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‘Reunion in Bartersville’ will host industry presentation

The play will feature Tony Award winners Lillias White and Ruben Santiago-Hudson, among others.

(L-R) Lillias White and Ruben Santiago-Hudson (Credit: Photo by Santiago Felipe/Getty Images; John Lamparski/Getty Images)

The play “Reunion in Bartersville” by Celeste Bedford Walker will receive an industry reading on June 13 at the Pershing Square Signature Center. The presentation is being produced by the newly launched LaChanze Productions, founded by Tony Award winner LaChanze. Jerry Dixon is set to direct.

Set in a small Texas town, “Reunion in Bartersville” follows a group of senior citizens whose gathering turns from high school reunion to whodunnit. The play was originally presented by Brooklyn’s Professional Resident Black Theater Company in 1987.

The cast of “Reunion” will include Tony Award nominee Charlotte d’Amboise as Liz, Tony nominee Clifton Davis as Perry, Marchánt Davis as Ronnie, Tony winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson as AJ, Tony nominee Larry Marshall as Cous, Lizan Mitchell as Janie Mae and Tony winner Lillias White as Pollina, with Lakisha May reading stage directions. 

d’Amboise received Tony nominations for featured turns in 1989’s “Jerome Robbins’ Broadway” and the 2006 revival of “A Chorus Line.” She has played numerous tenures as Roxie in the long-running revival of “Chicago.”

Clifton Davis originated the role of Valentine in 1971’s “Two Gentlemen of Verona,” a performance which earned him a Tony nomination. He most recently appeared on Broadway as Dr. Dillamond in “Wicked.”

Marchánt Davis appeared in two different plays during the 2022-2023 Broadway season: “Ain’t No Mo’” and “Good Night, Oscar.”

Santiago-Hudson won a Tony for his turn in 1996’s “Seven Guitars.” He serves as artistic advisor to Manhattan Theatre Club, where he most recently appeared in the solo show “Lackawanna Blues.”

A Tony nominee for his featured turn in the 1976 revival of “Porgy and Bess,” Marshall replaced several times as Joe in 2016’s “Waitress.”

Mitchell made her Broadway debut in 1986’s “So Long on Lonely Street” and most recently appeared in the 2022 revival of “Ohio State Murders.”

White won a Tony for her turn as Sonja in 1997’s “The Life.” She most recently completed a year-and-a-half-long stint as Hermes in “Hadestown.”

May appeared under the direction of Santiago-Hudson in 2022’s “Skeleton Crew” and most recently appeared in the 2024 Best Play Tony nominee “Jaja’s African Hair Braiding.”

A 2023 Guggenheim Foundation fellow, Walker has won the National Black Theatre Festival’s August Wilson Playwriting Award, the NAACP Theatre Award for Best Play and the AUDELCO Award for Best Playwright. 

Dixon has performed on Broadway for over three decades, including opposite “Reunion” producer LaChanze in both 1990’s “Once on This Island” and 2014’s “If/Then.”

Norman Anthony Small will serve as stage manager for the reading, with Nzinga Williams as general manager.