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Negro Ensemble Company

Zooman and the Sign

February 15 – 18, 2024
Harold Prince Theatre
PLA Presents

“Arguably the most successful Black theatre group in the world,” (American Theatre) the Negro Ensemble Company (NEC), our 23/24 season artist-in-residence, returns with a revival of Charles Fuller’s Zooman and the Sign. Set in Philadelphia in 1979, the play explores the effects of gun violence on a family and their struggle to convince apathetic neighbors to take a stand together to achieve justice. Fuller was born and raised in our city, and best known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning work, A Soldier’s Play, originally produced off-Broadway by NEC. Now, we bring this Obie Award-winning play home to celebrate this remarkable playwright and shed light on how his work still resonates today.

Please note, this performance uses prop guns and gun sound effects. It also includes mature content and strong language.

Director Phyllis Yvonne Stickney

Cast (Alphabetical order, Character – Actor)
Grace Georges – Wadiah Brown
Ash Boswell – Ashlee Danielle
Zooman – Isaiah Joseph
Russell Adams – Salif Kone
Victor Tate – Isaiah Martinez
Donald Jackson – Alton Ray
Reuben Tate – Benjamin Rowe
Rachel Tate – Constance Thompson
Emmett Tate – Reggie Wilson

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Insights Events

Feb 17:
Join us after the matinee performance for an audience discussion facilitated by Penn's SNF Paideia Program. This discussion will make use of the Story Circle method, a dialogue method developed by civil rights activist and theatre artist John O’Neal of the Free Southern Theatre. Focused on story sharing in small groups, this method encourages finding common ground across differences by sharing and listening to others’ personal experiences. No additional registration is required to participate. More information will be shared upon arrival at the theatre.

Artist Information
Program Notes [PDF]

The Negro Ensemble Company’s performances are made possible in part with support provided by the Penn Live Arts Accelerator Program.

Zooman and the Sign is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc.

Photo credit: Mark Garvin