The Refuge Plays


By Nathan Alan Davis
Directed by Patricia McGregor
In collaboration with Roundabout Theatre Company

2023/24 Season

September 16, 2023—November 12, 2023

The Refuge Plays runs three hours and thirty minutes, including two intermissions.

Read Synopsis

Late at night, deep in the woods of southern Illinois, a ghost tells Gail she will die within the next 24 hours. So begins The Refuge Plays, an epic tale that follows one Black family over 70 years. Written by former 2050 Artistic Fellow and NYTW Usual Suspect Nathan Alan Davis, this bold reimagining of an American “family play” is full of humor, heart and surprises. NYTW Artistic Director and Usual Suspect Patricia McGregor directs.

NYTW member & guest tickets for The Refuge Plays can be booked online at or by calling the NYTW Box Office at 212-460-5475. Please make sure you’re logged into your account to see available seats. Members of the general public who wish to purchase tickets should visit or call 212-719-1300.

The Refuge Plays will be performed at the Laura Pels Theatre at the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre (111 West 46th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenue).

If you also hold a membership to the Roundabout Theatre Company and you’d like a custom membership package for the 2023/24 season, please contact Justin at or 646-793-3215.

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  • Joy

    Education: University of California, San Diego (MFA in Acting), Point Park University (BA Theatre Arts). Acting: The Pittsburgh Public Theatre, The City Theatre, Barrington Stage, Philadelphia Theatre Co, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, and The Mark Taper Forum. Television credits include starring in the upcoming limited series “Invitation to a Bonfire” on AMC. Playwriting: Seven Deadly Sins (Drama Desk Award) Good Grief, The Homecoming Queen, and Nike or We Don’t Need Another Hero. Good Grief (Kilroys List 2016, semi finalist Princess Grace, Humanitas Award) was produced at Center Theatre Group(the Kirk Douglas) in Los Angeles(2017) and Off Broadway at The Vineyard Theatre(2018) which Anyanwu also starred in. NIKE ( kilroys list 2017) was workshopped at The New Black Fest in conjunction with The Lark and The Strand Festival in conjunction with A.C.T and Space on Ryder Farm and New York Stage and Film. The Homecoming Queen(kilroys list 2017, Leah Ryan Finalist) had its world premiere at The Atlantic theater in 2018 which also had a sold out run. She also recently wrote and starred in her play The Last of the Love Letters at The Atlantic Theatre Company (2021) Anyanwu has also received residencies from LCT3, Space on Ryder Farm, and the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, The New Harmony Project, New York Stage and Film and Page 73. She is also commissioned with NYU, Two Rivers, The Old Globe, Steppenwolfe and The Atlantic Theatre and is recipient of the Creative Rebuild New York program, where she will be a an artist in Residence with Barbara Ann Teer’s National Black Theatre.

  • Reginald

    . Broadway: Death of A Salesman, American Son, Jitney, Stickfly and Seven Guitars opposite Viola Davis. Off Broadway: Most recently Playwrights Horizon’s Freedom Freedom Freedom (podcast) The Public Theatre, Beckett Theatre, Circle Rep and The Billie Holiday Theatre. Regional: Yale Rep, The Old Globe, Denver Center, TheatreWorks Silicone Valley, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Folgers Theatre, Arden Theatre, Goodman Theatre and The Eugene O’Neill Theatre Conference to name a few. Television: HBO’s “OZ” as Travis Smith, “All My Children” as Derek Frye, “Law and Order SVU,” “NY Undercover,” “NYPD Blue.” Film: Marvels Wastelanders Black Widow series, Peeples opposite Kerry Washington, Shaft 2000, Musical Chairs, Tio Papi, Popous Pane, Something to Give… Screenwriter: Jimi Exit Before the Toll. Playwright: Augusta Brown, Electric Lady, The Jimi Hendrix Experiment. Director: The Man in Room 306 @ Luna Stage. I’m grateful to the Roundabout Theatre and Patricia McGregor for this opportunity.

  • Gail

    Jessica Frances Dukes has been acclaimed for her multi-season series regular role on “Ozark” (Netflix), with the New York Times calling her performance “divine.” She can currently be seen starring in the Project Greenlight feature on Max, Gray Matter, as well as the series itself, and in a supporting role in the Paramount feature, Organ Trail. She made her Broadway debut at the Roundabout in Trouble In Mind and has graced OffBroadway and regional stages all over the country. She won an Audelco Award and was nominated for a Drama League Award for playing the title role in Lynn Nottage’s By The Way, Meet Vera Stark at Signature Theatre and won an Obie for Robert O’Hara’s Bootycandy at Playwrights Horizons. She recurred on Marvel’s “Jessica Jones” (Netflix) and guested on “The Good Wife,” NBC’s “New Amsterdam” and “NCIS: New Orleans.”

