Paula Vogel's Bard at the Gate Series Revamped in Support of Black Lives Matter | Playbill

Black Lives Matter Paula Vogel's Bard at the Gate Series Revamped in Support of Black Lives Matter Kermit Frazier’s Kernel of Sanity will now kick off the series June 25.
Paula Vogel Marc J. Franklin

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel's new digital series Bard at the Gate, intended to spotlight works not seen by a wide audience, has been revamped in support of Black Lives Matter, with a new start date and schedule of productions. The series will now begin June 25 at 7 PM ET on a YouTube pre-taped webstream with Kermit Frazier's 1978 work Kernel of Sanity, which was already slated as a part of Bard at the Gate.

"Right now, all hands must be on deck to support Black Lives Matter and our neighbors in the streets who seek justice for the murder of George Floyd and the many innocent people (from Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, in 2020 to the countless of the last four centuries) killed at the hands of police and white vigilantes," said Vogel. "The series will now start with a taut three-character play that examines racism in the theatre and remains all too sadly resonant 40 years later."

The play examines the close relationship between a young Black actor and an older Caucasian actor with whom he had previously appeared in a production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Gregg Daniel directs the production with a cast to be announced at a later date. The reading will be followed by a live online discussion of the play with Frazier and Daniel, moderated by Vogel. To register for the discussion and for the streaming link, click here.

Proceeds from the reading of Kernel of Sanity will benefit the non-profit Martha's Table, which supports high-quality education, health and wellness resources, nutrition, and parents in the neighborhoods in Washington, D.C. on both sides of the Anacostia River.

Conceived out of the need for digital content in the COVID-19 pandemic and the lack of unique voices in theatre, the series was originally set to begin June 10 with Meg Miroshnik’s The Droll {Or, a Stage-Play about the End of Theatre}, which is now scheduled for July 15. The company, directed Devin Brain, includes Brett Dalton, Rachel Spencer Hewitt, Matt Biagini, Zach Appleman, Ceci Fernandez, Blake Segal, and Irene Sofia Lucio. The date change was agreed upon by all parties to allow a Black playwright's work to kick off the series in the midst of ongoing protests surrounding police brutality in America.

Eisa Davis’s Pulitzer Prize finalist Bulrusher and Dan LeFranc’s Origin Story will also remain on the docket for Bard at the Gate, with dates to be announced at a later date.

READ: Paula Vogel Put Her Story as a Gay Jewish Woman Onstage in Indecent

Prior to the coronavirus shutdown, Vogel's Pulitzer-winning How I Learned to Drive was to bow on Broadway with original cast members Mary-Louise Parker and David Morse. Manhattan Theatre Club now aims to present the title in its 2020–2021 season.

First Look at Paula Vogel's Indecent

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