“One of the best and most provocative new works to show up on Broadway in years.” - The New York Times "Wisdom and timeliness ripple through Slave Play. This play is lit." - The Undefeated "The single most daring thing I’ve seen in a theater in a long time." - The New York Times
Stunning audiences with a sold-out run at New York Theatre Workshop and later receiving a record-breaking 12 Tony Award nominations, SLAVE PLAY was “one of the best and most provocative new works to show up on Broadway in years.” Written by Jeremy O. Harris and directed by Tony Award nominee and Obie Award winner Robert O’Hara, this production continues to ignite critical cultural conversations.
At the MacGregor Plantation, nothing is as it seems, and yet everything is as it seems. It’s an antebellum fever-dream as three interracial couples converge to rip open history at the intersection of race, love, sex, and sexuality in 21st-century America. This production “reimagines the possibilities of what theater can give us” (The New York Times).
Photo Credit: Emilio Madrid
Paul Alexander Nolan
Irene Sofia Lucio
Chalia La Tour
Jeremy O. Harris
News + Notes
The Seaview Perspective
Being surrounded by brilliant people is everyday business for a producer. Once in a while, we meet an artist who changes the trajectory of our work. For us, a chance encounter with Jeremy O. Harris put us all on a path to redefine the purpose of a Broadway production and reshape an entire industry.
While different in many ways, we all shared a deep commitment to Jeremy’s transgressive and urgent new play, SLAVE PLAY. We partnered with Jeremy, visionary director Robert O’Hara, The O’Neill in Connecticut, and the ever vital New York Theatre Workshop in the East Village to birth the production.
Jeremy’s star exploded in real-time as audiences packed into NYTW, clamoring for a ticket to see one of the most talked-about shows in recent memory, a play that had entered into the pantheon of provocateur 21st Century work. But we believed there was more to be done.
SLAVE PLAY deserved to be canonized and take its rightful place amongst the ten blocks of Broadway. Traditional theaters had discarded work like Jeremy’s: a play that challenged, provoked, shamed, educated, enlightened, and purposely made audiences uncomfortable. A production that was inherently “not commercial.” And, most importantly, work that put the physiological trauma of Black bodies center stage.
On Broadway, our strategy had to be radical. Ours is an industry that often feels exclusive. To challenge this construct, we invited a new generation of theatergoers to experience SLAVE PLAY through initiatives like Black Out and offered 10,000 tickets for only $39, efforts that lead to a record-breaking percentage of tickets sold to first-time Broadway attendees. We then pioneered a ticket accessibility program, Broadway Plus One with our partners including Broadway For All, allowing purchasers to gift a ticket to someone who might not have been able to afford to experience the play.
Our inclusion efforts extended beyond the four walls of the theater, as we took over Times Square with a dance party and ticket giveaway at Kehinde Wiley’s Rumors of War statue. We hosted free weekly discussions on race, sex, and intersectionality throughout the city. We invested meaningful advertising dollars in Black-owned media companies and refocused our advertising and press campaigns around the words and voices of Black journalists and reviewers.
We built an authentic community around SLAVE PLAY with Jeremy. We believed in him, and he believed in us.
Stories and artists change the world. They always have, and they always will. Producers have a responsibility to be both stewards of those stories and fierce advocates of those artists. It’s a responsibility we take seriously, and we approach every day with a determination to push a little farther, think a little bigger, and not rest until our work is done.
BLACK OUT is a concept that was conceived & birthed by playwright Jeremy O. Harris with the intention of creating an environment through which a Black audience could experience and discuss SLAVE PLAY free from the white gaze. As a result, on Sept. 18th, 2019, for the first time in history, all 804 seats of Broadway’s Golden Theatre were occupied by black identifying audience members in celebration of SLAVE PLAY & in recognition of Broadway’s rich, diverse, and fraught history of black work.
In May 2019, Jeremy O. Harris’s beloved grandfather, Golden Harris, passed away. Two weeks later, SLAVE PLAY was assigned the Golden Theatre as the site of its historic Broadway run.
Now, SLAVE PLAY introduces The Golden Collection, composed of SLAVE PLAY & fourteen other plays by prominent Black playwrights. The Golden Collection will be donated to public libraries and community centers in all 50 states, D.C. & PR.
Black Work Broadway
Birthed from Jeremy O. Harris’s curiosity and frustration, Black Work Broadway is a site-in-progress that acts as an exhaustive record of the performed scripts written and conceived by Black Artists that have been presented at the highest level of commercial theatre in the English-speaking world. The repository represents works ranging from the inception of the ‘Broadway Theater,’ dating back as far as the late 19th century to the present.
Meet the Creator
JEREMY O. HARRIS is the playwright and creator of the hit Broadway play Slave Play (Golden Theatre – Broadway, New York Theatre Workshop, NYT Critics Pick, Winner of the 2018 Kennedy Center Rosa Parks Playwriting Award, the Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award, and The Lotos Foundation Prize in the Arts and Sciences).
Jeremy co-wrote A24’s upcoming film ZOLA with director Janicza Bravo which premiered at Sundance in 2020.