  • Walking Man

    Jon Michael Hill has been a Steppenwolf Theatre Company ensemble member since 2007 where he has appeared in True West (Steppenwolf, Galway International Arts Festival), The Unmentionables (Steppenwolf, Yale Repertory Theatre), Superior Donuts (Steppenwolf, Broadway, Outer Critics Circle Award, Theater World Award, Tony Award nomination), Kafka on the Shore, The Tempest, The Hot L Baltimore, Head of Passes, Constellations, Pass Over (Lincoln Center, Amazon Prime, Broadway). Regional: The Mountaintop at Geffen Playhouse (LA), A Midsummer Night’s Dream at The Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park (NY), In the Red and Brown Water at Alliance Theater (Atlanta), The Cure at Troy at Seattle Rep. Film/TV: “Detective Bell” on “Elementary” (CBS), “Eastbound & Down” (HBO), “Detroit 1-8-7” (ABC), “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (NBC), “Person of Interest” (CBS), 61st Street (AMC), Widows (film by Steve McQueen), and A Man in Full (upcoming on Netflix).

  • Symphony

    Mallori is the lead role, “Dana,” in the FX Series KINDRED, based on the seminal novel by Octavia E. Butler. It was adapted by Showrunner Branden Jacob-Jenkins and the Pilot was directed by Janicza Bravo. Mallori also appeared opposite Anne Hathaway in the Apple+ Series “WeCrashed.” She’ll next be seen in “Genius MLK/X” (Disney+/NatGeo) and in the Feature “The Other Zoey.” She’s a graduate of The Julliard School.

  • Clydette

    Broadway: Ohio State Murders, Electra, Having Our Say, So Long on Lonely Street. OffBroadway: The Half-God of Rainfall, On Sugarland, Cullud Wattah, Passage, Brownsville Song, Trojan Women, Ain’t Supposed to Die a Natural Death. Regional: Our Daughters, Like Pillars, Skeleton Crew, Raisin in the Sun, Richard lll, The Tempest, Gem of the Ocean. Film/TV: “Detroit,” “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” “The Good Wife,” “The Preacher’s Wife,” “The Wire,” “Human Stain,” “Law & Order.”

  • Early

    Nicole Ari Parker is a seven-time NAACP Image Award nominee and a graduate of NYU’s famed Tisch School of the Arts, Circle in the Square Studio. Parker made her Broadway debut in 2012 as Blanche DuBois in Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire for director Emily Mann. Her powerful performance as Blanche earned her an Outer Critics Award nomination. In 2014, she reunited with director Emily Mann as Cleopatra in Antony and Cleopatra at the McCarter Theatre Center. Parker most recently can be seen in the first two seasons of “And Just Like That,” the HBO reboot of the iconic comedy “Sex and The City,” as Lisa Todd Wexley. Additional film and television credits include “Soul Food,” “Chicago P.D.,” “The Romanoffs,” Almost Christmas, “Time After Time,” How It Ends, “The Best Man: The Final Chapters.”

  • Crazy Eddie

    Daniel J. Watts has been nominated for a Tony Award for “Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical” for his performance as ‘Ike Turner’ in Tina: The Tina Turner Musical. He is an accomplished spoken word artist, whose solo-show, The Jam: Only Child was a tremendous success at The Public Theater’s 2020 Under TheRadar Fest. His Jams Series online installments during the pandemic earned him an inaugural Antonyo Award for Best Quarantine Content. Watts has appeared in eight Broadway shows including Tina, Hamilton, In The Heights and Memphis. TV credits include recurring roles on NBC’s “Blindspot,” and HBO’s “Vinyl & The Deuce”; “The Good Wife” (CBS); “Blue Bloods” (CBS); “Odd Mom Out” (Bravo); “The Night Of” (HBO); “Boardwalk Empire” (HBO); “Person of Interest” (CBS); “Broad City” (Comedy Central); & “Smash” (NBC). Film: Breakup at a Wedding; Among Brothers; & Freedom. He appeared as “Felony” in Tracy Morgan’s new comedy series “The Last OG” on TBS. An educator, Watts has also served as an adjunct professor of NYU’s Tisch New Studio. He teaches his own course on how to truly engage in one’s self in order to contribute meaningful and personal artistic work. BFA Graduate Elon University Music Theatre Program. 2011 Young Alumnus Award Recipient. Most recently, Daniel was featured in a major role debuting in the MCU opposite GAEL Garcia in Marvel’s special “Werewolf By Night” on Disney+.

