Woodie King Jr's New Federal Theatre, in association with Castillo Theatre, presents Court-Martial at Fort Devens by Jeffrey Sweet at the Castillo Theatre (543 West 42nd Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues). Performances are through April 1st only.
Mary Beth Easley directs a cast that features Alia Shakira Chapman, Evander Duck, Gillian Glasco, Nambi E. Kelley, Frank Mayers, Emma O'Donnell, Bill Tatum, Keona Welch, and Eboni Witcher. Court-Martial at Fort Devens will have set design by John Scheffler, costume design by Ali Turn, lighting design by Shirley Prendergast, and sound design by Mark Bruckner.
Based on a true story, Court-Martial at Fort Devens documents the strike of black WACs (Women’s Army Corps) during World War II. The women joined the Army to be trained as nurses, only to be relegated to cleaning toilets, mopping floors and doing laundry. When they are court-martialed for refusing to follow orders during wartime, they fight a pioneering battle for racial equality in the segregated U.S. military
Playwright Jeffrey Sweet's last show in New York was You Only Shoot the Ones You Love, a solo effort in which he appeared at the Cherry Lane, SoHo Playhouse and Barrow Street Theatre. Court-Martial at Fort Devens premiered in Chicago, where it was nominated for the Joseph Jefferson Award for best play (and lost to August: Osage County). He has written dozens of plays which have appeared in NY and on stages around the country and the world. His prizes include two playwriting awards from the American Theatre Critics Association. He serves on the Council of the Dramatists Guild.
Director Mary Beth Easley has been directing and teaching Acting in New York City for over twenty years. She has directed Off-Broadway and in regional theatres throughout the Midwest including the Off-Broadway premiere of Levy Lee Simon’s God, the Crackhouse and the Devil at La MaMa; the critically-acclaimed Krasang Tree, based on the work of Poet U Sam Oeur, at Theater de la Jeune Lune in Minneapolis; the NYC premiere production of Mr. Simon’s Caseload at The Workshop Theatre in the spring of 2006; and collaborated with Mr. Simon and composer-lyricist, Mark Bruckner on the development of Same Train, which she directed at Algonquin Theater Productions in the spring of 2008 and was featured on the mainstage at the 2011 National Black Theater Festival. A recipient of a Revson Directing Fellowship, Ms. Easley is currently the Artistic Director for the CUNY – Brooklyn College Department of Theater and assistant professor in their acting program.
Woodie King Jr. is the Founder and Producing Director of New Federal Theatre. Woodie King Jr.'s New Federal Theatre has presented over 200 productions in its 40-year history. Mr. King has produced and directed on Broadway, Off-Broadway, in regional theatres, and in universities across the United States. He co-produced For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf (first produced by NFT and Josep Papp's Public Theatre), What the Wine Sellers Buy, Reggae and The Taking of Miss Janie (Drama Critics Circle Award). His directional credits are extensive and include work in film as well as theater. Mr. King was just inducted into The Theater Hall of Fame for outstanding contribution to the American Theater.