‘Ain’t No Mo’ Expands to Broadway After Celebrity Rally

Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy ride: That statement could easily describe being black in America, and Jordan E. Cooper is bringing that journey to life on Broadway another week after a successful social media campaign.

His play “Ain’t No Mo” offers a glimpse of what happens when black people have the opportunity to leave America with a one-way ticket to Africa. Exploring race, class, incarceration, abortion and other issues, the production is part “sketch, satire, cutting-edge theater and a dose of drag,” its website says. At times, “Ain’t No Mo ‘” makes you laugh out loud; at other times, audience members might shed a tear.

Cooper plays Peaches, a flight attendant on the last trip of African American Airlines Flight 1619. “Ain’t No Mo” made him, at just 27, the youngest black American playwright in Broadway history.

But in December 9, Cooper published online that his play had received an “eviction notice” from Broadway just a week after opening. The news meant that “Ain’t No Mo'” would make its final performance on Sunday, December. 18, said the playwright.

“It’s a new original play that’s BLACK AF, which are two things that make it a hard sell on Broadway,” Cooper wrote in his post, adding that fans have described the production as “the best theatrical experience of their lives”.

Cooper launched the hashtag #SaveAintNoMo to raise awareness of the pending closure and support the play. In response, celebrities like Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith, Tyler Perry, Gabrielle Union, Dwyane Wade i Shonda Rhimes All have bought performances of “Ain’t No Mo”.

Emmy winner Lena Waithe, meanwhile, helped host the show this week. Waithe had recently joined the roster of powerhouse producers behind “Ain’t No Mo,” which also features Lee Daniels and “Slave Play” writer Jeremy O. Harris.

Then, in an update on Thursday night’s show, Cooper announced that the Broadway production had been extended, according to Deadline , meaning moviegoers now have until December. 23 to see the show.

“Ain’t No Mo” opened in 2019 at The Public Theater in New York and earned Cooper a special mention at the Obie Awards, which recognize off-Broadway and off-Broadway productions.

Years earlier, Cooper had a run-in with the police that made him question his worth in America. He had entered a 7-Eleven convenience store to buy a Slurpee when an officer made him think twice about his next move.

“I remember reaching up to grab some red mud, and the police officer there tapped his gun and winked at me,” Cooper said, recalling that the incident happened when Alton Sterling and Philando Castile had been shot by police in July. 2016

“If black people give so much to this country, then why are they considered worthless?” he said he wondered at the time.

Black people have always “possessed the ability to turn shit into sugar,” Cooper said. So he wanted to spread humor in tumultuous times with “Ain’t No Mo.” He described the play as a “love letter to black culture.”

Cooper intended to create a space for black Americans, and not a space that was necessarily congenial to other races.

“Black people were dragged into this country, stripped of our identity and had to build our culture out of sticks and stones,” Cooper said. “We must laugh in the face of our pain and use dark comedy to find light in these painful moments.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *