kander and Ebb’s THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS; Bell and Bowen’s [title of show]; Paula Vogel’s HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE (1998 Pulitzer Prize); Edward Albee’s THREE TALL WOMEN (1994 Pulitzer Prize); Lanie Robertson’s LADY DAY AT EMERSON’S BAR AND GRILL, Tarell Alvin McCraney’s WIG OUT!; Becky Mode’s FULLY COMMITTED; Jenny Schwartz’ GOD’S EAR; Will Eno’s MIDDLETOWN; Michael Mayer and Peter Lerman’s BROOKLYNITE, and many more. The Vineyard’s Paula Vogel Playwriting Award and Susan Stroman Directing Award recognize and support emerging artists with tailored residencies. In addition, the company’s education programs serve hundreds of New York City public high school students annually, culminating in the Rebel Verses Youth Arts Festival in collaboration with Developing Artists. Vineyard Theatre has been honored with special Drama Desk, Obie, and Lucille Lortel Awards for its contribution to the theatre.
Vineyard Theatre’s leadership includes Artistic Directors Douglas Aibel and Sarah Stern and Managing Director Suzanne Appel.
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Oberon K.A. Adjepong (Papa) performed in A WINTER’S TALE (TFANA); HOMECOMING QUEEN (Atlantic Theatre Company); UNCOMMON SENSE (Tectonic Theater Project); MEASURE FOR MEASURE (TFANA); PARTY PEOPLE (The Public Theater); PERICLES (TFANA); 12 ANGRY MEN (Billie Holiday); TAMBURLAINE (TFANA); LIKE I SAY, CELLOPHANE (The Flea); MOTHER COURAGE AND THE THE BLACKS (Classic Stage Company, CTH); WABENZI (New Ohio Theatre); HAMILET PROJECT (La MaMa E.T.C.); SANGO (AUDELCO nomination/NBT). Regional: CIVIL WAR CHRISTMAS (Center Stage); ELECTRIC BABY (Two River Theater); GOOD GOODS (Yale Rep); RUINED (La Jolla Playhouse, Huntington Theatre Company; IRNE Award, Berkeley Rep); TIMON OF ATHENS, CORIOLANUS (Shakespeare Theatre); RHYME DEFERRED (Kennedy Center). Television/Film: “Blacklist,” “The Knick,” “Louie,” Crazy Famous and Crown Heights. Training: BADA and Howard University.
Ngozi Anyanwu (Playwright, Nkechi) Education: University of California, San Diego (MFA in Acting), Point Park University (BA). Acting: The Pittsburgh Public Theatre, The City Theatre, Barrington Stage, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, and The Mark Taper Forum. Television credits include “Limitless,” “Deadbeat,” “The Affair,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “The Mysteries of Laura,” and “The Deuce.” Film credits include Split and Women Who Kill. Playwriting: GOOD GRIEF, VICTORY IS OURS, THE HOMECOMING QUEEN, and NIKE OR WE DON’T NEED ANOTHER HERO. GOOD GRIEF (Kilroys List 2016, semi finalist Princess Grace, Humanitas Award) was produced at Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles in Spring 2017 which Anyanwu also starred in. NIKE…(Kilroys List 2017) was recently workshopped at The New Black Fest in conjunction with The Lark and The Strand Festival in conjunction with A.C.T and Space on Ryder Farm. THE HOMECOMING QUEEN (Kilroys List 2017, Leah Ryan Finalist) recently had its world premiere at The Atlantic Theater which also had a sold out run. Anyanwu has also received residencies from LCT3, Space on Ryder Farm, and the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, The New Harmony Project, New York Stage and Film and Page 73. Anyanwu is developing a pilot with Juvee Productions and ABC Signature. She is also commissioned with NYU, The Old Globe and The Atlantic Theatre.
Nnamdi Asomugha (Bro) is an award-winning actor, producer, and former All-Pro NFL Player. Following a successful 11-year career in the NFL, Asomugha channeled his passion for film and television into a career in the entertainment industry. He received critical acclaim for his portrayal of Carl King in the Amazon Studios film, Crown Heights. He was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actor and an NAACP Image Award for Best Supporting Actor. Variety named him one of the seven breakout performers of 2017. He founded iAm21 Entertainment, a production company whose mission is to create entertainment that illuminates important social issues, and influences social change. Three of his recent projects premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, with Crown Heights, the film he costarred in and produced earning the festival’s coveted U.S. Dramatic Audience Award. The film chronicles the real life story of Colin Warner, a man who served over 20 years in prison after being convicted of a murder he didn’t commit. His producing credits include Beasts of No Nation (2015), Crown Heights (2017), and Harriet (2019) an upcoming Harriet Tubman biopic. He is a producer on the upcoming Broadway play AMERICAN SON. Prior to his work in the entertainment industry, Asomugha was a highly successful professional football player, who spent 11 seasons in the NFL. He was considered one of the best defensive players in the league, receiving multiple All-Pro and Pro Bowl selections over the course of his career.
