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TheaterMania: Brandon J. Dirden to Direct Crystal A. Dickinson in Alice Childress's Wine in the Wilderness

by Zachary Stewart

The cast and creative team have been announced for Alice Childress’s Wine in the Wilderness, which is set to play New Jersey’s Two River Theater October 15 – November 6.

Obie Award winner Brandon J. Dirden will direct a cast that includes Crystal A. Dickinson as Tommy, Brittany Bellizeare as Cynthia, Ricardy Fabre as Sonny-Man, Keith Randolph Smith as Oldtimer, and Korey Jackson as artist Bill Jameson.

According to an official description, “As an uprising rocks his Harlem neighborhood on a hot summer night, artist Bill Jameson is more focused on finishing his latest work: three paintings representing three types of Black womanhood. More than his artistic vision is challenged by the arrival of an unexpected muse, who refuses to be bound by his shallow assumptions of all that Black womanhood can be.”

Wine in the Wilderness was first presented in 1969 by the Boston public television station WGBH. The Two River production is the latest in a series of recent revivals of Childress’s work, including the off-Broadway revival of Wedding Band and the belated Broadway debut of Trouble in Mind.

Wine in the Winderness will feature scenic design by Richard H. Morris, Jr., lighting design by Kathy A. Perkins, costume design by Karen Perry, sound design by Kay Richardson, wig design by Nikiya Mathis, and stage management by Alex Murphy.

Dirden and Dickinson are married and have appeared together onstage at Two River Theater in A Raisin in the Sun. Dirden will also be returning to Broadway this fall in the return engagement of Take Me Out.