PlayMakers Repertory Company’s production of Clyde’s by Lynn Nottage hopes to share more than just a few sandwiches with the audience, but a whole lot of heart.
Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage has written a spicy new comedy that is both savory and sweet. Clyde’s follows line cooks Letitia (Saleemah Sharpe), Rafael (Xavier Reyes), and Jason (Adam Valentine) as they navigate life after incarceration. Fighting to stay out of the system, they are worked to the bone by their tough-as-nails boss Clyde (Tia James). Their guiding light is line cook Montrellous (Samuel Ray Gates), who coaches them into creating the perfect sandwich and shows how there is beauty and art even in the most mundane of circumstances.
This production is being directed by Melissa Maxwell, making her PlayMakers directorial debut. A director, actor, playwright, educator, and public speaker, Melissa has brought all of her artistic hats into the kitchen.
“Each discipline informs the other. I’m a better director because of all of the foundational experience I’ve had as an actor. As a director, I’m a better actor because I understand that I’m only one piece of the puzzle. As a playwright, it helps both my directing and acting because it gives me a set of dramaturgical skills, and I have an understanding of structure.”
As a director, I try to tell all of my actors to pay attention to the order of the words that are being said and what words are being chosen. Because the way in which your character speaks is a clue into who they are.Melissa Maxwell, Director of Clyde’s
This flavorful cast of characters is being brought to life by a combination of resident company members, the Department of Dramatic Art’s Professional Actor Training Program (PATP) students, and a guest actor.
Performing as Montrellous, the wise line cook, is resident company member Samuel Ray Gates. Samuel is a company member in his fifth season. His most recent performance on the Paul Green stage was How I Learned What I Learned, in May 2022. You may also have seen him featured in the popular TV shows “The Staircase” and “DopeSick”.
Performing as Clyde, the callous sandwich shop boss, is Tia James. Tia has been a resident company member for four seasons and has most recently performed the roles of Hamlet in Hamlet, and Angel in Blues for an Alabama Sky in the 2022/23 Season.
Performing as Rafael, a charming and passionate line cook, is guest actor Xavier Reyes. This is Xavier’s PlayMakers debut. He most recently performed the role of Rafael in Clyde’s at the George Street Playhouse in NJ. He’ll be bringing his experience and everything he’s picked up on the way to our stage!
Performing as Letitia, a kind, hardworking, and tough line cook, is resident company member and PATP student with the Department of Dramatic Art, Saleemah Sharpe. Saleemah is a third year PATP student and has most recently performed as Jo in The Legend of Georgia McBride, Marcellus in Hamlet, and Delia in Blues for an Alabama Sky in the 2022/23 Season.
Performing as Jason, a new line cook struggling with reentry, is resident company member and PATP student with the Department of Dramatic Art, Adam Valentine. Adam is a third year PATP student and has most recently performed as Casey in The Legend of Georgia McBride, Rosencrantz in Hamlet, and Mr. Elton/Mrs. Bates in Emma in the 2022/23 Season.
In addition to the director and onstage talent, we have a remarkable team of designers and artisans working to bring this show to life:
Gregory J. Horton
Original Music & Sound Designer
Aspen Blake Jackson
Assistant Stage Manager