by Austin Playhouse

Mar. 03 - Mar. 25, 2023

Chelle, an artist, has recently purchased her childhood home in Baltimore; her brother Willard is working on refurbishing it. But the home renovation takes a backseat as Willard prepares for a Juneteenth festival in the adjacent park and Chelle struggles with a recent commission: What should be built in place of a recently removed Confederate monument? An eyesore. And an opportunity.

Commissioned by the InterAct Theatre Company with funding from the National New Play Network, and written by author, playwright, and screenwriter R. Eric Thomas, Nightbird nails the difficult task of being wildly funny and thought-provoking, bringing fantastic characters and topical story to life in this world premiere.

Profile of playwright R. Eric Thomas in American Theatre magazine, by Celia Wren, May 16, 2022

Bob Abelman's review for the Austin Chronicle, March 9, 2023

Cliff Cunningham's review for Sun News Austin, March 5, 2023

"DIscovering Nightbird" -- blog post by director Lara Toner Haddock, March 9, 2023

Joni Lorraine's review for Austin.BroadwayWorld, March 18, 2023

The cast includes Taji Senior as Chelle, Indiia Wilmott as Thalia, and Hollis L. Edwards III as Willard. 

“What is the elemental part that the world will remember when we are gone? And what of the world do we cherish and commemorate? What is elementally American? Where does it exist, who controls it, who is allowed to define it? I love that this play wrestles the question in a fantastic blend of humor and vulnerability in ways that are messy and complicated, and honest,” said director Marcus McQuirter. ”Self-determination, as an individual or as a collective is fraught. If it's easy, the answers you arrive at are likely not worth much.”

Directed by Marcus McQuirter, the production team includes costume design by Desiree Humphries, lighting design by Mark Novick, set design by Theada Haining, sound design by Robert S. Fisher, and Jai Auzenne as stage manager.

McQuirter continued, “There is a line in the show that one of the characters delivers; they're talking about the search for what is elemental to the nation. I'm really taken with this idea: the quest for self-determination. And Nightbird frames it as both a quest that we as a nation are on, but also asks how we frame ourselves for the world as individuals, as artists, as Black Folk.”

Nightbird | | WORLD PREMIERE

by R. Eric Thomas

directed by Marcus McQuirter

by R. Eric Thomas
Austin Playhouse

March 03 - March 25, 2023
Austin Playhouse West Campus
405 W. 22nd Street
Austin, TX, 78705

March 3 – 25, 2023 

Thursdays - Sundays

The performances will take place at Austin Playhouse’s new interim performance space located in the heart of UT Ausrtin's West Campus at 405 West 22nd. Free street parking is available with paid parking conveniently located across the street in the Callaway House Parking Garage.

Click HERE for tickets