Four black men stuck in a cosmic waiting room in the afterlife try to find the logic in the senselessness when Theatre NOVA presents the Michigan premiere of “Kill Move Paradise” by James Ijames. Performances run through June 16 at Theatre NOVA, Ann Arbor’s resident professional theatre company.
“Kill Move Paradise” tells the story of Isa, Daz, Grif, and Tiny, four black men who find themselves stuck in a cosmic waiting room in the afterlife trying to find the logic in the senselessness. Wrenched out of their young lives before they even knew what was happening, they confront the brutal reality of their pasts and scramble to make sense of their surreal new world. Audacious, often hilarious, and original, “Kill Move Paradise” depicts these young men as symbols of hope and illustrates the possibilities of collective transformation and radical acts of joy.
Directed by Diane Hill, Kill Move Paradise features Miles Bond, Dan Johnson, Jonathan Jones, and Dez Walker. The production and design team includes Forrest Hejkal (scenic design), Daniel C. Walker (lighting design), Brian E. Buckner (original music), Haley Cook (costume design), and Alona Shewach (stage manager, props).
“Kill Move Paradise” will run through June 16, 2019, at Theatre NOVA (410 W. Huron, Ann Arbor), a downtown performance space. Performances are Thursday through Saturday at 8:00 p.m., and Sunday matinees are at 2:00 p.m. Theatre NOVA features free parking for patrons, as well as quick access to the city’s restaurants, bars, bakeries, and coffee shops.
James Ijames is a Philadelphia-based performer and playwright. He has appeared regionally in productions at The Arden Theatre Company, The Philadelphia Theatre Company, InterAct Theatre Company, The Wilma Theatre, Baltimore Center Stage, Mauckingbird Theatre Company, and People’s Light and Theatre. James’ plays have been produced by Flashpoint Theater Company, Orbiter 3, Theatre Horizon (Philadelphia, PA), The National Black Theatre (NYC), Ally Theatre (Washington DC) and have received development with PlayPenn New Play Conference, The Lark, Playwright’s Horizon, Clubbed Thumb, Villanova Theater, The Gulfshore Playhouse, Wilma Theater, Azuka Theatre and Victory Garden. James is the 2011 F. Otto Haas Award for an Emerging Artist recipient, and he also won two Barrymores for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play for “Superior Donuts” and “Angels in America” and one Barrymore for Outstanding Direction of a Play for “The Brothers Size” with Simpatico Theatre Company. James is a 2011 Independence Foundation Fellow, a 2015 Pew Fellow for Playwriting, the 2015 winner of the Terrance McNally New Play Award for “WHITE,” the 2015 Kesselring Honorable Mention Prize winner for “….Miz Martha” and a 2017 recipient of the Whiting Award. James is a founding member of Orbiter 3, Philadelphia’s first playwright producing collective and a mentor for “The Foundry.” He received a B.A. in Drama from Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA and a M.F.A. in Acting from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. James is Assistant Professor of Theatre at Villanova University and resides in South Philadelphia.
Diane Hill (Director) is a Producing Artistic Director at Theatre NOVA. She was previously Artistic/Executive Director of Two Muses Theatre and a Theatre professor at University of Detroit Mercy and Oakland Community College, where she originated and designed the Theatre degree program. She has a Ph.D. in Theatre from Wayne State University and a Bachelor of Music and Master of Arts in Theatre from the University of Michigan. Diane has additionally produced and directed shows for professional theatre companies including Breathe Art Theatre Company, Opus Mime, Jewish Ensemble Theatre, Tipping Point Theatre, and Heartlande Theatre Company. Diane has performed at many professional theatres in southeast Michigan, including the Fisher Theatre, Meadow Brook Theatre, Masonic Temple, Michigan Opera Theatre, Detroit’s Gem Theatre, Purple Rose Theatre, Tipping Point Theatre, Encore Musical Theatre, Croswell Opera House, The Ringwald Theatre, and Open Book Theatre. Theatre NOVA audiences saw her “The Revolutionists,” “The Stone Witch,” “The Totalitarians” and “The How and the Why.” She was awarded a Wilde Award for her portrayal of Professor Vivian Bearing in “Wit,” a Rogue Critic’s Award for her work as Mama in “‘night, Mother,” both with Breathe Art Theatre Project, and an Ann Arbor News Award for her work as Agnes in “I Do! I Do!” at Kerrytown Concert House. Favorite directing projects include “How I Learned to Drive,” “Clybourne Park,” “Next to Normal,” and Theatre NOVA’s world premiere of “Clutter.”
Theatre NOVA’s mission is to raise awareness of the value and excitement of new plays and playwrights and provide resources for playwrights to develop their craft by importing, exporting, and developing new work.