Emmy Winner Denise Burse Joins Clubbed Thumb’s Production of Angela Hanks’ BODIES THEY RITUAL, June 22 – July 2

Denise Burse. Photo by Lia Chang

Bodies They Ritual, written by Angela Hanks and directed by Knud Adams is being presented as part of the Tony Award-nominated and five-time Obie Award-winning theater company Clubbed Thumb’s rescheduled 25th SUMMERWORKS festival of new plays at The Wild Project, 195 E 3rd St in New York.

Bodies They Ritual will star Emmy winner Denise Burse (“Black Mirror”), Nora Cole (On the Town), Jacqueline Guillen (Man Cave), Kai Heath (On Sugarland), Ebony Marshall-Oliver (Chicken and Biscuits), Emily Cass McDonnell (The Antipodes), Keilly McQuail (Lunch Bunch), Lizan Mitchell (On Sugarland), Bianca Norwood (Seven Deadly Sins) and Nandita Shenoy (“Daredevil”). Performances run June 22-July 2. Previously announced cast members April Matthis and Mahira Kakkar have departed the production due to scheduling conflicts.

A Santa Fe sweat lodge lets loose what’s bottled up in a group of Texan ladies who have gathered for a birthday celebration. Will any of them taste that deep, deep spirituality only to be found in the American Southwest?

Bodies They Ritual will feature set design by Jian Jung (Suicide Forest), costume design by Enver Charkartash (Is This A Room), lighting design by Stacey Derosier (The Refuge Plays), sound design by Kathy Ruvuna (Good Faith) and props by Samantha Shoffner. Allison Raynes will serve as production stage manager.

Monday – Saturday at 8pm. Tickets are $25; Reserved Seats $30; Students $20. Festival passes start at $55. Tickets and passes are available here.

Denise Burse can currently be seen on Apple TV + in “The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey” opposite Samuel L. Jackson. She is a native Atlantan, now living, and working in New York City. Ms. Burse is a graduate of Spelman College. She had a long and prosperous career honing her craft in Atlanta, at the Alliance Theatre, Atlanta Children’s Theatre, Jomandi, and Just Us Theatre, before setting off for the bright lights of New York. One of her first jobs after moving to New York, was at The Billie Holiday Theatre in Brooklyn, where she returned in 2017 to do “The Old Settler” with Pauletta Washington, written by John Henry Redwood, directed by Michelle Shay. Burse-Fernandez shared the 2017 Emmy Award for her ensemble performance in “San Junipero” an episode on the hit Netflix series, “Black Mirror,” written by the creator of the series Charlie Brooker. She had another stint at Billie Holiday Theatre in 2018 in Colman Domingo’s Dot which was a shared production with Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre. Directed by Kenny Leon and envisioned by Jamel Jude for the transfer, now Artistic Director of the aforementioned theatre. Some of her other credits include, the now airing limited Apple TV Plus series “The Last Days of Ptolomey Grey” starring Samuel L. Jackson, and Dominique Fishback. “Vacation Friends” Disney, “Partner Track“ and a film produced by Miramax to be released sometime next year. Ms. Burse has worked on “Manifest,” “New Amsterdam,” “One Dollar,” “Greenleaf” and all of the original “Law and Orders”. She can still be seen as Claretha Jenkins (the noisy neighbor) on reruns of the original “House of Payne” created by Tyler Perry. Denise has worked on the Broadway stage, Off Broadway, Off Off Broadway and most of the regional theatres. Her more than 35 year career has garnered her a Theatre World Award, an Audelco Award, numerous Audelco nominations and a Gregory Award nomination.

Chatting with THE LAST DAYS OF PTOLEMY GREY Star and Emmy Winner Denise Burse

Clubbed Thumb made its Broadway debut in 2019 with Heidi Schreck’s What the Constitution Means to Me, which premiered at the 2017 Summerworks festival, in partnership with True Love Productions. The play continues its national tour throughout 2022. Clubbed Thumb’s second anthology, Unusual Stories, Unusually Told, was published in 2021 by Methuen Drama / Bloomsbury.

ABOUT Clubbed Thumb
Clubbed Thumb commissions, develops and produces funny, strange and provocative new plays by living American writers. Clubbed Thumb is a groundbreaker, with a precise curatorial vision and a remarkable track record for launching artists’ careers; and an incubator, nurturing plays, collaborations, and above all artists, through thoughtfully deployed resources, opportunities, mentorship and hospitality.

Clubbed Thumb’s plays vary in style and content, but are always 90 minutes or under. They feature substantial and challenging roles for all genders, are questioning, formally inventive, theatrical, and exhibit a sense of humor. Since its founding in 1996, the company has presented over 100 productions.

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