West Coast Premiere of The Urban Retreat by A. Zell Williams Presented by Lorraine Hansberry Theatre March 23 - April 6, 2019
The Dead Don't Stay So In The Urban Retreat Directed By Darryl V. Jones.
In this funny, gripping, raw and powerful play, the writing process becomes a deeply honest tool to inspire an exchange about survival, selling out and what it means to be a Black man in America today.
The dead don't stay so in The Urban Retreat, directed by Darryl V. Jones, LHT's Acting Artistic Director. If you threw Hamilton, Empire, and Hamlet into a crockpot, you might catch a whiff of what this contemporary tragicomedy is cooking. A mid-twenties hip-hop mogul in his prime (Trench Deep) reaches out to his slumping but brilliant high school English teacher (Chaucer Mosley) to ghostwrite his memoir. Between them, their haunted pasts, their beefs, and their generational language barriers reveal Black masculinity at its tautest. Who can really rep South Side Chicago -- or any hood? Who has a better grip on what it means to be Black: the do-gooders or the go-getters?
Surrounding them, a cast of agents, producers, and groupies push their own needs, desires, and premonitions through Trench Deep's platinum fingers. As the pressures of publication dates and deadlines loom closer, old alliances (and archetypes) wither and the heart of black art demands our attention. "Blackness is doin for yuh'self," Trench says, but The Urban Retreat asks: When all's said and done, what have we got except for each other? And can the spirit of hip-hop truly ever be chopped, shipped, and sold?
A. Zell Williams gives much to consider regarding the power of words to heal or to destroy. He invites us to consider the personal fortitude it takes to be your authentic self, when hiding behind a mask can give you fame and fortune beyond your wildest dreams. But notoriety of this type comes at a price, and sometimes it means selling out and sacrificing your integrity and that of others.
In this funny, gripping, raw and powerful play, the writing process becomes a deeply honest tool to inspire an exchange about survival, selling out and what it means to be a Black man in America today. Using hip hop dance and rap music lyrics, The Urban Retreat appeals to audiences across generations who will relate to the characters' soul-searching to be true to themselves.
LORRAINE HANSBERRY THEATRE - CALENDAR LISTING
WHAT: The Urban Retreat by A. Zell Williams and directed by Darryl V. Jones
WHO: West Coast Premiere Presented by Lorraine Hansberry Theatre
WHEN: March 23 – April 6, 2019 (11 Performances)
VENUE: Buriel Clay Theater, 762 Fulton Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
TICKET COST: Tickets $15 - $35 (15% discount for groups of 10 available through LHT's Box Office.)
PURCHASE ONLINE: Click Get Tickets at www.LHTSF.org
CONTACT: BoxOffice@LHTSF.org, (415) 474-8800
ABOUT LORRAINE HANSBERRY THEATRE (LHT) Founded in San Francisco in 1981, the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre is the premiere African American theatre company in the San Francisco Bay Area. LHT has produced more than 140 plays, including west coast and world premieres, experimental works, classics in the African-American canon, lively musicals, and poignant socio-political dramas. The Lorraine Hansberry Theatre presents plays by both emerging and established African American and multicultural playwrights and provides employment and career building opportunities for actors, directors, designers, and technicians from the African American and multicultural communities. LHT draws from the cultural and economic resources of the San Francisco Bay Area to enrich and strengthen the Performing Arts by actively seeking and participating in collaboration with Bay Area arts institutions and performing arts organizations (www.LHTSF.org)