Desire Under the Elms
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WHAT IS IT ABOUT?
Directed by Benny Sato Ambush, this one-night only event features Tony Award-winner Sara Ramirez, Tony Award-winner Keith David, Duane Boutté , Leland Gantt , Johnny Lee Davenport, and others TBA. Mr. Ambush casts a mostly African-American company and sets the play in 1850's Rhode Island on a farm owned by the rigid, pious and lonely Ephraim Cabot -- a dark-skinned black man, in this interpretation. Ephraim's repressed, workhorse eldest sons, Simeon and Peter, were born of Ephraim's first marriage to a dark-skinned black woman whom we never meet. Eben, the third son, is the offspring of Ephraim's controversial second marriage with a white woman, whose land he inherited upon her death. Ephraim's new wife Abbie is a woman of "undetermined" nationality in order to compliment Eben's feelings of marginality -- a marginality intended by O'Neill, but enhanced, in this presentation, by Eben's racial ambivalence and noticeably fair skin. Abbie, the steamy, sensual orphan desperately seeking her own freedom is thus, like Eben, a racial and social misfit in search of a sense of wholeness, an identity and a home.
136 E 13th St
New York, NY 10003
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