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Last Updated: 8/2/2022 at 10:00 am

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Title

BLKS

Playwright

Aziza Barnes
DirectorLisa Strum
Stage ManagerBrillian Qi-Bell

Category

Mainstage, Mabie

1st Rehearsal

March 7 - Start rehearsals over Zoom.  March 20 - In person rehearsals begin.  

Tech/Dress

April 8-14

Performance Dates

April 15-17 & April 20-23

Role to be Cast

OCTAVIA: Female Identified. Queer. 20s Black/Mixed Black/1/2 Black. Deeply awkward, weird introvert super dork black girl. Black with a white dad from Cornwall, England who don’t get it. A short story writer. Dates Ry. Drinks too much & can’t hold it as well as Imani. No filter. Speaks thoughts as they exist in her head because the world is her head. Nerdy white boys build shrines to her for her genuine love of Japanese anime, Harry Potter and Octavia Butler, the woman after whom she is named. Her adoration of Star Trek is astounding and she can quote Blaxplotiation movies off hand. She loves other worlds, would rather live in them than this one. She's beautiful and makeup confuses her. Her uniform is sweatpants paired with large heels or boots, for her love of comfort and hatred of being short. She hasn’t told her parents that she's queer.

IMANI: Female Identified. 20s Haitian. Very Haitian. Matter fact, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone more Haitian. A budding alcoholic by American standards. Does a first rate impression of Eddie Murphy from his “RAW" standup/movie & is always striving to perfect it. Single. Constantly gets fired from the same job at Nuyorican Poets Cafe on E. 3rd Street between Avenue A and B for jumping on the mic in the middle of her bar tending shift & doing her Eddie Murphy impression. Her dad passed away when she was 13. Pancreatic cancer. “RAW” is what they watched most often together when he was in the hospital. The last days. (Also plays AUNTIE SHIRLEY)

JUNE: Female Identified. 20s BlackDates a dude named Jamal has dated a dude named Jamal for 5 years, since she & Octavia were in high school. Octavia is June’s ace boon & roll dogg. Don’t leave the house without her. She is the only responsible drinker among the 3 housemates. Knows how to hack into databases of collegiate universities to access free J Store accounts. Plays a lot of “Call of Duty.” Is most at home in front of a screen. She is studying to be an accountant. She sells weed & is very professional about it. She comes from bougie black folks who have had money in the family for 2 generations. Did Jack & Jill, LINKS, the whole 9. Jamal was her dates to cotillion. Light skin black girl. Hair always straight and long without weave. She is very proud of this. A prude, in a way. Cold, sometimes. Nah. Cold often. Usually unemotional. Makes pancakes for her house mates hangovers.

RY: Female Identified. 20s BlackAn employee at blink fitness. Wears ugly Christmas sweaters ironically. Loves to laugh @ tells a good joke. Occasionally is insensitive, but doesn’t have a bad heart. Immature, mostly. From Oakland. Says, “breh,” at the end of most thoughts &/or sentences. Has been trying to land an internship with Terrance Nace for 2 years. Doesn’t drink. ii. Pronounced/noticeable OCD. Odd numbers, not Even. Goes to Pride every year. A fantastic chess player. Puerto Rican. Whole family Catholic. Only queer woman in her family. Ry is 25 & a part time film student. Over-watches Aaron McGruder’s THE BOONDOCKS until the April 21st 2014 hijacking of the show from Aaron McGruder, which broke her heart completely.

JUSTIN: Male Identified. 20s BlackA lovesick. Watched Shakespeare in Love to often as a child & thru his parent’s divorce. Says things like “I want to make love to you,” & “I want to rub your feet” & means them. You’d think he’d get all the ladies. He doesn’t & hasn’t for quite some time. Plays up-right bass in a jazz band & acoustic guitar in his apartment. His favorite song is Barry White’s “I’ve Got So Much to Give.” He believes in love & fate & whiskey, always with love as the first and most important, the other two changing depending on the day. Possesses some stalker tendencies, such as over-calling, over-texting, etc. but we use that word too liberally in this country. Let’s call him an obsessive. Passionate. He talks to his mom on the phone every morning. He works at Sunshine Cinema & sees a lot of couples on dates. JUSTIN’S parents are from Trinidad and Tobago. They are extremely reserved. He is the family oddity, even from his brother, who is his polar opposite in all things. (Also plays SOSA, PEDRO, and DOMINICAN DUDE)

THAT BITCH ON THE COUCH: Female Identified. 20s. White
Is the only white person in this play. She's from Westchester, New York. Incredibly wealthy, like old money white folk WASP and all that. Incredibly white. Went to Exeter Academy for high school type shit. Did cotillion and founded her boarding school's Black Student Union. It was confusing. (Also plays DRUNK WHITE WOMAN)

Breakdown from Speakeasy Stage Company

Synopsis

When shit goes down, your girls show up. Waking up to a shocking and personal health scare, Octavia and her best friends, June and Imani, go on a crusade to find intimacy and joy in a world that could give a fuck less about them or their feelings. This 24-hour blitz explores what it is to be a queer blk woman in 2015 New York, how we survive and save ourselves from ourselves.

Notices

Notice: BLKS will begin in-person rehearsals on March 20th, the Sunday at the end of Spring Break. People Cast in BLKS will not be available for the NPF Productions but may still participate in the Readings. 

Content Warning: Adult themes including drug use, sexual content, and strong language including racially charged language. Intimacy includes partial nudity and scenes of Intimacy.  For more information on the intimacy in the show please see the Intimacy Breakdown.  

Holiday Conflicts

 3/7 Beginning of Lent (Orthodox), 3/13 Daylight Savings Begins, 3/13-3/20 Spring Break, 3/17  Purim*,  3/17 St. Patrick's Day, 3/19 Holi Phagwa*, 3/19 Laylat al Bara*, 3/20 Equinox (Mabon/Ostata), 4/2 Ougadi/Ugaadi, 4/3-5/2  Ramadan*, 4/5 Qing Ming Jie, 4/10 Ram Navami, 4/10 Palm Sunday, 4/14Mahavir Jayanti, 4/15  Good Friday, 4/16 Theravada (New Year), 4/16-4/23 Passover*, 4/17 Easter, 4/19Nuzul Quran*, 4/22 Good Friday (Orthodox), 4/24  Easter (Orthodox)

* Holidays marked with an asterisk (*) begin at sundown on the previous day.

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