Ta-Nehisi Coates’ “Between the World and Me” to Be Adapted Into a Performance for the Apollo Theater Stage

Ta-Nehisi Coates / Gabriella Demczuk for The New York Times

“Between the World and Me,” Ta-Nehisi Coates’s award-winning book exploring racial injustice in America, will be brought to the Apollo stage next April.

Mr. Coates’s fiery work — which made him the National Book Award winner and a Pulitzer Prize finalist — will be adapted into a multimedia performance, with excerpted monologues, video projections, and a score by the jazz musician Jason Moran. Portions of Mr. Coates’s letters to his son would be read aloud, while narratives of his experiences at Howard University and in New York City could be performed by actors.

Kamilah Forbes, the Apollo’s executive producer, will direct the production. The coming Apollo season will be Ms. Forbes’s first full season in the role; she previously was the associate director of “Raisin in the Sun” on Broadway. And she has a personal connection to the book: She met Mr. Coates when they were both students at Howard, and appears in the book as “Aunt Kamilah.”

“The second I put the book down, I wanted to call everyone who had read the book, and who would stay up with me at 3 a.m.,” Ms. Forbes said in a phone interview. “The hope is that we’re taking that solitary experience of reading the book and expanding that to a collective experience.”

Ms. Forbes also knew Prince Jones, a Howard University student who was killed by a police officer in 2000, and whose life and death are explored in “Between the World and Me.”

“It was hard for me to read the book — because of my personal connection, but even just broader,” Ms. Forbes said. “Prince was a huge tragedy and loss to us all. Now we’re living in a world where we’re fearing. I think about my brothers, my nephews, my husband, and I fear for their lives. So it’s an even bigger discussion.”

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SOURCE: The New York Times
Andrew R. Chow