— 9th Season —
Deep are the Roots — May 4-8, 2016
About Director Arthur French
Arthur French is a recipient of 2015 prestigious Paul Robeson Citation Award. The award, established in honor of the late actor and Civil Rights activist Paul Robeson, is meant to recognize individuals and organizations that best exemplify the principles by which Robeson lived his life; namely, a dedication to freedom of expression and respect for human dignity regardless of race or nationality.
French is also the recipient of a 1997 Obie Award for Sustained Excellence and a Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Featured Actor, with which he was presented for his performance in Two Trains Running at the Signature Theater Company in 2006.
Arthur French initially thought the story in Deep are the Roots was just an old chestnut. He changed his mind.
“This play tackles race relations in post-World War II and was written 71 years ago, yet it is not an old chestnut which was my original thought. Race relations is just as relevant now as it was when this play opened on Broadway. We are still tackling issues surrounding race in our country and this play serves as a reminder of that, crystallizing how it still remains a dominant challenge today,” said Arthur French.
About Deep are the Roots
Deep are the Roots, written by Arnaud d’Usseau and James Gow, made its Broadway debut in 1945 under direction of Elia Kazan and ran 477 performances.
Decorated African-American U.S. Army lieutenant Brett Charles comes home and attempts to re-enter his small community in the Deep South at the end of World War II. Having been in command overseas – respected and treated as an equal – Brett resists being “put in his place” in his segregated hometown. Although a daughter of a conservative U.S. Senator, Alice Langdon, believes in Brett and hopes and encourages him to go to college in the north, Brett wants to stay in his hometown, looking to make a difference. Brett and Genevra, Alice’s younger sister, fall in love as the play’s story unfolds, dividing the family with those who still support and go along with segregation and those looking to stand up to it.
Jessica Bonder (Genevra Langdon), Damien Bosco* (Deputy Bob Izay), Jocelyn Druyan* (Alice Langdon), Jeffrey Feller (Deputy Chuck Warren), Kelly Gilmore (Roy Maxwell), James Harter* (Senator Langdon), Grant Machan* (Howard Merrick), Gloria Sauvé* (Bella Campbell), David Lloyd Walters* (Sheriff Serkin), Augustus Wilson (Brett Campbell), Cooki Winborn* (Honey). The six musical performers include Susan Case,* Eric Benjamin Gordon (banjo), Colleen Kennedy,* William Lyon Lee, Aaron Scott*, and Sally Sherwood.*
Stage Manager: Grace Peñaranda*
Musical Director: Lin Snider
*Appearing courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association.
Scenic Designer: Sheryl Liu
Costume Designer: Maureen Eadie
Lighting Designer/Technical Director: Pope Jackson
Assistant to the Director: Harold Hodge
Fight Director: James Savage
Assistant Stage Manager: Diamond McDonald
Assistant Technical Director: Thomas Sampson
Props: Halina Malinowski, Leon Morgan