An immersive exploration of justice and forgiveness in the face of deadly rage.
Not long ago. And not far from now. In the aftermath of unspeakable tragedy, an opportunistic reporter visits a sacred space defiled by American violence, in search of a story ready made for Hollywood—only to find that history repeats itself too soon, and too close to home.
A PAC NYC World Premiere from the acclaimed artistic team of Tony Award-winning choreographer / dancer / director / writer Bill T. Jones (Fela!, Spring Awakening), poet Marc Bamuthi Joseph (We Shall Not Be Moved), composer Tamar-kali (Mudbound) and dramaturg Lauren Whitehead (Between the World and Me: Onstage at the Apollo). Watch Night fuses melodies rooted in spirituals, percussive breath and fiery opera with the urgency of slam poetry and Bill T. Jones’ dynamic staging to create an immersive exploration of justice and forgiveness in the face of deadly rage.
A PAC NYC Commission.
A PAC NYC Production.
Photo by Jai Lennard.
Watch Night’s creative team Bill T. Jones, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Tamar-kali, and Lauren Whitehead discuss the inspiration, themes, and creative process behind this multi-disciplinary World Premiere. Moderated by Watch Night‘s Rabbinical Consultant, Kendell Pinkney.
Director and choreographer, Bill T. Jones, discusses the issues of faith and forgiveness at the heart of Watch Night with faith leaders invited by PAC NYC’s anchor alliance partner, the Interfaith Center of New York.
Contains depictions and references to white supremacy, racism, violence and derogatory language.
Bill T. Jones
Bill T. Jones (Artistic Director/Co-Founder/Choreographer: Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company; Artistic Director: New York Live Arts) was the Associate Artist of the 2020 Holland Festival and recipient of the 2014 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award; the 2013 National Medal of Arts; the 2010 Kennedy Center Honors; a 2010 Tony Award for Best Choreography of the critically acclaimed FELA!; a 2007 Tony Award, 2007 Obie Award, and 2006 Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation CALLAWAY Award for his choreography for Spring Awakening; the 2010 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award; the 2007 USA Eileen Harris Norton Fellowship; the 2006 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Choreography for The Seven; the 2005 Wexner Prize; the 2005 Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award for Lifetime Achievement; the 2005 Harlem Renaissance Award; the 2003 Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize; and the 1994 MacArthur “Genius” Award. In 2010, Mr. Jones was recognized as Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government, and in 2000, The Dance Heritage Coalition named Mr. Jones “An Irreplaceable Dance Treasure.”
Marc Bamuthi Joseph
Marc Bamuthi Joseph is a 2017 TED Global Fellow, an inaugural recipient of the Guggenheim Social Practice initiative, and an honoree of the United States Artists Rockefeller Fellowship.
Lauren Whitehead is a writer, performer and dramaturg. She writes in several forms including poetry, nonfiction, adaptations and drama. Her poems have been published online and in print magazines including POETRY, Apogee Journal and Winter Tangerine, as well as in selected anthologies such as Break Beat Poets, Vol. 2: Black Girl Magic and What Things Cost, the first major anthology of labor writing in nearly a century.
Ken Alston Jr.
Ken Alston Jr. is an accomplished and world-recognized vocal performer.
He has an extensive range which has led him to opportunities with Three Mo’ Tenors, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Opera Philadelphia, and to orchestral work with the Czech, Charleston, Baltimore and Soulful Symphony Orchestras. A graduate of Morgan State University and holds membership in Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and Alpha Phi Alpha. @KenAlstonJr
Theater: Marley in Escape to Margaritaville (Engeman Theater); Newsies; The Bridge; Amadeus (Folger Theater); Caroline, or Change (APAC); Superfly, the Musical (Workshop); Taming of the Shrew (STNJ); The Color Purple (National Tour). Film: I Won The Lottery (Cannes 2022 Short Film Corner). TV: Law and Order: SVU, Bronx’ish, and Power Book 3: Raising Kanan. Thanks to God, her manager Susan Campochiaro Confrey, and agent JC William Agency.
