Patrice Johnson Chevannes, David Harbour Set for Reading of Alice Childress Play
American Conservatory Theatre will present the filmed production of Trouble in Mind and stream it on demand.
American Conservatory Theatre has announced casting for its upcoming filmed reading of Alice Childress's Trouble in Mind, directed by Awoye Timpo and streaming on demand March 29-April 4.
The company will be led by Patrice Johnson Chevannes, alongside David Harbour as Al Manners, Lauren Spencer as Millie Davis, Anthony Fusco as Bill O'Wray, Kadeem Ali Harris as John Nevins, Dakin Matthews as Henry, Steven Anthony Jones as Sheldon Forrester, Eliza Kaye as Judy Sears, and Johnny Rice as Eddie Fenton. Kaiy Watts will read stage directions.
Joining Timpo on the creative side are production designer Jason Ardizzone-West, dramaturg Arminda Thomas, and video editor Beryl Baker.
Set in 1957, Trouble in Mind finds six actors gathering in a Broadway theater to rehearse an anti-lynching play, written and directed by white artists. Newcomer John believes in the sanctity of theater, ingenue Judy insists there's only the human race, and veteran actress Wiletta is torn between getting along and delving into the authentic truth of her character. As the actors get on their feet and small talk turns into discussion on motivation and theme, tension begins to run high, ultimately reaching a point of no return.
Childress's masterpiece would have been the first play by a Black woman produced on Broadway if she had agreed to the producers' demands that she soften its message.