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Waiting for Giovanni to Have New York Premiere at the Flea

The Other Side of Silence produces this new play by Jewelle Gomez.

Jonathan Dewberry stars as Jimmy in the New York premiere of Waiting for Giovanni.
(photo provided by the production)

Waiting for Giovanni, new play by Jewelle Gomez in collaboration with Harry Waters Jr., will have its New York premiere this summer, presented by TOSOS (The Other Side of Silence), the city's oldest LGBTQ theater. The production will be performed as part of the company's partnership with the Flea Theater in the Siggy, a below-ground theater named for Flea founder Sigourney Weaver and one of the three performance spaces at the Flea's new building at 20 Thomas Street. Performances will run July 12-August 4.

The play is described as follows: "It's 1957. Bombs are exploding in black churches and lynchings are a fact of life for many across the US. From these ashes a young black writer emerges to become a literary celebrity bringing with him both his boundless talent and personal insecurities. Waiting for Giovanni imagines a moment in the mind of James Baldwin in which he struggles with writing a novel that he's been told will ruin his career." TOSOS artistic director Mark Finley will direct.

"In Jewelle's play, Jimmy wrestles with his identity as a black writer and a gay man — as a newly noted author and a truthful creative vessel," said Finley. "It dramatizes not only the creative process but also relationships between creative people — how we love and limit each other — and how we love and limit ourselves."

The cast will feature Jordan J. Adams (David), Neil Dawson (Richard), Jonathan Dewberry (Jimmy), Robert Walker Jeffery (Luc), Ken Simon (William), Michael Striano (Giovanni), and Joy Sudduth (Lorraine).