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Mosaic Theater Company Remounts Helen-Hayes Nominated Hooded: Or Being Black for Dummies

3 min read

The penultimate production of Mosaic Theater Company’s third season will be a remount Hooded: Or Being Black for Dummies, written by local rising star Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm and directed by Mosaic’s Managing Director Serge Seiden with Associate Director Vaughn Ryan Midder. Mosaic’s first production of Hooded: Or Being Black for Dummies is currently nominated for the Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding Original New Play, which gives DC audiences the rare opportunity to see a nominated production during the same month as the awards.

“Tearrance’s remarkable play feels even more timely this season, as our country continues to struggle with issues surrounding racism and violence.,” said Ari Roth, Founding Artistic Director of Mosaic Theater Company. “This multifaceted depiction of what it means to be a young Black man is packed with moments that are both comedic and tragic, engaging the audience in an unforgettable night at the theater. Last season’s production was so popular that the last sixteen performances were sold out. We knew we had to bring Hooded back to satisfy the demand for this terrific production.”

Hooded follows two young African American men, Marquis (played by Keith L. Royal Smith) and Tru (played by Jeremy Keith Hunter), who meet in a holding cell where both are being unlawfully detained. Marquis is a book-smart prep school kid from suburban Maryland, and Tru a street-savvy Baltimorean who thinks Marquis has lost touch with his roots. Tru takes Marquis under his wing by penning a how-to manual called “Being Black for Dummies,” as various influences vie for Marquis’ uncertain future.

All but one of the original cast members, and all of the original designers, will return to stage this remount. In addition to Hunter and Smith, the cast includes: Josh Adams, Madeline Joey Rose, Emma Lou Hébert, Marni Penning Coleman, Dylan Morrison Myers, and Fred Strother. The set designer is Ethan Sinnott, the lighting designer is Brittany Shemuga, the sound designer is David Lamont Wilson, the costume designer is Brandee Mathies, and the projections designers are Roc Lee and Mimi d’Autremont. Every single performance will have surtitles projected directly onto the set to make this production fully accessible.

“I am thrilled to be remounting this special production,” said director Serge Seiden. “Hooded is an entertaining and striking piece of art that jumps head first into the realities that too many, if not all, African American teenage boys in this country have to experience first-hand. Last season, this production resonated strongly with our audiences, and I’m excited to continue the conversations sparked by this play.”

“Tearrance’s genius with Hooded is that it is essentially a social experiment that gauges the audience’s awareness from beginning to end,” added associate director Vaughn Ryan Midder. “He breaks the rules: blurring the very real with the surreal, connecting the past, present, and future, and loading every joke with a much larger socio-political question. It’s one of the very few plays I feel was written just for me! The title alone, Hooded, Or Being Black for Dummies, is motivation enough for every privileged American to buy a ticket.”

Additional Information about Hooded: Or Being Black for Dummies   

ALL PERFORMANCES WILL BE OPEN CAPTIONED

Opening/Press Night Night: Monday, May 7 at 7:30 PM

Weekly Schedule: performs WednesdayFriday at 8 PM; Saturday at 3 PM and 8 PM; Sunday at 3 PM and 7:30 PM

Ticket Prices: $20-$65

Special Performances and Post Show Discussions: PWYC preview on May 2 at 8 PM; Weekday Matinee at 11 AM on Thursday, May 10. A full list of discussion dates and discussant bios will be available on mosaictheater.org/discussions.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION VISIT: http://www.mosaictheater.org/hooded-remount

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