In six seasons at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, All’s Well that Ends Well, Oklahoma!, Into the Woods, The Taming of the Shrew, Love’s Labor’s Lost, Revenge Song and others. Off-Broadway: The Knight of the Burning Pestle (Red Bull/Fiasco). Regional: Trinity Repertory Company, Wallis Annenberg Center, Lookingglass Theater, Jungle Theater. Co-founder of Ring of Keys www.ringofkeys.org. Love to Mom, Dad, and Jackson.
DeJa-Simone is elated to make her Off-Broadway debut at PAC NYC! After graduating from Florida State University with a BFA in musical theater, she toured with the First National tour of Summer: The Donna Summer Musical and the first national tour of The Lincoln Center Theater production of Lerner and Loewe’s My Fair Lady. Regional credits include In the Heights, Aida, Hairspray, and many more. All gratitude and love to The Crumpton’s and TPG Agency! IG: @dejacrumpton
Kevin is an actor, dancer, and singer. He starred in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story and Henry Alex Rubin’s Disconnect. Broadway: West Side Story (A-Rab), Mean Girls, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Cirque Du Soliel’s WINTUK. Regional: world premieres of Mean Girls and The Prom. TV: TNT’s Animal Kingdom (Young Pope) and performed in Justin Timberlake’s Pepsi SuperBowl 52 Halftime Show with Doja Cat. Gratitude to Buchwald and Untitled Entertainment. Love to Mom, Dad, brothers and family.
Broadway: Camelot. Regional: Good Faith (Yale Repertory Theater); Twelfth Night, Alice Yell, Bodas De Sangre, Reykjavik (Yale School of Drama); La Boheme; Song From the Uproar (Cincinnati Opera); Porgy and Bess, Ragtime (Utah Festival Opera); In the Land of Uz (national premiere, Yale Schola Cantorum). Soloist in concert: Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, Columbia Orchestra, Orchestra New England, Teatro Isauro Martínez de México. MFA, Yale School of Drama.
Danyel Fulton is a Brooklyn-born and bred actor/singer. Favorite credits: Actor 3 (Plays for the Plague Year, The Public), Ruby (Broadbend, Arkansas, Transport Group), U/S Rosalind (As you Like It, Public Works), Dorothy (The Wiz, The Muny) Dionne (Hair, 2nd National Tour), Aisha (A Time to Love, National Black Theater), and Sarah (Ragtime, The 5th, Asolo Rep, TUTS) Drama League, Antonyo, and Audelco Award nominations for Ruby. www.danyelfulton.com
Brian Golub couldn’t be happier! Film: When in Rome (w/ Kristen Bell). Tours: Jesus Christ Superstar, School of Rock, Joseph…Dreamcoat, Jekyll & Hyde (South Korea). Recording: Hair (Actors’ Fund; Grammy Nominated). Carbonell Award Winner, Best Actor: Memphis (Huey) and Best Supporting nominee: Fiddler (Motel), Full Monty (Malcolm). Connecticut Critics Circle Best Actor nominee: Secret Garden (Archie). Zonie Best Supporting nominee: Altar Boyz (Abe). BrianGolub.com. Owner of UncleBrianWellness.com. Thanks Avalon Artists Group and Destiny! Namaste Y’all. @Brigolub @unclebrianwellness
Chelsea Nicole Green
Chelsea Nicole Green acquired her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Dance from UMBC. Professional accomplishments include performances with Baltimore Dance Project, Deep Vision Dance Company, Deviated Theatre, ClancyWorks Dance Company, and Disney Cruise Line where she was the dance captain and a main stage performer for four years. She was seen most recently at The Fireside Theatre as Jan in the musical Grease! You can follow her @leaptotherhythm across all platforms.
