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Casting Announced: Kennedy Center’s Byhalia, Mississippi

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The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announces Jack Falahee, star of ABC’s How to Get Away With Murder, to play the role of Jim in the heartfelt comedy, Byhalia, Mississippi, playwright Evan Linder’s uncompromising exploration of race, infidelity, and family. Directed by Kimberly Senior (director of the Pulitzer Prize–winning Disgraced on Broadway), Byhalia, Mississippi will play the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater for four weeks, June 7–July 7, 2019.  Tickets for all performances are on sale through the Kennedy Center Box Office, the website, or by calling (202) 467-4600 or (800) 444-1324.

Winner of Chicago’s prestigious Joseph Jefferson Award for Best New Work in 2016, the play centers on Jim and Laurel—they are broke, young, and deeply in love. They are also about to become new parents. When Laurel gives birth to their overdue child, the biracial baby is a surprise to everyone, especially her husband Jim, igniting a firestorm in their small southern town.

Jack Falahee
Aimé Donna Kelly

“Byhalia is about seven miles south of where I grew up, and I know this region and these characters intimately. These are people who are not often reflected on American stages unless they are caricatures or the butt of a joke. To me, they are my home. They are family,” said playwright Evan Linder. “I think we all have a desire to see the people and places we love the most become better, learn from past mistakes and move forward. For me, writing Byhalia, Mississippi sprang from that desire.”

Blake Anthony Morris


Caroline Neff
Cecelia Wingate

Joining Falahee are Aimé Donna Kelly as Ayesha, Blake Anthony Morris as Karl, Joseph Jefferson Award–winning Steppenwolf Theatre ensemble member Caroline Neff as Laurel, and Joseph Jefferson Award winner Cecelia Wingate as Celeste.

“I am delighted that this exceptional cast will join us for Evan Linder’s funny, moving, and deeply resonant play. It is a truly exciting way for us to be re-launching self-produced American plays at the Kennedy Center.” said Executive Producer Jeffrey Finn.

Byhalia, Mississippi will feature scenic design by Cameron Anderson (The Niceties), lighting design by Jennifer Reiser, sound design by Mikhail Fiksel (The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity), and costume design by Jennifer Caprio (Falsettos, Broadway Center Stage: Little Shop of Horrors).

Byhalia, Mississippi is presented as a part of the Kennedy Center’s season-long exploration of The Human Journey, which seeks to promote deeper understanding of the migration of people and the resilience of humankind to overcome conflict, adversity, prejudice, and injustices.

Ticket Information

Byhalia, Mississippi will be performed June 7–July 7, 2019 in the Terrace Theater with 7:30 p.m. performances on Tuesday–Sunday evenings and 2 p.m. matinees on Saturdays and Sundays. For more information, please visit the Kennedy Center website, in-person at the Kennedy Center Box Office, or call (202) 467-4600 or (800) 444-1324.