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Lynn Nottage and the Cast of By the Way Meet Vera Stark Celebrate Opening Night

Jessica Frances Dukes takes on the title role in Nottage’s poignant comedy.

The off-Broadway revival of Lynn Nottage's By the Way, Meet Vera Stark celebrated its official opening last night at Signature Theatre, where performances will run through March 10.

Playwright Lynn Nottage poses with director Kamilah Forbes on opening night at Signature Theatre.
(© Omar Khan)

Directed by Kamilah Forbes, By the Way, Meet Vera Stark is described as follows: "It's the Golden Age of Hollywood, and aspiring starlet Vera Stark works as a maid to Gloria Mitchell, an aging star grasping at her fading career. Worlds collide when Vera lands a trailblazing role in an antebellum epic starring…her boss. While Vera's portrayal of a slave turns out to be groundbreaking, decades later scholars and film buffs still grapple with the actress' legacy in Hollywood and the impact that race had on her controversial career."

Jessica Frances Dukes leads the cast as Vera Stark in the play's off-Broadway revival.
(© Omar Khan)

The cast features Jenni Barber (Sunday in the Park With George) as Gloria, Jessica Frances Dukes (Yellowman) as Vera, Tony nominee Manoel Felciano (Amélie) as Max/Peter, Warner Miller (Netflix's Luke Cage) as Leroy/Herb, Carra Patterson (Jitney) as Anna Mae/Afua, Heather Alicia Simms (Signature's Fabulation, or The Re-education of Undine) as Lottie/Carmen, and David Turner (The Boys in the Band) as Brad/Slavick.

By the Way, Meet Vera Stark runs through March 10 at the Pershing Square Signature Center.
(© Omar Khan)

By the Way, Meet Vera Stark first opened off-Broadway at Second Stage Theatre in 2011.