Arri Lawton Simon
Arri Lawton Simon is an award-winning writer, performer, and educator based in NYC. He is faculty at Professional Performing Arts/Rosie’s Theater Kids and maintains a private voice studio. Arri serves on the steering committee of the BMI Musical Theatre Workshops and has lectured on dramatic writing at universities and conferences across the country. Performance highlights include NY City Center Encores, Carnegie Hall, and Lincoln Center. AEA, BMI, Dramatists Guild, ASCAP. www.mcguireandsimon.com
Jonathan McClinton Smith
Jonathan McClinton Smith has danced with Step Afrika!, The 7 Fingers, Telemundo, Cirque du Soleil’s Cirque Dreams, Les Farfadais, and many more. Jonathan was most recently seen in the world premiere of Malvolio (Classical Theatre of Harlem). Career highlights include premiering two new works of longtime mentor and collaborator, Terrance Henderson without whom, none of this would be possible, The Black Man…Complex and RUINS (part of the Incubator Series at Harbison Theater). For you, Dad. IG: @jonathannsmith
Damon is a AEA member and thrilled to be a part of the inaugural season here at the new PAC. Regional Credits: Jekyll and Hyde The Musical (Gretna Theater), RENT (San Antonio Public), Les Miserables (The Fulton Theater). International Tours: Sister Act The Musical. Damon would like to thank his family for their constant support and also his agency, Hudson Artist Agency. You can follow him on Instagram @mctoystoryy
Brandon Michael Nase
Brandon Michael Nase (he/him) hopes you will pour into the work being done to provide solutions by engaging with, supporting, and activating around organizations involved in change work, including but not limited to NY-based organizations The Brotherhood Sister Sol and I Will Graduate. Immense gratitude to Gregg Baker and the entire GBM family, Bill T. Jones, Tamar-kali, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Lauren Whitehead, and my Anaya and Ellis. www.brandonmichaelnase.com @brandonmichaelnase
Josette Elaine Newsam
Josette has performed on The Today Show, Live with Regis and Kelly, and Live with Kelly and Michael. Other work includes voice-overs and vocals, recording with Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon, Toshi Reagon, Melba Moore, Lou Reed, Macy Gray, and Angelique Kidjo, Billy Bragg, Norm Lewis, and Ben E. King. Musicals credits: Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Nell), Ragtime (Sarah), Gustave Flaubert’s The Temptation of St. Anthony (Chorus), Zinnias (Mama), Parable of the Sower (Mrs. Simms), and Big Lovely.
Ariel Neydavoud was most recently in Center Theatre Group’s production of The Secret Garden. He starred in Kismet directed by Lonny Price and appeared in The Visitor at The Public Theatre opposite David Hyde Pearce. Other selected credits: Prospect Theatre Company, NYMF, Two River Theatre, Perelman PAC, Marriott Theatre, Maltz Jupiter Theatre, ACT of CT, Reprise! 2.0, Transcendence Theatre Company, Tuacahn Center for the Arts, Musical Theatre West, 3-D Theatricals. Instagram/TikTok: @arielneydavoud
Onyie Nwachukwu is thrilled to be a part of such a phenomenal and important work at PAC NYC. She feels truly blessed and thanks God! Previous work includes Heather Christian’s Oratorio For Living Things at Ars Nova (Lucille Lortel Award winner) and the Jeremy O. Harris world premiere of Daddy at Signature Theatre. After years of workshops and exploration she is so grateful to get to finally share Watch Night with audiences! YT/IG: Onyie Sings!
Broadway credits include: An American in Paris, Matilda, The 39 Steps, Curtains, and The Woman in White. West End: Scarlet in Gone with the Wind and The Woman in White. Off-Broadway: Jerry Springer: the Opera, Death Takes a Holiday (Roundabout), Company (NY Philharmonic), and Where’s Charley (Encores!). Other theatre credits: Sophie in Mamma Mia (Vegas), Les Misérables (National Tour), and Chess (Signature, Helen Hayes Award nom). TV: NCIS: New Orleans, Unforgettable, Person of Interest, White Collar.