Patrice Johnson Chevannes (NeNe) is an award-winning actress whose Broadway credits include RACING DEMON and THE CRUCIBLE, which starred Liam Neeson. Off-Broadway her credits include Desdemona, opposite Sir Patrick Stewart in OTHELLO; HOMECOMING QUEEN directed by Awoye Timpo; HENRY V directed by Robert O’Hara; PERICLES, directed by Sir Trevor Nunn; TAMBURLAINE, directed by Sir Michael Boyd. Patrice has written and directed three award-winning feature films; Kings County, NY’s Dirty Laundry, and Hill and Gully.
Hunter Parrish (JD) was recently seen recurring on ABC’s series “Quantico.” Prior, he wrapped production on Dana Calvo’s Amazon series “The Good Girls Revolt,” starring as the male lead opposite Anna Camp and Genevieve Angelson, and was seen in a recurring role on Amazon’s one-hour drama series “The Hand Of God.” He also starred as “Claude” in the Hollywood Bowl production of HAIR opposite Kristen Bell and Amber Riley, co-starred as Julianne Moore and Alec Baldwin’s son in Sony’s Oscar-winning film Still Alice and recurred on CBS’s beloved series The Good Wife in a seminal and very flashy role. For 8 seasons, Hunter starred as Mary Louise Parker’s son, “Silas,” on Showtime’s acclaimed series, “Weeds.” Just Prior, he starred as “Jesus” in the Broadway revival of GODSPELL. Hunter also received rave reviews for his Broadway debut as “Melchior” in the Tony Award-winning hit musical, SPRING AWAKENING. Hunter’s other film roles include It’s Complicated, opposite Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin, Burr Steers’ 17 Again, Heitor Dahlia’s Gone and Paperman, opposite Jeff Daniels and Emma Stone.
Lisa Ramirez (MJ’s Mom / Neighbor) is an actress and playwright. Most recently seen as the Angel in ANGELS IN AMERICA at Berkeley Rep and Blanche Dubois in A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE at the Ubuntu Theater Project in Oakland, where she currently serves as the Associate Artistic Director. She has performed extensively at theaters on both the East and West Coast such as the Cherry Lane Theatre, Atlantic Theatre Company, Working Theater, The Foundry, Ubuntu Theater Project, Magic Theatre, Berkeley Rep amongst others. Her plays EXIT CUCKOO (nanny in motherland), ART OF MEMORY, TO THE BONE, Pas de Deux (lost my shoe) have been performed in New York, the Bay Area and Ireland to great acclaim. Currently working on an adaptation of Maxim Gorky’s THE LOWER DEPTHS, for the Ubuntu Theater Project, an original TV Pilot, and a screen adaptation of her play TO THE BONE.
Ian Quinlan (MJ) started his career on the stage as a child actor in the Broadway cast of Julie Taymor’s critically acclaimed production of the THE LION KING. He can currently be seen in the critically acclaimed National Geographic miniseries “The Long Road Home” portraying Specialist Robert Arsiago, retelling the harrowing ambush in Iraq now known as “Black Sunday.” Other notable work in television includes guest star roles on “Orange Is The New Black” (Netflix) and “Sneaky Pete” (Amazon) in scenes opposite Bryan Cranston. Ian is also known for his recurring work on the FOX hit series “Gotham” as “Carl Pinkney,” a young police cadet and member of the strike-force. Television includes co-star appearances on shows such as “The Carrie Diaries” (CW) and “The Family” (ABC). Feature films include work with prolific directors Wes Craven on Music Of The Heart and Harold Becker on City Hall. Born and raised in New York City, Ian graduated from Fordham University with a BA in Theatre Performance.
Awoye Timpo (Director) Credits include: THE HOMECOMING QUEEN (Atlantic Theater), SKELETON CREW (Chester Theater), SISTER SON/JI (Billie Holiday Theater), CARNAVAL (National Black Theatre), NDEBELE FUNERAL (59E59, South African tour, Edinburgh Festival); THE LIBATION BEARERS (Shakespeare Theatre of NJ), ARABY (La MaMa), IN THE CONTINUUM (Juilliard); CLYBOURNE PARK (Farmers Alley), THE VANISHED (Novisi). Producer: CLASSIX, a reading series exploring classic plays by Black playwrights. The inaugural season in 2017 featured works by Bill Gunn, Kathleen Collins, Ron Milner and Alice Childress. Broadway: Associate Director, JITNEY; Assistant Director, SHUFFLE ALONG. Other: Associate Director, OTHELLO (Shakespeare in the Park), ABC/Disney, Cherry Lane, Lincoln Center Directors Lab, Ma-Yi, New Dramatists, NOW Africa, Page 73, PEN World Voices, Rising Circle, Royal Shakespeare Company, Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab and WNYC. Upcoming: PARADISE BLUE by Dominique Morisseau (Long Wharf).
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