A monochrome collage on a textured off-white background features a theater light shining a bright orange light on a Black female hand clenching a white statue of Thomas Jefferson, which looks uprooted from its pedestal. A series of black stars resembling the first American flag circle the hand and statue.


September 21, 2022
Press release #1839

For more information, contact:
J'Kalein Madison


Acclaimed playwright and Pulitzer Prize winner Suzan-Lori Parks cleverly scrutinizes the realities of American history, past and present, through the lens of American theater

Previews begin Saturday, October 1; Opening on Friday, October 7
Playing through Sunday, November 6 on the McGuire Proscenium Stage

(Minneapolis/St. Paul) — The Guthrie Theater (Joseph Haj, Artistic Director) today announced the cast and creative team for Sally & Tom by Pulitzer Prize winner Suzan-Lori Parks, directed by Steve H. Broadnax III. Sally & Tom will play October 1 – November 6, 2022, on the McGuire Proscenium Stage. Single tickets start at $20 for preview performances (October 1–6). All other performances range from $31 to $80. Single and group tickets are on sale now through the Box Office at 612.377.2224 (single), 1.877.447.8243 (toll-free), 612.225.6244 (group), or online at guthrietheater.org. Accessibility services (ASL-interpreted, audio-described and open-captioned performances) are available on select dates. For up-to-date information about the theater’s health and safety policies, visit www.guthrietheater.org/health.

“A little over a year ago, I was invited to read Suzan-Lori Parks’ Sally & Tom, and I was utterly taken by what she was chasing in this captivating story,” said Joseph Haj, Artistic Director. “I am honored that the Guthrie is producing this world premiere in association with The Public Theater, an institution I so admire, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to have Steve H. Broadnax III at the helm of our production.”

After spending three years in Paris, founding father Thomas Jefferson returns to his Monticello plantation in rural Virginia where the complexities of his relationship with Sally Hemings, the sister of his enslaved valet and chef, begin to unfold. Monticello is not Paris, and everything — yet nothing — feels the same. In this clever collision of American history and theater, Parks spotlights the unexpected parallels between 1790 and today while taking the audience on a journey through the past that inevitably catches up with the present. 

Parks stated, “In Sally & Tom, I’m embracing two institutions I hold dear — America and theater — and putting them together in an incisive and joyous atomic super-collider. We come to know the ways in which Sally Hemings and her other Black family members navigated hard truths of 1790 as well as the ways we are still navigating some of those truths today. We also come to understand how the white Jefferson family embraced some of the less-than-noble truths on which the founding fathers built America.”

The cast of Sally & Tom features Kristen Ariza (Guthrie: debut) as Luce/Sally, Amari Cheatom (Guthrie: debut) as Kwame/James, Sun Mee Chomet (Guthrie: Emma, Twelfth Night, As You Like It) as Scout/Polly, Gillian Glasco (Guthrie: debut) as Maggie/Mary, Kadeem Ali Harris (Guthrie: debut) as Devon/Nathan, Kate Nowlin (Guthrie: King Lear, Antony and Cleopatra) as Ginger/Patsy, Daniel Petzold (Guthrie: debut) as Geoff/Cooper/Carey/Tobias and Luke Robertson (Guthrie: debut) as Mike/Tom.

The creative team for Sally & Tom includes Suzan-Lori Parks (Playwright), Steve H. Broadnax III (Director), Riccardo Hernández (Scenic Designer), Emilio Sosa (Costume Designer), Alan C. Edwards (Lighting Designer), Curtis Craig (Sound Designer), Carla Steen (Resident Dramaturg), Keely Wolter (Vocal Coach), Maija García (Movement Director), Mike Rossmy (Fight Director), Kelsey Rainwater (Intimacy), Jennifer Liestman (Resident Casting Director), Karl Alphonso (Stage Manager), Olivia Louise Tree Plath (Assistant Stage Manager) and Lester Mayers (Assistant Director). 

