Round House Theatre announces updated dates for the American premiere of Natasha Gordon’s Nine Night, directed by Timothy Douglas. Originally scheduled to begin performances on January 5, early performances were canceled due to COVID-19 cases detected within the company during regular testing protocols. Nine Night will run January 13 – 30, 2022 and will stream on demand beginning January 27.
Family matriarch Gloria has died, and her family gathers for the traditional Jamaican Nine Night, a multi-day celebration (and endurance test) full of food, revelry, and a nonstop parade of mourners. Natasha Gordon’s debut play—a popular triumph in its 2018 National Theatre premiere and subsequent West End run—explores the tensions of inhabiting two cultures, the inescapable bonds of family, and the many layers of grief in an “exuberantly funny” (The Guardian) and profoundly relatable story of the ties that bind. Raved The Guardian’s Michael Billington, “Playwrighting debuts don’t come much better than this.”
Director Timothy Douglas describes the unpacking of Nine Night at Round House Theatre as a continuous revealing relief of the soul. “It is a gift and privilege for me to more deeply anchor and guide the visceral newness of what blackness is by way of the bittersweet joys lived by this UK-Jamaican family’s traditions, culture, and spiritual release.”
Nine Night embodies Round House’s continued mission to produce new works that foreground artists of color and, by extension, welcome audiences of color. “The number of Black female playwrights represented on America’s largest stages is still depressingly small and deeply disproportionate to the number of Black women in our country,” says Round House Theatre Artistic Director Ryan Rilette. “This is the first play by a British Black woman to reach the West End, and I am thrilled to bring this Jamaican-British story to the Round House stage for the American premiere.”
Nine Night: Round House Theatre, 4545 East-West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814