Vineyard Theater has announced the casting and design team for the upcoming premiere of “Lessons in Survival: 1971.” Carl Clemons Hopkins will play novelist James Baldwin alongside the drama award winner Crystal Dickinson as famous poet Nikki Giovanni.
“Lessons in Survival: 1971” follows a 1971 interview with Baldwin conducted by Giovanni. Their conversation on America’s first “Black Tonight Show” turned out to be a profound dialogue about race and liberation in America. Now, building on the digital exploration of 2020’s ‘Lessons in Survival’“, this live staging will explore the layers of intimacy and ideas between two black revolutionary artists of different generations.
Clemons-Hopkins is known for his breakout performance as Marcus on HBO Max’s “Hacks” opposite Jean Smart. Their performance earned them an Emmy Award nomination for “Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series”. In film, Clemons-Hopkins was most recently seen in Jordan Peele’s 2021 film “Candyman.” Other credits include a recurring role on NBC’s “Chicago Med” and Showtime’s “The Chi.” Onstage, Clemons-Hopkins starred in the Chicago production of “Hamilton” as Aaron Burr and George Washington, and they also premiered at the Steppenwolf Theater in “For The Last Time.”
Crystal Dickinson received a Theater World Award for her performance in the Tony Award-winning ‘Clybourne Park’. The star also starred in Tony-nominated ‘You Can’t Take It With You’ alongside James Earl Jones and Rose Byrne. In film and TV, she starred in “This Is Where I Leave You,” “The Good Wife,” “New Amsterdam,” and had a recurring role on Showtime’s “The Chi.”
The design team for the new project will include You-Shin Chen (stage design), Mika Eubanks (costume design), Amith Chadrashaker (lighting design), Lee Kinney and Daniel Kluger (sound design), Daniel Kluger (composition original) and Matthew Glasner, CSA (casting director).
“Lessons in Survival: 1971” will begin previews at the Vineyard Theater on May 26, 2022 and play through June 30 with an opening night set for June 9.
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