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CTG “Head of Passes” Opens Sunday

head-of-passesAcademy Award winner and playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney’s “Head of Passes” opens Sunday, September 24 at 7 p.m. at the Mark Taper Forum. Directed by Tina Landau, the poetic and powerful new play, which is part of Center Theatre Group’s 50th anniversary season at the Taper, continues through October 22, 2017.
The cast of “Head of Passes” includes, in alphabetical order, Alana Arenas, Francois Battiste, Kyle Beltran, J. Bernard Calloway, James Carpenter, John Earl Jelks, Phylicia Rashad and Jacqueline Williams.
Family and friends are gathering to celebrate Shelah’s (portrayed by Rashad) birthday under the leaky roof of her home at the mouth of the Mississippi River. But an unwanted birthday party and unrelenting rains are only the first challenges in this contemporary parable inspired by the Book of Job in which unexpected events turn the reunion into the ultimate test of faith and love. As her world seems to collapse around her, Shelah must fight to survive the rising flood of life’s greatest challenges in this poetic and piercing new play.
When “Head of Passes” was presented at The Public Theater, Ben Brantley of The New York Times said, “… in her remarkable, pull-out-all-the-stops performance in Tarell Alvin McCraney’s ‘Head of Passes,’ Ms. Rashad gives the impression that she could definitely hold her own on Shakespeare’s blasted heath. Portraying a sorely tested Southern matriarch, she can be found railing against God and the elements with a harrowingly Lear-like rage.” Linda Winer of Newsday observed, “If Phylicia Rashad had not already taken us on formidable journeys through the world of August Wilson and so many other formidable dramas, it would be tempting to call Shelah, the matriarch in ‘Head of Passes,’ the role of a lifetime.”

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