First Grenadian woman on Broadway and proud Caribbean Ambassador. Broadway: 1776, FELA!, Spongebob Squarepants, Violet (Asst. to Choreographer), Amazing Grace. Off-Broadway: TNG/Signature Theatre’s Black No More. National/International Tours: 1776, West Side Story (50th Anniversary World Tour), FELA! New York: Christopher Gattelli’s In Your Arms, Jermaine Rowe’s Standpipe and Children from the Blue Mountains, Leonora—a Caribbean interpretation of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House. Abdel Salaam’s Forces of Nature Dance Theatre. Follow her journey! IG: @DragonPassionFruit.
Devin L. Roberts
Dance Companies: The Philadelphia Dance Company (Philadanco!) Broadway: The Lion King (Minskoff Theatre), The Life (City Center Encores). Off Broadway: Venice (The Public Theater). Regional: RENT (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), Beetlejuice (National Theatre), In The Heights (Dallas Theater Center), Ain’t Too Proud (Berkeley Repertory Theatre), Smokey Joe’s Cafe (Theatre Under The Stars). TV: America’s Got Talent (BGVs for Jonah Smith). Grateful to God and The Ancestors for the gift of art.
Cooper Stanton is a multi-disciplinary performer hailing from Massachusetts. His artistic pursuits are driven by a strong desire to uplift and unite through shared experiences and the celebration of love! Credits include: 50th anniversary tour of Jesus Christ Superstar; MUNY: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Paint Your Wagon, Cinderella; TUTS: Jerome Robbins’ Broadway. Graduate of The National Circus School (Montreal). Love and gratitude to mom, dad, Adam, Tyler, Jahna, and Rider!
Miguel Ángel Vásquez
An Afro-latino baritone lionized for his “golden voice,” Vásquez recently appeared in Evita at the American Repertory Theater. Highlights: soloing at Carnegie Hall, Stonewall the Opera at Jazz at Lincoln Center (NYC Opera), and the Grammy nominated recording of X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X by Anthony Davis (BMOP, Odyssey Opera). Favorite roles: Beast in Beauty and the Beast, Coalhouse in Ragtime, Jake in Side Show, and Cinderella’s Prince/the Wolf in Into the Woods. MiguelAngelVasquez.com @mv080
Design and Production Team:
Esti Bernstein (she/her) is a Brooklyn-based theatermaker. Favorite credits include: The Good John Proctor (Bedlam), Is This A Room (Vineyard Theatre), WORK HARD HAVE FUN MAKE HISTORY (Clubbed Thumb), the bandaged place (Roundabout Theatre Company), The Other Josh Cohen (Westside Theater), and STOMP. Five seasons at the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival. Proud Resident Stage Manager for Broken Box Mime Theater. Love and thanks to friends and family, ACL, BBB, GVB, and BNB.
Sarah Elizabeth Ford
Sarah is thrilled to be a part of the inaugural PAC NYC season. Selected credits: Into the Woods, As You Like It, Lady Day… (PCPA, Resident PSM); Pipeline, The Father, Constellations (Studio Theatre); Disney’s The Lion King tour; Les Damnées (Park Avenue Armory). UN General Assembly’s SDG presentations; Roundabout Underground; 24 Hour Plays; Global Citizen #ShowUpVote; Brooklyn Academy of Music, Singapore Repertory Theatre; New York Stage & Film; FIAF NYC; MAPP International Productions; Connecticut Ballet. AEA.
Select credits: Off-Broadway: Cullud Wattah (Public Theater); The Niceties (MTC); Dot (Vineyard Theatre). Regional: The Three Musketeers (OSF); 42nd Street (Goodspeed Musicals, CT Critics Circle Award); Choir Boy (Steppenwolf); Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Children’s Theater); Cosi Fan Tutte (Arizona Opera); Hometown to the World (Santa Fe Opera); Shutter Sisters (Old Globe); Guys & Dolls (Guthrie Theater); The Wiz! (Ford’s Theatre, Helen Hayes Award); Barbecue (Geffen Playhouse, NAACP Award). ACD TV: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon); Daredevil (Netflix); Boardwalk Empire (HBO). KaraHarmonDesign.com
Multiple Grammy winner, 8 time Grammy nominee, and Emmy winner. Albums produced: Hadestown, West Side Story, Funny Girl, Camelot, Come From Away, King and I, Joshua Bell, Placido Domingo, Lang Lang, Eldar, Josh Groban, Renee Fleming, Itzhak Perlman, Kristin Chenoweth, and Audra McDonald. Conducted 6,000+ performances of Phantom on Broadway. Broadway music coordinator credits: Sweeney Todd with Josh Groban, Camelot, Hadestown, My Fair Lady, King Kong, Come From Away, Cats, Fiddler, King and I, Evita, Mary Poppins, South Pacific, Miss Saigon, Riverdance, and more. Management: Bell, Perlman, Fleming, Yebba, 2CELLOS, Jordan Donica.
