The UCSC’s African American Theater Arts Troupe presents Clyde’s by Lynn Nottage

Poster for "Clyde's" courtesy of the Department of Performance Play and Design

UC Santa Cruz’s African American Theater Arts Troupe (AATAT) and the Department of Performance, Play and Design are presenting Clyde’s, the Tony Award-nominated play about a group of formerly incarcerated people working in a roadside diner. This poignant show by two-time Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, Lynn Nottage, tells the story about the staff at a diner that, despite being downtrodden by their boss, is encouraged to pursue their dreams by the chef who is on the search for the perfect sandwich. "The thing I'm most excited about is sharing the story of people looking for redemption," says Tavion Collins, one of the actors in the show. This lighthearted comedy captures the struggles and nuances of race and incarceration.

Clyde’s originally premiered at the Guthrie theater in Minneapolis, before making its way to Broadway’s Second Stage Theater in 2021. Lynn Nottage’s work often focuses on the working class, especially those who are African American. Before Clyde’s she won Pulitzer Prizes for drama in both 2005 and 2017 along with numerous other accolades.

This production will be presented by the African American Theater Arts Troupe (AATAT), an on-campus performing arts group which strives to have a direct effect on quality of life for African American students by exposing UC Santa Cruz to African American theater. 

Along with on-campus productions, AATAT works with the local community through organizations including the Santa Cruz Arts Commission and the Community Partnership for Youth, and raises funds for scholarships to help support students. Through a combination of workshops, scholarships, lectures, and outreach, AATAT gives voice to African American students, and educates the community about the history and importance of Black theater arts.

Clyde’s is directed by Don Williams, a senior professor for the Department of Performance, Play, and Design who has been teaching for the department for over 30 years while focusing on the representation of BIPOC representation in theater. He is the founder of AATAT which he started in 1991. Williams also is a member of several organizations focused on diversity in theater outside of the UC system including the Educational Theater Association, Black Theater Network, National Black Theater Festival, United States Institute of Theater Technology, and the NAACP.

AATAT’s production of Clyde’s opens on Friday, February 23, 2024 with an opening night reception, beginning at 6:15 p.m. at the outdoor lobby of the Mainstage Theater. Friday and Saturday performances will be at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinees will begin at 3:00 p.m. "I cant wait to share the message with the audience," says Cyndey Merritt, one of the actors. "Everyone deserve the chance at life and freedom to be themselves and express themselves."

More Information:

February 23 - March 3, 2024
Post-show talk-back on Friday, March 1.

Theater Arts Mainstage

Theater Arts Center/UC Santa Cruz Campus

Santa Cruz, CA 95064

Tickets available on Eventbrite.

For more information available here.