brownsville song (b-side for tray)
by Kimber Lee
Full Length Play, Drama / 2m, 2f, 1girl(s)
Set in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn, brownsville song (b-side for tray) is a powerful tale of resilience in the face of tragedy. Moving fluidly between past and present, this bold new play tells the story of Tray, a spirited African-American 18-year-old and his family, who must hold on to hope when Tray's life is cut short. Kimber Lee's lyrical social drama about the shocking death of a young African-American teenager is a poignant story for our time, and demands the attention of audiences far and wide.
- NOMINEE - 2015 Lucille Lortel Award
"Ms. Lee’s language is vivid and rhythmic...[and] it argues persuasively against treating the next neighborhood death as just one more sad statistic." - The New York Times, Read More
"[brownsville song...] has the feel of a rap song made stage-ready." - Huffington Post, Read More
"Kimber Lee’s heartfelt drama about the brief life and senseless death of a kid from a rough Brooklyn neighborhood has a lot to say about urban violence." - Variety, Read More
"Uncompromising in its examination of grief and big-hearted in its belief in forgiveness, brownsville song sings with the rhythms of an often-misrepresented community, following in the footsteps of Lorraine Hansberry and August Wilson." - Theatre Mania, Read More
KeywordsCurrent Events, Death, Memory, Parenting/Family, Black/African-American Interest, Adolescence/Childhood
- Gun Shots
- Intense Adult Themes
- Strong Language
- Minimum Fee: $90 per performance
- Time Period: Contemporary, Present Day, New Millennium/21st Century
- Duration: 90 minutes
Late spring, mid-summer, and late summer of the same year. Various locations in and around the Brownsville and East Flatbush neighborhoods in
- Additional Features: No intermission
- Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes
Casting2m, 2f, 1girl(s)
LENA - Black. Late 50s – early 60s.
TRAY - Black. 18 years old.
DEVINE - Black and Korean American. 9 years old.
MERRELL - Korean American. 36 years old.
JUNIOR - Black. 18 years old.
BROOKLYN COLLEGE STUDENT - Black. Early-20s. Played by JUNIOR actor.
- Features Children
- Roles for Teens
- Multicultural casting
The fluidity of time in the play should be embodied in the fluidity of the staging; in what ever way the transitions are accomplished, they will be most effective for the story if they are actor-driven and in rhythm.
brownsville song (b-side for tray) had its world premiered at the 2014 Humana Festival before receiving its New York City premiere at LCT3/Lincoln Center Theater's Claire Tow Theater in October, 2014 under the direction of Patricia McGregor.