2019-20 Season 17

This Bitter Earth

by Harrison David Rivers
Directed by Otis Ramsey–Zöe

Feb 22 – Mar 22, 2020

Jesse, an introspective black playwright, finds his lack of activism questioned by his white boyfriend, Neil, an impassioned member of the Black Lives Matter Movement. Tensions between them continue to grow with each headline announcing another extrajudicial killing. But the human heart can hold complex and often contradictory things, and the two men find themselves at a crossroads. This Bitter Earth explores the quiet revolutions of normalcy, reminding us of the intractable bind between the personal and political and the strength of love in today’s turbulent world.


Jesse Justin Weaks 
Neil Noah Schaefer

Production Team

Director Otis Ramsey-Zöe
Assistant Director Vaughan Midder
Production Stage Manager Thomas Nagata
Lighting Designer John Alexander
Scenic Designer Brian Gillick
Projections Designer Nitsan Scharf
Costume Designer Brandee Mathies
Sound Designer Justin Schmitz
Intimacy Choreographer Dane Figueroa Edidi
Props Designer Eric Swartz
Scenic Charge Leila Spolter
Master Electrician Elliott Shugoll
Line Producer Aria Velz
Assistant Stage Manager Genny Ceperley

Notice as of 3/13/2020: Due to mounting COVID-19 concerns, performances of This Bitter Earth have been suspended. We apologize to anyone who wished to see this production in its final two weekends, but the health of our artists and patrons is of our utmost concern.

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