Good Neighbor Program Directions Accessibility

By Aleshea Harris
Directed by Shayok Misha Chowdhury

2020/21 Season

April 26, 2021—July 25, 2021

Read Synopsis

Jim and Wally are brothers traveling Appalachia by two-seater bicycle, stopping to play shows on their way to make it big in Tennessee. When a man in a maroon suit starts following them, they come face-to-face with their pasts. Playwright Aleshea Harris and director & former NYTW 2050 Fellow Shayok Misha Chowdhury‘s haunting illustrated audio play chronicles the winding road toward success. Featuring Affrilachian fiddle music from Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton and the stunning visual imaginations of Ibrahim Rayintakath​ and Liang-Hsin Huang.

  • Jim

    GBENGA AKINNAGBE starred as ‘Tom Robinson’ in the original cast of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD on Broadway.  Additional theater credits include Fulfillmentand Lower Ninth(The Flea), The Thin Place(Intiman), and A View from 151st Street(The Public).  TV: “The Old Man” (upcoming), “The Deuce,” “The Following,” “24: Live Another Day,” “The Good Wife,” “Damages,” “Nurse Jackie,” and “The Wire.” Film: The Sun Is Also A Star, All the Devil’s Men, Crown Heights, Detroit, Independence Day 2, Edge of Darkness, and The Taking of Pelham 123.  Gbenga is the founder of Liberated People, a social justice lifestyle brand, and he recently sold his original pilot Lewisburg to NBC.

  • Wally

    Amari Cheatom began his journey as an actor with his introduction to the craft at Tri Cities Visual and Performance Arts Magnet High school in East Point Ga. During his time at Tri Cities, he was introduced to The Freddie Hendrick’s Youth Ensemble of Atlanta, where he was trained in the Freddie Hendricks method before being accepted to The Juilliard School of Drama in NYC.

    Theatre credits include: August Wilson’s Jitney Broadway tour (Directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson), Dominique Morisseau’s The Skeleton Crew (Directed by Patricia McGregor), The Ballad of Klook and Vinette (Horizon Theatre), The Temple Bombing (The Alliance Theatre), Fetch Clay Make Man (True Colors Theatre), Suzan Lori Parks’ The Book of Grace (The Public Theatre), Zooman and the Sign (The Signature Theatre)

    Film credits include: Judas and the Black Messiah (Shaka King), Roman J Israel Esq (Dan Gilroy), Moths an Butterflies (Alfonso Johnson), Django Unchained (Quentin Tarantino), The Miki Howard Story (Christine Swanson)

  • Old Man

    André De Shields is the triple-crown winner of the 2019 awards season, having won the Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, and Tony Awards for best featured actor in a musical for his critically acclaimed performance as Hermes in Hadestown. The Actors’ Equity Foundation followed suit with the Richard Seff Award, honoring veteran stage actors’ best supporting performances of the year. In 2020, Mr. De Shields received the 2020 Grammy Award for Musical Theater Album for Hadestown, the 2020 AUDELCO for Lifetime Achievementand an honorary Doctor of Arts Degree from Boston Conservatory at Berklee. In 2019, he received the 2019 Project1Voice Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2019 SAGE Joyce Warshow Lifetime Achievement Award, The York Theatre Company’s 2019 Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre, and was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame. He received the Key to the City of Baltimore from Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young in August, 2019. Prior to his Tony Award win, Mr. De Shields was best known for his show-stopping performances in four legendary Broadway productions: The WizAin’t Misbehavin’(Emmy Award), Play On! (Tony Nomination), and The Full Monty (Tony Nomination). In a career spanning fifty one years, he has distinguished himself as an unparalleled actor, director, and educator, receiving in 2018 the 8th Annual Off Broadway Alliance Legend Award, and the 33rd Annual Bob Harrington Life Achievement Bistro Award. Among his other accolades are the 2009 National Black Theatre Festival’s Living Legend Award and the 2007 Village Voice Obie Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance. His film and TV projects include Anton Ego in Ratatouille: The TikTok Tok Musical, the Algebra Tutor in “John Mulaney & The Sack Lunch Bunch” on Netflix, Chubby in “Katy Keene” on the CW, and as Wyndham on “Almost Family.” He can next be seen as Gavin Plimsoll in Charles Busch’s new film, The Sixth Reel. De Shields is a proud member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA, and SDC.

  • Boy

    Owen is extremely honored to join the cast of Brother, Brother. Credits: Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical (Young Ego) Love Life (Johnny Cooper – New York City Center Encores!) A Raisin in the Sun (Travis – Williamstown Theater Festival), The Hands That Could (Lil’Mar – Lincoln Center), The Music Man (The Kennedy Center), Billy Elliot (Billy Elliot – Signature Theatre), OLIVER!(Goodspeed Musicals), A Christmas Story Broadway National Tour (Grover Dill), A Raisin in the Sun (Travis – Two River Theater), Sesame Street (HBO), Waiting for Godot (The Boy – NYTW). Owen wishes to thank God, family, Nancy Carson, Barbara Coleman, Allen Fawcett, Jody Prusan, Taylor Williams, Aleshea Harris, Misha Chowdhury and the entire team of Brother, Brother and NYTW.

Aleshea Harris / Playwright

Aleshea Harris’s play Is God Is (directed by Taibi Magar at Soho Rep) won the 2016 Relentless Award, an Obie Award for playwriting in 2017, the Helen Merrill Playwriting Award in 2019, was a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and made The Kilroys’ List of “the most recommended and underproduced plays by trans and female authors of color” for 2017.

