Nunn teams with Kelly Strayhorn theater

The Kelly Strayhorn Theater and the Bill Nunn Outreach Project have come together for another outstanding production.

“Ananse And The Glue Man” tells the simple but poignant story of right and wrong. The production, which will run Dec. 10-11 at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater, will feature members of the Kelly Strayhorn Theater’s resident youth theater company, the Alumni Theater Company.


The play is being directed by acclaimed Pittsburgh-born actor Bill Nunn III.

Nunn graduated from Schenley High School in 1970 and from Morehouse College in 1976. He made his acting debut in 1998 in the Spike Lee Joint, “School Daze.” He may be best known as Radio Raheem in Spike Lee’s controversial, “Do The Right Thing.” Nunn continued to star in other Lee movies including “Mo’ Better Blues” and “He Got Game.”

He also starred alongside Whoopie Goldberg as her bodyguard in “Sister Act.” Most recently, Nunn starred in the updated television adaptation of “A Raisin In The Sun” with Sean “Diddy” Combs, Audra McDonald and Sanaa Lathan,” and “Spider Man 3.”

“I consider it a sacred honor to carry on the telling of this simple African folk tale about right and wrong,” Nunn said about directing “Ananse and the Glue Man.”

Nunn also added that the popular story of “Br’er Rabbit and the Tar Baby” from the Uncle Remus stories, is taken from the oral history of Ananse tales.

The Bill Nunn Theater Outreach Project and the Kelly Strayhorn Alumni Theater Company first collaborated on a production in 2009 as a part of the “I Am Artist” performance series. The two entities were eager to work together and capture that magic once again.

According to Jennifer R. Sciullo, audience development director at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater, “The relationship between the Kelly Strayhorn Theater and Bill Nunn was cultivated by Hallie Donner, director of the Alumni Theater Company. The Kelly Strayhorn Theater is excited to support this partnership and looks forward to future collaborations with Bill Nunn.”

In “Ananse and The Glue Man,” Ananse is a trickster who dreams of a carefree life with no demands or responsibility. As a result, he fakes his own death to live in the lap of luxury, living off of crops yielded by his farm while the rest of the village sleeps.

Ananse’s plan goes along smoothly until his son realizes the crops have been depleted and comes up with a plan of his own to find out why.

Show times are Dec. 10 at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., and Dec. 11 at 2 p.m. at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater, 5941 Penn Ave., East Liberty. Tickets to Friday’s performances are $2.50 at the door, chaperones and teachers are free. Tickets for Saturday’s performance are $5 in advance and at the door. For tickets, call 1-800-838-3006.


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