Antoinette Chinonye Nwandu’s Pass Over Begins Broadway Run August 4

Antoinette Chinonye Nwandu’s Pass Over begins previews August 4 ahead of an opening night September 12 at the August Wilson Theatre. It’s just the second show to hold performances on Broadway since the COVID-19 pandemic kept theatres dark for nearly 15 months.

The entire Off-Broadway cast reunites for the production: Tony nominee Jon Michael Hill, Namir Smallwood, and Tony winner Gabriel Ebert. The staging marks the Broadway debuts of Nwandu, Smallwood, and director Danya Taymor.

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Inspired by both Waiting for Godot and the Exodus saga, Pass Over follows Moses and Kitch, two young Black men who dream of an existence beyond their street corner. After premiering at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company, the play opened Off-Broadway in 2018 as part of Lincoln Center Theater’s LCT3 programming. A few months prior, a film version of the Chicago staging, directed by Spike Lee, debuted at Sundance Film Festival. It is now available to stream as an Amazon Prime original.

Pass_Over_LCT3_Production_Photo_2018_LCT3's PASS OVER - Namir Smallwood (left) and Gabriel Ebert (right) - credit to Jeremy Daniel_HR.jpg
Namir Smallwood and Gabriel Ebert Jeremy Daniel

As previously announced, Nwandu has modified the play between its iterations. “Though much about Pass Over remains a lament over the lives of Black people stolen too soon, I am happy to confirm that my team and I, along with our producers, are presenting a new version that centers the health, hope, and joy of our audiences, especially Black people,” the playwright said in an earlier statement. “We are reuniting to envision this play again, to tell a version of the story on Broadway where Moses and Kitch both survive their encounter with white oppression.”

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Returning creative team members include scenic designer Wilson Chin, costume designer Sarafina Bush, lighting designer Marcus Doshi, and sound designer Justin Ellington. Casting is by Erica A. Hart, Camille Hickman, and Daniel Swee.

Pass Over is produced on Broadway by Matt Ross, Jujamcyn Theaters, Lincoln Center Theater, Concord Theatricals, Renee Montgomery, Blair Underwood, Madeleine Foster Bersin, Imagine Equal Entertainment, Austin & Maral Moldow, and Antoinette Chinonye Nwandu.

A free block party outside the theatre open to the public follows the first performance. West 52nd Street, between Eighth Avenue and Broadway, is closed to traffic from 8–11 PM. After the performance ends, audiences exit the theatre to enjoy music provided by S.N.O.B., created by DJ Duggz, DJ Ari Grooves, and Emily McGill, and special to-go menus available for purchase (from Haswell Green’s, Victor’s Café, and M Social Hotel) on the block outside the theatre.

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