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HBO Original Documentary SLAVE PLAY. NOT A MOVIE. A PLAY. See to Debut This Month.


HBO has always been known to push the envelope when it comes to offering content that is provocative. Their newest documentary is another testament to their committment to pushing the industry forward. "SLAVE PLAY. NOT A MOVIE. A PLAY." is directed by Jeremy O. Harris and it shines a light on the uncomfortable truths surrounding this touchy topic.


Here's the documentary's synopsis:


“Slave Play” was one of Broadway’s most celebrated, genre-bending, and daring productions – breaking records and receiving critical acclaim for tackling race, sex, and interracial relationships in a way never before seen on stage. In this playful and provocative documentary, playwright Jeremy O. Harris takes viewers behind the scenes, from run-throughs to performance, as he strips down his own work and directs new actors through workshop rehearsals. As the acting students parse the text and bring meaning to the words on the page, Harris turns his critical eye to the thoughts, inspirations, and creative process that brought the play to life.



In his documentary directorial debut, Harris confronts the debate surrounding the play received head-on, reflecting both on its success, including 12 Tony Award®nominations, and the outrage it provoked. Probing the incendiary nature of the text, Harris and his actors search for the truth within each of the eight roles that play on and subvert racial stereotypes and power inequalities within interracial couples. Intercutting the rehearsal sessions with clips from the live stage performances, Harris reveals the polarizing impacts of the play with laughter and applause from some audiences and anger, discomfort, and derision from others. Challenging our own history and modern paradigms, SLAVE PLAY. NOT A MOVIE. A PLAY. invites us to live in uncomfortable spaces and reimagine the possibilities of theater itself.




Harris is joined by the actors from New York’s William Esper Studio with production done by Chris Moukarbel and Natalia Leigh-Brown.


SLAVE PLAY. NOT A MOVIE. A PLAY. will debut on HBO Thursday June 20th at 9pm EST. The documentary will have its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival.

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