by donja r. love. world premiere. premiered: manhattan theatre club, the studio at stage II, nyc. june 2018. directed by saheem ali. sets: arnulfo maldonado. costumes: dede ayite. lights: jason lyons. sound: palmer hefferan. original music: michael thurber. movement: darrell grand moultrie. photography: arnulfo maldonado, joan marcus.
Recipient of the Lucille Lortel Award 2019 for Outstanding Scenic Design "Director Saheem Ali and the very fine designers of the Manhattan Theater Club have created a magical setting for Donja R. Love’s 'Sugar in our Wounds,' a romantic drama (the first in a trilogy) about two male slaves who find love in each other’s arms as the American Civil War rages...But let’s hear it for the Tree! The centerpiece of Arnulfo Maldonado’s austerely gorgeous set is a tree of heroic proportions. The roots of this colossus can’t be contained in the earth and its topmost limbs stretch far out of sight. Legend has it that this is a hanging tree, but with delicate mosses dangling like lace handkerchiefs, you can’t really see the blood of history dripping from its boughs." -- on SUGAR IN OUR WOUNDS, Variety.
"Performance and design come together in director Saheem Ali's production, which takes full advantage of the high stakes to create a world that is simultaneously enchanted and all too real. This starts with the giant tree at the center of Arnulfo Maldonado's set: imposing, brimming with secrets, and fed by the blood of slaves. Trying with all their might to climb it, neither James nor Henry ever reaches the top." -- on SUGAR IN OUR WOUNDS, Theatermania.
"The giant, age-old tree dominates Arnulfo Maldonado's set. Like the pouch full of African dirt that Aunt Mama has inherited, the tree is a through-line to the earth, history, and the divine. Jason Lyons's lighting helps make our time with the tree feel sacred. Indeed, this sense of spirituality is a profound element in Sugar in Our Wounds. " -- on SUGAR IN OUR WOUNDS, Theatre Is Easy.