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Br’er Cotton

Written By - Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm
  • Directed by - Gregg T. Daniel

Zephyr Theatre
7456 Melrose Ave Los Angeles , CA 90046

  • Producer Racquel Lehrman, Theatre Planners
  • Costume Designer Wendell C. Carmichael
  • Lighting Designer Wesley Charles Chew
  • Projection Designer Yee Eun Nam
  • Sound Designer David B. Marling
  • Movement Choreographer Doug Oliphant

Lynchburg, Virginia. The former site of a thriving cotton mill is now an impoverished neighborhood. Deeply affected by all the recent killings of young black men like himself, Ruffrino, a 14 year old “militant,” incites riots at school and online. More and more at odds with his mother and grandfather, the boys’ anger grows beyond containment while the family home literally sinks into the cotton field, and no one seems to notice but him.


  • "Brilliant intensity…superb cast. Takes place…right-right now. Twice, in this haunting play, I wept” - Not Born Yesterday
  • "Go. Check out Br'er Cotton, before it ends. The entire cast...played their parts to perfection. A powerful climax" - EURWeb
  • "Remarkable cast. Painfully relevant...history and fantasy" - Total Theater
  • "Don't miss it! Top-notch cast...fine directing. Wrapped in a cloud of tension that never lets up." - Hollywood Revealed
  • "Remarkable play...as current as this morning. Powerful and passionate. Builds in power throughout the show, surging to a stunning climax" - Theatre Notes

About the Writer

Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm is a current member of the Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program at Juilliard. His play Hooded: Or Being Black for Dummies had its World Premiere at Mosaic Theatre in Washington, D.C. this year where it received raves from the Washington Post, “Breathtakingly on-point new comedy…Chisholm makes his own mark, powerfully." The popularity of this powerful piece has landed it a spot in their 2018 season. Chisholm’s Br’er Cotton is a National New Play Network pick, receiving a Rolling World Premiere with the Kitchen Dog Theatre in Dallas, Lower Depth Theatre in Los Angeles, and the Cleveland Public Theatre. He was named a “person to watch” by American Theatre Magazine and as a rising star student made Variety’s list as a writer for the “future of film, media, and entertainment.” Chisholm was a finalist for the inaugural Relentless Award and London's 503 Theatre Award, and he was named winner of both the Rosa Parks Playwriting Award and the Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award at KCACTF 2016. His work has been developed with the Signature Theatre, Theatre Alliance, Endstation Theatre, The Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, and the Djerassi Resident Artists Program.


  • Omete Anassi
  • Yvonne Huff Lee
  • Christopher Carrington
  • Dane Oliver
  • Emmaline Jacott
  • Jasmine Wright
  • Shawn Law

Behind the scenes