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Playhouse debuts new Black Box Series next month

The Flat Rock Playhouse debuts its new Black Box Series next month when it stages "God of Carnage" and "Blood Knot" in a setting "where the audience and artists share the stage together for an intimate and immersive theatre experience."

Described by Newsday as “brutally entertaining,” "God of Carnage" is a comedy of manners... without the manners. The New Yorker called the laugh-out-loud hilarity "ninety minutes of sustained mayhem." A playground altercation between 11-year-old boys brings together two sets of Brooklyn parents for a meeting to resolve the matter. At first, diplomatic niceties are observed, but as the meeting progresses and the rum flows, tensions emerge and the gloves come off, leaving the couples with more than just their principals in tatters. Directed by Lisa K. Bryant, the shows stars Brendan Powers, Marcy McGuigan, Rachel Powers, and Scott Treadway.

Written by renowned South African playwright Athol Fugard, "Blood Knot" is about the relationship between two biracial half-brothers: dark-skinned Zach, who feels imprisoned by his job at a whites-only park, and light-skinned Morris, who has returned home after passing as white for many years. The play follows the brothers as they grapple with crippling poverty and lonely isolation—living a strained existence in a one-room shack in apartheid South Africa. When they find themselves on some dangerous new ground, the brothers must come face to face with the blood knot between them. Directed by Vickie Washington, the play stars Arusi Santi and Odera Adimorah.

“I’m very excited for the Black Box series,” said Bryant, artistic director of the Playhouse. “The inherent environmental intimacy of the theatre-space for both the audience and the artists is unlike anything we’ve done before on the mainstage. As such, the creative teams and the patrons get to approach and experience the storytelling up close and personal. Additionally, the series will focus on a variety of plays and musicals slightly different from our more traditional, commercial offerings. This may include both contemporary and classical pieces, as well as bringing stories and/or playwrights from around the world directly to the Rock! We look forward to shining a light, literally and figuratively, on characters and situations that invite all manner of dialogue and reactions. Such is our job as artists. It’s thrilling to have the opportunity to expand on the production excellence the Playhouse has long been known for, and we look forward to welcoming the audiences on the adventure with us!”

The Black Box Series will be performed on the Leiman Mainstage. "God of Carnage" runs from Thursday, Sept. 15, through Saturday, Oct. 8. "Blood Knot" runs from Friday, Sept. 16, through Sunday, Oct. 9. Tickets are $55. Student prices are available for ages 18 and under. For tickets, call box office at 828-693-0731 or visit