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Friday, May 16, 2014

From NJ’s Centenary Stage to ‘Best New Play’ nomination by the Off Broadway Alliance

The cast of Breakfast With Mugabe, left to right: Michael Rogers, Che Ayende, Rosalyn Coleman, Ezra Barnes, photo by Joseph Henry Ritter
Friends, our production of Fraser Grace's drama Breakfast With Mugabe is nominated for Best New Play by the Off Broadway Alliance. The awards will be presented May 27. Keep your fingers crossed and let your friends know.
The other plays nominated were produced by powerhouses of New York theater: the Roundabout, Manhattan Class Company, Classic Stage and the Public Theater. Our play was done without any formal institution backing us. All we had was the idea that the play belonged on the New York stage. Your support and endorsement meant a great deal.
Breakfast With Mugabe played 100 performances Off Broadway. We performed to a diverse audience of more than 9,000 people, including many student groups. A popular series of post performance discussions attracted luminous moderators from a wide spectrum of backgrounds, and the play generated much discussion.
In other news, Breakfast With Mugabe will have its west coast premiere in a new production staged by Berkeley's Aurora Theatre Company in the fall. In the continued life of this powerful drama, this is a wonderful development.
Breakfast With Mugabe is a play that deserves a continued life. If you have ideas about where the play might find its next audience--a particular theater, a campus tour, a film, I'd love to hear from you.
Kind regards,
Ezra Barnes
Two Planks Productions
Cast with Fraser
Clockwise from top left: Ezra Barnes, Che Ayende, director David Shookhoff, Michael Rogers, Rosalyn Coleman and author Fraser Grace.
About the Play
The "gripping" Breakfast With Mugabe is inspired by reports that Zimbabwe’s despot Robert Mugabe sought treatment from a white psychiatrist. In playwright Fraser Grace's imagining of these sessions, it is "colonialism that is put on the couch."
Audelco Award nominee Rosalyn Coleman as Grace Mugabe, photo by Joseph Henry Ritter
What the critics say:
New York Times (critics' pick) "Trenchant, magnificently acted...In Mr. Grace's capable hands, Mugabe rightfully deserves a seat alongside Macbeth, Richard III and other tragic, power-siphoning Shakespearean antiheroes."
New York Magazine: "The electrifying four person cast sizzles and explodes with emotion..."
Time Out NY (critic's pick): "Fraser Grace’s taut meditation on guilt and power...tough-minded and unsentimental, gazing squarely at the postcolonial puzzle of modern-day Africa..."
The Daily Beast: "an intense 100 minutes...”
NY 1's Onstage: "Chilling and commanding...Scrupulously acted by a strong ensemble...tense, gripping."
The New Criterion: "savage and compelling"
Amsterdam News: "A drama well worth a trip to the theater...stylistically modern yet still old school...encourages reflection and dialogue."
Bloomberg News: "Strongly acted...the play never lost my attention."

New Jersey Footlights:  Award-winning drama a gem at Centenary Stage Company
Audelco Award nominee Michael Rogers as Robert Mugabe, photo by Joseph Henry Ritter
"Michael Rogers' performance builds from slow burn to full-on conflagration..."
(New York Times)
"Rogers hauntingly captures Africa's longest-serving president."
(Theater Mania)
Ezra Barnes as Dr. Andrew Peric, photo by Joseph Henry Ritter
" unshakeable Ezra Barnes..."
(New York Times)
"Ezra Barnes is magnificent as the earnest Dr. Peric...” (The Daily Beast)
Audelco Award nominee Rosalyn Coleman as Grace Mugabe, photo by Joseph Henry Ritter
"...a machinating Rosalyn Coleman..."
(New York Times)
Che Ayende as Gabriel, photo by Joseph Henry Ritter
"Ayende portrays the curious bodyguard with an elegant style; the man doesn’t break a sweat."
(Amsterdam News)
Ezra Barnes
Two Planks Productions
Che Raincoat & E table
Che Ayende and Ezra Barnes, photo by Joseph Henry Ritter
©2014 Ezra Barnes | P.O. Box 150613, Brooklyn, NY 11215

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