During its 2000–2001 Season, the Guthrie produced Parks’ In the Blood, a modern take on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter. The playwright’s highly anticipated return to the Guthrie coincides with a 20th anniversary revival of her award-winning masterpiece Topdog/Underdog slated to open on Broadway this October.

Suzan-Lori Parks (Playwright) is a multi-award-winning American playwright and the first African American woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Topdog/Underdog. In addition to a major 20th anniversary Broadway revival of Topdog/Underdog, starring Corey Hawkins and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and directed by Kenny Leon, Parks’ new works will receive three world premieres this season: Sally & Tom at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, Plays for the Plague Year at Joe’s Pub in New York City and a musical adaptation of the 1972 film The Harder They Come at The Public Theater in New York City.

Parks’ adaptation of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess won the 2012 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical. Her other works includes The Book of Grace, Unchain My Heart: The Ray Charles Musical, In the Blood, The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World, The America Play and Fucking A. Her project 365 Days/365 Plays — where she wrote a play a day for an entire year — was produced in over 700 theaters worldwide, creating one of the largest grassroots collaborations in theater history. A MacArthur Genius Fellow, her novel Getting Mother’s Body is published by Random House.

Parks also works extensively in film and television, most recently, as the screenwriter for The United States vs. Billie Holiday and, also Genius: Aretha, which premiered just last year, as showrunner/executive producer/head writer. In her spare time, she writes songs and fronts her band Sula & The Noise.

Parks was named among Time magazine’s 100 Innovators for the Next Wave. She was awarded the prestigious Gish Prize for excellence in the arts in 2015. Other grants and awards include those from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Rockefeller Foundation, Ford Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts and New York Foundation for the Arts. She is also a recipient of a Lila-Wallace Reader’s Digest Award, a CalArts/Herb Alpert Award in the Arts and a Guggenheim Foundation Grant. In November 2022, Parks will be inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame. She is an alum of New Dramatists and Mount Holyoke College.

Steve H. Broadnax III (Director) is a theater director whose credits include Thoughts of a Colored Man on Broadway; Katori Hall’s 2021 Pulitzer Prize-winning The Hot Wing King at New York City’s Signature Theatre (world premiere); Lee Edward Colston’s The First Deep Breath at Chicago’s Victory Gardens Theater (world premiere, 2020 Jeff Award for Best New Work); Dominique Morisseau’s Blood at the Root at National Black Theatre (winner of The Kennedy Center’s Hip Hop Theater Creator Award); and William Jackson Harper’s world premiere of Travisville at New York City’s Ensemble Studio Theatre. Broadnax III is an Ensemble Studio Theatre member and serves as Associate Artistic Director at People’s Light. He is also a Professor of Theatre and Co-Head of the M.F.A. Directing program at Penn State University.

Health and Safety 
Masks are encouraged but not required for all Tuesday – Saturday performances. Masks are required for all Sunday performances and must securely cover the nose and mouth (no bandanas, neck gaiters or face shields) when entering and inside the McGuire Proscenium Stage. A complete list of Guthrie requirements is available at www.guthrietheater.org/health.

Land Acknowledgment
The Guthrie Theater would like to acknowledge that it resides on the traditional land of the Dakota People and honors with gratitude the land itself and the people who have stewarded it throughout the generations, including the Ojibwe and other Indigenous nations. 

The GUTHRIE THEATER (Joseph Haj, Artistic Director) is an American center for theater performance in Minneapolis, Minnesota, celebrating 60 years of artistic excellence during its 2022–2023 Season. Under Haj’s leadership, the Guthrie has continued its dedication to producing a mix of classic and contemporary plays and cultivating the next generation of theater artists. Since its founding in 1963, the theater has set a national standard for excellence in the field and served the people of Minnesota as a vital cultural resource. The Guthrie houses three state-of-the-art stages, production facilities, classrooms, restaurants and dramatic public spaces. guthrietheater.org.