10 Things To Do Before I Die Second Stage Theatre announces cast

Second Stage Theatre will kick off this summer's Second Stage Theatre Uptown Series with the world premiere of Zakiyyah Alexander's 10 Things To Do Before I Die.

Directed by Jackson Gay, 10 Things To Do Before I Die will feature Francois Battiste, Natalie Venetia Belcon, Kyle Beltran, Dion Graham, and Tracie Thoms. The play opens at the McGinn Cazale Theatre on 28 May 2009, following previews from 12 May and running through to 14 Jun 2009.

10 Things To Do Before I Die: Vida, a NYC high school teacher and Lena, a once-successful writer, are two sisters who couldn't be more different. When a delivery of boxes from their recently deceased father arrives they must reconnect and re-examine their complicated history.

The creative team features scenic design by Wilson Chin, costume design by Jenny Mannis, lighting design by Thomas Dunn, and original music/sound design by Daniel Baker and Aaron Meicht.

10 Things To Do Before I Die was commissioned by the Time Warner Commissioning Program at Second Stage Theatre and is the second commissioned play to be produced in the company's Uptown series. The first was Rajiv Joseph's 'Animals Out of Paper,' which recently received a Lortel Award nomination for Outstanding Play.

Zakiyyah Alexander is a writer and performer whose plays include 'Sick?' (Summer Play Festival), 'The Etymology of a Bird' (Hip Hop Theater Festival), and 'Blurring Shine' (Market Theater, Johannesburg). Her work is included in 'New Monologues for Women by Women and Girls who like Boys who like Girls.' She is a resident member of New Dramatists and the Dramatists Guild, and a 2003 graduate of the Yale School of Drama.

Jackson Gay's (Director) credits include 'Len,' 'Asleep in Vinyl' by Carly Mensch (Second Stage), 'Jason Grote's Box Americana' (O'Neill Playwrights Conference), 'Made In Poland' by Wojcieszek (Play Company), Lucy Thurber's 'Scarcity,' Rolin Jones' 'The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow' (Atlantic Theater Company), David Adjmi's 'Marie Antoinette' (Sundance Institute Theatre Lab/Public Theater). She received the Connecticut Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Production for 'Jenny Chow' (Yale Rep) and earned her MFA in Directing at Yale School of Drama.

Francois Battiste was recently nominated for a Lortel Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play for his performance in 'The Good Negro'. On Broadway he made his Broadway debut in 'Prelude to a Kiss' (2007).

Natalie Venetia Belcon has appeared in 'Avenue Q' (Original Cast, Gary Colman), 'Rent' (Joanne - replacement: 1996) and 'Once on This Island' (Erzulie: 2002 revival). Off-Broadway credits are 'The Glorious Ones' (Lincoln Center Theater) and 'Avenue Q' (Gary Colman).

Kyle Beltran is a recent graduate of Carnegie Mellon University. His credits include 'Kingdom' at the Old Globe Theatre, 'Aida' at West Virginia Public Theatre, and 'When January Feels' at City Theatre of Pittsburgh.

Dion Graham's has appeared on Broadway in 'Not About Nightingales' (Olive Armsted: 1999). He was nominated in 2001 for a Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Featured Actor for his role as 'William' in 'Lobby Hero' (Playwrights Horizons). Other Off-Broadway credits include: 'A Hard Heart' (Epic Theatre Ensemble), 'View of the Dome' (NYTW), 'Wantabanaland' (WPA Theatre), '2: Goering at Nuremberg' and 'Washington Square Moves' (Primary Stages ) .

Tracie Thoms has appeared on Broadway in 'Rent' (Joanne) and 'Drowning Crow' (Mary Bow). Off-Broadway credits are 'The Antigone Project' (Women's Project), 'The Exonerated' (Bleecker Steet Theatre) and 'Up Against the Wind' (NYTW).

For tickets and further information click here.

Originally published on

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