What to Send Up When It Goes Down (directed by Whitney White, produced by The Movement Theatre Company), a play-pageant-ritual response to anti-Blackness, had its critically-acclaimed NYC premiere in 2018, was featured in the April 2019 issue of American Theatre Magazine and was nominated for a Drama Desk award.

Harris was awarded a Samuel French Next Step Award in 2019, the Windham-Campbell Literary Prize and the Steinberg Playwriting Award in 2020 and the Hermitage Greenfield Prize in 2021. She has performed her own work at the St. Mary’s College, Edinburgh and Orlando Fringe Festivals, REDCAT and as part of La Fête du Livre at La Comèdie de Saint-Étienne. She is a two-time MacDowell fellow and has enjoyed residencies at Hedgebrook and Djerassi.

Shayok Misha Chowdhury / Director

Shayok Misha Chowdhury is a director, writer, and many-tentacled maker. He is the creator of VICHITRA, an ongoing experiment in queer South Asian imagination. A Project Number One Artist at Soho Rep, a NEXUS Artist at New York Stage and Film, and a Resident Artist at HERE Arts Center, Misha is also an alumnus of New York Theatre Workshop’s 2050 Fellowship, The Public’s Devised Theater Working Group, Ars Nova’s Makers Lab, and Soho Rep’s Writer/Director Lab. Selected credits: MukhAgni (Under the Radar); The Other Other (Ars Nova); How the White Girl Got Her Spots and Other 90s Trivia (Joe’s Pub); In Order to Become (Bushwick Starr); Englandbashi (HERE Arts); Virginia Grise’s Your Healing is Killing Me (PlayMakers Rep). In development: SPEECH (Playwrights Horizons) with Lightning Rod Special; Public Obscenities (Soho Rep); Rheology (HERE Arts). A NYFA/NYSCA, Fulbright and Kundiman fellow, Misha has been published in The Cincinnati Review, TriQuarterly, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Asian American Literary Review, and elsewhere. MFA: Columbia.

Alfredo Macias / Project Manager

NYTW:  Pinching Pennies with Penny Marshall, EndlingsAn Ordinary MuslimBroadwayThe Play That Goes Wrong. Off-BroadwayWinter’s Tale, The Odyssey, Twelfth Night (Public Theater); Fucking A, Fires In The Mirror (Signature Theatre); Fade (Primary Stages); 50 Shades! The Musical Parody (Maximum Entertainment); Ivy and Bean the Musical (Atlantic Theater, National Tour); Mad Libs Live! (New World Stages). Other NY creditsNice Fish (St. Ann’s Warehouse); IslandPericles (New York Shakespeare Exchange). Regional: Six The Musical, Endlings, Arrabal (American Repertory Theater), Miss You Like Hell, (La Jolla Playhouse), Born For This (ArtsEmerson). Film: The Sonnet Project, Recursion: a short film.

Ibrahim Rayintakath / Illustrator

Ibrahim a visual artist based out of India, residing in a small coastal town from Kerala called Ponnani. After graduating in production design, he worked in the advertising industry for 5 years and has recently quit to switch back to his hometown, to have a better understanding of his practice in the context of this space and what it means to him. Ibrahim is  drawn towards topics that are mysterious to us like dreams, nature, life, memories, etc, and he tries to confront these in most of his personal works.

Jerron Paxton / Musician

Liang-Hsin Huang  黃 亮 昕 / Animator

Liang-Hsin Huang is a Taiwanese freelance animation filmmaker currently living in Taichung, Taiwan. Keen on atmospheric scenes and hand-drawn art styles, her shorts often depict intimacy in people’s relationships and explore places, poetry and rhythm. She received a BFA from Taipei National University of the Arts in 2017 and a MA in Experimental Animation from Royal College of Art in 2019. She has experiences working with magazines, music videos, and visual poems.

Chelsea Daniel / Sound Designer

Chelsea Daniel is a sound designer and musician from Durham, North Carolina. She has worked on sound for podcasts You Had Me at Black and Transmitter’s Call Your Girlfriend as well as composed original music for audio dramas and short films under the mentorship of Jeremy Bloom. Chelsea received her Bachelor’s of Music in Piano Performance from The University of Texas at Austin where she co-founded Exposure, an award-winning video series that amplifies music written by underrepresented composers. Chelsea previously interned at WQXR and will be joining The New York Times as an audio producer fellow in June.

Jeremy S. Bloom / Sound Design Mentor

Jeremy S. Bloom is an Emmy-nominated sound designer from Brooklyn, NY. His work focuses on crafting immersive story-driven soundscapes for podcasts, museums, films, and theatrical productions. Past collaborations with NYTW include “Stuck Elevator,” “Sojourners,” and “Her Portmanteau.”  Jeremy is a sound designer for WNYC’s Radiolab and previously contributed to over 100 episodes of the award-winning Queer podcast “Nancy.”  Other work includes permanent installations at The Statue of Liberty Museum, sounds for critically acclaimed documentaries “Hail Satan?” (Magnolia), “FYRE” (Netflix), “The Great Hack” (Netflix), and projects with Google, Discovery, BBC, ATG, CNN Films, Great Big Story, James Taylor, Punchdrunk, Broadway Asia, Shakespeare Theatre Company, and more.