  • Dax

    Lance Coadie Williams has performed on Broadway in the Pulitzer Prize Play Sweat and Kiss Me Kate. His Off-Broadway credits include Black Odyssey, CSC; War, Shows for Days/ Lincoln Center Theatre; Sweat/The Public Theater; BootyCandy/ Playwright’s Horizon (Obie Award Winner). His Regional Theatre credits include Our Town /Center Stage The Convert/Wilma Theatre; Sucker Punch, Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet/ Studio Theatre; The Oedipus Plays/Shakespeare Theatre Company; Blues for an Alabama Sky, Fences, My Children! My Africa!, 4 The Children’s Hour/Everyman Theatre; BootyCandy/Woolly Mammoth; Fences/ Round House Theatre; Love’s Fire, Shoot the Piano Player/ Berkshire Theatre Festival, and title role Hamlet with The Baltimore Shakespeare Festival. Lance has appeared on CBS’s The Good Fight and Elementary, HBO’s High Maintenance and The Wire. He received his BFA from SUNY Purchase.

  • Ha-Ha

    Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, JJ is ecstatic to make his theatrical debut in The Refuge Plays! He is an alumna of Carnegie Mellon University’s BFA Acting Program and LaGuardia HS of Music and Arts. His television credits include “The Equalizer” (CBS), “Gossip Girls” (HBOMAX), “The Michael Che Show” (HBOMAX), “Law and Order SVU” (NBC) and “Blue Bloods” (CBS). He thanks God, his mom, dad, sisters, extended family, Marianne Leone at Terrific Talent Management and Victoria Kress and Sam Yabrow at A3 Artist Agency.

Nathan Alan Davis / Playwright

Plays include Nat Turner in Jerusalem (NYTW), The High Ground (Arena Stage), Eternal Life Part 1 (Wilma Theater), Origin Story (Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park), The Wind and the Breeze (Cygnet Theatre), and Dontrell Who Kissed the Sea (NNPN Rolling World Premiere). In recognition of his body of work, Nathan has received a Windham-Campbell Prize (2021), a Steinberg Playwright Award (2020), and a Whiting Award in Drama (2018). Other awards and honors include: Playwrights’ Center Venturous Fellowship, Stavis Playwright Award, Sundance Theatre Lab Fellowship, Steinberg/ATCA New Play Citation, Rita Goldberg Fellowship, and NYTW 2050 Fellowship. Nathan is an alumnus of the University of Illinois, Indiana University, and the Juilliard School. He currently serves as Director of MFA Playwriting at Boston University.

Patricia McGregor / Director

Born in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, Patricia McGregor is the Artistic Director of New York Theatre Workshop, as well as a director and writer working in theatre, film, dance and music. McGregor has twice been profiled by The New York Times for her direction of world premieres. She was inaugural Artist in Residence for Adam Driver’s Arts in the Armed Forces and an Old Globe Resident Artist. Her productions include Lights Out: Nat “King” Cole (co-writer and director; Geffen Playhouse, People’s Light); Sisters in Law (Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts); Shakespeare: Call and Response, Krapp’s Last Tape, What You Are, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Measure for Measure (The Old Globe); Skeleton Crew (Geffen Playhouse); Good Grief (Center Theatre Group); Hamlet (The Public Theater); Place (Brooklyn Academy of Music); The Parchman Hour (Guthrie Theater); Ugly Lies the Bone (Roundabout Theatre Company); brownsville song (Lincoln Center Theater); Indomitable: James Brown (Apollo Theater); Holding It Down (The Metropolitan Museum of Art); A Raisin in the Sun, The Winter’s Tale and Spunk (California Shakespeare Theater); Adoration of the Old Woman (INTAR Theatre); Blood Dazzler (Harlem Stage); Four Electric Ghosts (The Kitchen); and the world premiere of Hurt Village (Signature Theatre Company).

Arnulfo Maldonado / Sets

Emilio Sosa / Costumes

Stacey Derosier / Lighting

Marc Anthony Thompson / Original Music and Sound

Imani Uzuri / Composer and Vocal Soundscapes

Paloma McGregor / Movement Coordinator


What's It All About?

Broadway World

Join the cast and creative team, including playwright Nathan Alan Davis, in first rehearsal and hear directly from the team what this magnificent epic is all about!

A Gift Every Night


The Refuge Plays can only be described as an epic, but for its two matriarchs, it means so much more. Read this in-depth conversation with Nicole Ari Parker (Early) and Jessica Frances Duke (Gail) as they discuss killing turkeys, playing elderly women, and channeling their ancestors in this world premiere production.