by James Ijames
Directed by Dexter J. Singleton
Directly influenced by the 2014 murder of 12-year-old Tamir Rice by a member of the Cleveland Police Department, James Ijames’ New York Times Critics Pick play KILL MOVE PARADISE was developed in 2016 at the Victory Gardens Theatre in Chicago, Illinois and premiered in 2017 at the National Black Theatre in New York, New York. This raw, eye-opening production tells the story of Isa, Daz, Grif, and Tiny, four black men who find themselves stuck in a cosmic waiting room in the afterlife. This play, inspired by the ever-growing list of slain unarmed black men and women, is a portrait of those lost — not as statistics, but as heroes who deserve to be seen for the splendid beings they are, and as symbols of life and hope. Gone but never forgotten, KILL MOVE PARADISE illustrates the possibilities of collective transformation and radical acts of joy.
The play frankly describes and depicts moments of violence and racism. The characters use strong language and there are sounds of gunshots.
"Bleak and beautiful… radiates an urgent and hypnotic theatrical energy."
The New York Times
"Theater is at its most effective when it brings people together, moves us, challenges us, and makes us see the unseen. "Kill Move Paradise" [does] precisely that."
"...KILL MOVE PARADISE is bold, conceptual, living theater, demanding to be heard. Ijames is a vital voice in our politically seditious and most perilous time. It is also profoundly poetic in its dialogue and characters."
““KILL MOVE PARADISE is not only one of the best shows I’ve seen this year, it’s a reminder that every name we’ve seen in news reports and hashtags is connected to a life. More importantly, a soul.”
Charles Lewis III, The Thinking Man's Idiot
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This production will be presented live at the Performance Pavilion in Hartford's Bushnell Park (and streaming in July - see below).
Bushnell Park Performance Schedule:
Tuesday, June 22nd: 7pm CANCELLED - RAIN
Wednesday, June 23rd: 2pm & 7pm
Thursday, June 24th: 7pm
Friday, June 25th: 7pm NEW DATE!
Gates will open 2 hours prior to the performance time. Pre-show entertainment & food provided by Black Eyed Sally’s. See the Black Eyed Sally's tab for info on ordering food.
>>>>>Bring your own chair; no assigned seating.
STREET ADDRESS: You may use 99 Trinity Street, Hartford in your GPS. Or, if you know what parking lot you want to use, you may use their specific address.
PARKING: There is metered parking available along the perimeter of the park. You must pay at the kiosks for parking Monday-Friday from 8am-6pm. All other times, parking is free, including weekends. The closest parking lot that we suggest is the LAZ Parking Lot at 10 Ford Street. Parking at this lot is $7-$10. Please pay for parking at the kiosk. For more information about this lot CLICK HERE. For other parking lots & parking information, please visit THIS LINK.
AFTER THE PERFORMANCE: There will be a talk back following every performance. Due to the sensitive material of the play, we suggest planning to stay and process the show with your fellow audience members.
There will be healing spaces onsite for anyone who might wish to talk to a licensed clinician or a faith-based leader during the performance or immediately following the performance.
INCLEMENT WEATHER POLICY: If the performance is cancelled due to inclement weather, you will have the option of exchanging your ticket to one of the other scheduled performances, or to our rain date on Friday, June 25.
Playhouse Theatre Group, Inc. will follow all COVID-19 guidelines as laid out by the CDC, the Connecticut Department of Public Health, and Governor Ned Lamont. We will be sharing more information via email about our social distancing rules & other requirements ahead of your performance date.
The production will be available for streaming July 7 through August 1st via Broadway On Demand.
Having trouble streaming? Contact our Box Office M-F 10am-2pm at 860-523-5900 x10. Outside of these hours, please contact Broadway On Demand help.
CHRISTOPHER ALEXANDER CHUKWUEKE (Daz) Playhouse on Park debut! Christopher is a NYC-based actor who proudly hails from Philadelphia, PA. He was last seen on the new ABC hit ‘Emergence’ (which premiered Fall 2019) and on the internationally popular show ‘The Blacklist’. Before doing conservatory study at Michael Howard Studios, Christopher received his BBA in Finance at Howard University in Washington, DC and completed the Summer Conservatory at Michael Howard Studios in 2015. He credits his passion for acting to a lifelong love of helping and teaching others through storytelling.
OLIVER SAI LESTER (Grif) Playhouse on Park debut! Oliver, known as Sai, is an actor and singer from Hartford, CT and has performed in theatre productions and musicals throughout Connecticut. As an actor he has had the opportunity to work with theatres such as CCT, Long Wharf Theatre, Connecticut Theatre Company, Vintage Soul Productions, and the Atlanta Black Theatre Festival. Credits include THE ROYALE, THE COLOR PURPLE, RADIO GULF, HER TIME, DAISES ON HARLEM’S DOORSTEP, FORCE MD’S and a short feature on TV One’s Unsung.
