News: Theatre503 reveals cast and creatives for The Great Privation

Theatre503 announces the cast and creative team for 2023 Theatre503 International Playwriting Award finalist Nia Akilah Robinson’s debut play The Great Privation: How to flip ten cents into a dollar. The production features: Ella Dacres (The Book of Dust), Jack Gouldbourne (Masters of the Air), Romeo Mika (Peter Pan Goes Wrong) and Sydney Sainté (UK stage debut).

Theatre503 and Executive Producer Zena Collins join forces again following Zena’s collaboration on the original Theatre503 production of J’Ouvertby Yasmin Joseph – a huge hit which was nominated for an Evening Standard Theatre Award and transferred to the West End. Clarisse Makundul Productions joins as Associate Producer.

Directed by JMK Award winner and Theare503’s Carne Associate Kalungi Ssebandeke (Meetings, Orange Tree), the creative team includes Ruth Badila (Set/Costume), Chuma Emembolu (Lighting), José Guillermo Puello (Sound), Yemurai Zvaraya (Movement Director), Aundrea Fudge (Voice and Dialect Coach), Fran Cattaneo (Casting Director) and Lydia Doyle (Casting Assistant). Full creative team details below.

“So why should I sacrifice my husband’s body, for medicine he/me/or my child wouldn’t receive?
Just look at the outbreak that happened during the summer.
Black people helped White people, we became bleeders, nurses, grave diggers because White people
convinced us that we weren’t susceptible to getting it.
Then Black people got Cholera.
Who was there to help us?
No one.”  

Set in Pennsylvania and shifting between the early 1800s and the present day, The Great Privation: How to flip ten cents into a dollar is a stunning and profound play that explores the impact of grave robbing for medical science, and the historical disruption of Black bodies that never got their rest. Timelines collide and secrets and lives become buried and revealed, as a reckoning comes to call: the roots to our ancestors are not as long as we may think.

Nia Akilah Robinson is a playwright and actor from Harlem. Her work has been developed through residencies, fellowships, commissions, and development with a number of prestigious companies and festivals in the US (full biography in credits). Director Kalungi Ssebandeke is Theatre503’s Carne Associate Director. His credits include Meetings (Orange Tree) as winner of the 2023 JMK Directing Award.

The Great Privation: How to flip ten cents into a dollar was selected from 1466 scripts as one of five finalists for the 2023 Theatre503 International Playwriting Award and its premiere follows the success of the recent sold-out and extended production of the Award’s winner A Woman Walks Into a Bank by Roxy Cook. Theatre503 is delighted to confirm that the Theatre503 International Playwriting Award will return for 2024/5, with submissions opening on 1 June 2024. Further information will be announced soon.

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