UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State Centre Stage Virtual has announced its co-production with People's Light of a new play, "20/20 Vision," by Steve H. Broadnax III. The new work is commissioned by People's Light and stars Eric B. Robinson Jr., Penn State master of fine arts acting alumnus.
"20/20 Vision" is about a young Black man who, after witnessing on video the killing of George Floyd by police officers, contemplates how he can participate in the "Black Lives Matter" movement and secure his family's safety.
Please note: The play contains mature and potentially disturbing themes, and is not suitable for children. It contains strong language and a theatrical handgun. The online performance can be viewed at sites.psu.edu/pscsvirtual.
Robinson said he revels in the intersection of performance and social justice and is grateful for the opportunity to explore the synchronicities and parallels this piece shared with his own personal experience as a Black man, father and husband in America. A Fort Worth, Texas, native, Robinson graduated with a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Wiley College before obtaining his Penn State degree. He originated roles in Dominique Morisseau’s “Mud Row” at People’s Light Theatre and Katori Hall’s “The Hot Wing King” during his subsequent Off-Broadway debut. His television credits include “A Mann’s World” on BET and a recurring guest role in “PowerBook II: Ghost.”
"Never could I imagine 2020 would have ushered in such unprecedented times: COVID-19 and the death of George Floyd have been a wake-up call to us all," said playwright Steve H. Broadnax III. "One thing I am sure, once you know something, you can never unknow it. I hope our new findings will dismantle unjust systems that promote racist Ideology, institutional bias, interpersonal discrimination, and internal bigotry and rebuild systems that are truly equitable for all."
Broadnax III's directing credits include Signature Theatre New York City, Actors’ Theatre of Louisville, Hattiloo Theatre, Syracuse Stage, Ensemble Studio Theatre Company NYC, Chautauqua Theatre Company, People’s Light Theatre, Apollo Theatre NYC, Classical Theatre of Harlem, Atlantic Theatre NYC, Detroit Public Theatre, Baltimore Center Stage, Cleveland Playhouse, The Black Theatre Troupe in Phoenix, AZ, Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Moore Theatre in Seattle, Market Theatre Johannesburg SA, The Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland, National Arts Festival in South Africa, and The Adelaide Arts Festival Australia.
"We are so pleased to be presenting this important, timely and urgent new work by Steve Broadnax. It's also wonderful to welcome back our alumnus Eric B. Robinson Jr., whose work on this piece is shattering," said Rick Lombardo, director of the School of Theatre and artistic director of Penn State Centre Stage.