Two-time NAACP and Obie Award winner and the recipient of Center Theatre Group’s inaugural Sherwood Award, Robert O’Hara returns to direct “Slave Play,” by Playwright Jeremy O. Hara, which earned a record 12 Tony nominations, the most for any play in the history of those awards. The original creative team from the Broadway engagement will bring the acclaimed new work to Los Angeles direct from Broadway for its first production outside of New York.
A bit of erotica, from the back with a twist, and two of the same in a reverse role tryst.
Triggering but amazing, this is Jeremy O. Harris’ Slave Play.
I didn’t write Slave Play with the intention to make a point. I wrote Slave Play to start the conversation.”Jeremy O. Harris
Your synopsis could not have prepared me
For such audacity
Making even the shrewd
Blush and prude
Adjust their moods and attitudes.
Out and open with sex
No warning or time to perplex
You just sat it out front
You gonna take it even against your want
Lies I told myself
Lies passed on by those whose left
Lies that came to light
Lies of the truth of the real black and white
Interracial Love in America
Truth be told
There’s a passion here
That’s centuries old
They loved us the whole time
My Queen Negress so divine
Of course it is dysfunctional
Look at from which it come
Full of hatred and rage
Keeping melanin locked in a spiritual cage
Behind closed doors
The same ole thing
Except it’s on display now
Got a front row seat
Whips and chains still involved
Is the race problem finally solved
Let’s all go to Antebellum therapy
Because you pleasure me no more
Being out and open would bring solidarity
Truth is lack of understanding is the bore
Shall we play these roles again
Enjoying the forbidden fruit, the sin
Therapist’s Ivy League words say we can win
This war against race
Take a look at my face
I am your slave
Past and present you crave
Me every day
Is it lust or love or simply
Tickets for “Slave Play” are currently on sale for production at Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre and start at $30. They are available through CenterTheatreGroup.org, Audience Services at (213) 972-4400 or in person at the Center Theatre Group Box Office (at the Ahmanson Theatre at The Music Center, 135 N. Grand Avenue in Downtown L.A. 90012)
About Slave Play
“Slave Play” takes place at the MacGregor Plantation, where nothing is as it seems, and yet everything is as it seems. It’s an antebellum fever-dream as three interracial couples converge to rip open history at the intersection of race, love, sex and sexuality in 21st century America.
Jeremy O. Harris
Broadway company members, Antoinette Crowe-Legacy, Jonathan Higginbotham, Devin Kawaoka, Chalia La Tour, Irene Sofia Lucia, Paul Alexander Nolan, Jakeem Dante Powell and Elizabeth Stahlmann. Understudies include Jordan Lis Cooper, Rashaad Hall, Kineta Kunutu, James Patrick Nelson and Galen J. Williams
Jeremy O. Harris (Playwright) is a Tony-nominated writer, performer and producer from Virginia. Plays: Slave Play, “Daddy,” “WATER SPORTS; or insignificant white boys;” and “Black Exhibition.” Jeremy co-wrote A24’s critically acclaimed 2021 film “Zola” with director Janicza Bravo. He has an overall deal with HBO where he is co-creating an adaptation of “The Vanishing Half” with Aziza Barnes. Additional credits include HBO’s “Euphoria” and upcoming HBO’s TV adaptation of “Irma Vep.” In 2020, he produced the premiere of Fake Friend’s Pulitzer Prize finalist “Circle Jerk,” created NYTW’s Golden & Ruth Harris commission for Black female playwrights, and funded Bushwick Starr’s pet project grants which funded over 175 artists. He is the recipient of the Vineyard Theatre’s Paula Vogel Playwrighting Award, a MacDowell Colony Fellow and is under commission from Lincoln Center Theater and The Public Theater. Jeremy is a graduate of Yale’s M.F.A. Playwrighting Program. Upcoming: “Daddy” (Almeida).
Robert O’Hara (Director) is the Tony-nominated director of “Slave Play” and is currently working on several film, television and theatre projects. He’s a two-time Obie Award and two-time NAACP Award winner whose work has been seen around the country. Among his recent and upcoming projects are, writing “Camp” for Warner Bros, to be directed by Billy Porter, directing “Long Days Journey Into Night” at Audible/Minetta Lane Theater, directing the revival of Anthony Davis’ “Opera, X: The Life and Times of Malcom X” in a co-pro of the MET, Michigan, Omaha and Seattle Opera. A member of SDC, WGA, DGA, AGMA.
Center Theatre Group, one of the nation’s preeminent arts and cultural organizations, is Los Angeles’ leading nonprofit theatre company, which, under the leadership of Managing Director / CEO Meghan Pressman and Producing Director Douglas C. Baker, programs seasons at the 736-seat Mark Taper Forum and 1,600 to 2,100-seat Ahmanson Theatre at The Music Center in Downtown Los Angeles, and the 317-seat Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City. In addition to presenting and producing the broadest range of theatrical entertainment in the country, Center Theatre Group is one of the nation’s leading producers of ambitious new works through commissions and world premiere productions and a leader in interactive community engagement and education programs that reach across generations, demographics and circumstance to serve Los Angeles.