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Thoughts of a Colored Man Partners With The YMCA To Give Free Haircuts To The Bronx and Brooklyn

Thoughts of a Colored Man Partners With The YMCA To Give Free Haircuts To The Bronx and Brooklyn

In partnership with the YMCA of Greater New York, Thoughts of a Colored Man hosted a Youth and Community event at the Castle Hill YMCA in the Bronx and the North Brooklyn YMCA where there was a Mobile Barbershop ready to treat community members to free haircuts. Community members were also treated to a BBQ food truck, merchandise from the play, and free tickets to see Thoughts of a Colored Man on Broadway. 

Keenan Scott II, Tristan Mack Wilds at the North Brooklyn YMCA

Cast members Tristan Mack Wilds, Luke James, Esau Pritchett and Bjorn Patty joined playwright Keenan Scott II and producer Brian Moreland at the Brooklyn YMCA event.  They spoke to the crowd, checked in on the barbers an took a lot of selfies.

Keenan Scott II

Producer Brian Moreland said, “Thoughts of a Colored Man is a show based upon love for family, and community. Like the YMCA, Broadway is a community open for all, and we are thrilled to bring a little Broadway and whole lot of heart to Brooklyn and the Bronx!” 

Keenan Scott II with a member of Castle Hill YMCA

The cast, featuring Dyllón Burnside (FX’s “Pose,”), Bryan Terrell Clark (Hamilton), Da’Vinchi (Starz’s upcoming “Black Mafia Family”), Grammy Award® nominee Luke James (Showtime’s “The Chi”), Tony Award® nominee Forrest McClendon (The Scottsboro Boys), Grammy Award nominee Tristan Mack Wilds (HBO’s “The Wire”), and Esau Pritchett, playwright Keenan Scott II, and director Steve H. Broadnax III were in attendance at the North Brooklyn YMCA. 

Luke James at the North Brooklyn YMCA

Inspired by the conversations that freely flow within Thoughts of a Colored Man, cast members TBD mixed and mingled with local community members in attendance. Playwright Keenan Scott II joined in on the fun and was given a quick cut inside of the Mobile Barbershop. Scott, in his excitement surrounding the event, decided to give community members a sneak peek of the show and performed a scene. 

Luke James, Esau Pritchett, Tristan Mack Wilds and a member of the North Brooklyn YMC

“It’s a powerful moment when children first see themselves represented and reflected in a Broadway show,” said Marjorie Jean Jacques, Executive Director of the North Brooklyn YMCA. “That’s why the North Brooklyn and Castle Hill YMCAs are so proud to be partnering with Thoughts of a Colored Man and Delta Air Lines to bring the Barbershops and Broadway experience to the Bronx and Brooklyn. Not only do the arts promote social emotional learning, they also provide mirrors and windows to the world for children, which is even more critical as our communities emerge from the pandemic.

 Tristan Mack Wilds and Luke James with The Barber Factory at the North Brooklyn YMCA

Thoughts of a Colored Man will mark the Broadway debuts of both Scott and Broadnax. Scott’s new play The Migration LP is in development at New York Stage & Film and Broadnax most recently directed Katori Hall’s new play The Hot Wing King which received the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Thoughts of a Colored Man had its critically acclaimed world premiere at Syracuse Stage under the artistic direction of Robert Hupp in fall of 2019 with a subsequent run later that year at Baltimore Center Stage (Stephanie Ybarra, Artistic Director).

As the sun rises on a single day in the pulsing heart of Brooklyn, seven Black men are about to discover the extraordinary – together. By Keenan Scott II, one of today’s boldest new voices, Thoughts of a Colored Man blends spoken word, slam poetry, rhythm, and humor into a daringly universal new play. Welcome to the vibrant inner life of being Black, proud, and thriving in the 21st century. 

This richly theatrical mosaic shines brilliant light onto these men, a tight-knit brotherhood, revealing their most triumphant selves. Their vibrant and vulnerable experiences and feelings reverberate far beyond the barbershops and basketball courts of their community. They reveal the deeply human hopes, joys, sorrows, fears, and dreams of all men, all people.

Young Members of the North Brooklyn YMCA

The creative team for Thoughts of a Colored Man includes music by Te’La and Brother Kamau, set design by Tony Award® nominee Robert Brill, co-costume design by Tony Award nominee and Drama Desk Award® winner Toni-Leslie James and Devario D. Simmons, lighting design by Ryan O’Gara, projection design by Tony and Drama Desk Award nominee Sven Ortel, and sound design by Mikaal Sulaiman. Calleri, Jensen, & David serve as casting directors for the production. Production stage manager is B.J. Forman.

YMCA Board of Directors Member Christopher J. O’Connor, President & CEO YMCA of Greater New York, Sharon Greenberger, and Brian Moreland at the Castle Hill YMCA

For nearly 170 years, the YMCA of Greater New York has been helping all New Yorkers reach their full potential. As New York City’s leading nonprofit community service and wellness organization, the Y empowers everyone, no matter who they are or where they’re from, by providing access and opportunities for all to learn, grow, and thrive. We provide a place to play, to be healthy, and to give back. We give parents childcare, young adults job training, seniors a way to connect, and children a safe place to go. By bringing people together from different backgrounds, perspectives, and generations, the Y improves overall health and well-being, ignites youth empowerment, and connects and supports diverse communities across New York City.  Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @ymcanyc. 

Broadway

Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email: suzanna@t2conline.com

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