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Lessons in Survival: 1971 Announces World-Premiere Casting

The play dramatizes an interview between poet Nikki Giovanni and novelist James Baldwin.

Carl Clemons-Hopkins and Crystal Dickinson will star in Lessons in Survival: 1971 at the Vineyard Theatre.
(Photos provided by The Press Room)

The Vineyard Theatre has announced the cast and creative team for its upcoming world premiere of Lessons in Survival: 1971. Previews are set to begin May 26 ahead of a June 9 opening, with performances running through June 30.

The production is described as follows: "In 1971, 28-year-old poet Nikki Giovanni interviewed renowned novelist James Baldwin, 47, on America's first "Black Tonight Show," SOUL! Fifty years later, Lessons in Survival: 1971 reintroduces their candid, provocative dialogue on race and liberation in America to our present moment."

Directed by Tyler Thomas, the play will star Emmy nominee Carl Clemons-Hopkins (Hacks) as James Baldwin and Crystal Dickinson (Clybourne Park) as Nikki Giovanni.

Lessons in Survival: 1971 was originally presented virtually by the Vineyard Theater as a multipart project. It is co-conceived by Marin Ireland, Peter Mark Kendall, Tyler Thomas, Reggie D. White, and created with The Commissary.

The design team includes You-Shin Chen (scenic design), Mika Eubanks (costume design), Amith Chadrashaker (lighting design), Lee Kinney and Daniel Kluger (sound design), Daniel Kluger (original composition), and Matthew Glasner, CSA (casting director).