West Orange, NJ (January 8, 2020) – Antoinette Nwandu’s searing and poetic new play Pass Over performs at Luna Stage Feb 6-March 1. The play premiered at Steppenwolf in Chicago, where it was filmed by Spike Lee and launched considerable press controversy, then moved to Lincoln Center where it was awarded the 2019 Lucille Lortel Award for Best New Play.
Directed by Devin E. Haqq, Pass Over is a provocative, contemporary mashup of Waiting for Godot and the Exodus saga. Moses and Kitch stand around on the corner talking smack, passing the time, and hoping that today a miracle will come. They stand by a lamppost in a present-day ghetto, but it's also a plantation, and it's also Egypt, a city built by slaves. In this world, the two young black men dream about a promised land they've yet to find.
“This play is a profound comment on white supremacy and the systems of oppression that have continued to stifle, confine, and attack black and brown bodies for centuries,” says Haqq.
“The piece brilliantly packages these themes within the language of poetry, humor, and surprise,” Haqq adds. “I'm blown away by the potential this play has to jolt the hearts and minds of audiences, and inspire dialogue on these issues, which is vitally needed in our current socio-political climate.”
Previous productions of Pass Over have met with considerable controversy. In Chicago, veteran Sun Times critic Hedy Weiss’ review of the World Premiere was met with backlash; Steppenwolf Theatre called her to task for reflecting “deep-seated bigotry and a painful lack of understanding of this country’s historic racism.” At Echo Theater Company in Los Angeles, creative disagreements led to the production’s cancellation just days before opening.
Luna’s Artistic Director Ari Laura Kreith responded to the play’s “moving portrayal of deep friendship between its two protagonists, juxtaposed with a searing critique of systemic racism.”
Pass Over runs through March 1, at Luna Stage in the Valley Arts District. Tickets are $20-$40 and are available at www.LunaStage.org or by calling OvationTix (866) 811-4111. Opening Night tickets are $60 and include a post-show party with cast and creative team. For group sales, email [email protected].
Special pre- and post-show conversations with guest experts and members of the creative team are scheduled throughout the run. See the full schedule of events at www.LunaStage.org.