create, Inc. and WOW Cafe Theatre to Open Zora Neale Hurston’s “Their Eyes Were Watching God” Adapted by Laurence Holder

May 12th - May 29th, 2016 Limited Engagement
Tickets on Sale Now!

For Immediate Release
Release Date: April 8, 2016
Kill Date: May 29th, 2016

New York, NY (April 8, 2016) - create, Inc, an NYC based production company, continues its dedication to African American theater projects with Laurence Holder’s stage adaptation of the famed Zora Neale Hurston novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, directed by Marishka S. Phillips at the WOW Cafe Theatre May 12th - May 29th, 2016, a limited engagement.

Their Eyes Were Watching God is the story of Janie Mae Crawford's search for self-fulfillment and actualization. As Hurston puts it, "everbody got tuh find out about livin' fuh theyselves”. Janie’s journey on stage spans over 40 years of African American history including tumultuous periods from the Reconstruction era to the Great Depression. We see her develop from a child bride married off by her own grandmother to a liberated woman who runs off with a man twelve years her junior, despite the worried cries of a conservative town. Hurston not only tells this semi-autobiographical story through the deeply emotional storyline but also employs the use of phonetic southern dialect, which literary critics have likened to the influential musical genre of the blues. She finds and showcases the beauty in the language of a myriad of colorful characters.

“The genius of Hurston is through her academic lens she understood the significance of lifting up the stories of so called "common people." The novel is a masterpiece and tribute to the Black folks that shaped her identity. It's a privilege to bring that legacy to life on stage with Holder's adaptation.”
- Lauren M. Smith, Director of create, inc.


The piece itself, an adaptation by Laurence Holder, is a product of the Frank Silvera Writing Workshop and currently housed at the Schomburg Research Center in Harlem. The Workshop was founded by Garland Lee Thompson Sr. along with director Billie Allen, actor Morgan Freeman, and broadcaster Clayton Riley in 1976 to support African American and other minority playwrights and their new works.

Their Eyes Were Watching God features talented newcomers Lauren Marissa Smith(Janie Mae Crawford), Michael Oloyede (Logan Killicks), De’Marcus Woods (Joe “Jody” Starks), Sawandi Wilson (Teacake Woods), and New York theater veteran Kimberlee Monroe as Nanny Crawford.

The supporting cast includes Kellee Fuller (Daisy Blunt), Dontalle Sylvester (Lee Coker),Antwain Lewis (Amos Hicks), Nicolette Ellis (Pheoby Watson) and Jennifer Russie Burks (the Soul of Janie).

Nicole Hamilton (Stage Manager), Geoffrey Kinsey (Set Designer), James Carter(Lighting Design) and Michaela Boyd (Costume Designer) are members of the production’s creative team.



Wednesday, May 11th at 7:00pm



Thursday, May 12th at 8:00pm



Thursdays at 8:00pm
Fridays at 8:00pm
Saturdays at 8:00pm
Sundays at 3:00pm

The play running time is 90 minutes with an intermission. Late seating is not available.



WOW Cafe Theater, 59-61 E. 4th Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10003 (between Bowery & 2nd Ave)



General Admission - $21
VIP (guarantees the first row) - $28

Group Rates and Host Nights available




About create, Inc.:

Champions of Racial Equality in Arts, Theatre, and Education, Inc. (create, inc.) is a non-profit organization providing performance opportunities to artists of color to strengthen their artistic voice, allows audiences of color to witness their stories lifted into art by those who come from their community, and additionally gives other communities outside of those portrayed by create, inc insight and understanding of racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups other than their own. We wholeheartedly believe that our end product: accurate and meaningful storytelling can have a positive impact on every participant in our endeavors that comes to us on or off the stage. create, inc. currently focuses on theatre and film projects in New York City. As a vertically integrated organization, the company takes on the entire breadth of projects, which includes sourcing and /or writing material, casting, acting, directing, design and all technical aspects as well as marketing. More information is available at  

Dariana Colon-Bibb
Rebelle Agency


Members of the cast of Their Eyes Were Watching God promoting the play at Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, NY

Members of the cast of Their Eyes Were Watching God promoting the play at Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, NY

Jennifer Russie Burks, playing the role of "Soul of Janie" is bringing a special twist to the production; the use of her violin!

Jennifer Russie Burks, playing the role of "Soul of Janie" is bringing a special twist to the production; the use of her violin!

If you are a member of the media or a publicist, please find our Media Preview invite below for yourself and/or your clients. We would love to have you join us!

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