The trailer for Season 1 of the new web series Neighbors, created and written by Sharrod Williams (Tuck Everlasting, Cats, Hamilton in Chicago), dropped October 30 ahead of the November 8 season premiere.
The seven-episode series follows characters Sharrod and Joey (played by Williams and Joey Rosario) as they “navigate pandemic life, new interracial relationships, and a secret that threatens their friendship for good.”
The cast also includes Shaunice Alexander (Bandstand national tour), Gizel Jimenez (Wicked, Avenue Q), Juan Caballer (West Side Story, Chicago Lyric), Brandon Nase (Cats national tour, The Black Clown), Christopher Rice (Hamilton national tour, The Book of Mormon, Pretty Woman), Matthew Petrucelli (Shakespeare’s Globe, Edinburgh Fringe), Amanda Serrano (In the Heights, Park Playhouse), Elisabeth Willis (The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey).
Williams, who also serves as executive producer, was inspired to create Neighbors not only in the COVID era, but as part of a movement for societal change. “As a young, Black artist, I wanted to take up space where I often feel there isn’t much for me,” he says. “I wanted to create an opportunity for myself and my fellow artist friends to create, collaborate, and grow. Everyone involved can attest that the phrase of the day will always be ‘progress—not perfection.’”
Neighbors consciously made efforts to hire a person of color to lead every department. John Canning, Russell McCook, Benjamin Nissen, and Peter Pileski produce alongside Williams. Giuseppe Bausilio (Hamilton, Newsies) serves as a producer and director of photography with Daniel Gaymon (Hamilton national tour, Cats, The Lion King) as resident director. DeShawn Bowens (Mean Girls national tour) and Willis direct, with Alyssa LeClair (Workin’ Moms, Fat Camp – LAFF Premiere) as associate screenwriter and Gabriel Kearns as the assistant director of photography and showrunner. “Creating our own opportunity, in a time where there is none for performing artists, is how we can find joy and elevate together,” says Williams.
The series also features music from independent, up-and-coming artists of color, including Ebrin R. Stanley (Hamilton in Chicago), who provides original underscoring for the series.
While the series is available to watch for free at Neighbors-Series.com, it serves as a fundraiser for Broadway for Racial Justice in an effort “to raise enough money to donate $2,000 of our overall budget to the non-profit.” Williams serves on the BFRJ Board of Directors. “It is vital to aid BFRJ's efforts to fight for racial justice and equity in the theatrical community at-large.”
Tune in to the premiere of Neighbors November 8 at 7 PM ET. Follow NEIGHBORS on Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube to keep up with the show and for behind-the-scenes exclusives. To make a donation to fund the production of the series (separate from BFRJ donations), click here.