New Georges presents Sylvan Oswald’s “Nightlands” at HERE

We’re a little late to the party on this one but playwright Sylvan Oswald – who we interviewed back in 2010 – has a new show on, being produced by New Georges. It looks interesting, a slippery blend of gender and racial politics, no doubt handled deftly with Sylvan’s gift for language and close observation.

Here’s the description:

In Nightlands’ uniquely imagined North Philadelphia, five actors fluidly trade races and genders to play a community of characters. The protagonists are loosely based on Sylvan’s Jewish grandmother and the African-American woman who taught her astrology in the mid-1970s. In Sylvan’s hands, the action is placed against the 1964 Philadelphia race riots, adding gravity to the already-tense circumstances of the two women’s emerging friendship. Unsatisfied at home and in her job selling wigs, Netta Klein seeks out Ivy Silver for an astrological reading. Soon Netta wants more, and asks Ivy to teach her astrology. Unable to deny their mutual attraction, Ivy agrees. Despite the taboos of the era, their secret relationship grows. Ivy begins to employ Netta on her public-access astrology radio show, and the two women envision stealing away together. When race violence ignites the city, the women confront the fragility of that dream.

Performances will be at HERE (145 6th Avenue; entrance on Dominick, 1 block south of Spring Street) and will play Wednesday through Monday evenings at 8:30PM, beginning Wednesday, October 5th through Saturday, October 29th. Tickets are $25; Sundays are “Pay-what-you-will” (in-person, at the box office, cash only).

To purchase tickets or for more information, visit or call 212/352-3101.

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