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Rattlestick Playwrights Theater

In Association with ShadowCatcher Entertainment

Presents the World Premiere of:



By Cori Thomas
Directed by Kent Gash

April 17-May 19, 2019 

Presented in Partnership with Drama Club, Fortune Society, NYC Together, PEN America Prison and Justice Writing Program, Project Liberation, and Rehabilitation Through the Arts.

C.O.: Eric Berryman
Clue: Curt Morlaye
Wise: Keith Randolph Smith
Ernie: Zenzi Williams

Set Design: Jason Sherwood
Costume Design: Kara Harmon
Lighting Design: Dawn Chiang
Sound Design: Justin Ellington
Dramaturg: Ignacia Delgado

Production Stage Manager: Genevieve Ortiz
Assistant Stage Manager: P. Tyler Brit
Production Manager: Jenny Beth Snyder
Technical Director: Aaron Gonzalez

Lockdown takes an authentic, intimate and powerful look at the impact of long-term incarceration and the reality of what life inside prison is really like. Inspired by Cori Thomas's time with people serving life sentences at San Quentin Prison, Lockdown explores the possibilities for transformation through human connection. 

Following each performance of Lockdown is a community conversation that creates an opportunity for audiences to discuss the play with guest speakers who have firsthand knowledge and expertise in criminal justice reform. This 25-minute moderated discussion will give the audience an opportunity to expand knowledge, deepen engagement and inspire action that can lead to vital policy changes.

Lockdown was commissioned by Rattlestick Playwrights Theater with support from The Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation, and developed at the O’Neill Playwrights Conference. Lockdown is supported by The David Rockefeller Fund, The Tow Foundation, and The SHS Foundation.

CORI THOMAS (Playwright) is the daughter of former Liberian Ambassador, David Thomas and Brazilian attorney, Zuleika Thomas. Her plays include When January Feels Like Summer (NYT Critics Pick), directed in NYC by Daniella Topol, produced by Ensemble Studio Theatre with P73, and then re-mounted with Ensemble Studio Theatre and the Women’s Project, with other productions at City Theatre (Pittsburgh) and Mosaic Theatre (DC).  Her other plays include: Pa’s Hat (Pillsbury House), Flight 109, My Secret Language of Wishes (Mixed Blood), and her work has been developed at Sundance, Goodman, Playwrights Horizons, Pillsbury House, Black Rep, New Black Theatre, among others.  She is a member of New Dramatists, and is a writer on an original series for and is currently writing a screenplay about Nelson Mandela for HBO Films.

KENT GASH (Director) directed the acclaimed World Premiere of Robert O’Hara’s’ Barbecue at the Public Theatre and he is co-author and director of Langston In Harlem (Four 2010 Audelco Awards including Best Musical.) New York: Miss Ever’s Boys (Premiere) for the Melting Pot Theatre Co., Call The Children Home (Premiere) for Primary Stages, Duke Ellington’s Beggar’s Holiday (MUFTI-York Theatre) and the Off-Broadway revival of Samm-Art William’s Home. Regional: The Wiz at Ford’s Theatre, August Wilson’s The Gem Of The Ocean at South Coast Rep (LA TIMES 10 Best Plays of 2017), Wig Out at Studio Theatre DC, and The Mountaintop at Trinity Rep. Future productions include The Winters Tale at Dallas Theatre Center. Former Associate Artistic Director: Alliance Theatre (2001-2009), Alabama Shakespeaere Festival (1999-2001)

SHADOWCATCHER ENTERTAINMENT (Associate Producer) Led by David Skinner, ShadowCatcher Entertainment has been developing, producing and investing in Broadway, Off-Broadway and touring productions since 2002. Broadway credits include this season's The Ferryman, The Cher Show, Ain't Too Proud, and Moulin Rouge!, as well as Tony-winners Come From Away, Dear Evan Hansen, Memphis, Vanya, Sonia, Masha and Spike, and Gentleman’s Guide. Off-Broadway: Satchmo at the Waldorf, Buyer and Cellar, Asher Lev, and Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey.  Film: Smoke Signals (Producer), Outsourced (Producer). Television: The Hive (Co-Creator).

ShadowCatcher's proud support of LOCKDOWN reflects three vital components of our mission: to support new plays for the American stage and singular playwriting voices like Cori Thomas; to uplift stories that resonate with our times and illuminate the human condition with an empathetic and redemptive spirit; and to enhance the scope and impact of our work through partnership with similarly aligned institutions and organizations like Rattlestick, The Fortune Society, and all our valued community partners on this project.



Earlier Event: January 16