Your Blues Ain't Sweet Like Mine
We will launch the Two River Rising Series by revisiting our 2015 world premiere production Your Blues Ain’t Sweet Like Mine, in an updated script by Tony-Award winner, Ruben Santiago-Hudson. A relationship is developing between Zeke, a self-described “walking outburst” and Judith, “a seeker of knowledge” with a hidden past. In this explosive and hopeful examination of America’s racial divides, they discover the true meaning of history, sacrifice and legacy. During the show’s initial run audiences were inspired to explore and discuss their own experiences of race relations on a personal, local and national level. The demand led to us adding post-play discussions following every performance. The reading will feature original cast members Brandon J. Dirden, Andrew Hovelson, Merritt Janson, and Roslyn Ruff with Glynn Turman coming on to play the role of Zebedee.
For this first reading, we will also stream the reading on YouTube from Mon, July 27 at 10AM EDT – Thurs, July 30 at 7:00PM EDT. Streaming is free and donations of any amount from viewers will be greatly appreciated.
Benefiting Partner Organization: The Ruben Santiago-Hudson Fine Arts Learning Center is a non-profit affiliate of the Global Concepts Charter School lifting up the lives of neighborhood children in Ruben’s hometown of Lackawanna, NY.
Meet the Artists
Brandon J. Dirden
Brandon J. Dirden made his directing debut at Two River Theater with August Wilson’s Seven Guitars and most recently directed King Hedley II here. He has appeared at Two River in A Raisin in the Sun; August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and Jitney; the world premiere of Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s Your Blues Ain’t Sweet Like Mine; and Topdog/Underdog, in which he starred opposite his brother Jason Dirden under the direction of the play’s author, Suzan-Lori Parks. An award-winning actor/director, he is perhaps best known for portraying Agent Dennis Aderholt in the acclaimed FX series The Americans. Currently, Brandon can be seen in ABC’s new drama For Life. A Morehouse College and University of Illinois graduate, he is also known for appearing on Broadway as Martin Luther King Jr. in the successful Tony Award-winning Broadway production of Robert Schenkkan’s All the Way opposite Bryan Cranston’s Lyndon B. Johnson. Other Broadway credits include August Wilson’s Jitney (2017 Tony Award for Best Revival), Prelude to a Kiss, Enron and Clybourne Park. In 2012 he was awarded an Obie and a Theatre World Award and was nominated for Drama League and Lucille Lortel Awards for his portrayal of Boy Willie in the Signature Theatre Company revival of August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson. Look for his Broadway return this spring in the highly anticipated revival of Richard Greenberg’s Take Me Out. Brandon is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association, the union for professional actors and stage managers, and he is a frequent volunteer at The 52nd Street Project (52project.org). Brandon is married to actress Crystal Dickinson and currently lives in West Orange, NJ with their five-year-old son, Chase.
Merritt Janson Off-Broadway: The Public (Richard II w/WNYC, A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Theatre for a New Audience (Julius Caesar, Measure for Measure, Tamburlaine the Great, Notes From Underground), Red Bull Theater (Coriolanus), 59E59, Transport Group, Abingdon Theater. Regional: American Repertory Theater, Yale Repertory Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Shakespeare Theater DC, Two River Theater, Denver Center, Westport Playhouse, Shakespeare & Company, Wilma Theater, Theatre de la Jeune Lune. TV includes “Billions,” “Elementary,” “Madam Secretary,” “Quantico.” Training: MFA, American Repertory Theater at Harvard University.
Roslyn Ruff has previously appeared at Two River in August Wilson’s Two Trains Running and Jitney. She was most recently seen in Scenes from a Marriage at NYTW. Broadway: All The Way, Fences (standby). Off-Broadway: The Piano Lesson and Seven Guitars (Signature Theatre); Macbeth (TFANA); The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter and Things of Dry Hours (NYTW); The Cherry Orchard and Macbeth (Classical Theatre of Harlem); Pudd’nhead Wilson and The Taming of the Shrew (The Acting Company). Regional work includes: Geffen Playhouse, Berkeley Rep, Long Wharf, The Kennedy Center, Indiana Rep, Geva Theatre, The Old Globe, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Alliance Theatre, McCarter Theatre, A.C.T., Yale Rep, People’s Light & Theatre Co. International: BBC Radio; 2004 Bonn Biennale Festival and Shakespeare Festival of Neuss; 2003 Athens Festival. Film: Detachment, The Help, Salt, Life During Wartime, Rachel Getting Married. TV: Doubt, Elementary, Odyssey, Codes of Conduct, Masters of Sex, A Gifted Man, The Big C, The Good Wife. Awards/Nominations: 2012 Lucille Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play, 2012 and 2010 Drama League nominations for Distinguished Performance, 2007 Obie Award for Performance, 2003 Barrymore Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play. MFA: IATT at Harvard University.