A projection designer for theater and live performances, her Broadway credits include: Kimberly Akimbo, A Christmas Carol (Tony nom.), How I Learned to Drive, Jagged Little Pill (Tony nom.), The Rose Tattoo, Lifespan of a Fact, Six Degrees of Separation, and Spring Awakening. As a graphic artist, Lucy has contributed to exhibitions at The New York Historical Society and The National Center for Civil and Human Rights. She teaches projection design at Brooklyn College, and has previously taught at Ithaca College and Fordham University.
Adam Rothenberg is a music director, pianist, and conductor based in New York City. Broadway/national tour: Sweeney Todd, Company (assistant conductor), Miss Saigon (associate conductor), Chicago. Recital/concert appearances at Lincoln Center Theatre (as music director for Patti LuPone), David Geffen Hall (with the New York Philharmonic), Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center Opera House, Alice Tully Hall, and Tanglewood Music Center. Proud graduate of The Juilliard School and Northwestern University. @adam_rothenberg
With over two decades of industry experience, the accomplished Baltimore native seamlessly transitions between theater, film, and TV. Hair and Wig Design: Henri VIII (Bard Summerscape), Blue (Washington National Opera), The Passion of Mary Cardwell Dawson (Washington National Opera), Idaspe (Chatham Baroque), World Premiere: Secret River (Opera Orlando), Julius Caesar (The Atlanta Opera), King Arthur (Bard Summerscape), Carmen (Opera Orlando) Film and TV: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, And Just Like That, The Gilded Age, Severance, White House Plumbers, Stranger Things, Wonder Woman 1984.
Mikaal Sulaiman is a Tony-nominated multi-disciplinary artist who works as a sound designer, composer, writer, and director in theatre and tv/film. He’s currently writing on a 2024 animated adult comedy #1 Happy Family USA from A24/Amazon Studios. He received the prestigious Creative Capital Award in 2022 and the CTG Sherwood Award in 2021 for his writing in theatre. He and his brother Amir have been commissioned by PAC to write a new play. His sound design work has been featured on Broadway productions such as Macbeth, Death of a Salesman, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Fat Ham. www.mikaal.com
The Telsey Office
With offices in both New York and Los Angeles, The Telsey Office casts for theater, film, television, and commercials. The Telsey Office is dedicated to creating safe, equitable, and anti-racist spaces through collaboration, artistry, heart, accountability, and advocacy. www.thetelseyoffice.com
Robert Wierzel has worked with artists and directors from diverse disciplines and backgrounds, in opera, theatre, dance, and museums, on stages throughout the country and abroad. Broadway credits include Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, FELA! (Tony Award nomination), and David Copperﬁeld’s Dreams and Nightmares. Other notable work includes 37+ years with Bill T. Jones and the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company. Robert has designed for major regional opera and theaters across the country. Wierzel is a creative partner at Spark Design Collaborative and is on the faculty of NYU Tisch School of the Arts.
Lauren Taylor Winston
Lauren Taylor Winston is excited to be working on her first show at PAC NYC! Select credits include Broadway/Touring: MJ the Musical (1st National Tour, Sub ASM/PA), MJ the Musical (Script PA), Almost Famous (Script PA). Regional: The High Ground (Arena Stage), Cabaret (Goodspeed Musicals), The Central Park Five (Portland Opera). She is a graduate of Montclair State University with a BFA in theatre production and design and a concentration in stage management.