Party Play: "Little Black Shadows"

Beth Fhaner
 | Apr 16, 2018
Katherine and Kelsey

Members of the Playwrights Circle, who are the Honorary Producers of Little Black Shadows.

From the opening scene, Little Black Shadows captured the First Night audience’s attention and never let up, delivering an emotional evening of powerful drama and moving performances. For nearly two hours, award-winning playwright Kemp Powers’ historical, family drama enthralled the audience as theatregoers were transported to the “Big House” of a Georgia cotton plantation in the 1850s.

Along with laughter—and some tears—the First Night audience showed their appreciation for the world premiere of Little Black Shadows with generous applause and a standing ovation. Theatregoers greatly enjoyed the extraordinary performances of the cast under the direction of May Adrales, in addition to the fantastical elements and shadow-like projections featured in the set design.

Led by actors Giovanni Adams (Colis) and Chauntae Pink (Toy), who reprised their respective roles from the play’s reading at the 2016 Pacific Playwrights Festival, the entire ensemble delivered impressive performances while giving audiences a glimpse into life in pre-Civil War Georgia. The cast also includes Daniel Bellusci, Mark Doerr, Elyse Mirto and Emily Yetter.

Honorary Producers, the Playwrights Circle members who were in attendance for First Night included Julie and Robert Davey, Janet and Michael Hards, Yvonne and Damien Jordan, Pam and Jim Muzzy, Michael Oppenheim, Joy and Peter Sloan, and Julia Voce.

Playwrights Circle members Peter and Joy Sloan enjoyed seeing the play and commented, “From under the bed comes something scary…it is the historical Truth of children slaves. Kemp Powers’ Little Black Shadows speaks truth, through the ‘mouths of babes.’ An eye-opening and stomach-churning new work that brings light to an unknown part of our history.”

Playwrights Circle member Michael Oppenheim was also in attendance on First Night and described the play as, “An unforgettable, profoundly haunting and shocking dramatization of an aspect of slavery that is probably all but entirely unknown to most people."

Guests who attended the cast party, co-sponsored by the Center Club, were welcomed to the elegant venue with a beautiful tableau of white roses and greenery. Mason jars filled with moss and tea lights and covered by burlap tops were also scattered throughout the event space.

Among the menu highlights was a scrumptious mac & cheese bar with a selection of toppings such as Andouille sausage, bacon, sautéed mushrooms, fresh peas and chopped green onions. The festive crowd also enjoyed an array of delectable passed hors d’oeuvres including mini buttermilk fried chicken skewers with honey mustard dipping sauce, butter bean ragu with pork belly and corn fritters with Cajun remoulade. Tempting treat including Georgia peach tarts, provided a sweet finish to the celebratory soiree.

The evening’s signature cocktail was “Georgia Peach Punch”—a fitting libation for Powers’ Southern Gothic play that was comprised of whiskey, peach schnapps and sweet and sour liqueur, served over ice.

First Night guests were thrilled to have the opportunity to meet and mingle with the entire cast, director May Adrales and playwright Kemp Powers in the Center Club’s chic setting. All the while, lively conversation continued to swirl around Little Black Shadows, a compelling testament to the human spirit from one of America’s most promising playwrights.

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