Kitch and Moses seem stuck on their street corner, but it don’t matter. They joke, dream, and throw down about the promised land they’re heading to just as soon as they get up off the block—what they’ll eat, who they’ll see, whether today’s the day they’ll pass over. Allegorical and immediate, humorous and chilling, Nwandu’s collision of the Exodus saga and Waiting for Godot probes the forces that have marooned these young Black men, and the power and limitations of their personal resilience.
To bring Antoinette Nwandu’s stirring drama to more audiences in the DC-metro area, Studio created the five-site Pass Over Community Tour. Learn more.
PERFORMANCES OF PASS OVER HAVE BEEN SUSPENDED IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19. FOR MORE INFORMATION, CLICK HERE.
Searing, daring, blazingly theatrical, and thrillingly tense.
Pass Over layers myth and history, weaving Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot and the Exodus story into an explosive drama which at once takes place on a street, “but also a plantation […] but also Egypt, a city built by slaves,” and is set in the 13th century BCE, “but also 1855,” but also, and most pressingly, “now. right now.”Read More
Antoinette Nwandu has a thing for getting lost. In an interview with American Theatre, she described how she writes by “creating a puzzle” for herself: “The process of building the play is figuring that puzzle out.” She draws connections across vast swaths of cultural narratives, through chronological and geographic dissonance. “One of my creative impulses is that I’m very drawn to the different ways that we create epic,” she explains.Read More
When Moses and Kitch play “bang! bang!" they force the audience to reckon with the regularity of police violence in contemporary America. For the two men, being harassed by the police is so inevitable that they might as well make a game of it. Unfortunately, the world of Pass Over is not dissimilar to our reality where many Americans are made to feel unsafe by the very people who are supposed to guarantee their safety.Read More
We are thrilled to welcome Pass Over director Psalmayene 24 to Studio Theatre. In this interview with assistant director Apprentice Mekala Sridhar, Psalmayene discusses Pass Over’s set design, playwright Antoinette Nwandu’s writing, and radical empathy.Read More
Moses and Kitch are waiting on a contemporary street corner. Or is it an 18th century plantation? Or maybe, they’re in Egypt in the 13th century BCE under the rule of the Pharaoh. The difference doesn't really matter to the two young men, who spend their days dreaming about what they’ll do, who they’ll be, what they’ll eat, and who they’ll see when they get off the block. At least, Moses is. Kitch is more than content just listening to Moses. They pass the time like anyone would: playing games like bang! bang!, fantasizing about collard greens and pinto beans, and awaiting their inevitable exodus to the promised land. Or just waiting. Waiting, aimlessly, under constant surveillance by either the police, the plantation owner, or Pharaoh. Maybe all the above.Read More
Studio has compiled resource lists for antiracist action, understanding structural racism, and the school-to-prison pipeline, among others. Read on for greater understanding and context about the issues explored in Pass Over.Read More
Playwright Antoinette Nwandu mines Waiting for Godot novelist Samuel Beckett’s dark humor, but a jazzy, playful liveliness permeates Moses and Kitch’s dynamic in Pass Over. The two men riff, they roast, they dance on the precipice of the abyss with a mash-up of soaring musicality and gallows humor. “It makes you ask, ‘Okay, why are we making jokes right now?’ We're making jokes right now to remind ourselves that we're alive, we're together, and we're trying to survive. Survival humor.”Read More