Following the Sunday matinee performances of Blue Door, local professors of African-American history spoke and took questions from the audience. Read more.
About the play
Tanya Barfield’s Blue Door, a play with original songs, is about a highly educated and successful Black man who descended from victims of slavery, Jim Crow, and lynching. In one sleepless night, visits from the man’s deceased brother, grandfather, and great grandfather force him to relive his family’s history from 1850 to 1995 and to come to terms with his identity and the effect of the past on the present. In Blue Door, according to Variety, “demons are faced with humor and incisive metaphors.” The Seattle Times called the play “razor-sharp, funny and poignant . . . alternately ironic and touching.” Blue Door was presented off-Broadway by Playwrights Horizons in 2006.
About the playwright
Tanya Barfield (she/her) is the co-director of the Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program at the Juilliard School. Her play Bright Half Life has been seen at multiple theaters around the country since premiering at WP Theater Off-Broadway; it also received a Lambda Literary Award. Her play The Call premiered as a co-production between Playwrights Horizons and Primary Stages.
Barfield is the recipient of a Lilly Award and the first inaugural Lilly Award Commission, a Helen Merrill Award, Honorable Mention for the Kesselring Prize for Drama, and a Lark Play Development/NYSCA grant. She has twice been a finalist for the Princess Grace Award. Her residencies include the Sundance Institute Theatre Lab, the Ucross Foundation, New York Stage and Film, the Royal Court International Residency and Seattle Rep’s Women Playwrights Festival at Hedgebrook. She’s also an alumna of New Dramatists and the Dramatist Guild Council.
Barfield also writes for television (HBO, FX, Showtime) and shares a Writers Guild of America Award for her work onseason four of FX’s The Americans. She was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for writing the episode “Shirley” of the FX series Mrs. America.
About the director
Henery Wyand(he/him) is a director and playwright. He was recently a directing fellow with Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC). Directing credits: REGIONAL: Adirondack Theatre Festival (ATF): Alice in Wonderland. EDUCATIONAL: Vassar College: h.b. Floating palace, The Wild Party, White is Not the Default, Untitled Project of Color, Spring Awakening. Assistant credits: OFF-BROADWAY: Mrs. Warren’s Profession; STC: Will on the Hill. ATF: Beau, Sequence, The Enlightenment of Percival von Schmootz, Calling All Kates. Training: BA in Drama from Vassar College, Advanced Directing at National Theater Institute. Henery is also the set and sound designer for Blue Door. @henerywyand www.henerywyand.com
About the cast
DeJeanette Horne (he/him) (Lewis), a native Washingtonian, is excited to debut with Perisphere Theater in this production of Blue Door by Tanya Barfield. Storytelling offers a unique and intimate opportunity for us to share another’s perspective. Thank you for this opportunity to tell a beautiful story. Other credits include appearing as Mr. M. in My Children! My Africa! with the Washington Stage Guild; Jim Bono in Fences with the Little Theatre of Alexandria; Simonides, Leonine, Lychorida, Lord of Tyre, Lord Mytilene, and Philomen in The Adventures of Pericles with the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company; and many others.
Jaucqir LaFond (they/he) (Simon/Rex/Lewis) is a graduating senior acting major at Howard University from Atlanta, GA. They were previously seen in the virtual production of Silence Is Violence: The Future of the Field(Young Playwrights’ Theater)as co-writer and co-star. Besides acting, Jaucqir enjoys singing, voguing, and writing theatre, poetry, and music. Jaucqir is thrilled to make their return to live theatre with Perisphere and hopes the audience has as enriching a journey with Blue Dooras they did. You can find more of them on Instagram @jaucqir.
Sarah McCarthy (she/her) (stage manager) is thrilled to be Blue Door’s stage manager at Perisphere Theater. Recent productions include AStrange Loop (Woolly Mammoth), On The Town, and The Wheel. She has a BFA from Goucher College, where she pursued technical theatre and creative writing.
Adam Mendelson(he/him)(Lighting Designer) is the Senior Lecturer in Lighting and Sound Design at the University of Maryland Baltimore County where he has been on the faculty since 2012 and helped prepare the new theatre spaces for the opening of the state-of-the-art Performing Arts and Humanities Building. He previously taught at the University of Wyoming, the University of Texas-Arlington, Stephens College (Columbia, MO), and Lawrence Academy (Groton, MA). His design work has been seen across the country and as far afield as Edinburgh, Scotland. Recently, he has lit shows for Rep Stage (Columbia, MD) Lexington Children’s Theatre (Lexington, KY), Annapolis Shakespeare Company (Annapolis, MD), and the Towson University Department of Dance. He lives in Catonsville, MD, with his wife, Catherine, and their menagerie, Lailah and Kona.