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Casting Announced for Premiere Stages' "Certain Aspects of Conflict in the Negro Family"


Casting Announced for Premiere Stages

(UNION, NJ) -- Premiere Stages at Kean University will present the staged reading of Tylie Shider’s Certain Aspects of Conflict in the Negro Family October 29-31 in Kean University’s Liberty Hall Academic Center. Tylie Shider is the recipient of the Liberty Live 2021/22 Commission. The staged reading will feature Kena Anae as Junior, Cedric Cannon as Clif, Debra D. Shider as Ruth and Joy Sudduth as Peach. Othell J. Miller directs.

Certain Aspects of Conflict in the Negro Family explores a family’s internal divisions in response to the 1967 Plainfield, New Jersey riots. As tensions reach an all-time high between Newark residents and police, racial and civil unrest begins spilling into surrounding communities. Clif and Peach moved their family to Plainfield for the promise of a better future, but as the riots begin, the family contemplates a return to the South.

Playwright and journalist Tylie Shider is a two-time recipient of the Jerome Fellowship at the Playwrights’ Center (PWC) and an I Am Soul playwright in residence at the National Black Theatre (NBT). His recent plays include Labor (The Theater Project), Whittier (PWC) and THE GOSPEL WOMAN (NBT). He holds a BA in Journalism from Delaware State University and an MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU. A proud member of the Dramatist Guild, he is currently a Professor of Playwriting at Augsburg University, and a staff writer for Minnesota Playlist.

Othell J. Miller holds an MFA in Theater (Acting) from Rutgers, Mason Gross School of the Arts and currently serves as the Director for the Theater Arts Program at Plainfield Academy for the Arts & Advanced Studies. Past directing credits include: No Child…by Nilaja Sun, Skeleton Crew by Dominique Morriseau, Intimate Apparel by Lynn Nottage, The Talented Tenth by Richard Wesley, Flyin’ West by Pearl Cleage, Doubt by John Patrick Shanley, Zooman & the Sign by Charles Fuller, Miss Evers’ Boys by David Feldshuh. Past collaborations with Mr. Shider include: Josiah’s KiddTo the Day of Decision, & One Day at a Time.

The accomplished cast includes Kena Anae, who returns to Premiere Stages after portraying Music Man in Fannie Lou Hamer, Speak On It last Fall; Cedric Cannon, whose numerous theatre credits include Storming HeavenGuess Who’s Coming to DinnerSweeteeCats, and Carmen Jones; Debra D. Shider, who has developed plays at The Theater Project and The New Generation Theater Co; and Joy Sudduth, whose television/film credits include New AmsterdamGothamPowerEscape at Dannemora, and The Village.

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Liberty Hall Academic Center is located at 1003 Morris Avenue Building 2 in Union, New Jersey. To ensure the safety of all patrons and staff, Premiere Stages will be implementing specific safety protocols for all indoor performances. All artists and staff will be fully vaccinated. Masks will be required for audiences attending indoor performances, regardless of vaccination status. All seating will be sanitized between performances and hand sanitizing stations will be available throughout the lobby. Touchless ticketing as well as, printed and digital playbills will be available for all patrons. Premiere’s safety protocols can be found here.

Certain Aspects of Conflict in the Negro Family runs October 29-31 in the Liberty Hall Acdemic Center on the Kean University main campus in Union, N.J. Performances take place on Friday at 7:00 pm, Saturday at 7:00 pm and Sunday at 3:00 pm.  Audience members are invited to engage more deeply with Mr. Shider’s thought-provoking play in Premiere’s free crosstalks following the Friday, October 29 and Saturday, October 30 evening performances and free community talkback following the Sunday, October 31 matinees. Performances of Certain Aspects of Conflict in the Negro Family will be produced under Premiere’s AEA production contract.

Tickets are free, but a reservation is required to attend. There is also a suggested donation of $10. Reservations and donations can be made online at www.premierestagesatkean.com or by calling the Box Office at (907)737-7469. Assistive listening devices and sign-interpretation are available upon request; please call 908-737-4077 at least two weeks prior to your desired performance. 

The Liberty Live commission is awarded biennially, in partnership with Kean University’s Liberty Hall, and seeks to develop and produce new plays that celebrate New Jersey’s rich and diverse history. The Liberty Live Commission program is made possible in part by a 2021 HEART (History, Education, Arts Reaching Thousands) Grant from the Union County Board of County Commissioners.

Premiere Stages is made possible in part through funding from W. John Bauer and Nancy Boucher, The New Jersey State Council on the Arts, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, The Dubose and Dorothy Heyward Foundation, The Northfield Bank Foundation, The Hyde and Watson Foundation, The Union Foundation, E.J. Grassmann Trust, Carol Shaffer-Koros and Robert Koros, The New Jersey Theatre Alliance, Investors Foundation, The Union County HEART Grant and through the generous support of individual patrons and local organizations. Discover Jersey Arts is our marketing partner. Visit www.JerseyArts.com for more information about other arts programming happening around the Garden State.

Premiere Stages is committed to producing topical plays and interactive programs that reflect people of all ethnic and racial backgrounds, religious groups, gender identities, ages, abilities, disabilities and sexual preferences. 

Created in 2004, Premiere Stages is the professional Equity theatre in residence at Kean University. Through its unique partnership with Kean, Premiere’s play development programs, educational initiatives, and professional development opportunities actively embrace the university's academic curriculum while expanding the scope, accessibility, and prestige of the professional programming on campus.  

Founded in 1855, Kean University is one of the largest metropolitan institutions of higher education in the region, with a richly diverse student, faculty and staff population. Kean continues to play a key role in the training of teachers and is a hub of educational, technological and cultural enrichment serving more than 16,000 students. The University’s six undergraduate colleges offer more than 50 undergraduate degrees over a full range of academic subjects. The Nathan Weiss Graduate College offers six doctoral degree programs and more than 80 options for graduate study leading to master’s degrees, professional diplomas or certifications. With campuses in Union, Toms River, Jefferson and Manahawkin, New Jersey, and Wenzhou, China, Kean University furthers its mission by providing an affordable and accessible world-class education.  

originally published: 10/20/2021

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