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Art by Jason Simon

Token Theatre Friends: Jumaane Williams Wants to Be an Actor

The Friends interview NYC’s Public Advocate, react to the Tony Award results, and share thoughts on ‘Octet,’ ‘Little Women,’ and ‘Nomad Motel.’

Twice a month on the Token Theatre Friends video series and podcasts, theatre critics (and theatre besties) Jose Solís and Diep Tran bring a POC perspective to the performing arts.

This week they went to City Hall to talk to NYC’s Public Advocate (aka the 2nd-most-powerful man in NYC) Jumaane Williams, who gets to live his theatre dreams by playing Haemon in Theater of War Productions’ Antigone in Ferguson, an adaptation of the Greek classic inspired by the brutal murder of Michael Brown. Williams almost went for a career in the arts before becoming a community organizer—and the youngest-elected official currently serving in New York. He talked about his love for the arts and how acting helped him overcome Tourette syndrome.

The audio of the interview is also available on the podcast, where the Friends review three shows currently playing in New York City:

Octet by Dave Malloy, at Signature Theatre through June 30 ($99). The new musical by The Great Comet genius centers on our addiction to screen time. Eight strangers gather in a church basement to discuss isolation, tarot, hook-up culture, and spirituality.

Little Women adapted by Kate Hamill, produced by Primary Stages, through June 29 ($82 – $152). Hamill’s take on Louisa May Alcott’s feminist classic proves that the March sisters are relevant in 2019.

Nomad Motel by Carla Ching at Atlantic Theater Company through June 23 ($41 – $56). In this bittersweet tale set in California, Carla Ching asks what happens when teenagers are left to raise themselves?

Download the episode here.

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Have comments, suggestions for segments, shows to plug, or thoughts on how the Friends can be even better? Contact the Token Theatre Friends via email or Twitter.

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