by Douglas Lyons
directed by Zhailon Levingston
with Janet Hubert, Alana Raquel Bowers, Carly Hughes, Danny Johnson, Ebony Marshall-Oliver, Aigner Mizzelle, Devere Rogers, and Michael Urie.
All proceeds from the Virtual Reading will directly benefit The Next Wave Initiative, a new developmental branch of The Directors Company committed to amplifying future Black voices in The American Theatre through scholarships and community engagement.
Janet Hubert, best known to television audiences as “Aunt Viv” on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, will star as Baneatta Mabry in a virtual reading of Douglas Lyons' family comedy, CHICKEN AND BISCUITS. Baneatta and Beverly attempt to put their sisterly differences aside to bury their father, Bernard. All is well at the funeral until it's revealed that Bernard had not just two daughters, but three. Wig pins loosen, as truths emerge, leaving this African-American family to confront their skeletons head on; naturally with lots of love, shade, and prayer along the way. The world premiere of CHICKEN AND BISCUITS opened at Queens Theatre on March 6, 2020, closing early due to the Covid-19.
Douglas Lyons is an actor, writer, director, composer, and playwright. Writing - TV: Fraggle Rock (Apple TV). Theater: Polkadots (Off Broadway Alliance Winner Best Family Show, Atlantic Theater Company), Chicken and Biscuits (Queens Theatre), Sunshine (Long Wharf Theatre), Pete(Her)Pan (Pace New Musicals), Five Points (world premiere Theater Latte Da), now directed by Hamilton's Andy Blankenbuehler, Fatigue with Jodi Piccoult, We The People (TheatreworksUSA) and The Hamlet Remix. Acting - Broadway: Beautiful (Original Cast) and The Book of Mormon. Tours: Rent, Dreamgirls and The Book of Mormon 1st National. Douglas is also the founder of The Next Wave Initiative, a scholarship program dedicated to supporting the future of Black Theater artists.
Next Wave Initiative is a developmental branch of The Directors Company, committed to amplifying future Black voices in The American Theatre.
A statement from Douglas Lyons, Founder and Director of the Next Wave Initiative: "Our nation is currently mourning, while simultaneously healing itself. In times like these I always look towards a solution; a way to pave a path towards America's future. The Next Wave Initiative allows the conversations around "Broadway equality" to become action. This program will fight to erase the ugliness of our past, while investing in the future of our profession."
The Directors Company is an award-winning not-for-profit theatre company with an extraordinary record in its mission to develop and produce groundbreaking new plays and musicals for the American theatre public. For 40 years, The Directors Company has mentored and supported emerging artists in the development of original theatre works from inception to production, providing artistic and dramaturgical guidance to promising, new theatre artists and their projects. The future of American theatre depends on a regular influx of new works, to which The Directors Company is committed, and the collaborative process we encourage involves not only the playwright and director, but audiences as well, who play a part in the emergence of original works giving voice to contemporary concerns.