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Tarell Alvin McCraney’s Head of Passes Plays At Berkeley Rep

American playwright, Steppenwolf Theatre Ensemble member, and MacArthur Fellowship “Genius Grant” award-winner Tarell Alvin McCraney is at it again, this time in Berkeley, California.

McCraney’s play Head of Passes is currently on stage at Berkeley Rep. Described as a “poignant and poetic new play about the journey of family and faith, trial and tribulation,” Head of Passes takes place in a “dilapidated house near the ever-shifting mouth of the Mississippi,” where “Shelah’s family gathers on a stormy night for her birthday—bringing ghosts and secrets of the past with them. As her roof buckles under the weight of the rain, Shelah’s convictions begin to wash away, leaving her to excavate the truths buried below.”

Featuring a powerhouse cast including Cheryl Lynn Bruce (The Gospel of Lovingkindness, Gem of the Ocean, The Convert, Intimate Apparel) reprising her role from the Chicago world premiere, Michael A. Shepperd (Choir Boy, Take Me Out, Master Harold and the Boys)Jonathan Burke (Choir Boy, Langston in Harlem, The Wiz)Francois Battiste (Bronx Bombers, Magic/Byrd, Detroit ’67, Broke-ology, The Good Negro), Nikkole Salter (Tough Titty, Stick Fly, Jitney), Brian Tyree Henry (Fortress of Solitude, The Book of Mormon, The Brother’s Size), Kimberly Scott (Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Ruined) and Sullivan Jones (One Night in Miami, Intimate Apparel), this production is making a lot of good noise down in the Bay.

“McCraney writes the richest dialogue of any scribe of his generation.” — Chicago Tribune.

“A stunning production…Every one of the performances is spot-on, effectively shaping distinct personalities who give credible, affecting and sometimes amusing shape to McCraney’s tale, which was inspired by the Book of Job. But this is Shelah’s drama, and Bruce dispatches it with heart, power and conviction that is as close to biblical as we’re likely to see on a stage. It’s a tour-de-force to remember, in an expertly crafted play.” — Huffington Post.

Head of Passes is on the Thrust Stage at Berkeley Rep now until May 24th. If you’re in the Bay, or can get to the Bay, this is a MUST SEE.

WATCH: Playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney talks about the heart of his play.

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