QUAN CHAMBERS (Tiny) Playhouse on Park debut! Quan is an actor, writer, director, and dancer. He is from Michigan where he trained at the Michigan Actors Studio and started performing in the theatre scene in Detroit. He has worked with Black and Brown Theatre several times and Planet Ant theatre of Detroit. When he was in Arizona for a few years, he started his journey into Film/TV and worked on a few short films. He is more than excited to work with Playhouse Theatre Group!
TREVELE MORGAN (Isa) Playhouse on Park debut! Trevele, from Tampa, Florida, received his BFA in acting from the University of South Florida. Previous credits include: Helicanus/Lord Cerimon PERICLES, Avery THE FLICK, Borachio MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, Virgil/ Bus Driver VIOLET THE MUSICAL, Banquo MACBETH, Lincoln TOPDOG/UNDERDOG. Trevele is very excited to be working on his first Playhouse on Park production and would like to send a special thank you to God, his family, and his friends for all their support.
DEXTER J. SINGLETON (Director) is from Detroit, MI. He is a director, producer, activist, and educator. He is currently the Founding Executive Artistic Director of Collective Consciousness Theatre (CCT), a multicultural theatre for social justice in New Haven, CT and the Director of New Play Development at TheatreSquared in Fayetteville, AR. Since 2007, Collective Consciousness Theatre has reached thousands of youth and adults with plays and workshops across the U.S. and Europe. As a director, Dexter’s work has been seen at TheatreSquared, San Diego Rep, Pittsburgh Public Theatre, Connecticut Repertory Theatre, University of Michigan, University of Arkansas, Long Wharf Theatre, and others. Recent credits include Baton, North of Forbes, Sweat, Skeleton Crew, The Royale, Topdog/Underdog, and The Mountaintop. In his role at TheatreSquared, Dexter has developed many new works with writers across the country, including Sarah Gancher’s online hit Russian Troll Farm (New York Times Critics Pick, Best Theatre of 2020) and the upcoming world premiere of Designing Women by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason. He is also a member of the Artistic Ensemble at Long Wharf Theatre, Visiting Assistant Professor of Performance at the University of Connecticut, Board Member for TYA/USA. He was recently awarded the 2019 Artistic Excellence Award from the State of Connecticut and Distinguished Director of a Play for Black Book from The Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival.
A pre-performance concert will take place prior to each performance. The concert will begin 30 minutes after the gates open and end 30 minutes prior to the performance.
Mary Taylor (Singer) Playhouse on Park debut! Mary is a renowned recording artist with several CD's Published by JSP Records out of London, England. Mary is currently preparing for 2 CD Releases December 2022 for which she is the producer and song writer. She is the writer and producer of From The Boat To Obama & Beyond (which is now Birthed Out Of Africa). This educational stage play brings History alive on stage teaching students about Africa before slavery to the present day. The production spent 5 years at the Bushnell Theater and has traveled to theaters in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and several schools and universities. In 2020, Birthed Out Of Africa found a new home in Connecticut at Central Connecticut State University with an annual performance. Mary is the Director of Dance Like David and Transforming Anew. She is a Fitness Consultant, Motivational Speaker and a personal trainer.
Musicians: Cameron Fletcher, Dexter Pettaway, Lawrence White
While you may not bring your own food and drink to the show at Bushnell Park, you can pre-order from our dining partner Black Eyed Sally's - a tent for pickup will be available in the park.
When buying a Black Eyed Sallys Meal Box (via Tix.com), add the meal of your choice to your shopping cart as if it is a ticket. Ensure you select the correct quantity of each meal, if you’re ordering more than one. If you have any questions about your order, do not hesitate to reach out to the box office.
When buying tickets over the phone, simply tell the box office staff which meal you’d like to order: 860-523-5900 x10.
When you arrive at Bushnell Park and you’re ready to pick up your meal, make your way over to the Black Eyed Sally’s tent. Give your name to the server & they will give you your meal! If you plan to buy alcohol, please make sure you bring a valid photo ID.
Capital Ice Cream will also be in the park at the show! (Evening performances only.)
New York Times Essay: Black Mothers are the Real Experts on the Toll of Gun Violence
Will help parents in having family conversations about current events, including the Derek Chauvin trial, police brutality, voter suppression, honoring Juneteenth, and many more.
Includes fully vetted books for children and young people on a variety of topics related to understanding difference and fighting bias.
Includes a full semester high school civics course, including lessons on fake news and disinformation, voting rights, the constitution and more (lessons can be used individually or as an entire semester class).
We are thrilled to continue our partnership with River Bend Bookshop in Glastonbury, CT! Now more than ever, it is important to support local businesses. River Bend Bookshop has curated a collection of books related to our main stage production KILL MOVE PARADISE.
Books may be purchased at Bushnell Park performances or purchased online; you may pick them up in at the bookshop in Glastonbury, or they can be delivered to your home. River Bend is donating 20% of KILL MOVE PARADISE-related purchases directly to us!
Capital Ice Cream will be in the park for the evening performances.