BR'ER COTTON By Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm Starts Its National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere in Dallas

Jun 7, 2017

Washington, D.C. - National New Play Network, the country's alliance of nonprofit theaters that champions the development, production, and continued life of new plays, cheers the first opening of its 70th Rolling World Premiere, Br’er Cotton by Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm. The play, which was seen at the 2016 National Showcase of New Plays in Austin, Texas, will open at Core Member Kitchen Dog Theater (Dallas, TX) on June 9 and run until July 1. It will continue its Roll at Core Member Cleveland Public Theatre (OH; March 29-April 21, 2018), as well as Associate Member Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble (Los Angeles, CA; September 23-October 15, 2017). In an NNPN Rolling World Premiere, the Network provides production support to the playwright and the partnering theaters, including assistance with the creation and the contracting of the premiere agreement, collaborative interactions between the theaters, and travel and housing funds for the playwright to further develop the play in each city.


Lynchburg, Virginia. The former site of a thriving cotton mill is now an impoverished neighborhood. Deeply affected by all the recent killings of young black men like himself, Ruffrino, a 14-year-old boy who longs to wake up the zombies by any means necessary. More and more at odds with his mother and grandfather, the boy’s anger grows beyond containment while the family home literally sinks into the cotton field, which no one seems to notice but him.


Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm is a current member of the Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program at Juilliard and a recent MFA Playwriting graduate from the Catholic University of America. His play Hooded: Or Being Black for Dummies received its World Premiere at Mosaic Theatre in Washington, D.C. this year and will be followed by the NNPN Rolling World Premiere of his play Br’er Cotton at Kitchen Dog Theatre in Dallas, TX. His work has been developed with the Signature Theatre, Theatre J, Theatre Alliance, Endstation Theatre, The Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, and the Djerassi Resident Artists Program. He was named a “Person to Watch” by American Theatre Magazine and a “Rising Star” by Variety. He was a finalist for the inaugural Relentless Award and London's 503 Theatre Award. He was named winner of bot the Rosa Parks Playwriting Award and the Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award at KCACTF 2016.


The mission of Kitchen Dog Theater (KDT) remains as relevant today as when the company was founded 26 years ago: to provide a place where questions of justice, morality, and human freedom can be explored – whether they are found in the classics, contemporary works or new plays. KDT consistently offers artists the opportunity to take on challenging roles, make bold choices in direction/design, and wrestle with big questions. The characters and stories at KDT have populated ancient cities and contemporary trailer parks. Woven among all the productions are the adherence to our mission and artistry of the highest caliber.


Cleveland Public Theatre’s mission is to raise consciousness and nurture compassion through groundbreaking performances and life-changing educational programs. CPT develops new, adventurous work; and nurtures Northeastern Ohio artists — particularly those whose work is inventive, intelligent, and socially conscious. CPT’s acclaimed education programs engage underserved youth and adults in creating new works that speak to contemporary issues, and empower participants to work for positive change in the community. 


Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble is fervently working to curate future seasons of classic, contemporary and original material from some of the world’s finest playwrights. We are excited to bring our audience a play list that is as wide as it is varied. From re-imagined adaptations of Greek drama, Irish comedy and Russian realism to modern examinations of American racial history, Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble is committed to offering our audience thought provoking, challenging and humorous looks at the human spirit. We bring to our productions a commitment to excellence, talent, craft and years of theatre experience. Our aim is to explore the truth and reality that lies beneath the lower depth of our existence. lower-depth