Northwestern State University Theatre and Dance will perform the comedy “Bootycandy” March 24-28. The play will be performed virtually. “Bootycandy” includes adult content.
There is no charge to view the stream, but donations will be accepted. For more information on how to access the stream, contact Brett Garfinkel, head of the Department of Theatre and Dance at email@example.com.
The Robert O’Hara semi-biographical subversive comedy tells the story of Sutter, who is on an outrageous odyssey through his childhood home, his church and even nursing homes. O’Hara weaves together scenes, sermons, sketches and daring meta-theatrics to create a kaleidoscope that interconnects to portray growing up gay and black. O’Hara’s satire crashes headlong into the murky terrain of pain and pleasure.
Members of the cast are Christian Osborne of Plaquemine, Luther Brooks IV of Lafayette, Destinee Christie of Jacksonville, Florida, Jordon Thomas of Prairieville and Chase Crane of Livingston.
The play is being directed by NSU alumnus Gregory Williams Jr., artistic director of New Venture Theatre in Baton Rouge. Williams has directed the play virtually while going through the process of reopening the New Venture Theatre for the first time since the pandemic. He has made the best out of a different way of directing.
“This virtual process reminded me why I fell in love with theatre in the first place,” said Williams. “At the end of the day, all theatre is all of us in the sandbox hoping to make something wonderful happen. I approached this process no different. We knew there would be learning curves and exciting new tools that we can use to help tell our story.”
Williams praised the work of his production team including stage manager Myjoycia Cezar with helping make the rehearsal process run smoothly.
“One of the challenges I faced was wanting to be in the space with my artists during rehearsals,” said Williams. “However, I had a great stage manager (Cezar) that kept me abreast to everything that was happening around the rehearsal space because I could only have one viewpoint through my computer screen.”
Williams has been at New Venture Theatre for 14 years, directing 74 works with more than 500 artists. New Venture has produced major works like “The Color Purple” and “Dreamgirls” along with important works that reflect the Black community such as “Hands Up!” which was produced after the Alton Sterling murder.
“It has been my goal to celebrate Black voices in theatre for as long as I can remember,” said Williams. “I am so thankful that my professors at NSU help me nurture those conversations and even allowed me space to direct pieces that celebrated people of color. I also am so grateful that NSU Theatre makes sure you understand the full business of theatre when you graduate. It allows you to be more of an asset in the performing arts industry.”