Casting has been announced for the West Coast premiere of Dave Harris' Tambo & Bones, coming to Los Angeles at the Center Theatre Group’s Kirk Douglas Theatre May 1-May 29, and opening May 8. A co-production with Playwrights Horizons, this production is directed by Taylor Reynolds, who also directed the world premiere of the play at the Off-Broadway theatre earlier this year.
Much of the cast of Tambo & Bones will remain the same from the Off-Broadway run, including leads W. Tré Davis and Tyler Fauntleroy, who are joined by Tim Kopacz, and Alexander Neher.
W. Tré Davis (Seared, Zooman and the Sign) and Tyler Fauntleroy (Tempest, Succession) play the title characters, who are trapped in a minstrel show. The work, a rags-to-riches hip-hop journey, roasts America’s racist past, wrestles America’s racist present, and explodes America’s post-racial future.
The play was conceived as Harris considered his artistic origins doing poetry slams, and how he found an expectation for Black artists to revisit and present trauma, often for largely white audiences.
The playwright said in an earlier statement, “I was working through this and thinking through minstrelsy as the beginning of Black fictive imaginations and Black performative capitalism. Minstrelsy is so demonized in society, but it was also a pathway to freedom for so many performers. So much of this play is about individual agency and upwards mobility within these given systems. And once you have the freedom to create your own world, what then are you reaching for? In my play, the characters’ relationship to the playwright is: ‘You had the possibility to dream up any world you could have and the extent of your imagination was to put us in a minstrel show? You’re doing this, why?’”
The creative team includes Stephanie Osin Cohen (scenic designer), Dominique Fawn Hill (costume designer), Amith Chandrashaker (lighting designer), Mextly Couzin (lighting designer), Mikhail Fiksel (sound design), Justin Ellington (original music) and J. David Brimmer (fight director). Casting is by Alaine Alldaffer, and additional casting is by Rosalinda Morales and Pauline O’con. Marcedés L. Clanton is the production stage manager.