by Regina Taylor
Originally produced at WaterTower Theatre, Addison, TX
April 13 to May 6, 2018
About the Premiere Production:
Synopsis: Bread is nourishment. Bread is legacy. Bread is life itself. And bread is money. This world premiere by award-winning Dallas-born actress and playwright Regina Taylor weaves a compelling family drama of hopes, fears, thwarted dreams, and dark secrets against a turbulent backdrop of racial tension and social upheaval. It is late 2016; a time of change. James and Ruth are a middle class couple from Oak Cliff, a historic south Dallas neighborhood on the verge of gentrification. They plan a bright future for their teenage son and his soon-to-be-born brother. But when James’ brother Jeb returns home, buried family tensions resurface and the past casts a troubling shadow across an uncertain future. Taylor’s stirring, timely story of identity and family asks: How can we prepare the next generation for what’s to come?
Artistic Statement: "The plays that make it into the American canon each speak specifically about a moment in American society, while concurrently saying something wider and deeper about our world and culture. Regina Taylor’s beautifully drawn world premiere play, Bread, I believe does just that. Her play, grounded in realism and emphasized with poetic metaphor is, at its surface, about one African-American family on the precipice of a massive amount of change. This family, the Bakers, are faced with the past, as they teeter in the present, and look towards the future—with a child about to be born, a boy about to become a man, and a new president about to be sworn in—struggles with how to sustain themselves on every level: physical, emotional, and spiritual. The changes in their lives, community, and nation, are palpable in this play; and the family drama we find ourselves entangled in also stands in for a moment in American history where systemic racism is being both revealed and coming to a new boiling point.
I couldn't be more proud to present the world premiere of Bread at WaterTower Theatre, the first world premiere play in my tenure as Artistic Director. Regina is a playwright I have long revered from her work in Chicago, and it is an honor to have her bring this new play, about a family in Oak Cliff, to us at WaterTower. Not only do I expect this production to be artistically fulfilling, our organization will be building bridges in communities across the DFW with deep conversations over racial, economic, and geographical dividers. We are thrilled to have this opportunity to have discussions across these boundaries that will foster a new sense of community through dialogue and empathy."
- Joanie Schultz, Artistic Director
GrantStatement: WaterTower Theatre's request for funding consideration from the Edgerton Foundation is specifically for an additional rehearsal week to develop the world premiere play Bread.
Director: Leah C. Gardiner
Additional funders: WaterTower Theatre's FutureWorks Funders, Whole Foods Market, Texas Commission on the Arts, The Town of Addison